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Authentic Places In The Usa

Discussion in 'North America' started by crimsonghost747, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    What would be your recommendation for some of the more authentic destinations in the USA?

    I've been to Texas when I was younger and it really did feel like a different place. I really got the feeling that I was in America, cowboys and everything. :D Then I went to Florida and as a European it really didn't feel any different from some of the places here. You have your beach, you've got the bars and restaurants there, you've got big shopping centers... exactly the same as you'll find anywhere else.
  2. spence88

    spence88 New Member

    I've been to the USA twice, I'm still very young the first time so I can't remember much. The second time was just last year but we spent most of our time at Nevada. I'll try to remember the notable places we went. I'm pretty sure all of you guys already know this, but I'd just want to share my experience as well.

    First off the Grand Canyon at Nevada. We went straight to the Skywalk. Hm. I can't really describe what it felt when I walked around it. The pathway is built around the edge of cliff and is made of glass, so you can see the bottom of the canyon. So yeah, it's terrifying and overwhelming at the same time. I've seen some back out and never made the first step. :)

    Second, of course, Disneyland. This is obviously for the kids, but even adults could have a great time. If I am to put all the details here I would probably never finish. Just two tips: Never miss the parade and use the Fastpass service for the famous rides! What's the point of going to Disneyland if you're going to miss the parade? As for the FastPass, some rides have really really long queue and would take more than an hour before you get your chance. With FastPass, you just insert your admission ticket in a Fastpass machine and get a Fastpass ticket in return with a return time. Go back to the ride entrance at the return time and use the FastPass lane to go past the queue! Use the FastPass service if possible to ensure maximize efficiency with rides on Disneyland. :)

    Post is getting long, probably best to save the others for later.
  3. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    Authentic American, eh? As an American expat, this kind of makes me chuckle. What is authentic in America anymore? I've really begun to see that now that I'm no longer living in the country.

    Authentic is... Lancaster and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for the Indian caves, Amish food, and of course, agriculture. Check of the Carolinas, with their mountains and Southern homes and Chincoteague ponies.
    California is also a melting pot of traditional American, because there's not one thing that defines California. It has everything--just as you'd expect. Other places I'd recommend are Boston, Massachusetts; Richmond, Virginia; North Dakota; Oregon and Colorado. There's a lot of history in these places.
  4. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Those are good questions and really the reason I started this thread in the first place. Like I said some places in Texas really reminded me that I was in America... you know, everything was bigger, we went to a rodeo, even on the streets there were some guys riding on horses with their cowboy hats on... the whole atmosphere was different and you could feel it. I didn't feel that a single time now that I spent 2 weeks in Florida. (I wasn't expecting to)

    Thanks for the tips, I'll be sure to keep those in mind when I'm over there the next time.
  5. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    One of my favorite places in the States is Kansas City. It's not really on a lot of tourists radars, which is kind of what makes it awesome. They have great barbecue, a fun live music scene, and all the people I've met there are super friendly. It sort of gave me that "laid back America" kind of feel, rather than some other places that just seem over the top or way too geared to tourists. I definitely think it fits the bill for authenticity :)
  6. ellajanelle

    ellajanelle Member

    I think America really is a mixture of all different kinds of culture/practices. I mean it's like a home to almost any type of person. There's diversity in lifestyle, culture, etc. I think this could be attributed to the fact that America is too large. (I mean, different states have different time zones!)
  7. Catchmeifyoucan

    Catchmeifyoucan New Member

    I'd say go to the south like Louisiana, or go to the midwest, and check out Yellowstone. That's about as American as you can get. Check out some of the famous landmarks, and what little bit of pristine nature we have left here.
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    New Orleans for me is another place that you really get to feel a sense of history in America, as I think you do all over the south. While I've only ever visited once, its definitely a city that I plan on going back to, and hopefully staying a little longer.
    amelia88 likes this.
  9. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Even living here I've never yet been to New Orleans! Crazy, right? Sometimes I think it's one of those things where it's in your own backyard so you don't see the need to explore it as much as you do overseas destinations - and that's kind of sad! I need to try and make it a priority to visit as I've heard it's such a lively place with a great music scene!
    crimsonghost747 and pwarbi like this.
  10. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Yeah New Orleans is definitely on the list of places to visit at some point. Then again that's because I'm a huge fan of the Saints (their NFL team) so I'll have to go and see a game one of these days.
    pwarbi likes this.
  11. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    I feel like an alien with those places. I only read about Pennsylvania in the newspapers and now I see about Lancaster and Harrisburg with their Indian caves. I'm sure my husband would react to this because it was only in California that he had stayed before. It's not that we dig Indians but the heritage and culture of long ago is interesting to us. Is Colorado the one they call Grand Canyon or the ski resort? Sorry if I am guessing, this thread got me excited and probably I am soliciting for more replies. Thanks for that, @Valerie.
  12. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I think we're all guilty of taking our own country for granted at times, and come to think if it, I've probably been to more places in the US than what I have in England!
    amelia88 likes this.
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    @Corzhens Colorado you've got the Rockies...Denver, that area. I've also been there aswell (surprisingly) as I have a good friend that lives just outside Denver and he's taken me to watch the Broncos a couple of times, and that's an experience I won't forget in a hurry!
  14. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    You are not alone on this one! A lot of people kinda disregard most things in their own country, then again I think that is a much better option than disregarding everything else! (which quite a few people do too!) In a large country like the USA I'm sure you could find interesting destinations for many many trips.
  15. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

    Authentic to me, means traditional. Many of the more rural areas in the U.S. are more traditional than what you will likely find in the big cities. Here, in parts of Michigan, you'll find entire Amish communities and the culture of the countryside is more-or-less built around them to the point where drivers come to expect to see the horse and buggy on the highway. There are even road signs signifying Amish communities so drivers can be prepared to slow down if need be. In those areas it's part of the traditional culture to seek out those particular people in order to buy organic vegetables, baked goods, or furniture. Authentic is more or less wherever you look for it, I guess.
  16. Cato

    Cato New Member

    By "authentic," do you mean places that are traditionally or even stereotypically "American," like you might see in the movies? (You mentioned cowboys, so I'm guessing that's what you mean.)

