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North America


North America is a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world who might be visiting anywhere from the resorts of Mexico, the cities of the United States or the great natural beauty of Canada.  The Map of North America is very large and as such it will be difficult for this article to provide in depth information on topics as broad as the History of North America or as narrow as the Birds of North America.  However, this article will do its best to give a conceptual map of north america, including a few Facts about North America that may come in handy and a general impression of some of the things that a potential tourist to this vast area of the world may wish to consider. 


One of such North America Facts is that it is made up of three countries, the United States of America, Canada and Mexico who for over a decade have been involved in a free trade agreement known as NAFTA or the North American Free Trade agreement.  This agreement caused some dispute at the time and a number of protests, but ultimately has been key to improving trade relations between the three countries.  Visitors from Europe, however, should be aware that the relationship between the NAFTA countries involves nowhere near as much integration as that evidenced by the different nations in the European Union.  When attempting to cross the borders between either Canada or Mexico and the United States be sure that you have all of the necessary and requisite documentation in order to prevent there being any difficulties at the border. After 9/11 the United States significantly increased their border security and as such those individuals who may have crossed into the United States only prior to 9/11 may find that it is more difficult to do so now.  In order to avoid any difficulties at border crossings or at airports, be sure to consult with the relevant information sources in advance in order to be one hundred percent sure that you are entirely prepared when you are asked questions at the border.


These issues of security aside, the remainder of this article will be split into the three countries that make up North America and some of the relevant tourist destinations that the traveler may wish to go to.  Mexico, the one with which we will begin, is a noted warm weather tourist destination.  Home to one of the largest cities in the world, Mexico City, the country has a rich history and is the largest country in the area that sometimes includes it and is known as Central America or Latin America.  This grouping of countries is historical as much as it is linguistic, as these nations have Spanish as their primary language.  Mexico is the poorest of the three North American nations and as such it has become a cheap tourist destination for those looking to escape chillier climates to the North.  There are a number of resort package destinations in many Mexican cities along the coast that are known for their inexpensive nature and generally attractive natural beauty.  It should be noted that resort vacations in Mexico, although an attractive getaway for many, do not generally provided much interaction with the daily lives of Mexican citizens.  Due to the poverty of many areas of Mexico it is not always considered a desirable option to circulate in the urban environments and as such some may find it difficult to get a feel for genuine Mexican culture outside of the shelter of the resort experience.


The United States of America is obviously a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world.  Los Angeles, New York and Miami are some of the world’s most visited and attractive cities that provide large urban landscapes and a multitude of cultural and historical attractions.  However, tourists may neglect some of the many areas around America that provide scenic vistas, such as the state of Wisconsin, or the experience of visiting Michigan or even Texas.  Each state in the union has its own unique character and a number of very interesting destinations.  In fact, although one might be able to get a sense of the public face of America by visiting the larger populous costal cities, I think that it is only by taking a trip to Middle America as well that you can hope to get a really comprehensive look at the American populace and a genuine understanding of the diversity that it has to offer.


The final country that we will be looking at in this brief tour of North America is Canada, one of the largest countries in the world.  Fortunately, due to its population being concentrated in urban areas on the southern border with the United States, it is easy, given enough time to visit the major centers of each of the provinces.  Notable areas include Halifax and the unique Maritime culture of Eastern Canada that includes some of the oldest settlements in North America.  One of the more European style destinations in North America is the urban centre of Montreal in the French speaking province of Quebec.  In central Ontario there is this largest city in Canada, Toronto, which is rapidly become a cultural center with international events such as the Toronto International Film Festival.  On the west coast there is the city of Vancouver that will soon be hosting the Olympic Games.


There are quite obviously a number of very interesting tourist destinations all over North America and it has been the goal of this article to provide a starting point for thinking about visiting some of them.  Regardless of which ones you choose, there is the definite opportunity for learning about one of the most affluent continents in the world that includes just as rich a social and cultural history as well.  There are many sources for further information on North America, but hopefully this article will have helped to begin to narrow down the many available choices to a favorite few.