Cultural tourist destinations in the United States
The United States truly is a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures that have been trickling into this land for centuries. One of the great strengths of America is its cultural diversity, which it owes to Native American tribes and a long history of immigration. A single city can be home to dozens of pockets of unique cultures, that include specific cuisine, customs and holidays.
When planning your next vacation, consider visiting a part of the country where you can experience one of the following cultures:
The Cajun people descend from Acadians, who were French colonists that settled in Canada. As Acadians migrated to New Orleans and the surrounding area in Louisiana, they influenced the dialect, food and even the accent of the Louisiana area.
Cajun culture is known for its distinctive food, like jambalaya, gumbo, blackened catfish and crawfish. While many kitchens around the country now prepare these foods, if you want to experience the best in Cajun cooking, plan a trip to Louisiana.
The Amish people have sworn off many modern comforts and chosen to instead lead a simple, agricultural life. The culture originates primarily from Swiss and German immigrants, and over the years it has developed several smaller sects that have broken away from the larger group. Many Amish, in keeping with religious tradition, wear long beards and use livestock to plow and tend their fields, even rejecting modern transportation for the traditional horse-and-buggy.
Smaller pockets of Amish settlers can be found throughout the United States, but the largest population of Amish can be found in rural Pennsylvania, particularly in Lancaster County.
Native American culture exists throughout the United States, but in some parts of the country, tribes are relatively close to each other, allowing travelers to visit many Native American cultural destinations during a short vacation. Oklahoma, for example, is home to many tribes, including the Chickasaw Nation. The Chickasaw people put great effort into preserving their culture and sharing their traditions with others. No matter where you go in Oklahoma, you’re sure to find several opportunities to learn more about native cultures.
The San Francisco area known as Chinatown is the largest such area outside of Asia, and began with Chinese immigrants in the 1800s. Spend a day wandering the streets of this lively and busy district, or plan a trip to see one of the many parades and festivals that occur here every year. It’s about as close as you get to being immersed in Chinese culture, short of visiting China.
This is far from a comprehensive list of cultures in the United States – in fact, this barely even scrapes the surface. You’re bound to be familiar with cultural influences in your own area. No matter where you’re located or where you’re going, take time to immerse yourself in the cultural diversity of these areas – it will teach you more about why the United States is home to so many different viewpoints and will help you appreciate those other viewpoints, too.