Souvenirs from the United States
The United States of America is a cornucopia of cultures, styles, weather and geography, with each region producing a different style of souvenir for the millions of tourists who visit each year. Traditional food products from the South, rustic pottery from the Southwest, a Marilyn Monroe poster from Hollywood, baseball jerseys from New York or Native American beadwork from a reservation are just a few examples of souvenirs from the United States. Whether your tastes tend to high fashion, fine dining and cuisine, industrial design or the rugged outdoors, you will find the perfect American memento. Overwhelmed by it all? A refrigerator magnet, key chain, poster, map or t shirt emblazoned with one of the emblems of the US will be a proper way to remember your trip.
American States and Specialties
The United States is divided up into 50 states, and each state has their own flag and state birds, flowers, animals and other symbols. You can find unique souvenirs that showcase the states, such as ceramic plates that feature fun facts and tidbits, painted spoons and bells with flowers and animals, or thimbles with state flags. As you tour the country, ask the locals for state specialties and crafts. Most Americans are very friendly, and they will be able to steer you to the best shops and cafes nearby. Be sure to sample the regional food specialties and enjoy tasting jellies, pickled fruits and vegetables, candies, pastries, jerkies and meat dishes. Many of these are perfect souvenirs from the USA to enjoy with your meals back home.
Where to Find American Souvenirs
Finding souvenirs from the USA is very easy to do, no matter what your interests maybe. Inside of many grocery stores and drug stores, you will find racks of postcards, T-shirts, tote bags, baby bibs, key chains, lip gloss, candy and so much more with images of America and whatever state or city you may happen to be visiting. Shopping malls offer a wide variety of stores to choose from, including ones dedicated to pop icons, music and movies. These retail outlets tend to feature unique postcards, magnets, T-shirts and key chains of American movies, TV shows and famous personalities. Bookstores are great places to pick up maps, magazines and books that showcase regions and lifestyles. If you are searching for handcrafted items, visit a craft show or flea market. Hand knit sweaters, homemade scarves and quilts, needlepoint samplers, household items created from recycled products, metal windmills... the list of crafts is almost endless. You will find them reflecting regional themes from across America, or even celebrating heritages from other countries.
Meals in the United States reflect the diverse amount of immigration experienced in the country. In the Southeast region, soul food is a predominant theme. A rich style of cooking based on influences from Europe and Africa, you should expect a lot of deep fat fried foods and cream gravies. If you are searching for something slightly spicier, enjoy a Tex-Mex plate in the Southwest, blending Latin American spices with cheese based sauces. Meals in the Midwest rend to be hearty and simply flavored, reflecting the area's farming focus. West coast meals favor fish and Asian influence, due to the influence of the Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese families that populate the coast. The most singularly American meal may be the fast food served at McDonald's, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Guaranteed to be the same throughout the nation, it can be a comfort to eat the exact same item millions are eating at that moment. These types of eating establishments often offer toys and memorabilia of popular US icons, perfect to bring back as souvenirs.
Outdoor Activities in the USA
The vast area occupied by the United States of America covers thousands of miles of prairies, mountains, deserts, beaches, rain forests and glaciers. No matter what your tastes in outdoor activities lean to, you will find something to enjoy in America. During spring, hiking, biking and horseback rides through fields of wildflowers is popular in many regions, while summer brings trips to the coast for surfing, sailing, and snorkeling. Fall in New England is especially noted for the beauty of the changing leaves, and winter finds most of the country enjoying skiing, sledding and ice skating. Of course, with so many different geographical areas, you can find yourself swimming in Hawaii during Christmas or hiking on an icy glacier during a Colorado summer. You'll find images of all the seasons when you pick up postcard and magnet souvenirs, or a calendar to hang on your wall.
Many US citizens are dedicated to various sports teams and collect memorabilia proudly stating their affections for the sport. American football, baseball, soccer, hockey, basketball, car racing, and wrestling are the most notable of these activities, and the mains sport hold sway over a particular season. In summer, baseball is king, where fans gather in stadiums to enjoy hot dogs and beer. Fall is dedicated to American Football, and culminates in the Super Bowl, when the country practically shuts down for parties. Basketball takes over for spring, with college and pro leagues have many games and tournaments. If you are not visiting a larger city, there are many amateur leagues that play every weekend, and feature less common sports, such as bowling, skating, curling and pumpkin chunking. Pennants, sports jerseys, signed equipment, posters, magnets and jewelry can all be found bearing the logo of local teams, and can be of cultural interest to a tourist.
An American Christmas
The United States of America has a celebration for every month of the year, and festivities, foods and fun to mark them. The largest of these is the Christmas Season, starting in November and lasting through New Year's Day. Many consider the official start to be the day after the Thanksgiving celebration in late November, when present shopping begins with massive sales. Homes are decorated inside and out with strands of brightly colored lights, statues, and Christmas trees. The Christmas tree is covered with ornaments reflecting the heritage of the family celebrating, or can be themed for color, animal or even televisions and movies. Religious families will nativity scenes displayed, and everyone will have an image of Santa Claus. Jolly and bearded, wearing a red and white suit, hundreds of thousands of Santas will be at malls and events for children to tell him what they want for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, these children will be in bed early, so that Santa Claus can leave their presents under the Christmas tree. This truly is a magical time of year to visit the United States of America, and find unique memorabilia for your holiday celebrations. A novelty ornament or Christmas statue could be the perfect present for you, or take advantage of the steep discounts offered on name brand merchandise in stores.
Holidays in the USA
Other holiday celebrated in America include Halloween, where costumes, candy and chilling tales rule the night, and Valentine's Day, made for lovers. The Fourth of July is Independence Day for the United States, and there are many parades, concerts and firework exhibitions to celebrate. Most Americans celebrate freedom with neighborhood cook-outs, grilling hot dogs and hamburgers over a fire, and beach trips. Memorial Day, remembering the honored dead from war, is the official start of the American summer, while Labor Day, celebrating the worker, closes it out. Easter is also widely celebrated, but typically with just a visit from the Easter Bunny, who leaves baskets of candy for children. Other special days vary by region, but include St. Patrick's Day, Cinco De Mayo, Lunar New Year and other ethnic celebrations. If you visit America during these celebrations, feel free to join the local festivities. Many of these occasions offer souvenirs that speak of the American experience, including T-shirts, home decor and jewelry.
Where to Visit In America
Uniquely American places of interest to the tourist include: New York City, the business and fashion center of the country, Washington DC, the governmental capital and home to many wonderful museums, Las Vegas, full of glitter, glitz and casinos, the Grand Canyon, remarkable for its views and natural settings, Hollywood, base of the American film industry, and Disneyworld in Florida, an amusement park based on the world famous Disney Characters. Each one of these places offers souvenirs that reflect the flavors and sensibilities of each location. Die cut postcards and refrigerator magnets in the shape of landmarks are wonderful ways to remember your vacation, while T-shirts and key chains imprinted with logos and slogans will allow you to carry your memories with you everywhere. Souvenir books and magazines full of pictures and history will look great in your home as you tell your friends and family about your vacation. No matter how you choose to memorialize your vacation, there is a memento for you.