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Things I Love About the United States of AmericaI had it pointed out to me a while ago that everything I post about the United States on my Facebook is negative. And, he was kinda right.

Since Trump got in, and even now with the Democrats back in power, I have been feeling pretty negative about U.S. politics and the future of the country. Unfortunately, my outlook on the United States has been pretty bleak in general. 

So, I decided to write this post, to remind myself of all the reasons why I love the U.S. – and there are so many – it literally took me ten minutes to come up with this list so I am sure as I think of more it will get longer and longer.

I don’t think the United States is perfect – that it is the freest country in the world or the best country in the world (something which is an opinion anyway, not a fact). But I do think it is incredibly special and like nowhere else.

And I feel lucky that I get to experience what it is like to live here and to have American friends and family that I care for dearly. 

Amazing cities are one things I love about the United States of America

There are people that risk their lives to come to the United States, and because of who I fell in love with, it has been relatively easy for me (although the process has not been quick). I don’t want to take that for granted anymore, because I AM lucky.

I wanted to put together a lighthearted list of my favorite things about the U.S. Everything in life in the U.S. at the moment feels so heavy so I hope this little trip to the brightside can help you remember some of the simple things that are great about this country.

So here are 25 of my favorite things about the U.S. Some are distinctive to certain states, and some are quite general and not unique to just the United States (I am a massive Canada lover too!) 

So here we go!

Best Things About the United States of America

1) National Parks

If I had to pick one favorite thing about the United States, it would probably be the National Park system. As a lover of nature and the outdoors, I have spent a lot of time visiting the National Parks – like the incredible Denali National Park – and I absolutely cherish them.

With so many different landscapes and climate zones within the United States, one of the best ways to experience them is by visiting different National Parks, monuments, and historic sights that are found all over the country.

I love National Park campgrounds too.

National Parks are one of the things I love about the USA

2) Diverse Landscapes

As I mentioned above, I love how many different landscapes there are in the United States. The U.S. is home to nearly every climate zone that exists so no matter what kind of climate you like, you can pretty much find it somewhere in the country.

If you hate winters, then it is possible to avoid them without leaving the U.S. If you hate extreme heat, then you can avoid that too.

I love that I can see so many different landscapes in one country, how incredible is that?!

I love the diverse landscapes of the USA

3) Diverse Cultures

Just like with the diverse climates and landscapes, the U.S. is also home to such diversity in culture. I am endlessly fascinated by the different types of American cultures as I travel throughout the country.

There are so many cultures and cultural subsets, depending on what state you are in, what the beliefs of the people are, what their ancestry is, what color their skin is, and more.

There must be thousands of different subsets of American culture and I am looking forward to experiencing more and more as I travel throughout the country.

There are so many diverse cultures in the USA

4) American Hash Browns

Just like when I am asked what my favorite country is, it’s also nearly impossible for me to decide on my favorite food. But proper American hash browns are up there.

Best eaten at a diner on a road trip, proper hash browns should be seasoned grated potatoes, cooked on a hot grill so that they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. That’s it. It sounds easy, but only the U.S. seems to consistently do them right.

I will quite happily eat them by themselves but they are great as a part of a cooked breakfast or even as a lunch or dinner dish, piled high with other delicious ingredients. Long live American hash browns!

Hash browns are one of my favorite things about America

5) Craft Beer

Oh, how I love the craft beer scene in the U.S! The United States is the front runner in the craft beer movement, and no other country even comes close to the prevalence and quality of American craft beer.

I feel so lucky that I live in Colorado too, as I think it is the best state for craft beer, with a very inventive beer scene that includes more sour beers than I have seen in any other state (my faves!), and lots of kooky flavors like Blackberry Habanero IPAs, Chocolate Chai Porters, Wild Sage and Lemongrass Saisons, and Orange Creamsicle Ales to name a few examples.

I Love the craft beer in the US

6) Mountain Towns

It’s pretty hard to beat a historic mountain town in the U.S. mountain states. I know there are some beauties in New Zealand, Europe, and even just over the border in Canada – hell, I even lived in one of the prettiest there for a short while.

But, unlike in a lot of other countries, there are just so many mountain towns in the U.S. that I would love to live in – there are about twenty in Colorado alone that I adore.

