Texas & South West USA

Embrace your inner cowboy in Texas, with countless ways to experience cowboy culture. Witness real-life cowboys drive a herd of longhorn cattle through the Stockyards National Historic District or get hand’s on with a stay at a guest ranch where you can spend your days riding the range. From Utah's Mighty 5® National Parks - Bryce Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches - to the Wasatch Mountains' Greatest Snow on Earth®, experience extraordinary Utah, America's national park capital. Explore the iconic Grand Canyon and take a rafting trip down the mighty Colorado River, discovering gigantic caverns, emerald pools and waterfalls

When to Visit

Crossing various time zones, there is always good weather somewhere in the United States. Summer is the most popular time to visit, but winter offers plenty for the more active looking for snow. Los Angeles weather ranges from 14-25ºC degrees year round.

Highlights

TEXAS There's so much to see and do in the 'Lone Star' state. Home to some of the largest cities in the US, Texas is a culture and arts hub with a history more varied than any other part of the country. And don't forget the cowboy culture that's alive and thriving.

ARIZONA Arizona showcases the history of the Wild West like no other state. Head to the dusty mountain town of Tombstone for a recreation of the gunfight at the OK Corral. But it's the grandest landmarks in the country, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, that you must see.

RANCH LIFE Get a taste of the real ‘Wild West’, known for its horses, hats, history and hospitality. Ranch life offers the opportunity to experience lifestyles and landscapes which appear to have been untouched by the modern world.

NEW MEXICO New Mexico bears the most obvious traces to the numerous pioneers that have called the region home, from Native American pueblos in the north of the state to former Spanish colonial towns like Santa Fe, Taos and Alberquerque.

NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE Few cultures or groups of people have as rich and varied a history as Native Americans filled with struggle, strife and triumph. Today Native American tribes continue to maintain their cultural heritage through painting, carving, sculpting and traditional dress.

FOOD, WINE & MUSIC From fine-dining to food trucks, Tex-Mex to BBQ and everything in between, Texas is a fantastic destination for food and wine lovers. Austin, Texas, is known as the 'Live Music Capital of the World' with plenty of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues let you savour amazing BBQ flavours.

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Useful Information

Communications

Country Code for the USA: +1

Visa Global Assistance: 1866 765 9644

Emergency Services: 911

Customs

Americans are friendly and informal. People tend not to wait to be introduced and will begin to speak to strangers whether in a queue, sitting next to each other, etc. Americans can be direct and value logic and linear thinking ans speak clearly and in a straightforward manner. Greetings in the USA are casual and a handshake, smile and "hello" are all that are needed.

Electricity

Electrical Plug type: USA

Voltage: 110-120 Volts

Modem Plug: US (same as Australia).

Getting Around

There are numerous underground train systems in operation in major cities including New York (subway), Washington, DC (metro), Boston ('T'), Chicago (train) and San Francisco (BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit); others are being planned or built. There are also several tramway and trolleybus systems, including the much-loved antique trams found in San Francisco, although in many cities a car will be needed to get around, due to lack of public transport.

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor. 

Vaccination against Hepatitis B should be considered by frequent or long stay travellers to the United States. Dengue Fever occurs in the US, thus insect avoidance measures may be recommended depending on your itinerary.

Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. Australians travelling to the United States should ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. For further information please visit www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/United_States_of_America 

Language

English 82%, Spanish 11%, other European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific Island 2.7%.

Shopping

Shopping hours vary widely based on management considerations and customer needs. Key variables are the size of the metropolitan area, the type of store, and the size of the store. Typical store shopping hours are Monday - Saturday 9 - 10am to 8 - 10pm and Sunday 11 - 12 noon to 5 -7pm.

Tipping

Tipping is a widely practiced social custom in the United States. In restaurants, a gratuity of 15% to 20% of the amount of a customer’s check (receipt/bill) is customary when good service is provided. Tips are also generally given for services provided in golf courses, casino, hotels, food delivery, taxis, and salons.

Visas

For the most up to date information regarding visas for Australian passport holders to the United States, visit www.dfat.gov.au/visas/

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