Tourism Geography of the us

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Tourism Geography of the US

I. New England/Middle Atlantic states

(Nearly 40% of the US Population lives here, so have huge market for local tourism attractions)

--major tourist resources here are?

  1. Natural attractions such as?

  1. HC attractions, including pretty villages (Concord, Lexington in Mass, for ex)

  1. “big city” attractions esp. in New York and Boston

  1. attractions special to this region such as “leaf peepers!”

(New Hampshire is 90% forested, Vermont nearly the same)

  1. importance of both winter sports and summer resort tourism (ex: Cape Cod)

Tourism is focused on three states: New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey—why the last?

This region has the greatest overall amount of HC type tourism in the US, beginning with Plymouth Rock itself, where the Pilgrims landed in 1620.
Many of USA’s historic sites are in the coastal zone—also many revolutionary war battlefields fairly near the coast, such as Valley Forge and Gettysburg, both within easy reach of Philadelphia
Annapolis, Maryland for ex (navy) is a beautiful colonial town on the coast near DC

Washington DC—one major HC here, the “Mall” with single attractions

(The White House, Jefferson Memorial, etc) around it
designed by L’Enfant in the 1790s, radials, spikes and wheels, and the Smithsonian
use of the Metro by tourists—day passes

special tourist “trollies” and tour buses

attractive gentrified areas—DuPont Circle and Georgetown

Adams Maorgan –music and restaurants

New York City

1980s “I Love New York” campaign

Central Park, designed by Olmstaed and Vaux in the 1860s

Site of free concerts, Tavern on the Green, summer theater

Metropolitan Museum on one side of

(the great museum of the City of New York, both nearby on the Fifth Avenue bus)

why you don’t stay at the Y, a true story
midtown attractions—Rockefeller Center—more true stories

Radio City, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Empire State

New York Public Library (“Ghostbusters”)

United Nations

downtown attractions

Fraunces Tavern

South Street Seaport

Wall Street

Battery Park and Ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

World Trade Center

Between the two—

TR home—who?? Chinatown SoHo “South of Houston”

Also Broadway, off Broadway, ethnic restaurants of all kinds, etc
Philadelphia—here the HC is firmly tied to the Revolutionary period so—Independence Hall, Liberty Bell—this area restored for the Bicentennial and redesigned for large crowds, Betsy Ross house
Natural Resources in this Region
White Mountains—Maine and N.H.
Presidential Ranges—Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, Mt. Madison, Mt. Monroe and Mt. Washington are major draws—about 6,000 feet
Some have foot trails, some roads, some cable cars—numerous lakes in the vicinity for hunting, fishing, camping, skiing also important here

Green Mountains—Vermont

Ski resorts also important here esp. in the Berkshires (traditional resort area)

Lots of pretty villages, summer homes and retirement communities also important here

Adirondack Mountains in western and upstate New York

Adirondack State Park is the largest surviving wilderness east of the Mississippi and is five times larger than Yellowstone National Park

Lake Placid here, site of 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics also Catskill Mountains in New York

Poconos devoted largely to honeymoon business in Penn


State vs City

--I love NY theme

--City important because financial, manufacturing, and cultural

Vacation regions

--Long Island

--New York City

--Hudson Valley



--Central Leatherstocking


--Thousand Islands Seaway

--Finger Lakes



New York City

--Central Park: Most important urban park in US, 800 acres of

rec and cultural

--5th Avenue shopping, Lincoln Center arts, Rockefeller

Center/Radio City, Empire State Building, UN, Wall

Street/Stock Exchange, Statue of Liberty (Ellis Island)

--Cathedrals, museums, dance, ethnic neighborhoods, theater,

cuisine, beaches, Burrows/Villages, Staten Island

--Long Island: Seaside Villages, beaches, boutiques, surf fishing, whale watching

