North America Local Customs

  • Asking people at the top of the Pyramid
    Asking people at the top of the Pyramid
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Embassy Events / Other Festivities
    by Ewingjr98
  • Santa Ana. California
    Santa Ana. California
    by marinarena

North America Local Customs

  • Tipping

    New York City Local Customs

    We are going to NYC for our 2nd trip in just under 2 wks, I was looking for info on tipping to remind myself, and came across this. I think it's awful that these people have to rely on tipping to make a decent wage. For us personally, we have just put everything on our credit card for this holiday! We don't make a lot ourselves, so it will be...

  • Tipping / Money Matters

    Las Vegas Local Customs

    If you are sitting at the machines or the tables and the waitress comes and asks you if you would like a drink don't forget to tip her. Yes the drinks may be free but if you don't tip the waitress she won't come back, but if you tip her one dollar for each drink she will return.

  • Drinking

    New Orleans Local Customs

    It is legal in New Orleans to drink alcohol on the street. This comes in handy when you're waiting for a table in a restaurant and the bar is very small and crowded. Order a drink and ask for a go-cup -- then take your drink outside and wait in the fresh air. Sidebar: One of my daughter's friends, accustomed to this New Orleans custom, asked for a...

  • S.F. Nicknames / Pride

    San Francisco Local Customs

    The great Chronicle gossip columnist, Herb Caen wrote a book in 1953 with this title, yet even Caen lamented that the nickname had a long tradition among gritty longshoreman and sailors. One problem with the Frisco nickname is that it was used by Frank Sinatra in his song, "Hello, Frisco, Hello". San Franciscans percieved Sinatra's Palm Springs and...

  • What to Wear - Packing

    Los Angeles Local Customs

    I am obliged to a gal who cuts hair on the other side of town. She is "rad". However, when she was outta town, I got my mop cropped at "Rudy's", a cool spot in Los Feliz. Rudy's is a stylin' space - a re-worked auto shop that sells magazines and CDs while you wait. Cuts cost, I think $18, which is cheap for Los Angeles. Ask for "Dale". She knew...

  • Manners

    Key West Local Customs

    I'm sorry I lost info on who wrote these tips of Do's & Dont's for Fantasy Fest. It makes sense, so thanks to the creator whereever they are: Don't wear a mask you can't drink in or costume you can't use the bathroom in, or shoes you can't walk in. Do dress sexier than you thought you might. Do make sure you have a place to stay before...

  • Festivals & Holidays

    Chicago Local Customs

    Christkindlmarket is a German Christmas market at Daley Plaza that runs from around Thanksgiving to Christmas each year. If you are in Chicago around this time, be sure to stop by. Sample a variety of food and drink from Germany, including bratwurst, schnitzel, leberkaese, potato pancake, stollen, and gluehwein. There are also a variety of vendors...

  • Tipping

    Orlando Local Customs

    tipping at restaurants and bars is an american custom. by law in the united states servers only receive 1/2 of the minimum wage so to make a living they depend on tips. servers basically are outside contractors to bars and restaurants. this system helps to keep food and beverage prices low. the customary tip is 15-20% of the bill. in many...

  • Drugs & alcohol

    Vancouver Local Customs

    A clever new nickname for Vancouver that I just heard recently. Let me dispel the rumours somewhat. Yes the laws towards marijuana are somewhat less strict here (and everyelse in Canada) than other parts of the world but I don't like it is quite Amsterdam, West. While most people know a guy who knows a guy, weed is not really seen (or smelled)...

  • Tipping

    Cancún Local Customs

    I generally tip both the maid(on the bed) and the mini fridge server (normally in fridge so obvious for him) a couple of dollars each day, these are separate jobs (always been female for maids and male for bar porter, but this could be different at different resorts but doubt it). This will help you know if the person responsible for filling the...

