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

    :) :) :) :) :) :) Cheers :) :) :) :) :) :) June 13th 2015: I learn today (!!!! yes, I missed that since I am on VT !!!!) that short (less than 200 characters) tips do not appear on travel guides; So this error is "repaired", and I am now glad you will enjoy the naughty side of some of my pictures....

  • 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...

  • People

    Chicago Local Customs

    Chicago lies in the midwest of the US and is considered an almost exemplary city of this region. As such, it tends to carry those midwestern values such as being helpful. Of course, you'll still find rude people in Chicago (some taxi drivers, some bus drivers) but you'll find rude people anywhere you go. For the most part, I found people were...

  • 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...

  • 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)...

  • 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...

  • Interacting with the Bostonian

    Boston Local Customs

    Humor always depends on the language and the culture of the people. There are little nuggets of insight into the Bostonian's humor even if you don't speak to them. Keep your eyes open. This tiny portion of the Washington Street Bridge is just such an example.

  • 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...

  • Liquor / Beer / Wine

    Toronto Local Customs

    The laws concerning alcohol consumption in Toronto follow mostly Ontario laws. The government regulates all sales of beer, wine and liquor, so you can expect prices to be expensive here. Even local wines and beers will cost you more than one might think. Expect to pay 10-15 CAD dollars for a bottle of wine (even ones made in Ontario) in LCBO...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Cheese Steaks

    Philadelphia Local Customs

    I know a lot has been written about the cheese steak. I read a lot of reviews before going and thought I knew what to expect, but there was one surprise. The steak actually tastes juicy and there isn't any apt comparison for what to expect. The only thing that it even came close to reminding me of was some of the British meat pies, but even...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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?

  • Texan Attitude

    Dallas Local Customs

    Being caucasian, I have never had to deal with discrimination. Unfortunately, discrimination still pervades our society/generation as present generations of colored people whose forefathers have been in America for generations, still claim that the present "white" man must be held accountable for the sins of past "whites". Where in the Bible does...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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,...

  • 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)...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Tipping

    Edmonton Local Customs

    It is expected here when you go to a restaurant, spa, bar, and other areas like this to tip the server, bartender, or whomever is working on you. The expected rate varies from 5% to 20%. If you head into a restaurant and the server takes too long with your drinks, messes up your order -- well that would be in the 5% range. If that server has been...

  • 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....

  • Birds/ Animals/Flowers

    Banff National Park Local Customs

    These cheeky little fellows popped up everywhere and were a joy to see. Please do not feed them although they will squeek for your attention = when tourists are thin on the ground they have to survive on their own

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...


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North America Local Customs

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