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13 Things Every American Should Experience At Least Once

Let’s get a federal mandate. Until then, DIRECTV is available nationwide. It’s coast to coast, so you’re not stuck with cable anymore. Hooray!

1. Legit bagels from the East Coast.

Boston Globe / Getty Images

On the East Coast, places like Bagelsaurus are everywhere. If you've never experienced that perfect cream cheese-to-bagel ratio, you're missing out on a lox — erm, "a lot."

2. Hot springs out West.

Jeff Diener / Getty Images

Everyone should have access to that sweet, sweet sulfur. Natural baths, like Granite Hot Springs in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, can relax your muscles and make you one with nature at the same time.

3. Street music (and street booze!) in the Bayou.

In cities like New Orleans, almost every street overflows with talented musicians. How does it get better than that? When the bars give you to-go cups.

4. The logical streets of Washington, D.C.

Elvert Barnes (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: perspective

Getting lost is so pre-smartphone. Washington, D.C.'s numbered and lettered streets make it easy to know where you're going — that's important for everywhere, not just our nation's capital.

5. Billowing hot dogs from Chicago.

jeffreyw / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: jeffreyww

In the middle of the country, condiments make the dog. Places like Chicago's Portillo's Hot Dogs glom on the mustard, pickles, and white onions, resulting in a crazy surge of flavors that one reviewer describes as a "symphony."

6. The giant trees of the Pacific Northwest.


There are forests... and then there are redwood forests. Up in Oregon, you can even nominate big trees for distinction as "Champions."

7. Authentic seafood from New England.

Lars Plougmann / CC BY http://SA-2.0 / Flickr: criminalintent

If you think lobster needs to be slathered in mayo to taste good, think again. New England seafood tastes incredible the moment they pull it out of the water. Experience it at Boston's Barking Crab, and you'll never be the same.

8. Rent prices on the Plains.

MING FENG / Getty Images

Let's all stop complaining about our landlords and move to Wichita, Kansas, where a 600-foot one-bedroom costs $470 a month. Washer and dryer in unit. IN UNIT.

9. Real sweet tea from the South.

Connie Ma / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: ironypoisoning

In cities like Waco, Texas, delicious sweet tea is so common that you have to specifically ask if you prefer your tea unsweetened. Though why would you?

10. Slow-roasted coffee from the Northwest. / Via CC

People in Seattle drink more caffeine than any other city, so it makes sense that their coffee is next level.

11. Winters on the Gulf Coast.

Aaron McCoy / Getty Images
Jeff Greenberg / Getty Images

Turns out that not everyone thinks winter is the worst: in Florida, people get to surf and sunbathe all year long. Book a beachside hotel room and show Seasonal Affective Disorder who's boss.

12. Kindness from the Midwest.


If only everyone, everywhere lent a helping hand like the Midwesterners. Niceness could be their greatest export.

13. And the views up North. (WAY up north!)


The last frontier leaves the best for last. Explore Alaska during the right part of the year, and you can take a life-changing Aurora Adventure Tour.

DIRECTV is available nationwide, so there’s one great thing you can get from coast to coast. You don't have to be stuck with cable.