From Andrew Harper
One aspect of their country that Americans frequently overlook -- and which is blindingly obvious to most foreigners -- is that they live in a continent-size land of unprecedented variety. The United States contains within its borders the deep woods of Maine and the Everglades of Florida; the snowy peaks of Colorado and the sun-scorched desert of Arizona. When Chicago is buried under snow, the wine is on ice poolside in L.A. And as well as booming hypermodern urban areas, we have cities like New York that are close to 400 years old.
“So what?” you may ask. But reflect: Of nowhere else can the same claim be made. Russia, China and Brazil are all big countries, but in terms of landscape and climate, they contain a small percentage of the variety offered by the United States. And when you consider that their backyard extends to all of North America, from the Arctic to the tropics, then you begin to appreciate how fortunate American travelers really are.
Everywhere, inns, hotels and resorts are constantly opening or reinventing themselves. Sophisticated spas and world-class cuisine now come virtually standard. So you may think that you know the classic destinations of New England, the Lowcountry, the Southwest and the California Wine Country, but when did you last take a look? Chances are, virtually everything will have changed -- probably for the better -- since your last visit.