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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

    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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Dress Code

    San Diego Local Customs

    San Diego is quite the beach culture. These peops are raised on the wet sand and they're not so friendly to outsiders. You stick out like a sore thumb if you're wearing elastic trunks while drinking and chillin on the beach. Before you go, invest in some board shorts. Don't get them in San Diego because you'll be paying way too much. Otherwise,...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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!

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Southern Influence

    Houston Local Customs

    Throughout the South of the USA, especially close to the Gulf of Mexico, you will notice that most trees have grey moss hanging down from their branches. It is called Spanish Moss, and is very common in Houston where it thrives in the humid climate. Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is actually not a moss at all but belongs to the Bromeliads...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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,...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • History

    Richmond Local Customs

    The Stars and bars flag of the Confederacy was similar to the Stars and Stripes flag of the Union. Thus, the commanders had problems to distinguish their troops from those of the enemy. That's why the different flag was adopted. Thus, it became the most well-known of the Confederate flags: the two crossed bars with the 13 stars (the Southern Cross)...

  • Museums

    Fort Lauderdale Local Customs

    Museum of Art contains 20th century art. A collection of works from the CoBrA movement is a highlight. The name CoBrA derives from the initial letters of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, the capitals of the home countries of a group of expressionist painters who experimented with fantastic imagery from 1948-51. The museum displays works in a...

  • Music

    Memphis Local Customs

    May is quite possibly the best time to visit Memphis. It's finally warmed up & Memphis in May is back! Memphis in May is a festival we have been celebrating here in Memphis for many years. Each year a different country is selected for us to celebrate. People representing that country are brought to Memphis to share their culture with us. For 2005...

  • 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...

  • Notable Places

    Baltimore Local Customs

    Baltimore City has over 200 neighborhoods and there are more in Baltimore County. My husband grew up in Rodgers Forge in Baltimore County-between York Rd and Bellona Avenue, just north of city line. The neighborhood consists of row houses (town houses) which were built in the 40s and 50s. Pictured is the house my husband lived in. It is the end...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • Fairs & Festivals

    Kansas City Local Customs

    We went to a wonderful celebration at the Union Station downtown Kansas City. It was for the Memorial Day holiday. They had the Kansas City Symphony play a patriotic concert, then there were fireworks over Liberty Memorial afterwards. They announced that there were 24,000 people attending the event this year. This was a free performance. Check out...

  • 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...

  • 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....

  • No Litter

    Grand Canyon Local Customs

    Please don't litter. The National Parks are one of the last sacred areas for everyone to enjoy! Find the correct area the deposit what you want to get rid of. Most visitors do a nice job of keeping the Parks free of trash. Thank you!

  • umbrellas? Not for locals!

    Portland Local Customs

    This is a weather related tip and thus doesn't fit into any of the currently available VirtualTourst categories: Portland has a well-earned reputation as a place where it rains a lot. The local tourist and convention bureau, colleges and universities, real estate agents, and various others have attempted to pass off the Portland reputation for...

  • 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...


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North America Local Customs

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North America Members Meetings

May 09, 2015 
Long Island City Partnership's 2nd Annual LIC Springs! Community Festival
May 20, 2015 
Happy Hour
Jul 30, 2015 
First time to USA
Aug 17, 2015 

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