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The USA has a storied history when it comes to horse racing, having seen its first race back in 1665.
And even today, it remains as popular as ever, both with the elite and the less wealthy. Horse racing fanatics will thus find the USA an irresistible destination. But you don’t have to limit yourself to just the tracks. The USA has so much more to offer, and with the ESTA permit that is valid for a stay of up to 90 days, you have more than enough time to try your hand at some other things.
1: Enjoy typical American dishes
Here in the UK, we are tempted to think that our neighbours across the pond are somewhat similar to us, owing mostly to our shared language. One look at the American cuisine will quickly erase that thought. The size of dishes are often gargantuan, since the USA operates on a “big, bigger, biggest” mentality. Yet at the same time, many of these dishes are absolutely delicious. Whether it is a classic American barbecue, their gigantic oven pizzas, clam chowder or the world-famous New York bagels, you’ll never be strapped for choice. Nowadays, most American cities also have great vegan restaurants. Just remember that when you go to a restaurant, tipping 10% after your meal is customary.
2. Rent a scooter or a bike
American cities are big, and tourists generally have to make use of public transport or taxis to get around. They can also rent a car. However, one fun way to get around is to rent a public bicycle or scooter. Usually, these services require an app to be downloaded and sometimes a small fee to be paid. What’s great is that American cities are increasingly starting to build bike lanes, so you don’t have to share the street with cars and trucks. And when you’ve finished your bike or scooter ride, more often than not there is a drop-off point somewhere nearby. In some cases, you can even just leave it on the pavement.
3. Organise your own city tour
In the past, public transport in America was of very poor quality compared to European cities. In fact, in many cities this still remains the case. That said, in most coastal cities that have large airports, public transport is of fairly good quality. For relatively little money, you travel vast distances by public transport. Although it may not be as comfortable as an official tourist bus, you can be sure that the metro passes relatively close by most popular attractions in that particular city. Using public transport to guide you around the city may not be as well organised as an official tour, but it is cheaper, you can travel at your own pace, and you definitely get more in touch with the locals!
ESTA application for the USA
In order to travel to the USA, whether it be for leisure or on business, you always need an ESTA to enter the country. Without it, you won’t even be allowed to board the plane. An ESTA can be applied for online and functions as a substitute for the US visa. An ESTA allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days, giving you more than enough time to explore whichever city or cities you plan to visit. Keep in mind that an ESTA has stricter requirements compared to a visa. If you find that an ESTA application was denied, you can therefore still go to your local embassy to get a visa instead. However, a visa is more expensive and can take several weeks to be approved.
Allison is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine. She loves going to the Races and is learning to bet (despite being officially the worst bettor in the History of the Universe), there’s a lot more to learn…