Mountain towns with a youthful population, with tons of fun community initiatives and events, with burgeoning dining scenes, craft breweries, and distilleries, and some with a thriving arts scene – I think that all of these things together are what make the U.S. mountain towns special.

Some of my favorites in Colorado are Crested Butte, Telluride, Idaho Springs, Steamboat Springs, Manitou Springs, Golden, Silverton, and Ouray.

The beautiful main street in Telluride - the best mountain town in Colorado

7) Rocky Mountains

The Rockies are my favorite mountains in the world, and I first fell for them when I visited the Canadian Rockies back in 2010. Coming to Colorado for the first time and subsequently basing myself there on and off over the past six years further cemented my love for this majestic mountain range.

The beauty of this part of the world takes my breath away still, and I love the plants and animals that call the Rocky Mountains home. I don’t think I will ever get over my love affair with the Rocky Mountains, and I don’t want to either.

The Rocky Mountains are one of the things I love about the United States

8) Wildlife

I love the wildlife that calls the United States and Canada home. In fact, North America has my favorite animals in the world – even beating Australia and Africa. Bears, moose, elk, bald eagles, foxes, pikas, otters, groundhogs, wolves, pronghorns, marmots, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, bison… I love them all!

Bald Eagle

And there are still so many that I haven’t seen yet that I would love to – wolverines, mountain lions, polar bears, coyotes, opossums, badgers, lynx, and javelinas. The animals here are incredible and it gives me great joy to see them in the wild.

Elk in Estes Park

9) Wildflowers and Wild Berries

Along with the wildlife in the U.S., particularly in the mountains, I also love the colorful wildflowers and the edible wild berries that you can pick along the trails.

In Colorado, in particular, the wildflowers are the best I have ever seen, with so many different types and colors, and we always gorge ourselves on wild blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and salmonberries when we are hiking.

Wildflowers are one of my favorite things in the USA

10) Mexican Food

Other than Mexico itself, the U.S. is home to the best Mexican food in the world, with New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and California even having their own style of Mexican cuisine. I really had no idea how good Mexican food could be until I visited California and Arizona back in 2010 – a few years before I visited Mexico itself.

And now I have been spoilt with great Mexican food in the U.S., Mexican food pretty much everywhere else isn’t good enough.

I love Mexican food in the United States

11) Pizza

As much as I love tacos, pizza is probably my favorite food, and the best pizza I have ever eaten has been in the U.S. Delicious New York style, thick-crusted Colorado pies, perfect Neopolitan, and decadent deep dish – I love it all.

Pizza in New York City is definitely my favorite – and it is absolutely home to some of the highest quality pizza in the world. Big shoutouts to Pizzeria Locale in Colorado, Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, and Young Joni in Minneapolis too.

Pizza in the US is the best

12) Incredible Cities

As much as I love small towns and being immersed in nature, I also love the pulse and energy of big cities, and the U.S. has some of the world’s best.

There are so many exciting and beautiful places in New York City, although it is a bit too busy and crazy for me to want to live there, Chicago too, then there is green and eco-conscious Seattle, a city surrounded by nature, which is more my style.

If you love the beach life, then it’s hard to beat San Diego, for history Boston, Philly, Washington D.C., and Charleston are great choices, and for foodies – New Orleans is a must.

For Native American and Hispanic culture and arts, then Santa Fe should be on your bucket list. For a taste of mountain life in a big city, then Denver is fantastic.

There are so many incredible cities in the U.S. with so much to experience.

New York City

13) Road Trips

Roadtripping through the U.S. is such a quintessential American experience, and the country is really set up, for it with lots of roadside restaurants and services, lots of affordable motels and accommodations, and even bizarre and kitschy roadside attractions.

I don’t know if there is a country that is more synonymous with road-tripping than the U.S. and it is the best way to explore this gigantic country – to really get a feel for it.

I couldn’t tell you the number of days we have spent on the road in our little camper Casper and our RV Brownie, and they are some of my fondest memories of my time in the U.S. 

I also did a six-week road trip through six states with my Dad and brother back in 2010 and it was such an incredible trip.

Check out my massive post about roadtripping in Colorado if you are planning a trip there.

Everyone should take a road trip in the USA

14) Super-Fast Internet

For anyone that doesn’t travel a lot and lives in the U.S., it is probably just a simple fact of life that your internet is consistent and fast. But let me tell you – that is not the case in many parts of the world.

