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The country affords every kind of interest
to residents and visitors alike,
from winter sports to tropical
beaches. Natural wonders
include the Grand Canyon,
Niagara Falls and the hotly
protected national parks of the
north-west and Florida; in fact,
the 40 national parks cover 1%
of the total land area.
Man-made marvels range from
New York skyline to Disneyland.
Museums and art galleries
contain many of the world's
treasures and there are many
places of interest to students of
American history, from Boston,
Jamestown and the other early
settlements on the eastern
seaboard to Basin Street,
Nob Hill and Hollywood.

The most popular sports are baseball (both as a spectator and as a participant), American football, basketball and volleyball. Athletics, golf, tennis, boxing, and horse racing are also widely followed and there are facilities for every other sport, from deep-sea fishing to hang-gliding.

The USA has over 1,200 symphony orchestras, several famous opera companies, lively theatre with travelling companies visiting even the smaller towns, and some of the world's best jazz, folk and popular music groups. City nightlife varies from State to State. Hotel desk clerks are the best source of information, advice, and tickets for business travellers. Tickets to popular events are usually difficult to obtain.

Americans are very keen on self-improvement and will join evening classes where a large number of subjects is offered.

Housing
Accommodation is usually either a flat (condominium) in the centre of town or a house / bungalow with garden (yard) in the suburbs, the choice depending on personal preference, family circumstances, proximity to the place of work etc.

Most property is let unfurnished, although a fully fitted kitchen equipped with appliances including a washer and dryer would normally be included. Apartment blocks have a laundry room with large washing and drying machines which are coin-operated, and a swimming pool. Rented furnished accommodation will include a wide range of modern household appliances, and all will have central heating air-conditioning units.

Education
Education is still largely the concern of the individual states and practices and polices differ throughout the country. Standards of education, particularly in inner cities, are causing concern and steps are being taken to institute a standard national curriculum. Across the country there are 2,000 'magnet' schools providing specialist curriculum, firm discipline or high academic standards; 13 of these schools are concentrated in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The organisation and curricula of private schools (many of which are Roman Catholic or other religious foundations) are similar to those of the state (public) schools, although administration differs.

The school usually runs from September until early June. Most states have kindergartens, after which they common pattern of organisation includes elementary school (grades one to six), junior high school (grades seven to nine) and senior high school (grades ten to twelve).

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