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“The diversity of America is a strength of the country, and I don’t think that we use that. We don’t talk about our strengths. I mean, having so many diverse people in this country from all aspects of all over the world, and we don’t use that. I think we should talk about who we are – that melting pot that we’ve become.”

–Steve Stoute

The lyrics in the anthem America the Beautiful expresses it best–the United States of America really is beautiful.

O beautiful for spacious skiesFor amber waves of grain…For purple mountain majesties…Above the fruited plain!…America! America!…God shed His grace on thee…And crown thy good with brotherhood…From sea to shining sea!

The United States really is a beautiful and wonderfully diverse country. When you travel to each of the 50 States and even within each State you will feel as if you’re traveling to another country.

The United States is a country built by immigrants and each corner of this country is influenced by a variety of cultural diasporas including former enslaved people from Africa and the West Indies. Even traces of Native American culture can be found despite earlier efforts to erase them from the narratives of American history.

The United States has not always been the land of the free but it has always been the home of the brave.

As Paul Tsongas said, “America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.”


Grinnell Lake from Grinnell Glacier Trail. Photo: Ali Wunderman

Glacier National Park: A beautiful place with an ugly history

By Ali Wunderman

It’s been a tough summer living right next to Glacier National Park. With international borders closed to U.S. travelers, Americans have set their sights on road tripping the national parks, especially in places of low population density, and by extension low COVID-19 cases.   Read more

United States History Social Responsibility
Coconut on a lazy beach

The Bittersweet Experience of Repatriation

By Breana Johnson

Becoming an expat in Sint Maarten was hard, with culture shock taking the wind out of my sails for days at a time at the beginning. It   Read more

United States Insights
Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan

Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes | A Natural Treasure

By Tonya Fitzpatrick

Do you know that feeling of how a smell, sound, or taste takes you back to some of your fondest memories? That’s what happens to me when something reminds me of my summer family vacations in Michigans Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. So, after all these years, whenever I travel … Read more   Read more

United States Landscape Nature & Outdoors
Welcome to Las Vegas sign

Las Vegas and Formula 1 Team Up to Make an Incredible Travel Opportunity

There are plenty of reasons to visit Las Vegas, though it is a city that’s most famous for being the casino capital of the United States – and the world. Its entire existence is owed to the casino industry which evolved in Vegas to serve the crowds of workers involved … Read more   Read more

United States Events & Festivals
US traveler and passport

Understanding U.S. State Department Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts

By Tonya Fitzpatrick

The U.S. State Department provides  American citizens with regular notifications of events that  may affect their safety and security.  These notices come in the form of Travel Alerts or Travel Warnings.   Read more

United States Insights
Gondola-ride-in-the-New-Orleans-Museum-of-Art-Sculpture-Garden. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick

Top 8 Free Things to do in New Orleans

By Tonya Fitzpatrick

Let’s face it; travel can be expensive. But, when you know where to go, you can explore new destinations at a fraction of the cost. One of our favorite places, New Orleans (aka The Big Easy), can be pricey to visit but is filled with rich culture, historic buildings and … Read more   Read more

New Orleans Budget Travel Family Travel
Chihuly art at DBG. Photo credit Breana Johnson

Three Desert Gardens to Visit near Phoenix

By Breana Johnson

When you think “Phoenix,” you probably picture a city surrounded by desolate wilderness. Tourists rarely arrive with a list of gardens on their itinerary. However, you may be surprised to learn that the Valley of the Sun offers many gorgeous garden experiences!    Read more

United States Nature & Outdoors
Judy Cooper and the Prince of Wales in a Second Line.

Dancing in the Streets: A History of the Second Line

In this episode of World Footprints, Tonya and Ian Fitzpatrick visited The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) in the French Quarter to meet with two amazing guests, Judy Cooper and Eric Seiferth, who help us understand the history and traditions of the Second Line.   Read more

New Orleans Events & Festivals History
Grand-Canyon-usa-

TODAY IN HISTORY: The Grand Canyon becomes a National Park (Feb. 26, 1919)

In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation giving the Grand Canyon status as a National Monument. On February 26th, 1919, by an act of the United States Congress, Grand Canyon National Monument became Grand Canyon National Park. Today, the Grand Canyon National Park receives over 4 million visitors and contains … Read more   Read more

United States History
Puerto Rico

TODAY IN HISTORY: Ponce de Leon (March 3, 1513)

On this day in 1513, Ponce de Leon set sail from Puerto Rico to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. Caribbean Indian legends spoke of waters, a drink of which would guarantee a life free from the worries of old age. Ponce de Leon had served with Christopher Columbus on … Read more   Read more

United States History
Mercedes automobile car

TODAY IN HISTORY: Founding of AAA (March 4, 1902)

It was 1902 and automobiles were quickly becoming the vehicle of choice. Road conditions, however, were deplorable. The relatively small number of drivers had to fight for the right to even use some roads in favor of horse drawn carriages. Small groups of drivers had formed clubs across the country … Read more   Read more

United States History
Spock of Star Trek - Live Well and Prosper

TODAY IN HISTORY: Good-bye Star Trek, Welcome baby Tonya (Sept. 2)

On this Labor Day in history, World Footprints host Tonya (Johnson) Fitzpatrick was born.  Having grown up as a “Trekkie” today also carries another special memory. On Sept. 2, 1969, the original Star Trek aired its final episode after running for only three years and never placing better than No. 52 in … Read more   Read more

United States History
Maui coastline

TODAY IN HISTORY: Aloha Airlines flight 243 (April 28, 1988)

On April 28, 1988, Aloha Airlines Flight 243 took off from Hilo International Airport at 1:25 PM for the short flight to Honolulu. On board were 90 passengers and five crew members. At approximately 1:48 the aircraft reached its flight altitude of 24,000 feet when a section of the hull … Read more   Read more

United States History
volcanoes national park at sunset

Exploring the Depths of Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park

By Michael Fil

Lush rainforest and land transformed for millions of years by volcanic activity, all spread across 520 square miles of protected space. Welcome to Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park!   Read more

United States Adventure History Social Responsibility
Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg

Williamsburg Has a Darker History, Too

By Kathleen Walls

When we think of Williamsburg, Virginia, usually we think of the fight for American independence and freedom from England. However, there’s an important element that hasn’t been acknowledged until recently: enslaved African Americans built most of Williamsburg. When I visited Williamsburg, I viewed some sites that tell a story about … Read more   Read more

United States History