From road rules to over-the-top friendliness, here’s what surprised international travelers most about the United States.

American Tourism
Credit: Mariah Tyler ©

Non-American travelers recently took to Reddit to share the strange things they learned about United States after visiting. The responses ranged from aggressive squirrels to oversized portions at restaurants.

Reddit poster Phalty couldn’t get over “the raptor sized turkey legs sold at amusement parks” and TheMediumPanada wrote, “The size of food servings in restaurants is 50-100% bigger than in Europe.”

In terms of wildlife in the States, travelers weren’t fazed by bears or wolves, but squirrels? Squirrels were strange. Poster LessLikeYou said, “In NYC they are pretty fearless. I've seen one eating a burger in a park. I couldn't tell if it was actually eating the meat because it caught me staring and gave me the finger.”

Tourists were also shocked to find how nice Americans were—sometimes too nice. “Americans are extremely friendly, almost to an uncomfortable degree for some,” TheMediumPanda added. “My parents got slightly lost and had to ask for directions, after five minutes, 20 people with huge smiles were surrounding them, trying their utmost to help. Several offering rides back to their hotel.” British tourist Calthis wrote, “Someone smiled at me on the light rail the other day and I had a mini panic attack.”

Driving, too, was much discussed, from the shear size of the country—“It took me a while before I realized that a person cannot drive from New York City to the Grand Canyon in one day,” wrote Toykolunchboxes—to the speed limits. Granpa_Strange said, “Everytime I go to Louisiana, I get pulled over for NOT speeding. I don't understand why, but if I'm doing the speed limit I'm not going fast enough.”

And then there are the drive-thrus. “In Louisiana we have drive through Daiquiri stands,” wrote Isendal. “They just put tape over the lid and that's somehow legal?” Poster KatCole7 wrote, “Drive-thru car wash strip club, thanks North Carolina.”