CurlTalk

Holiday in the USA - updated!

PigletPiglet Posts: 1,451Registered Users
Hi all. A friend and I are planning a trip to the USA. I know there are one or two Americans on here, so I thought I'd ask for some ideas of what to do/see.

At the moment, we definitely want to visit NYC. We would also like to visit Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, LA, Niagara Falls, perhaps the Rockies. It seems there is just SO much to see and do. I've never been to the USA before. What do you think are the must sees/must dos?

Obviously the list I've got so far of places to visit fall pretty much on either the East or South West, I think. I apologise for my total ignorance and uselessness, but what are the big attractions of the 'middle part'? Basically, we are trying to figure out whether we should fly from the East to the West or what is best to do.

How much do you think we should expect to pay for accommodation? I guess that question is a bit 'how long is a piece of string'. We are just after something clean and safe.

Do you have any tips for visiting/anything I need to know?
Yes, my tail is naturally curly.
No, it was NOT me who cried 'wee wee wee wee wee' all the way home.
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Comments

  • kathymackkathymack Posts: 9,999Registered Users
    Not sure how long you have. Amtrack offers unlimited rail passes. May be a good way to "see" the country.
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  • ursulaursula Posts: 1,461Registered Users
    I agree with kathymack--this all depends on how long your visit will be. I don't know if you realize this already, but Las Vegas and New York are really far apart. By plane, we're talking probably 5 hours; by train, several days. NY and Niagara Falls naturally can be done together, as can Las Vegas and LA.

    To be honest, I haven't explored the US that much! I haven't been to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, or Niagara Falls. A great place to visit in the "middle part" is Chicago. I haven't spent more than a few days there, so maybe someone more familiar with the city can weigh in about specific attractions there.

    Are you more of a city person or a nature person? What are you hoping to get out of the trip? I think you might end up having to limit your ambitions, maybe choosing a region (Northeast, Southwest, West Coast, etc).

    As for accommodations: I drove across country about 5 years ago and stayed in cheap but relatively clean motels and hotels along the way. I made reservations on travelocity or expedia, using the customer reviews as my guide. I spent between 50 and 100 dollars a night for each hotel. I wouldn't recommend hostels; they're not as nice in the US as they are in Europe.
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  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    I would also pick a region and agree that it would be really cool to travel by train.
    I think it would be pretty stressful and not as enjoyable to be hopping from one place to another when they're pretty far from each other. In the Northeast, aside from NY, you can visit Boston, and Pennsylvania, or maybe go to D.C. for more of a historical tour of the country. In NY, obviously see Central Park and try to go to Ellis Island aside from all the usual places people visit.

    If you go to the west coast, why not check out Yosemite National Park?

    NA%20ITT%20A%20KERT%21%20Upper%20Yosemite%20Falls,%20Yosemite%20National%20Park,California_1.jpg

    36843284_5d802d66ff.jpg?v=1177007995

    And also, if you do go to Colorado, Wyoming is right there and with it Yellowstone National Park, where Old Faithful and other geysers are to be seen.
    2568265530_4230b71b30.jpg?v=0
    spaceball.gif


    I think if I chose, I'd go with that area and see Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah. Lots of beautiful scenery. But that's if you're more interested in nature than big cities.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,380Registered Users
    NYC is very expensive, but probably comparable to London. How about DC? you can visit the Smithsonian, and many of the historic landmarks of our nation's capitol.

    Chicago is a great, large city but with a different vibe than NY. And it's closer to the "middle". The south/southeast is very neat as well, a completely different, much more laid back and genteel feel than a harried place like the northeast. American SouthWest is beautiful and unique, especially if you are interested in Native American culture and history.

    What types of things do you want to see? museum, natural landmarks, shopping, sports...
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    I'd suggest you pick an area and concentrate your travel within that area. The USA is too large to see it all in just a week or two.

