I'm edging towards North Carolina. How hard is it to travel long distances without a car in USA? Planes will be too expensive so buses and trains are my only option. Things that I want to see while I'm there:
Not sure what else
Our public transportation is limited at best--certainly not at all what you're used to in England. But the Smokies are in NC and I'm sure there's an Amtrak (train) that goes from Raleigh to NY, or at least I would think.
I would say that, as much as I love all of the South, NC is a good bet because some of the less-shitty aspects of the South are less prevalent there. Plus Raleigh's a pretty awesome city if you're near there.