North America

North America
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North America is the third largest continent, with a surface area of 23,744,000 km2 (9,167,000 sq mi). It is located in the northern hemisphere, between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean and to the north of South America. North America's highest point is Alaska's Mount McKinley, which rises to 6,198 m above sea level.

Population: 457,653,000 people
Area: 23,744,000 km2
Highest point: Mount McKinley 6198 m
Density: 19.3 people per km2
Number of countries: 4
Most populous city: Mexico City
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Countries in North America

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Canada is the largest country in North America by land area, and the second largest in the world, behind Russia. Renowned worldwide for its vast, untouched landscape, its unique blend of cultures and multifaceted history, Canada is one of the world's wealthiest countries and a major tourist destination.

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Mexico (Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos), is a country in North America, lying between the United States of America to the north, and Guatemala and Belize to the southeast. Its extensive coastlines include the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to ... (read more)

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The United States of America is a large country in North America, often referred to as the "USA," the "U.S.," the "United States," "America," or simply "the States." It has a land area of about 9.6 million km2 (about half the size of Russia and about the same size as China). It also has the world's ... (read more)

Popular cities in North America

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From balmy beaches with a laid-back attitude to a gleaming modern image, San Diego offers much for the tourist to enjoy. Situated on the Southern California seacoast, San Diego is the second largest city in the state, with 1.3 million residents, and has long attracted travelers for its ideal climate, miles of ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Spreckels Organ Pavilion
  • Balboa Park
  • Timken Museum of Art
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • USS Midway Museum
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Miami is a major city in the south-eastern United States and the second most populous city in Florida. The Miami metropolitan area is the largest in the state with an estimated population of over 5.4 million (2007), which makes it the 7th most populous metro area in the United States. Due to being sandwiched ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Bayfront Park
  • Bayside Marketplace
  • Freedom Tower
  • American Airlines Arena
  • Island Queen Cruises
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Orlando is a large city located in Orange County, Florida. Orlando, for most people, conjures up the image of theme parks, mainly Walt Disney World, but it has a lot more to offer than that. (In fact, Disney World is not in Orlando, but is in nearby Lake Buena Vista). With the estimated 52 million tourists a ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Universal CityWalk
  • Epcot
  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Walt Disney World
  • Disney\'s Hollywood Studios
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It's not hard to argue that Vancouver occupies a pretty enviable spot in the world. Blessed with miles of coastline, lush vegetation and crowned by the North Shore Mountains, it's hard to be there and not stop at some point and be amazed by what you see. But scratch beneath that setting and you find a ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Canada Place
  • Vancouver Convention Centre
  • Harbour Centre
  • Waterfront Centre
  • Marine Building
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There is more than one place called New York:

Interesting places:

  • Bryant Park
  • The National September 11 Memorial
  • Trinity Church
  • St. Patrick\'s Cathedral
  • Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
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Mexico City ) is the capital city of Mexico, and the largest city in North America.

Interesting places:

  • Zocalo
  • Sagrario Metropolitano
  • Ayuntamiento (City Hall)
  • Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)
  • Torre Latinoamericana
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Houston is a sprawling port city in Southeastern Texas. A recent oil boom and continuing international immigration has brought explosive growth to the city, and it is now the fourth largest city in the United States, but only the fifth largest metropolitan area. While at first glance, the city appears to be a ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Verizon Wireless Theater
  • Wortham Center
  • Houston City Hall
  • Sesquicentennial Park
  • Bayou Place
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Chicago, the third largest city in the United States after New York City and Los Angeles, is the home of the blues and the truth of jazz, the heart of comedy and the idea of the skyscraper. Here, the age of railroads found its center, and airplanes followed suit. Butcher of hogs and believer in progress, it ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Chicago Cultural Center
  • Harris Theater
  • Aon Center
  • Crown Fountain
  • Chicago Theater
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Los Angeles is the most populous city in California, and the second most populous city in the United States after New York City. Located on a broad basin in Southern California, the city is surrounded by vast mountain ranges, valleys, forests, the Pacific Ocean, and nearby desert. The metropolitan area is ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • U.S. Bank Tower
  • Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
  • Los Angeles Central Public Library
  • Grand Central Market
  • Los Angeles City Hall
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The centerpiece of the Bay Area, San Francisco is one of the most visited cities in the world, and with good reason. The cultural center of northern California, San Francisco is renowned for its mixture of scenic beauty and unique culture that makes it one of the most vibrant and desirable cities in the ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Ferry Building
  • Union Square
  • Tin How Temple
  • TransAmerica Pyramid
  • Golden Gate Bridge
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Points of Interest in North America

