The United States is made up of many diverse ethnic groups and its culture varies greatly across the vast area of the country and even within cities - a city like New York will have dozens, if not hundreds, of different ethnicities represented within a neighborhood. Despite this difference, there exists a strong sense of national identity and certain predominant cultural traits. Generally, Americans tend to believe strongly in personal responsibility and that an individual determines his or her own success or failure, but it is important to note that there are many exceptions and that a nation as diverse as the United States has literally thousands of distinct cultural traditions. One will find Mississippi in the South to be very different culturally from Massachusetts in the North.
Most Americans speak English. In many areas, especially the South, Texas, New England, New York City, and in the upper Midwest, you'll find distinctive regional accents and dialects. Nowhere should this pose any problem to a visitor, as Americans often admire foreign accents and most will approximate the standard accent to help you understand them, or try to speak your language if they can. Spanish is also quite common throughout California, the Southwest, Texas, Floriday, and the metropolitan areas of the Midwest and East Coast. In Hawaii, Hawaiian is the native language, although Japanese is also widely spoken there.
Protestant is the largest religion in the US, followe by Roman Catholic. Other religions are also represented in smaller numbers.
Many types of food are similar throughout the US, but there are a few distinct regional varieties of food, especially in the South.
Some regional dishes worth trying include:
Barbecue (BBQ) - generally beef or pork slowly wood smoked for hours. The style of barbecue, especially in the sauce, varies by region with distinct varieties from Kansas City, Texas, Tennesee and North Carolina.
Seafood - abundant on the coasts, the Northeast is famous for its Maine Lobsters, the Southeast has shrimp and conch, Floriday is influenced by the Carribean and usually serves it spicy. Alaskan salmon is very popular in the Pacific Northwest.
Ethnic Foods - due to the tradition of immigration there are a wide variety ofethnic foods available throughout the country.