    Pacific Northwest
    Southwest
    Northeast
    Mid-Atlantic
    Southeast

    Forget the middle of the country...nothing to see there.
  • PigletPiglet Posts: 1,451Registered Users
    Thanks everyone! At the moment, we are thinking about 2-3 weeks. It will cost a fair just to get to the USA, so we want to maximise our time there. Obviously cost is a major factor in what we eventually end up doing. At the moment we are like kids in a sweet shop.

    I suppose you could say that we want an adventure. We like cities, but would like to see natural wonders or just generally big attractions. Where's the mountains with the faces? Again, sorry for the ignorance. I know, logically, we are going to have to 'drop' some sights. Yosemite National Park looks gorgeous. Yellowstone isn't exactly ugly either! Sports wouldn't interest either of us. There is just toooo much to see. I think we're going to have to be brutal about chopping things out.

    I wonder how much flights would be from the North East to the South West? We were not planning on hopping huge distances just to see one thing or place. On the other hand, I probably don't appreciate just how big the USA is.
    Yes, my tail is naturally curly.
    No, it was NOT me who cried 'wee wee wee wee wee' all the way home.
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Mount Rushmore is in South Dakota, which also has the gorgeous Badlands National Park.
    badlands_pink_mouds_72ppi.jpg

    If you're going for that long, it seems plausible to pick two different regions and spend a week or so exploring each one. I think more than that would be too much.
    And San Francisco is another place to visit in terms of cities if you're going to be on the west coast.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • YolyCYolyC Posts: 3,758Registered Users

    Forget the middle of the country...nothing to see there.

    Well, gee thanks :rolleyes:

    Actually Chicago does have a lot of nice touristy places. Maybe not two weeks worth but at least a week. Especially if you come during the Spring and summer. Also, venture out of the touristy places, go into other neighborhoods of Chicago. There are lots of nice places which are not in the touristy neighborhoods with great restaurants, beautiful parks. Obviously, be careful where you go at night some areas can be rough. But overall this is a really nice city.

    There's museums, shopping, theater (not Broadway but really good productions). Lots of site seeing.

    Here's a couple of links on museums.
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.choosechicago.com" class="Popup

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fb4doz6" class="Popup

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fbu3o8x" class="Popup


    If you like street fairs and such here's another link to arts and crafts, music fests and such. I like the Buck town Arts fest They have some really cool stuff.
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fatlopv" class="Popup


    If you like hiking or biking here another site.
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fb45hof" class="Popup

    The lake front is nice but way too crowded. I prefer a less crowded area where you could speed up for a good workout or take a leisurely ride without having to constantly dodge people. Out in a suburbs not too far from Chicago there are some really nice trails.

    Maybe some one from WI Or IN can tell you about their state.

    If you come here, I'd gladly meet up with you for a day of site seeing. :thumright:
    Location: Chicago

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  • ZinniaZinnia Posts: 7,339Registered Users
    Here is an idea:

    Since you plan on being here for at least 3 weeks, how about renting a small RV and driving cross-country? You can stop a lot of scenic destinations and also have a place to sleep. Only drawbacks: driving, gas and time for driving.
    Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage. Anais Nin
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    Piglet wrote: »
    Where's the mountains with the faces? Again, sorry for the ignorance. I know, logically, we are going to have to 'drop' some sights. Yosemite National Park looks gorgeous. Yellowstone isn't exactly ugly either! Sports wouldn't interest either of us. There is just toooo much to see. I think we're going to have to be brutal about chopping things out.


    Mt. Rushmore, in South Dakota. It's beautiful and definitely worth seeing, but there's not a whole lot else close by...well there are the Badlands, but that's not enough to fill a week...and the distance between SD and Yosemite or Yellowstone is huge. I've done it, in a camper, and it's a lot of driving. Sounds like you'd like a western vacation...try looking for bus tours that will take you to those sites. It's less exhausting to let someone else do the driving for you, and probably cheaper too.

