There are so many places to visit and so many new things to try in the US. While there is a broad list of details for each landmark and destination, here are some of our hand-picked fun facts every tourist would love to know about the US.
Everybody knows the Big Apple. It is popular for its restaurants, museums, and theaters. It got its name from the British Duke of York. It was also called the Empire State because it was once called the “the seat of the Empire” by George Washington. New York is home to great attractions such as the Empire State Building, the hustle, and bustle in Time Square and of course the iconic Statue of Liberty.
It is the nation’s capital and where the White House, the official residence of the President of the United States, is situated. It was named after the first president of the United State, George Washington in 1971. The initials D and C stand for District of Columbia which was named after Christopher Columbus. Columbia was a historical name for North America.
Illinois is known as the Prairie State coming from the prairie grass that has once covered most of its land. It is also the location of the famous tourist attraction, the Cloud Gate. This public sculpture was nicknamed as The Bean for its distinct bean-like shape. It is displayed in the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois, reflecting Chicago’s skyline.
When the Spanish settlers came to this land, the Caddo tribe members greeted them “Tay-yas” "teyshas" or “tejas”, which means “friends”. This welcome message was adapted and later became Texas. It was also called the Lone Star State as a reminder of its independence from Mexico. It is also the site of the Alamo, the 18th-century Spanish mission, now known as San Antonio, Texas, where the battle for independence between the Texan fighters and the Mexican troops occurred.
William Penn was a Quaker, a member of a Christian movement, who came into the land to bring religious freedom to the European settlers. He established a colony which enticed German and Scots-Irish immigrants including Quakers, Mennonites, and Amish. Pennsylvania was named after William Penn’s father Admiral Sir William Penn and the word “Sylvania” was a Latin term for “woodlands” or “Penn’s woods”. The state also earned the nickname the Quaker State. The Liberty Bell, the symbol of American Independence, is showcased in the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Aside from being the hometown of Dorothy and her dog Toto of the Wizard of Oz, Kansas has been known for many names. It was named after the Kansa Indians also known as the People of the South Wind. It was also named as the Sunflower State for the wild sunflowers that grow lavishly throughout the land. It has been called the Wheat State for the being the leading producer of wheat of the nation. “Bleeding Kansas” and “The Jayhawk State” has been its nicknames for the fierce clashes between pro-slavery and anti-slavery in the years 1854 to 1861.
Nevada is a Spanish term for “snow-covered”, referring to the snowy mountains of Sierra Nevada. It also earned its title as The Silver State for its abundant silver resources during the mid-1800s silver rush. Certainly, it is famous for its largest city, Las Vegas, known as The Entertainment Capital of the World. Annually, Vegas attracts 42 million visitors with its lights, sounds, restaurants, and luxurious mega casino–hotels.
The name Ohio was believed to originate from the word “oyo”, an Iroquois term which means “great river”. This refers to the Ohio River where the Iroquois Indians settled. It was also called The Buckeye State for a common tree with nuts that look like deer’s eyes known as the buckeye tree. Its major city, Cleveland, takes pride for its collection of music artifacts from influencers and performers featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Florida came from the Spanish term La Florida which means "the land of flowers". This was named by the Spanish conquistador Ponce de León who was in search for gold and silver but instead, found coastlines, fertile farmland, and blooming flowers. Florida has many tourist attractions to visit for a great vacation experience, like the Kennedy Space Center, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and the Miami Beach.
The name California first appeared in the 16th-century Spanish romance novel, Las Sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián), written by Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo. California was described as a mythical island paradise full of gold. California was also called the Golden State as it was associated with the 1849 Gold Rush and the golden poppies blooming on its wild fields. The Golden Gate Bridge is a must-see for every visitor going to California. It is the world’s most photographed bridge for its spectacular view.
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