The range of things to see in North America is enormous. There is spectacular natural scenery ranging from mountains and tundra to deserts and tropical rain forests. The Rocky Mountains(Rockies) are the continent's largest mountain range, running from northern Canada to the southwestern United States. The Rockies contain some of the world's most visited national parks including the famous Yellowstone. North American cities like New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC are home to some of the world's finest museums. Stunning architecture can be found from Panama City to Montreal.

  • Some of the best Scenic areas include
  • Washington, DC
  • Caribbean
  • Northern Lights
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Yellowstone
  • Niagara Falls
  • Grand Canyon


  • Alaska Highway (BC - Yukon - Alaska)
  • Dalton Highway
  • Route 66
  • Trans-Canada Highway

Bryant Park - New York

Chicago Cultural Center - Chicago

Brooklyn Bridge - Brooklyn

American Falls - Niagara Falls

Price Tower - Quebec

Fountains of Bellagio - Las Vegas

Journey Behind The Falls - Niagara Falls

Old State House - Boston

U.S. Bank Tower - Los Angeles

Pacific Undersea Gardens - Victoria

Canada Place - Vancouver

College of Dupage - Glen Ellyn

Summit Skyride - Stone Mountain

National World War II Memorial - Washington

Metro Toronto Convention Centre - Toronto

Sagrario Metropolitano - Mexico City

Notre Dame Basilica - Montreal

Bytown Museum - Ottawa

Ferry Building - San Francisco

Casa Borda Cultural Center - Taxco

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

About North America


Just like the other continents, it is difficult to describe North America with just a few adjectives. Greenland, Alaska and the northern parts of Canada border the Arctic Sea are together with Siberia the coldest areas north of the Equator. Very few people live here, vegetation is generally sparse and some areas are completely covered by ice around the year. Most Canadians live in the southern parts of the country near the border to the United States. Here you can find cosmopolitan and interesting world cities and relatively easily accessible national parks for friends of nature and wildlife. Further south there is a country that needs no further introduction - the United States of America - a superpower that could also be described as a cultural and natural microcosm of the world. The southwestern part of the continent consists of Mexico and Central America where Latin American culture meets ancient Maya and Aztec heritage. The southeastern part of the continent consists of the Caribbean islands, popular destinations for cruise and beach holidays.


Since the United States was heavily populated by pioneering peoples and global immigration, the diversity of cuisine is immense. Many cosmopolitan cities (Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Las Vegas to name a few) have a broad array of dining options to offer a tourist. These cities attract both famous chefs from around the world serving world-class fare in Michelin starred restaurants, as well as enclaves of various ethnic groups offering inexpensive regional cuisines from their homelands.

You will want to experience the foods of the region you are visiting: seafood in San Francisco, lobster in Maine and Boston, steak in Texas, Creole in New Orleans, barbecue(BBQ) throughout the South and Texas with each region having its unique sauces and preparations.

Fresh food availability is particularly obvious in California, which is also enjoying a prominence of organic food and "slow food" movements. In Florida, you will want to tour the orange groves for that freshly squeezed taste. Georgia is renowned for fresh peaches. States on the southern borders, such as New Mexico, serve lots of Mexican foods, and the spiciness and flavors will vary based upon the Mexican state they border.

Potluck suppers are held throughout the midwest and south (you may find a few on the coasts if you are lucky). If you can get invited to one of sure to go! You'll enjoy everything from jello salad to venison (deer) and elk, to southern fried chicken. It's soul food of the best kind.