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tours4fun.com%2F7-day-yellowstone-national-park-mt-rushmore-bus-tour.html" class="Popup
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    I would land in NYC, spend 3-4 days, then fly out west, to LA or Washington and drive up or down the west coast. Absolutely gorgeous, and you'd get a good sense of our culture by hitting both coasts.

    A west coast drive would give you temperate rainforests, mountains, ocean drives, the central valley of CA, vineyards, Yosemite, cities like Seattle, Portland, SF, LA, San Diego, possibly Vegas — all depending on how you plan it.

    SF is a must. It's our most beautiful city, imo. "The Paris of the Pacific."

    Please avoid the things you've always heard about that you think you need to see, like Mount Rushmore. 99% of them are overrated. I mean, I've been to Mount Rushmore, and it's cool and all, but it ain't no Machu Picchu [where I've also been and it's totally worth the day+ it takes to get there]. There are places in the world where it's worth the time spent in getting to them, but a lot of our U.S. tourist destinations are not among them. NYC is one of them, however.

    Get a Rough Guide or something and work it that way— that's my advice.

    I do agree about DC, if you're really into history, there's just no match for it. Make sure to visit Monticello if you get to that region.
  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    What my English cousins usually do when they come here is fly in to Seattle over the polar route (8 hours), fly south to California and/or Las Vegas (2.5 hours), then fly east (5-6 hours). They fly home out of NYC. This is usually a 3-4 week trip. They fly in to Seattle, rather than out, because we're here so they can stay with us while they're getting over their jet lag. You could go the opposite direction, obviously.

    The problem is that this is a big country and flying is expensive, especially in and out of smaller cities and towns like Rapid City, SD. If you try to hit too many places, you'll waste a lot of time in airports and spend a lot of money in the process.

    If you want to see southern California (I recommend it), you could fly into L.A. and drive to Las Vegas in about 4 hours.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    wild~hair wrote: »
    I would land in NYC, spend 3-4 days, then fly out west, to LA or Washington and drive up or down the west coast. Absolutely gorgeous, and you'd get a good sense of our culture by hitting both coasts.

    A west coast drive would give you temperate rainforests, mountains, ocean drives, the central valley of CA, vineyards, cities like Seattle, Portland, SF, LA, San Diego, possibly Vegas — all depending on how you plan it.

    SF is a must. It's our most beautiful city, imo. "The Paris of the Pacific."

    Please avoid the things you've always heard about that you think you need to see, like Mount Rushmore. 99% of them are overrated. I mean, I've been to Mount Rushmore, and it's cool and all, but it ain't no Machu Picchu [where I've also been and it's totally worth the day+ it takes to get there]. There are places in the world where it's worth the time spent in getting to them, but a lot of our U.S. tourist destinations are not among them. NYC is one of them, however.

    Get a Rough Guide or something and work it that way— that's my advice.

    I do agree about DC, if you're really into history, there's just no match for it. Make sure to visit Monticello if you get to that region.


    It's all in the interpretation I guess. Having lived next to NYC for most of my life, I don't think it's worth the trip. It's just a city..crowded, dirty, confusing, expensive, etc. Monticello (and Mount Vernon) are cool.

    To the OP...if you like white sand ocean beaches and old lighthouses, there is a great ferry boat system in North Carolina's Outer Banks area that is a lot of fun. You can travel around the barrier islands on (free or mostly free) ferries for a couple of days, not crowded, very relaxing, and beautiful.
  • newcurlynewcurly Posts: 1,310Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    What my English cousins usually do when they come here is fly in to Seattle over the polar route (8 hours), fly south to California and/or Las Vegas (2.5 hours), then fly east (5-6 hours). They fly home out of NYC. This is usually a 3-4 week trip. They fly in to Seattle, rather than out, because we're here so they can stay with us while they're getting over their jet lag. You could go the opposite direction, obviously.

    The problem is that this is a big country and flying is expensive, especially in and out of smaller cities and towns like Rapid City, SD. If you try to hit too many places, you'll waste a lot of time in airports and spend a lot of money in the process.