  • Tipping

    Puerto Vallarta Local Customs

    bus drivers do not expect tips. theoretically, taxi drivers do not expect tips, either, unless they do something special, such as loading or unloading suitcases; however, i have found that most taxi drivers seem to expect tips from americans for each ride. i aim for about 15% for them. waiters in restaurants expect tips. i aim for about 20% for...

  • People / Different cultures

    Toronto Local Customs

    Tastes of Thailand offered a wealth of activities that surely made a mark to event goers who like cultural dance and music. I have enjoyed the parade of native Thai costumes. It was colourful. You will also taste the Thai food in the many booths that was installed on the street. The mouth watering taste of noodle dish, satay, tamarind tofu, shrimp...

  • Speaking Bostonian

    Boston Local Customs

    Visitors from outside of New England are often confounded by local pronunciations, especially of Massachusetts cities and towns. Here’s a guide that’ll help you sound like a local: City: Pronunciation: Worcester WUH – stuh; also acceptable: WIS – tuh Just remember not to pronounce any r’s in Worcester and you’ll be fine. Leominster LEH – min...

  • Bilinguism

    Montreal Local Customs

    I was somewhat worried about communicating in Montreal, especially as most of the signs are in French, but I didn't have a problem at all. We didn't run into anyone who didn't speak english. Waiters/waitresses were no exception, right down to the worker at the bakery. Most menus were completly in english, and when you check out places websites...

  • Coffee Craze

    Seattle Local Customs

    Just try and say Seattle without thinking of coffee. Even my beer-obsessed mind can't fathom a day without the java in this caffeine-infused culture. As you walk around town, you notice the number one accessory is the coffee cup. And when you don't have one of your own, you start looking for a place to get one. That's okay, you never have to look...

  • Native Animals

    Playa del Carmen Local Customs

    We've seen the large band of coatis on both of our trips to Riu Tequila, in 2009 they were hanging out near the pool and near some of the rooms near the pool waiting for someone to take pity on them and give them a snack. They seem to come out near sundown and don't appear to be particularly frightened of the large international group of sun...

  • Landmarks / History

    San Diego Local Customs

    J. Jessop and Son's is an old, established jewelers, has a lovely shop in Horton Plaza and it's street clock has become a landmark of San Diego. In 1907 it was first located at 952 Fifth Avenue, twenty years later, it was moved to 1041 Fifth Avenue and in 1984 it found it's home in Horton Plaza. The clock's history began as an idea thought out in...

  • Local food and drinks

    Quebec Local Customs

    Through our trip to the provences of Quebec and New Brunswick we would stop at a restaurant and see the mysterious word "Poutine" on the menu. Finally I was brave enough to ask, "What the heck IS Poutine" and a kind waiter explained it to me. Poutine is uniquely French Canadian and is French fries with cottage cheese and gravy. What? Yep French...

  • Drinking

    Cabo San Lucas Local Customs

    To have the perfect shot of tequila, you start with ice-cold tequila, kosher salt, and fresh Mexican limes; then you lick your hand and sprinkle the salt, lick the salt onto the tip of your tongue, slam the ice-cold tequila and bite into the lime..... mmmmmmmm....... For a cultural tip on how to do this same activity but as a 'body shot', check out...

  • People / Language

    Tijuana Local Customs

    In case you haven't noticed, I love the service I get in Tijuana restaurants. Of course the Servers love me too! I treat them respectfully, they treat me like a queen. I tip generously and they eagerly welcome me back! This picture is of the welcome given to my Slovak cousin by the waiters at the Guadalajara Grill upon our return. They catered to...

  • Philly Facts

    Philadelphia Local Customs

    I know Philly has a bit of a rough-around-the edges, blue collar reputation, but as long as you're not an opposing team at a professional sporting event, the locals are really friendly! They don't call it the City of Brotherly Love for nothing!

  • Southern Hospitality (Hi Ya'll)

    Atlanta Local Customs

    I moved to the Greater Atlanta area seven months ago from Texas. I am a very proud Texan so it was hard for me to leave my state and live in a new one. However, I was pleased that Atlanta was where I was headed because I heard nothing but positive remarks from people about the famed "southern hospitality". Due to my work (independent field sales),...

