Best Vacation Spots for Immigrants in the US

As the chosen home of immigrants from a variety of global cultures and origins, the United States has been shaped by diverse traditions, cuisines, arts, crafts, and technical skills that individuals and families have brought from all parts of the world to enrich the U.S. heritage. The continental U.S. reflects this extraordinary variety in the ambience of cities as distinct as New York City and New Orleans. Complementing the vibrancy of its metropolitan cities, the U.S. also has preserved wildlife areas alongside developed cityscapes in places as disparate as Anchorage in Alaska and the island of Maui in Hawaii. Although the New World, the U.S. showcases its history via city monuments and honors its original explorers and settlers from coast to coast.

Colonial Williamsburg

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Colonial Williamsburg on the Virginia Peninsula next to Chesapeake Bay at the Atlantic Ocean is where an entire period town has been recreated.  Restored and reconstructed buildings with rooms furnished in authentic 1699 through 1780s style make it the largest living museum in the U.S.  Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as Middle Plantation as the capital of Virginia.  It was a political, cultural, and educational center of the developing American colony before the American Revolution.  Daily household tasks and trades of that era are depicted during re-enactments by actors wearing colonial costumes and using period tools. It offers musical performances, art shows, and colorful re-enactments of Revolutionary preparations of 1775.

Far different is Oregon’s historic Fort Clatsop at Astoria on the mouth of the Columbia River next to the Pacific Ocean.  It is a replica of the fort built by the legendary Lewis and Clark expedition that reached the west coast in 1805. Costumed actors depict historically-based activities and portray that era’s lifestyle in the Oregon wilderness, which required rugged survival on the unsettled Frontier.  Nearby, the 125-foot tall Astoria Column depicts spiraling scenes from three historic events.  Also of historic interest is the Columbia River Maritime Museum at Astoria. A short drive south is Tillamook’s cheese factory and Blue Heron French Cheese Shop, while Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Civic Auditorium, and Portland Art Museum are a mere ninety-minute drive south-east.

Fort Clatsop: Entrance to Stockade with Historical Actors

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As civilization spread from the east coast to the west coast of the continental U.S., the eastern cities were established first.  Cosmopolitan New York City has earned its name as a hub for the finest performances of music, opera, dance, and drama, as well as world-class art exhibitions at the Metropolitan Opera House (MET), the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and Carnegie Hall.  For natural balance, there are horse-and-carriage rides in Central Park and relics including a fine display of dinosaur fossils at the Museum of Natural History.  Broadway plays and musical shows lead the nation with nearby Times Square constantly brilliant. More sedate is the Russian Tea Room Restaurant where famous actors, writers, and politicians have gathered for the past eighty years.  In Manhattan is Wall Street’s financial center with its Stock Exchange and NASDAQ as well as symbol of worldwide unification—the United Nations Headquarters.

Horse and Carriage in Central Park

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By way of contrast, with its distinctly unique ambience New Orleans in Louisiana is robustly vibrant.  It is famous for its European-style architecture, Creole cuisine, and as the traditional home of jazz, blues, rock ’n‘roll, and Zydeco.  Besides the vibrant spectacle of its annual carnivalesque festivities with brilliantly masked revelers, musicians, dancers, and ornate floats, the Mardi Gras celebration represents a fusion between primal energies of pagan times with Medieval Catholicism.  Traditionally, Mardi Gras festivities begin with the ceremonial lighting of flaming torches directed by the Flambeau Knight.  Likewise vivid, the French quarter’s colonial heritage has cultivated over 200 years of colorful characters and mystery since 1718, while the party hub at Bourbon Street is a lively nighttime area.  More sedately, the William Faulkner House at Pirate Alley commemorates one of the South’s most prominent writers; and the Spanish-style Cabildo was built in 1799 during Spanish rule.

Flambeau Knight Ceremonially Opens Mardi Gras Festivities

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Back at the East coast, of significant interest is Washington, D.C. home to The White House and several formal architectural monuments as well as Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the National Museum of Natural History with permanent exhibits of fossils and its Hall of Human Origins; and special exhibits on current topics such as the Genome and the Indian American exhibit Beyond Bollywood.  For natural scenery, nearby is the two-mile long Tidal Basin that bursts into color each spring with blossoming cherry trees gifted by Tokyo, Japan.

In contrast to human-made monuments, the 49th state Alaska’s capital city of Anchorage is at the epicenter of natural monuments.  It sits on a strip of coastal lowland with a range of snow-capped peaks to the north dominated by Mount McKinley, the highest peak in the entire North American continent.  Anchorage provides a perfect vantage point to see a wide variety of rugged landscapes with abundant wildlife including moose, bear, salmon, birds, and whale as well as experience the spectacular aurora.

The Aurora

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Learning about other cultures is part of the immigrant experience, and Anchorage is a prime site for doing this at the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature with exhibits of dinosaur skeletons and fossils; the Anchorage Museum with exhibits of Alaska art, history, science, and Alaska Native artifacts; and the Alaska Native Heritage Museum with exhibits from eleven major cultures. Alaska’s indigenous performers wear ornate traditional garments, headdresses, and adornments that reflect local influences and resources during ceremonial rites and public dances.

But for sheer unparalleled scenic serenity, the island of Maui in the Hawaiian archipelago is the jewel of U.S. territories.  Humpback whales from Alaskan waters winter in the sheltered Au’au channel, while sea turtles, dolphins, and tropical fish abound in the extraordinary coral reefs.  Polynesian migrants from Tahiti first brought customs that have come to typify Hawaii.  Nowadays, the Hawaiian luau celebrates traditional cuisine, music, and hula dancing.  Originally used for a sacred purpose symbolizing peace, the iconic Hawaiian flower leis have become synonymous with the Hawaiian greeting and farewell of Aloha.  A popular lei flower is also the official emblem of Maui; the Lokelani is commonly known as the fragrant pink damask rose.

Alvtiiq Dancer

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But for sheer unparalleled scenic serenity, the island of Maui in the Hawaiian archipelago is the jewel of U.S. territories.  Humpback whales from Alaskan waters winter in the sheltered Au’au channel, while sea turtles, dolphins, and tropical fish abound in the extraordinary coral reefs.  Polynesian migrants from Tahiti first brought customs that have come to typify Hawaii.  Nowadays, the Hawaiian luau celebrates traditional cuisine, music, and hula dancing.  Originally used for a sacred purpose symbolizing peace, the iconic Hawaiian flower leis have become synonymous with the Hawaiian greeting and farewell of Aloha.  A popular lei flower is also the official emblem of Maui; the Lokelani is commonly known as the fragrant pink damask rose.

Maui, Hawaii

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