    If you want to see southern California (I recommend it), you could fly into L.A. and drive to Las Vegas in about 4 hours.

    The only problem with going England ---> West Coast is that your jet lag is going to be SOOOOO much worse than if you flew England ---> East Coast.
    "Well I love that dirty water. Oh, Boston, you're my home!"
  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    Pretty much agreed with the others here... You couldn't realistically see all the places you mentioned in one trip, unless you'll be here for a while. And even then you'd be tuckered out, I think.

    Las Vegas is an experience. It's not my cup of tea, but it's good to go just to say you went. The casinos, food, shopping, it can be sensory overload. There's a reason why it's called Sin City.

    Middle of the country: you've got Kansas City, Missouri. Not usually seen as a tourist destination, but I like it. Blues music, barbeque, Pres. Truman's birthplace a few miles away, and a big ice cream cone shaped church.

    New Orleans, Louisiana. It's a world unto its own. The food, music, accent, architecture, history, you name it.

    New York, you could spend a week there or more...and your life savings.

    That's all I got...Have fun!

    "One or two Americans..." Hee..
    montage-3.gif No MAS.

    I am the new Black.

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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    newcurly wrote: »
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    What my English cousins usually do when they come here is fly in to Seattle over the polar route (8 hours), fly south to California and/or Las Vegas (2.5 hours), then fly east (5-6 hours). They fly home out of NYC. This is usually a 3-4 week trip. They fly in to Seattle, rather than out, because we're here so they can stay with us while they're getting over their jet lag. You could go the opposite direction, obviously.

    The problem is that this is a big country and flying is expensive, especially in and out of smaller cities and towns like Rapid City, SD. If you try to hit too many places, you'll waste a lot of time in airports and spend a lot of money in the process.

    If you want to see southern California (I recommend it), you could fly into L.A. and drive to Las Vegas in about 4 hours.

    The only problem with going England ---> West Coast is that your jet lag is going to be SOOOOO much worse than if you flew England ---> East Coast.
    In my experience, it's all about the same once you get to 5 hours time difference. But yes, as I said, you can go the other way. The time differences are all the same, no matter which way you go. :)
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • newcurlynewcurly Posts: 1,310Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    newcurly wrote: »
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    What my English cousins usually do when they come here is fly in to Seattle over the polar route (8 hours), fly south to California and/or Las Vegas (2.5 hours), then fly east (5-6 hours). They fly home out of NYC. This is usually a 3-4 week trip. They fly in to Seattle, rather than out, because we're here so they can stay with us while they're getting over their jet lag. You could go the opposite direction, obviously.

    The problem is that this is a big country and flying is expensive, especially in and out of smaller cities and towns like Rapid City, SD. If you try to hit too many places, you'll waste a lot of time in airports and spend a lot of money in the process.

    If you want to see southern California (I recommend it), you could fly into L.A. and drive to Las Vegas in about 4 hours.

    The only problem with going England ---> West Coast is that your jet lag is going to be SOOOOO much worse than if you flew England ---> East Coast.
    In my experience, it's all about the same once you get to 5 hours time difference. But yes, as I said, you can go the other way. The time differences are all the same, no matter which way you go. :)
    Not really - if you go from London to the West Coast you have to make an 8 hour shift! It's only 5 if you go to the East Coast!!!
    "Well I love that dirty water. Oh, Boston, you're my home!"
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    I would suggest San Francisco rather than LA. LA is not very interesting in my opinion.

    If you want to see beautiful scenery, I would agree with Sairis' suggestion of Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah. If you like to camp, that is a real money saver.
  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    newcurly wrote: »
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    newcurly wrote: »

    The only problem with going England ---> West Coast is that your jet lag is going to be SOOOOO much worse than if you flew England ---> East Coast.
    In my experience, it's all about the same once you get to 5 hours time difference. But yes, as I said, you can go the other way. The time differences are all the same, no matter which way you go. :)
    Not really - if you go from London to the West Coast you have to make an 8 hour shift! It's only 5 if you go to the East Coast!!!
    Are you serious?
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • newcurlynewcurly Posts: 1,310Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    newcurly wrote: »
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    In my experience, it's all about the same once you get to 5 hours time difference. But yes, as I said, you can go the other way. The time differences are all the same, no matter which way you go. :)
    Not really - if you go from London to the West Coast you have to make an 8 hour shift! It's only 5 if you go to the East Coast!!!
    Are you serious?

