The region encompasses the country's largest and most extensive metropolitan areas. It also includes the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the northern provinces of the Appalachian Mountains. Extensive snowfall and rolling topography beckon skiers in the winter, while hikers and motorists appreciate world-class autumn foliage displays.
This typically encompasses the southeastern United States from the Southern Appalachians and Ozarks to the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains. In addition to a cultural reputation for diverse food and music, the South presents many recreational adventures, from hiking the Great Smoky Mountain crest to paddling wild bayous and mangrove forests.
It lies in the heart of the country: north of the Mississippi Delta country, west of the Appalachians, and east of the Great Plains. For the outdoors lover, the region's myriad waterways, from rivers to lakes to swamps to marshes, offer endless opportunities.
It is an enormous region, stretching from the Great Plains to the Pacific Coast and encompassing some of the continent's great mountain systems--the Rockies, the Cascades and the Sierra Nevada among them. There remain huge pockets of wildness, like Washington's rugged North Cascades, Hells Canyon on the Oregon-Idaho border, and the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
It includes the semi-arid and arid lands north of the Mexican border, including portions of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado and Nevada--depending on who you talk to. Its tremendous scenery ranges from Utah's slickrock canyonlands to high, isolated mountain ranges to true desert.