The United States is not the America of television and the movies.
The contiguous United States (called conus by US military personnel) or the "Lower 48" (the 48 states other than Alaska and Hawaii) is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, with much of the population living on the two coasts.
Its land borders are shared with Canada to the north, and Mexico to the south.
With its history of mass immigration dating from the 17th century, it is a "melting pot" of cultures from around the world and plays a dominant role in the world's cultural landscape.
It's famous for its wide array of popular tourist destinations, ranging from the skyscrapers of Manhattan and Chicago, to the natural wonders of Yellowstone and Alaska, to the warm, sunny beaches of Florida, Hawaii and Southern California.
The US also shares maritime borders with Russia, Cuba, and the Bahamas.