Even in my home country of New Zealand, although the internet in people’s homes is generally fast and reliable, as soon as you stay in a hotel or try to connect at a cafe – it is usually terrible.

When you work online as I do, having fast and reliable internet is so important and I have very rarely had a problem finding good internet connections in the U.S., even at budget motels, Airbnb and camping grounds when we are on the road.

15) Open and Friendly People

One of the things I love most about the U.S. is the openness of the American people, and the friendliness and willingness to help.

I honestly feel like I am a more open person from just living in the U.S for the past four years – more willing to share what I am feeling, and to tell someone that I care about them.

New Zealand is a friendly and relaxed country, but we have also taken on some of the more emotionally conservative qualities of the United Kingdom – not talking about our emotions, not making a fuss, men not being able to express any emotion, or to be seen crying.

I really like that Americans are generally not afraid to express themselves and to tell you how they feel about you.

I love the openness and friendliness of Americans

16) Fun Festivals and Events

Americans love an event and there is pretty much always something going on or being celebrated on any night of the week in the U.S.- in the cities at least.

Over Halloween alone, there are thousands of different events going on to celebrate. Want to drink beer and carve pumpkins? Want to dress up as a zombie and stagger down a main road with hundreds of other faux zombies? Want to go to a murder mystery night on a steamboat?

Honestly, whatever your interests or crazy ideas you have – in the U.S., someone else feels the same way and has created an event for it.

I love the amount of events in the US

17) Classic Diners

I have always loved a classic diner, and I seek them out all over the U.S. Whether it is an authentic 1950’s diner that has been serving for over 60 years and hasn’t changed much, or if it is a 1950’s style diner in a strip mall where waitresses dress as they have stepped right out of the movie Grease – I love them all.

And my favorite diner food – pie! The endless refills on your coffee are great too.

Diners are one of the best things about the US

18) Trader Joe’s

You can’t beat Trader Joe’s when it comes to grocery stores. It’s fun, affordable, and friendly – and they even have free tasters! I miss the unique and delicious food items that Trader Joe’s stocks when I am traveling internationally, I wish they would open more around the world!

19) Hot Springs

As I grew up in New Zealand, I was already a big fan of hot springs when I moved to the U.S., and luckily I moved to a state that is home to a whole lot of them – Colorado! There is no better way to relax after a long hike, or on a cold day, like a soak in a hot spring.

Colorado is home to so many incredible hot springs, both completely natural or with natural hot water piped into man-made pools, as is California, Oregon, and Idaho (where you can do an epic hot springs road trip!) among other states.

If you are a hot springs lover like me, then definitely put a Western U.S. road trip to some of the best on your bucket list.

I love the hot springs in the United States

20) Cajun and Creole Cuisine

These closely related but different cuisines are unique to Louisiana in the U.S., and I have always loved Cajun and Creole food when I have tried it in other places. But nothing compared to having it at the source when I traveled to New Orleans and Lafayette!

Cajun food is one of my favorite cuisines in the world, and I love how it came into existence – it’s essentially a hodge-podge of French, Spanish, African, and Native American cuisines.

Both Cajun and Creole food is so unique to the U.S., and another reason to love the country. I wrote a guide to the best food in Lafayette and New Orleans if you want to try it at the source too.

Cajun food is one of the best things about the USA

21) The Best Trees

Aspens and pine trees in Colorado, Redwoods in California, Douglas Firs in the Pacific Northwest, Spanish moss-draped oaks in the South, crazy-looking Joshua trees in the Californian desert – the United States has some amazing trees!

Hanging out around trees just breathes life into me and always adds to my happiness, and the U.S. is home to my favorite trees in the world – or at least equal to my homeland New Zealand.

The United States has the best trees

22) Entertainment – TV, Movies, Music, Books, and More

It kinda goes without saying that the U.S. is the superpower when it comes to the entertainment world – with most of the best movies, TV shows, music, books, podcasts, and more coming out of America.

About 80% of what I watch and listen to is American, and it has been for most of my life. In saying this though, I do think it would be a mistake to only consume American entertainment because you will be missing out on some absolute gems from other countries too – it’s hard to beat a Kiwi or British comedy, a scandi cop drama, and if you haven’t seen Parasite yet – the South Korean movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture – watch it, it is brilliant!

