The territory of the USA (excluding Alaska and Hawaii ) extends over six climatic zones. The best travel time therefore depends on the place and time. Spring (March, April, May) and autumn (September and October) tend to be cooler and the most pleasant times of year to travel. The summer months (June, July, and August) are hot across the country, while the winter months (November through February) bring widely varying temperatures across the United States.
The Continental Moist Zone is in the northeast, the southwestern boundary of this climate zone runs roughly along the border of Iowa with Nebraska and Missouri. The summers are warm and very rainy, the winters are cold. Severe winters with snow and frost are to be expected on the Great Lakes.
To the south is the Subtropical Moist Zone, which extends west to the border of Oklahoma with Arkansas and Louisiana and to the south to the Gulf of Mexico. Temperatures are similar to the Continental Moist Zone with warm, rainy summers, but the seasonal variation is not as stark and winters are not as cold. The hurricane season lasts from early June to late November.
The Continental Steppe Zone is located in the Northwest of the USA and runs through the large interior and high plains west of the Rocky Mountains. This area has much less precipitation. The summers are warm, the winters cool and dry.
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The Rocky Mountains themselves, together with the mountain ranges on the Pacific Coast, form the Highland Climate Zone. Because of the high altitude, temperatures in this area are generally lower than in low-lying areas at the same latitude.
In the vast lowlands between the Rocky Mountains and the east coast hills lies the Continental Desert Zone, which stretches south to the Mexican border. In this desert climate it gets quite warm in summer and cool in winter. There is hardly any rainfall all year round.
The coastal strip on the Pacific with the Californian longitudinal valley of the Sacramento River forms the Marine Temperate Zone. The climate here is very temperate, summers are warm, hot in the south, and winters are cool in the north and mild in the south. Most precipitation falls in winter. Northern California is best traveled in the summer months, Southern California from September to November and the national parks from May to September. The climate in Death Valley is most tolerable in spring and autumn. In the Sierra Nevada, the conditions for winter sports enthusiasts are best from October to April.
There are three distinct climate zones in Alaska. The south coast has a temperate oceanic climate. The largest climatic zone is the subarctic zone, which extends to the Brooks Range mountains in the north. The winters are quite cold here. The coldest zone is the northern part of the state, the tundra zone, with permafrost, short summers and long winters. The summer months are the best time to travel to Alaska.
The climate in the tropical state of Hawaii is much warmer. Heavy rainfall falls on the east coasts of the islands in spring and autumn. Hawaii is a popular travel destination all year round.
New York City is a popular travel destination year-round, regardless of the weather. The north east coast is particularly popular in autumn during the Indian Summer.
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Social Rules of Conduct
Social etiquette: The country’s relatively short history of settlement by a large number of different nations brought with it a diversity of different customs, cultures and traditions. In the big cities, people of the same origin often live in the same neighborhoods. The atmosphere tends to be laid-back and casual. They shake hands to greet each other. Americans are known for their openness and hospitality. Here, too, the host would be happy to receive a small gift. Dress is usually casual. Good hotels, restaurants and clubs expect evening wear. Smoking: The extent of smoking bans varies from state to state. Smoking is prohibited in public buildings and means of transport. In New York City, as in 50% of the American states, there is a smoking ban in all restaurants and bars. NYC also has a smoking ban in many public places such as Times Square, beaches and parks. Smoking is also prohibited on most California beaches, parks and other public spaces in California. The southern states have the least stringent smoking bans, if any. Tipping is strongly expected and is not usually included in the bill. You only don’t tip if the service was very bad. Entry fees for clubs etc. also do not include tips. Waiters get 15-20% (if the tip isn’t already included in the bill). It is also good form in buffet restaurants to give the waiters 1-2 US$ and up to 15% if the service is good. Taxi drivers and hairdressers get 10-15%, valet service staff and porters $2 per piece of luggage and housekeeping $2-4 per night.