Canadian food, like that of the U.S., varies from region to region and is heavily influenced by its immigrant culture. Broadly speaking, you should think seafood on the coasts, meat and potatoes in the center of the country, and pretty much anything you can think of in the cosmopolitan major cities. Poutine, french fries covered in cheese curd and gravy, may be the nation's favorite fast food snack.

The Caribbean is known for its seafood and specialties like Jerk chicken.


Europeans used to mock American beers for their lack of diversity and flavour. No longer. While a light beer can still be enjoyed in hot regions on sandy beaches, the U.S. has microbreweries dotting the country. Major concentrations of microbreweries can be found in New England, the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, and Northern California. The diversity of beers is now enormous and most beer-lovers will find at least one or two to their liking. Mexico is known for the lighter beers (Corona, Dos Equis, Pacifico) that go well with their cuisine and warm climate, although darker options are also available. The lighter beers are also more common in southern areas and the Caribbean, though many of these areas also have special non-beer options (regional types of rum are quite diverse, for example).

Canada and the U.S. have various wine regions and variants which have become internationally recognized and respected. Try the ice wine from Ontario and you will never forget the clean, clear beauty that is extracted from the frozen grape. The US has become the fourth largest wine making region in the world, with California producing roughly 90% of that volume. A trip to San Francisco, should be accompanied by a drive through the famous Napa Valley, although if the crowds deter you, you can easily enjoy lovely wineries a few hours south along the Central Coast of California (add a stop at Hearst Castle) or beautiful Pinot Noirs in Oregon. Upstate New York (Finger Lakes Region) is another major wine producing region.

Again, the immigrant influx to North America brought with it culturally diverse methods of alcohol production. Regional drinks and types of liquors abound. Beverages in the southern regions will often be mixed with tropical fruits; and of course, Mexico is famous for fermentation techniques with the agave plant (Tequila, anyone?). Rums abound in the southern most regions (Southern areas of Mexico and the Caribbean), and have much diversity in methods of production. Cocktails made with gin and vodkas have undergone a renaissance in the US and Canada, evoking memories of old movie stars from days gone by. And of course, who has not heard of the Mint Julep from Kentucky, or the Hurricane from New Orleans.

As with all cultures, there will be sports bars with large television screens and avid fans. If this is something you enjoy, be certain to check the season and game times to see when the next hockey, (American) football, soccer (football), or baseball game is on and join the noisemaking.

North America is the the birthplace of another drinking trend that is spreading throughout the world: the Fake Irish Pub. These establishments will usually be decorated with nicknacks from Ireland and may even have an authentic looking 19th century interior. Sometimes the interior is actually imported from a real Irish pub that has gone out of business. The bar menu almost always consists of Guinness, Harp, and Jameson. Fake Irish pubs may seem tacky to those who have been to the real thing, but they are a genuine part of the landscape in the U.S. and Canada and are often among the most popular bars in town. If you're in a major American city on St. Patrick's day, a visit to one of these establishments is a must.

Jazz, dancing, marching, and general revelry at New Orleans Mardi Gras

Drinking ages vary by country. In the U.S., a government-issued ID, demonstrating its holder is 21 or above, is required to purchase or consume alcohol. Availability to purchase will vary as well; some states issue liquor licenses more broadly allowing you to find alcohol in many shops and stores (California, Washington); while others may only be purchased in state run shops (Utah, Iowa), or licensed bars and restaurants. In Mexico, the drinking age is 18, sending many young US border residents into the casinos and nightclubs on weekends. In Canada, the drinking age (18 or 19) will vary by territory and province.


Usually, you can buy large ranges of clothing and lots of electronics. North America is known for manufacturing lots of electronics, such as Apple, Hewlett Packard (HP) and Dell, which are all major electronics manufacturers from North America.

Many North American cities have famous shopping districts such as 5th Avenue in New York City, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. Downtown shopping districts have spawned some of the world's most famous retailers including Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus.

Many tourists enjoy shopping at the biggest shopping mall in the United States, the Mall of America. It's located in Bloomington, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. As well as having an amazing number of stores, you'll also find a multi-screen movie theater, an amusement park, and many restaurants--including both sit-down and fast-food. Also, the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta is a popular destination having once been the world's largest mall.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article North America on Wikivoyage.