Tomorrow is July 4th, the anniversary of the United States' formal separation from Great Britain in 1776. The occasion will be marked by gatherings and events. Patriotic citizens enjoy a day of ball games, picnics, barbecues and fireworks. With hands on hearts they profess a love of their great nation, proud to the core of every square inch, as the Stars and Stripes fly boldly everywhere.
Like the land to the north of them — my home, Canada — when it comes to aesthetic appeal, the US has it all. There are majestic mountains, wonderful waterways, cosmopolitan centres and charming country spaces. Its places vary from quaint and cultural to the hectic urban business spots. You can stand beneath skyscrapers or on the spacious prairies; see the verdant splendour of the Appalachians or the rugged Rockies. You can while away the winter in warm havens or join it at ski resorts.
Oddly, I have seen or passed through far more of America, than I have my own country. Outside of my own province, I've only visited two others. South of the border on the other hand, I've spent time in eight states.
What I know from these trips is that this is a country given the wonderful diversity by Mother Nature. Impressive and lovely, it's an amalgam of past and present. To prove it, these collections of great photos take you from the land of the cowboy and the swamplands, to Hollywood and New York:
Twisted Sifter 50 States in 50 Photos