dinsdag 11 december 2012

4 states of the USA

It’s hard to slap a single characterization onto Oregon’s geography and people. The landscape mixes rugged coastline and thick evergreen forests with barren, fossil-strewn deserts, volcanoes and glaciers. And as for its denizens, you name it – Oregonians run the full gamut from prologging, antigay conservatives to tree-hugging, dope-growing, ex-hippie liberals. The one thing they all have in common is an independent spirit – and a fierce devotion to where they live.  [source: lonelyplanet]

Haven’t you piddled around in these other states long enough? Head to Michigan to kick it up a notch. It sports more beaches than the Atlantic seaboard. More than half the state is covered by forests. And more cherries and berries get shoveled into pies here than anywhere else in the USA. Plus its gritty city Detroit is the Midwest’s rawest of all – and we mean that in a good way.

Michigan occupies prime real estate, surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie). Islands freckle its coast – Mackinac, Beaver and Isle Royale – and make top touring destinations. Other highlights include lazing on Lake Michigan’s golden beaches; cruising the colored sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks; and playing in the sand at Sleeping Bear Dunes.

The state consists of two parts split by water: the larger Lower Peninsula, shaped like a mitten, and the smaller, lightly populated Upper Peninsula (UP), shaped like a slipper. They are linked by the gasp-worthy Mackinac Bridge, which spans the Straits of Mackinac (mac-in-aw). [source: lonelyplanet]

Vastly different at each of its edges, Georgia – the largest state east of the Mississippi River – is in many ways the perfect distillation of everything the South has to offer. It’s a state of wild geographic and cultural extremes: right-leaning Republican politics lean against liberal idealism, small towns merge with gaping cities, northern mountains rise to the clouds and produce roaring rivers, while coastal marshlands teem with fiddler crabs and swaying cordgrass.

Atlanta is the state capitol and the region’s transportation hub, a sprawling metropolis with friendly neighborhoods alongside multinational corporations such as UPS and Coca-Cola (which celebrates itself with a glossy downtown museum). So start your trip in the city known as ‘the ATL,’ then road trip across the state to fall under the spell of Savannah’s live oaks, seafood, antebellum homes and humid nights. From here you’re close to the coastal barrier islands, a mix of ritzy resorts and nature preserves. Bring your tuxedo to Jekyll Island, and your hiking boots to Cumberland Island. [source: lonelyplanet]

Cross the border of South Carolina and plunge back in time. For a traveler heading down the eastern seaboard, venturing into South Carolina marks the beginning of the Deep South, where the air is hotter, the accents are thicker and traditions are clung to with even more fervor.

Starting at the silvery sands of the Atlantic Coast, the state climbs westward from the Coastal Plain and up through the Sand Hills, the Piedmont, the Foothills and on into the Blue Ridge Mountains. Most travelers stick to the coast, with its glorious marshlands, white-columned colonial plantations and palm tree–studded beaches. But instate has a wealth of sleepy old towns, wild and undeveloped state parks and spooky blackwater swamps just waiting to be explored by canoe.

Along the sea islands you hear the sweet songs of the Gullah, a culture and language created by former slaves who held onto many West African traditions through the ravages of time.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend in genteel, gardenia-scented Charles-ton or a week of riotous fun at bright, tacky Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a lovely, ­affordable destination. [source: lonelyplanet]

Thank you very much Jess, Kate & Emily for helping me out with my collection!

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