  • Different Cultures in Hawaii

    Honolulu Local Customs

    hawaii truly is a melting pot of cultures! why? since hawaii is the ONLY minority-majority State in the United States where asian-americans, pacific islanders are the majority over caucasians and african americans and latinos. that is why you see a very small chinatown in honolulu and that you will see assorted asian, pacific islander, mainstream...

  • Driving / Roads

    Houston Local Customs

    Having lived in houston most of my life, you are not going to be shot if you cut someone off or honk. I honk at people all the time, no one has ever waved a gun at me. this is apparently a common misconception I have been reading on these pages. At most you will get the middle finger and see the person yelling in their car, but who cares?

  • Vortexes & Spirituality

    Sedona Local Customs

    Sedona is believed by many to possess almost supernatural powers in the form of the vortexes in the area. A vortex is an energy field which is supposed to enhance psychic ability and promote self-awareness. There are four vortex areas in Sedona- Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Airport Mesa. Boynton Canyon is believed to be the...

  • Drinking/Buying alcohol

    Ottawa Local Customs

    It happens for three days, once a year. The Ottawa Wine and Food Show is an excellent place to try different wines, food and other spirits prepared and presented by local businesses among others. The thing is ALWAYS packed, you may have to wait in line for an hour even if you have a ticket. Regardless, it's always a good time. There's lots of...

  • Cultural Events

    Dallas Local Customs

    There are various Asian food stalls which are not huge in variety but are not bad. A lot of the dancing and singing are performed by children and there are many stalls offering activities specifically for children. Along with the sponsors stalls, there are various Asian stalls offering goods from their respective countries.

  • Beaches/South Beach/Art Deco District

    Miami Local Customs

    For an entire week in January, Miami's Art deco festival celebrates it's design inspiration. Includes historic walks, jazz music, plenty of artwork and dining. Auctions, memorabilia and unique items are on display! The entire weekend which ends the festival culminates in dancing, international music and parties. It is put on annually by the Miami...

  • Internet Cafe

    Fort Lauderdale Local Customs

    Internet Acess is very important when we travel. Princess has an internet Cafe as well as many areas aboard the ship with wireless access. Internet plan pricing: $0.75 a minute (no plan) Plan 1: $175 for 500 minutes Plan 2: $100 for 250 minutes Plan 3: $75 for 150 minutes Plan 4: $55 for 100 minutes

  • Tejano Culture and Music

    San Antonio Local Customs

    One of the unique things about San Antonio is the wedding culture of the town. On several occasions, we ran into wedding parties getting their bridal pictures taken in various city locations. Obvious spots like the Riverwalk made sense, but then also several were in the various Missions around town getting their pictures made. At Mission San Jose,...

  • Cultural/Historical

    Victoria Local Customs

    One thing this Navy town has in common with its East Coast counterpart Halifax are the downtown street names. You can find those in the walkway concrete at the intersections of the streets.

  • Some folks hate Tampa

    Tampa Local Customs

    According to, Tampa boasts about 32 strip clubs/gentleman's clubs within the city limits. With a population of 303,447 in Tampa, that is about one strip club for every 9,500 people. For comparison New Hampshire has just one gentleman's club for every 440,000 people (I guess there is just one in the whole state!). Around Tampa...

  • General city Information

    Tucson Local Customs

    The combination of college students, a somewhat cowboy mentality and large liberal population give Tucson a great bar scene. A few of things to know about Arizona law: 1. Bars can open at 6am every day, and some actually do. 2. Last call is at 2am. 3. Opening and closing of the bars is also tied to the general alcohol sales. Meaning that you can...

  • Yosemite History

    Yosemite National Park Local Customs

    Inspired by the scenic beauty of Yosemite and spurred on by the specter of private exploitation of Yosemite's natural wonders, conservationists appealed to Senator John Conness of California. On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill granting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias to the State of California as an...