But, yeah, America is killing it when it comes to entertainment.

23) Fall Colors

Nowhere does autumn like the U.S. (and Canada – I haven’t forgotten you). While I was completely spellbound by the reds and oranges of fall in New England (which can be seen from space!!), my favorite place for fall is Colorado, because I can’t get enough of the golden aspen trees.

With the stunning gold, bright white bark of the tree trunks, and the almost always blue of the Colorado sky – it just combines to be one of the most beautiful sights in the world.

Last year we got to enjoy the fall colors in both places because fall hits the mountains of Colorado in September, and fall in New England is in October.

One of the best things about the US is the fall colors

24) Over the Top Kitsch

The definition of kitsch is ‘art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way’. And man, does the U.S. do kitsch big – I just love it!

My favorite place to experience good ole’ American kitsch is on Route 66 – Seligman has got to be one of the kitschiest towns in America and also one of the most photogenic because of it. Old Vegas is also chock full of kitsch.

I love the kitsch in the United States

25) American Pie

I’m talking about incredible, delicious sweet pie, not the movie (that was only OK). I have always enjoyed apple pie, lemon meringue pie, and the apple and blackberry pie my Mum used to make, but that is pretty much the extent of sweet pie in New Zealand. 

It was only when I went to the U.S. for the first time that I really fell for pie because there are so many delicious options in America! My favorites are probably mixed berry, strawberry and rhubarb, and coconut cream. But I pretty much love them all.

So there are so many reasons why the United States is worth visiting and exploring. And I will try not to forget that again.

If you liked this post, check out more of my US content:


Best Things About the USA | The World on my Necklace 25 Things I Love About the USA | The World on my Necklace Reasons Why I Love the United States of America

26 Comments on 25 Best Things About the United States of America

  1. this did not age well.
    America is number one in racism
    senseless violence
    child labour
    child murders
    repression of women
    Corrupt politics

    This is how the rest of the world sees America

    • I don’t know if it is number one in the things you mentioned but it’s true – it is far from perfect. But that doesn’t mean that everything here is bad. This is just a lighthearted post on a travel blog, not a deep dive into American politics or statistics.

  2. The best is California. Covers all of nature and even big cities. I live and was born in Los Angeles, the west side and I would never live anywhere else, and I certainly have had choices. Among other reasons is we have the best and most livable weather in the world. Some people like the author pick San Diego, but except for Del Mar or La Jolla it’s relatively unsophisticated and boring. By the way my nephew lives in Boulder and is an engineer.

    • I really felt where you were coming from about the United States I have traveled across this country from coast to coast many times starting when I was a teenager when I graduated high school in St Louis Missouri the very next day I stuck on my thumb and hitchhike to California it was a two-week adventure across the country and all it did was excite something inside of me and anytime that I felt bogged down or hated a job or something I would grab a girl or a couple of my friends and say road trip and just go and not care but yes this country has it all and I’ve done it all it is crazy the Rockies are definitely my favorite mountains as well but the Sierra Nevada’s are pleasantly pleasing in their own right great job thanks girl

  3. amazing article, I am really impressed with your article, please keep on writing articles like this.
    it feels really good to read a fantastic article like this.

  4. I just discovered your blog by finding this post in a Google search.

    Immediately subscribed. You are my kind of blogger!

    I feel like the US gets bullied a lot by the rest of the world. It’s disheartening to constantly be told why we suck. So it’s refreshing to see a transplant show appreciation for some of our culture and the nation’s natural beauty.

    But also, I too love nature and road trips! (And diners and creole food.) I can’t wait to explore the rest of your blog and find fun things to do! I absolutely love Colorado–in fact, I was married there. Let me know which of your posts I should read about Colorado to explore it best. Telluride has been on my list forever, so if you have something specific to that, I’d love to read it.

    Hail from Los Angeles. 🙂

  5. Love this listing and love that you were able to practice gratitude in a time when it was difficult to do so. Still is in many regards! Please keep writing, I just found your site and look forward to catching up on all that you have experienced.

  6. Uhm okay that’s more sad then good so its only the nature that get destroyed more and the bad Food is what you like the most ? Oh dear

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