The United States of America, which is commonly referred to as the United States or U.S., located in the continent of North America covers an area of 9.826 million sq km, which makes it the third largest country in the world in terms of area. Bordered by Canada on the north and Mexico on the south, the country is bound by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Pacific Ocean on the west, while the Gulf of Mexico touches its southeast coast. U.S. comprises 48 contiguous states, with the state of Alaska and the island state of Hawaii in the mid-Pacific forming the 49th and 50th states respectively. The geography of the country ranges from Arctic in Alaska to subtropical features in Hawaii and Florida. This vast mass of land spans from arid desert to wet rain forests, from outstretched prairie to rugged peaks, and from a volcanic landscape in Hawaii to elongated coastlines. The U.S. is a melting pot where people from the different ethnic backgrounds and national origins exist. The most significant cultural aspect of this country is that it recognizes its people not by their ethnicity but by their citizenship and allegiance. The culture of this country embraces all the elements be it conservative or liberal, and gives the rights of free expression, individualism and egalitarianism. The variety in American culture is unique in the world. The places of interest in the U.S. are unlimited, from classy urban marvels and jazzy nightlife to quaint little countryside beauties; the country boasts something for everyone. Washinton D.C., the capital city, houses three most important buildings, the Capitol, White House and Supreme Court. While, New York is the influential center for finance, fashion, culture and arts. Home to Time Square, Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and other iconic buildings, New York is a fast-paced city. San Francisco is known for its beautiful landscape, foggy locales, cable cars, and vibrant Victorian houses. San Jose, the technology hub of the U.S. is also known for its architectural landmarks. Las Vegas, a city in Nevada, is famed for its buzzing nightlife, hotels, casinos, iconic dancing fountains and endless entertainment options. USA holds many more man-made splendours as The Golden Gate Bridge, Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Hollywood that draw millions of tourists from all over the world. And a description of the USA is incomplete without mentioning its natural splendors as Yellowstone Park, The Glacier National Park, and The Grand Canyon to name a few.
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