Upstate New York

--Hudson Valley: West Point, River, History

--Catskills: Golf, resorts, outdoor activities

--Albany (State Capitol): Gateway to Adirondacks, Saratoga

Springs, Thoroughbred Racing, Ballet, Lake george, Fort Ticonderoga

--Saratoga National Park: Revolutionary Site, France+colonies vs England

--Central Leatherstocking: Cooperstown-NBHF, Howe Caverns

--Niagara/Finger Lakes: Corning Class Center, Finger Lakes,

Lake Placid, Rochester: Kodak, Syracuse, Binghampton

--1,000 Islands: St. Lawrence, boating, fishing, camping

--Adirondacks: 46 high peaks, 3000 clear lakes, 1,500 miles of rivers,

hiking, canoeing, rafting, climbing, resort villages

--Lake Ontario, Lake Erie

Southeastern or South Atlantic US

Growing tourism area—esp. of second homes and of retirees from out of state

“combines history and the nation’s capital with the ocean”

warmer climate extends the tourism season-humid subtropical climate

important coastal resorts here are

--Virginia Beach (VA)

--Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Kitty Hawk (N.C)

--Myrtle Beach—best known resort in S.C, is the center of the “Grand Strand,” the self proclaimed rv capital of the world

Charleston, fully recovered from Hugo in 1989, important old port city


Receives more visitors by car than any other state in the union

80% of all visitors are from North America, 40% of the overseas visitors are from Latin America, most of the rest from Western Europe
North Florida includes St. Augustine and Daytona Beach

St Augustine—oldest permanent settlement on mainland US—its colonial Spanish character has been restored

Daytona Beach—settled by Matthias Day of Mansfield, Ohio.

Henry Flager, an associate of John D. Rockefeller, built rrs south on the Atlantic Florida coast, reaching Daytona in 1888

In the early 20th century, speed trials begun there, the Daytona 500 is supported by a tradition of early twentieth-century beach racing
Since about 1970 the focus of tourism in Florida has shifted from the coastal zones to central Florida, largely because of??

Central Florida—focuses on Orlando and Walt Disney World

(3 major theme parks and three water parks) the Orlando metro area has more hotel rooms than either Chicago or New York
Cape Canaveral (Kennedy Space Center)
Tampa—most important industrial and port city on the west (Gulf) coast—its sister city is the retirement community of St. Petersburg also Busch Gardens here
Fort Meyers on the Gulf side—shows some remnant 19th century tourism and early 20th—with the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford
Miami—economic capital of Florida, gateway to Latin America, main port in the US for pleasure cruises, first settled in 1870s, now has the largest Cuban born population in the US

Gulf Coast West of Florida

Tourism here less busy, more emphasis on fishing and low cost vacations

Biloxi and Gulfport in Miss seaside resort towns along Highway 90
New Orleans—one of the most interesting cities in North America, combination of French Quarter—home of jazz, seafood, Mardi Gras
Galveston—on Galveston Island—lovely old 19th century houses, is subject both to hurricanes and to red algae

Also day cruise casino ships

“Spring Break capital of the US” has been extended from Ft. Lauderdale to Padre Island in Texas
Tourism in the Old South
(a mixture of HC, beaches, and hill country, stay away from the hush puppies and the grits)
Virginia—Colonial Williamsburg—18th century capital restored with Rockefeller money in the 1930s—first place in the US to use historical interpreters, and to make use of extensive gift shops (shopping now integral part of HC tourism)
Also Jamestown National Historic Site


Arlington National Cemetery—taken by the US government during the Civil War—had been the home of??

West Virginia—beautiful mountainous state—contains Harpers Ferry, which is on a beautiful site—what happened here??


Mammoth Cave National Park—the world’s largest continuous passage

Churchill Downs at Loiusville Kentucky (Kentucky Derby)

Beautifully maintained horse farms


Part of the Great Smoky Natural Park

Nashville—Grand Old Opry, etc, although Branson is giving it a run for its money, especially with the anti-urban types


Major attractions here are two very different cities, Atlanta and Savanna

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