    If so -- if you want the America of the movies (cowboys, wagon trails, romantic tales of derring-do) -- the first place that comes to mind is, believe it or not, Nevada. If you want authenticity, stay away from Las Vegas; as much fun as it is, it is only a small part of Nevada. Instead, head for the northernmost reaches, and work your way down the state.

    Elko (which is full of real cowboys) sits at the base of the Ruby Mountains, a lush, green expanse marbled with running water everywhere. Here is where you will find sheep -- lots and lots of sheep. Be careful going around curves in the road; chances are, your roadblock will be a lazy herd crossing in front of you, nearly oblivious and completely dismissive of your desire to move. (I understand New Zealand is a lot like this.)

    In Eastern Nevada, near the Utah border, you will find Ely, a good jumping-off point if you want to explore what's left of several ghost towns nearby (Reipetown was the largest, but has been all but decimated by people stripping the buildings of their fixtures and much sought-after, weathered wood). If all the ghost towns have been completely obliterated by now (which is likely), stay in Ely anyway; you can visit the largest "glory hole" (an overwhelmingly huge copper mine) in the world, and, even better, the Lehman Caves -- a network of caves with stalactite and stalagmite formations to rival those of Carlsbad Caverns.

    Drive -- if you dare -- the length of Highway 50, which runs east-west throughout the entire state (and all the way to the East Coast). "The Loneliest Road in America" (a nickname which has stuck for decades, and which is emblazoned on signs along the way) will make you feel as though you have landed on another, entirely uninhabited planet. Once outside the tiny town of Austin, watch for the sign that warns: "Next Services: 109 Miles."

    When you make it to western Nevada (if you do!), avail yourself of the luxuries of Reno. Take a day to relax at Lake Tahoe, and try to squeeze in Virginia City -- which has gotten terribly touristy since I first visited in the 1960s, but is still well worth the trip. The cemetery alone is a lesson in history. You can tour an actual underground mine. And you can gaze upon the haunted Faro table -- or "Suicide Table" -- inside the Bucket of Blood Saloon.

    Next, continue south on Highway 95 to Hawthorne, a sorely depressed little town which exists only as home to a military installation, but which serves as an excellent base for crossing over the California border and visiting the only ghost town in the west worth seeing: Bodie. Bodie was one of the largest, most raucous mining towns of the 1800s, and while only a fraction of the buildings are left, they are guaranteed to remain standing (and protected from treasure hunters) as long as gravity allows, thanks to the town being a state historical park. Talk to a couple of the park rangers who live there, and you'll most likely get a personal tour of the place.

    Keep heading south until you reach Tonopah, a tiny oasis featuring the historical Mizpah Hotel, and then Goldfield, where, if you like haunted places, offers the very haunted Goldfield Hotel. (You probably can't go inside, but if you're nice to the locals, you'll probably wind up with an earful of stories.)

    And if none of these "authentic" places give you a real feel for the real Old West, Las Vegas is just a short hop away!
  17. maxen57

    maxen57 Member

    I've never been to America but I've always wondered if there really is such a thing as authentication in a place mostly made up of European ancestors who migrated to fill the country and their descendants. The culture and traditions were mostly from what they brought with them from Europe. Over time, because people from Europe all gathered in one country, it has become a melting pot of all cultures and there's a possibility that traditions overlapped and combined upon marriages. I think the only authentic ones in America are the Native American Indians. Still, since those same cultures identify the United States, there may still be a few who kept family traditions alive for years, even centuries.
  18. Cato

    Cato New Member

    Good points all, maxen57. On the other hand, it could be argued that since (we are told) all humans originated in Africa, there's no such thing as authenticity anywhere but in Africa itself.

    Remember, too, that the United States is rapidly becoming a Latino-majority nation. So, while the typical perception of the U.S. is primarily Caucasian-European, it's hardly that now.

    Still, the melting-pot theory (even though many of us Yanks think of it as more of a mixed salad than as a melting pot) is, I think, exactly what makes the U.S. unique. I have not been all over the world, but I can't imagine another place where I could live side-by-side with Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans, and descendants of colonists who came here on the Mayflower, with all of us going to the same schools, doing the same jobs, and sharing many of the same values -- yet still maintaining many of our respective traditional customs, and being very proud about our heritage (be it European or other).

    I certainly do agree that the only "real" Americans are Native Americans -- and, sadly (much like Aboriginal Australians), they were dealt a terribly raw deal by white settlers. But that is another discussion for another time (or perhaps, never, as it is a highly sensitive subject).
  19. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Thanks a lot for the tips! Some of those cities definitely sound good, especially seeing one of the ghost towns would be something that definitely sparked my interest.
  20. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    I agree with your observation. But aside from Indians, I'm sure there are other tribes before the Europeans came to America. One tribe I am amused with is the Eskimo because they look more like a Japanese or Mongolian than the white American.

    Just like the Philippines, we cannot define which is the authentic Filipino. Is it the aetas or the tribes in the southern part of the country? But definitely not the tribes in the northern part. The Philippines is a melting pot of so many races that it had lost its authenticity when it comes to race. We used to be called the brown race but not anymore for there are different colors of skin that I see.