Skift Take

According to Lonely Planet and Rough Guides, cash gifts at dinner are a bad idea, inner cities are death traps, an Americans really want you to be on time for your appointments.

The United States is the second greatest tourist draw in the world, with 60-million-plus visitors in 2010 alone (France, number one, attracted almost 80 million). Flipping through a few of the many English-language tourist guides provides a fascinating, if non-scientific and narrow, window into how people from the outside world perceive America, Americans, and the surprises and pitfalls of spending time here.

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Tags: guides, usa