So you’ve seen San Francisco, know all about New York and walked around Washington DC until you’ve seen every museum, shop, skyscraper and significant cultural landmark there is to see. If you’ve ticked off the big cities, then BUNAC has five smaller yet just as incredible American cities for you to get your teeth stuck into whether you’re on Work America, or Volunteer USA!
The small city of Savannah, Georgia is one of America’s best-kept hidden secrets. Bubbling with Southern charm, it has a unique layout that is based upon 22 public squares located every 2 blocks or so in every direction. Every square is named after a significant American person or historical event and walking around them is the best way to learn about Savannah’s history as well as American history. Designed by English man James Oglethorpe, the city is famous for its innovative design and for its grand Spanish architecture. For this reason, it has been used as the backdrop for many films including Forrest Gump, and it frequently tops the lists of America’s most beautiful cities. It’s well worth a visit!
Boston is easy to get to from New York and Washington and boasts a world-class university, stunningly grand architecture and a history that is second to none in America. Boston is probably best known for Harvard and a visit to the campus in nearby Cambridge is a must-do. Walk around Harvard Square with the students that study at the university that produced Barack Obama and seven other American presidents and drop in at the many coffee shops that surround the campus. No visit to Boston is complete without learning about its rich history and about the Boston Tea party that has defined America’s forced independence from Britain. Visit the Old State House on Washington Street for a taste of what it was like to live in those times.
The northernmost major city in the USA is famous for grunge, Jimi Hendrix and Starbucks coffee as well as, of course, Microsoft. Although the weather in Seattle isn’t ideal for those looking for a beach holiday, it makes up it with its futuristic skyscrapers and art museums as well as its jaw-dropping surroundings with the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Olympic Mountains in the west. Check out Bumbershoot- an arts and music festival held over the Labor Day weekend and the biggest of its kind in North America with over 250 acts.
Honolulu feels more Asian than American, but its unique status as the capital of America’s only island state is a fact that makes Honolulu well worth a visit. Its name in Hawaiian means ‘the peace of shelter’ and this is exactly what you can expect after working hard either at Summer Camp or on Work America. Waikiki is the most popular beach, but there are other beaches around where you can learn to surf or top up your tan without being surrounded by other visitors such as Makapu’u Beach. As well as huge waves, Honolulu also has its fair share of museums and an excellent food culture. Visit a luau to sample haupia (a coconut dessert) and Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish) amongst other unique dishes.
The perfect place from which to explore the Rocky Mountains (15 miles west of the city), Denver has a vibrant arts and student scene and is famous for its breweries of which Denver has the most out of any US city. Tours of breweries such as Coors and Great Divide are very popular as is the Great American Beer festival held in October. Denver has a great climate with lots of sunshine and its numerous public parks are great for chilling out. Surrounded by mountain ranges, it is rated as one of the most scenic cities in the USA with the Rocky Mountains providing a spectacular backdrop to the skyscrapers of downtown Denver.