    ????

    Yes. The time difference between NY and London is 5 hours. The time difference between LA and London is 8 hours.
    "Well I love that dirty water. Oh, Boston, you're my home!"
  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    newcurly wrote: »
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    newcurly wrote: »
    Not really - if you go from London to the West Coast you have to make an 8 hour shift! It's only 5 if you go to the East Coast!!!
    Are you serious?

    ????

    Yes. The time difference between NY and London is 5 hours. The time difference between LA and London is 8 hours.
    A. I'm not sure why this is important to you. B. I know what the time difference is. In fact, I said that it's 5 hours. What I said was that jet lag for a 5 hour time difference is not much better than jet lag for an 8 hour time difference. Either way, it is all the same. England to NYC to LA to England is exactly the same as England to LA to NYC to England.

    Again, I'm not sure why this is so important to you that you're using exclamation points and multiple question marks. Do you like telling people you think they're stupid?
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • newcurlynewcurly Posts: 1,310Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    Again, I'm not sure why this is so important to you that you're using exclamation points and multiple question marks. Do you like telling people you think they're stupid?

    I think that is my cue to excuse myself from this conversation. Have a nice night.
    "Well I love that dirty water. Oh, Boston, you're my home!"
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    FWIW, it's obvious to me that you both are just completely misunderstanding each other.

    And I'll step out of this now.
  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    wild~hair wrote: »
    FWIW, it's obvious to me that you both are just completely misunderstanding each other.

    And I'll step out of this now.

    Agreed.

    ---

    If you wind up in the Las Vegas area, it's not too far away from the Grand Canyon which is an amazing sight. Personally I'd say Grand Canyon > Las Vegas anyway but if you're in the general area whether on the west coast or near/in the South West, it's worth the stop.
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3B ■ Medium/Course ■ High Porosity
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    SuZenGuide wrote: »
    I would suggest San Francisco rather than LA. LA is not very interesting in my opinion

    I think most people would agree with this.......

    (That's not a long ellipsis. They're multiple periods, and represent my utter disdain for the mods here.)



    EDIT: Here is a winking face, to show that I am joking: :wink:

    Really! I have no problem with the mods :(
  • ScarletScarlet Posts: 3,125Registered Users
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    SuZenGuide wrote: »
    I would suggest San Francisco rather than LA. LA is not very interesting in my opinion

    (That's not a long ellipsis. They're multiple periods, and represent my utter disdain for the mods here.)

    Who cares? If you have an issue with the mods, take it to them and leave it out of someone else's thread.
    The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics - Thomas Sowell
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    SuZenGuide wrote: »
    I would suggest San Francisco rather than LA. LA is not very interesting in my opinion

    I think most people would agree with this.......

    (That's not a long ellipsis. They're multiple periods, and represent my utter disdain for the mods here.)

    Huh? Not following you.

    If you're complaining that no one intervened in the disagreement earlier in this thread, I probably would have done so if I had seen it when it happened, but I was off doing something in Real Life at the time.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    SuZenGuide wrote: »
    Huh? Not following you.

    Someone else found the use of multiple question marks insulting. It was a joke :(
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    SuZenGuide wrote: »
    Huh? Not following you.

    Someone else found the use of multiple question marks insulting. It was a joke :(



    You need to add winky faces or something when you joke...you have kind of a "serious" reputation.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    SuZenGuide wrote: »
    Huh? Not following you.

    Someone else found the use of multiple question marks insulting. It was a joke :(

    Oh, I totally missed the joke. Subtleties sometimes go right over my head, I'm afraid.
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