North America Local Customs

  • Asking people at the top of the Pyramid
    Asking people at the top of the Pyramid
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Local Customs
    by Ewingjr98
  • off Olympic Blvd, Mid-Wilshire area, Los Angeles
    off Olympic Blvd, Mid-Wilshire area, Los...
    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

    One of the first things I was told when I arrived in New Orleans was the recommendation to be careful with “hurricane” cocktails, because their sweet taste is deceiving, and there is more alcohol in them than one may suspect. I had one, but no more because it was indeed a bit too sweet for my taste. Anyway I enquired about the recipe, and I found...

  • S.F. Nicknames / Pride

    San Francisco Local Customs

    When you refer to San Francisco as Frisco or San Fran, you're marking yourself as an outsider. No one here calls it that, and those abbreviations grate on our ears. We say San Francisco or The City. And while we're on the subject, the name of our state is California. Absolutely no one calls it Cali, and Cal refers to the University of...

  • 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...

  • 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

    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...

  • Restaurant Etiquette

    Los Angeles Local Customs

    ips are designed to let you share your insights about any cultural differences a traveler to this destination might encounter. For example, local customs like tipping in restaurants, how to greet people, appropriate gifts, or any other common situation a traveler might encounter. Tips are rated by your fellow travelers on the basis of helpfulness...

  • Gay and Lesbian Life

    Key West Local Customs

    downtown key west has a number of bars that cater to the gay and lesbian tourist. for the gay and lesbian tourist see the attached website. for those uncomfortable with this life style you may wish to avoid the following: duval street: 801 bourbon, la ta da, aqua. simonton street: the bottle cap lounge.

  • Tipping

    Toronto Local Customs

    Think. Don't listen to ignorant people about tipping. 10% is an insult at a sit down restaurant. Remember, 15% is an average standard tip all over the world, and included in EVERY bill in most countries in Europe. A waiter makes below minimum wage, serves you food, drinks, takes your sometimes rude attitude, cleans up after you...basically is your...

  • St-Jean-Baptiste

    Montreal Local Customs

    June 24th is St-Jean-Baptiste day; a provincial holiday in Quebec! Everyone from all over the province enjoys this holiday as revellers of all ages and background take advantage of this provincial holiday for merry-making and revelry. Banks, schools, post offices, and government offices are all closed to celebrate this national holiday. The June...

  • 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)...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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,...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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),...

  • 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,...

  • 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!

  • 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

  • French and English

    Ottawa Local Customs

    Canada is English speaking, apart from Quebec which has remained French speaking, with people of French origin. Ottawa and Gatineau are divided by Ottawa river, Ottawa being in Ontario on the English side and Gatineau being in Quebec on the French side. If you go into Gatineau all the signs are in French, but on the Ottawa side all the signs are...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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?

  • 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...

  • The Lingo

    Dallas Local Customs

    Okay, just so you know where this knowledge is coming from, a little bit about me: I was born in Dallas, lived there until I was 4, then moved to Kansas, moved back home to Texas when I was 10. From 10-16 I lived in small-town East Texas, just north of Dallas (near Sherman/Denison). When I was 16 I lived in Topeka, Kansas, then at 17-19 moved back...

  • Currency/Tipping

    Victoria Local Customs

    Please excuse me if you think this is a silly tip but I just wanted to point out that American coins (quarters, dimes, nickels etc) are NOT considered eligible for preferential exchange in stores or banks. So if you are shopping somewhere and see something listed for $1 Canadian if you pay for it with an American dollar bill you'll receive some...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Disneyland

    Anaheim Local Customs

    One of the most celebrated and hated things about Disneyland is the evening fireworks show that does on many nights of the week- 3-6 days a week. Locals living within a mile to about 5 mile radius can see and hear the 10-15 min big bang show very well. However this does not sit so well with some who find the elaborate show quite bothersome. Just...

  • Scenes of Baltimore

    Baltimore Local Customs

    Charles North is bounded by Howard Street, Penn Station, St. Paul Street and 22nd Street It mostly has a transient rental population with many commercial properties. Good things about the area include Charles Theater, antique shops on Maryland Ave., and a new shopping center at Howard and 21st streets. The area grew in the 1880's and 90's as...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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....

  • 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...

  • General city Information

    Winnipeg Local Customs

    The legal drinking age in the province of Manitoba is 18 years. If you look 20ish, you will be asked for ID when buying alcohol or entering a pub. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public other than in a licensed premise. You are allowed to drink in private. In your private residence, hotel room or camping spot, etc. Regarding drinking and...

  • 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...

  • Cultural Mosaic

    Edmonton Local Customs

    The Festival usually takes place the first weekend in August . Hawrelark Park serves as the venue where all the different ethnic groups have their tents and stages up. You can learn about the individual cultures, take in the dances and also the excellent food. Be aware though that you will not be able to take your car. Edmonton Transit offers rides...

  • 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...

  • Information

    Grand Canyon Local Customs

    A visit to any national park, including the Grand Canyon in the section controlled by the national parks authority is free of charge for the week of the national park. In 2011, it coincided with Easter weekend. Probably, this is a fixed date unlike the Easter celebration with its mobile dates. The saving might not be much but considering that other...


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North America Local Customs

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