  • Desert Views

    Death Valley National Park Local Customs

    Well, as the Ranger information states "Don't feed the animals". I am not sure of what qualifies as a local custom in Death Valley but I am sure that this place deserves a visit and your respect.

  • Festivals

    Richmond Local Customs

    The last weekend every October, the Richmond Highland Games and Celtic Festival (or the Scottish Games, as they are more commonly called) takes place at the State Fairgrounds. Tickets run for $15 in advance, $19 at the door, and $28 for a weekend pass. My mama, daddy, and brother attended this event regularly, but I am not as keen on showing my...

  • Tipping/Financial

    Mazatlán Local Customs

    Tipping... At restaurants, 10 to 15% is standard, but check to ensure a tip has not been included in your bill. Be sure to differentiate between the 15% tax and a tip. Bellmen usually receive about 3 pesos per bag and maids 4 to 5 pesos per day. It is not necessary to tip taxi drivers unless they have rendered special services, such as waiting...

  • Elvis

    Memphis Local Customs

    Elvis will always be a part of our history, and I remember hearing stories about him, as I was growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. I was just a teenager when I heard the news about his death. I cried. I admired the man for his generous nature and of course, his many talents. I had wanted to see him in concert one day, but I never had the chance. I...

  • The 'Hons' of Baltimore

    Baltimore Local Customs

    Many Baltimoreans will call you "hon". Don't get's not meant to be an insult or degrading to women (and men). It's just a Baltimore thing. We call everybody "hon", whether we know your name or not. There's even a place called Cafe Hon, where you can grab a great meal and check out some local "hons". Cafe Hon even has a "hon"...

  • Land & People

    Albuquerque Local Customs

    Manuel’s Food Market opened in 1924 and is located at the present-day intersection of Edith Boulevard and Roma Avenue. Manuel lived to be 98 and his daughter, Clara, still runs the market. Adelita's grandmother also lived there in the 1920's. Her wonderful blog about the area tells us that "if you’ve never been in Manuel's, make a point to stop by....

  • Kansas City People

    Kansas City Local Customs

    One of the many places where you might hear live music in the metro area is in the entry way and food court of the Crown Center Shops. It may be a barber shop quartet, an elementary school choir, or it may be some of KC's professional jazz musicians. You never know who you might hear performing, there might be some old guy who played here with...

  • Skyscrapers & Architecture

    Jacksonville Local Customs

    After a 1901 fire leveled much of downtown, word of the devestation spread across the country and Jacksonville suddenly became a magnet for many of the most famous architects of that era. They arrived interested in the unique opportunity to recreate a city. Henry Klutho and other prominent architects of the early 1900s built a brand new city with...

  • Calgary Stampede

    Calgary Local Customs

    After 2012 Centennial many including myself thought Stampede 2013 be somewhat a let down, how wrong we were. 2 weeks to the day that the parade starts off the official beginning of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede the banks of the Elbow River that run through and along the Stampede overflowed with a velocity that made the opening of the Stampede...

  • Fires

    Yellowstone National Park Local Customs

    Since the great fires of 1988, the park has increased the number of animals living in it's confines. The fires opened the forest, allowed for new growth, created more 'edges', where wildlife can live and diversity can florish. The easiest place to see it is along the central road from Norris Geyser Basin to Canyon Village. These pictures are...

  • People

    Minneapolis Local Customs

    It's best not to overgeneralize and expect that the behavior of several Minnesotans represents the people as a whole. We have a lot of diversity (typically more in the twin cities area), which means a lot of different personalities. I've lived here my whole life and have encountered both rudeness and kindness--just like with any other place on the...


North America Hotels

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  • Casablanca Hotel

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    Satisfaction: Excellent

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North America Local Customs

Reviews and photos of North America local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for North America sightseeing.
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