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AmricanShamrok
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Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:02 pm

I am planning on touring the US (and 2 Canadian cities) next May and June with a few friends. I'm half American but I've never really wandered too far from Chicago. Organizing is well underway and we plan to visit the following cities over a 5-week period:

1. New Orleans (1 day)
2. Dallas (1 day)
3. San Diego (1 day)
4. Vegas (4 days)
5. LA (4 days)
6. San Francisco (2 days)
7. Seattle (2 days)
8. Vancouver (1 day)
9. Toronto (3 days)
10. Boston (1 day)
11. New York (4 days)
12. Philadelphia (1 day)
13. Washington DC (2 days)
14. Orlando (3 days)
15. Miami (3 days)

Are there any particular places you would recommend visting/seeing in any of these cities (or indeed, anywhere I haven't listed!)? What do you think of the time schedule - would more than a day be needed for some places? I appreciate any comments and suggestions.
 
Confuscius
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:15 pm

Skip Dallas and Orlando and add those days to the other 1 day cities on your itinerary.
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sw733
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:29 pm

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 1):
Skip Dallas and Orlando and add those days to the other 1 day cities on your itinerary.

Agreed. Disney World/Universal are fine but...meh. They can be skipped easily. Maybe (and I stress a maybe) take one day for Kennedy Space Center, but...use the other 2 days elsewhere.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
4. Vegas (4 days)
5. LA (4 days)

I say 3 in each would be just fine. Take those other two days and add one each to Boston and San Diego.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
9. Toronto (3 days)

Take out one day and make it an even 2 in both Toronto and Vancouver. Vancouver is an amazing city and you will want more than one day.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
13. Washington DC (2 days)

I say take the two days from Orlando and put them here. DC is an amazing city and you will want more than just 48 hours to see it. In my mind, there is more to see in DC than in NY!

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
15. Miami (3 days)

3 days is a lot. If you are looking for a South Florida party, you can do that in 2 days. If you are looking at just sitting on a Florida beach, I would recommend elsewhere (the Gulf coast is more relaxing in my opinion).
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:37 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
would more than a day be needed for some places?

These are my personal opinions:

You could certainly spend the better part of a week in Boston. And I would drive around New England a bit too.

I'd take a day or two from LA and switch them to San Diego. Although LA is larger and more touristy, San Diego is a much nicer city.

I'd add a day or two to DC as well.

I probably wouldn't spend 4 days in Vegas. But depends on what you want to do there. I can't afford 4 days of losing money.... 

However, while you're in Vegas, take a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. Very cool.
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flymia
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:52 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
13. Washington DC (2 days)

I say get rid of Dallas add another day to DC, SO MUCH TO SEE!!
Must do: Arlington National Elementary, The whole entire National Mall and make sure to see some of it at night. Unfortunately when your there the reflecting pools will not be finished with their restoration/maintenance.
American History, Air and Space, Natural History are all must see's. If you have a car and the other friends like aviation the museum in Dulles is much better and by that time will have one of the Space Shuttles that actually went into space currently it has a test shuttle.
Probably should do:
A Capitol tour is also something I would do make sure to make reservations online a few weeks before.
Visit the White House of course but that will just be a walk by it.
Visit the National Archives.
Holocaust Museum is something too, I highly recommend it.
The Newseum is pretty cool too if your into media etc..
I will probably think of more things and places to see I will come back. DC is a fantastic place. IMO if you really want to see a lot 2 days is not enough

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
15. Miami (3 days)

Depends what you want to do. Make sure to go out one night at South Beach of course, make sure to get some Cuban food in little Havana. Everglades National Park is awesome if anyone like nature and wants to see lots of alligators in the wild. Biscayne National Park is awesome if you want to go snorkeling in a coral reef. Both will take most of the day and both you would want to leave in the morning so I say do one. Alligators vs Fish/Reef. Also I recommend taking either a amphibious tour or a seaplane tour. The Seaplane tour I know of goes out of Watson Island, Chalks Ocean Airways old base. Make sure to check out Lincoln Road on Miami Beach also.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
5. LA (4 days)

3 should be enough. Make sure to eat at the IN N OUT by LAX. Good food and awesome views.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
2. Dallas (1 day)

Is there really something you need to see here?

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
4. Vegas (4 days)

Take a day away from here too unless you want to do the Grand Canyon or something which requires a lot of time. Give it to Boston or Vancouver or DC.
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desertjets
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:01 pm

Somebody else posted a similar topic a while back and was overly ambitious. I think you are as well. While 5 weeks sounds like a ton of time it looks like you'll spend more time visiting airports than actually visiting cities. While I enjoy visiting cities, outside of a few in the US (which you have in your list) a lot of places end up being more of the same. Without the mouse could you really tell a difference between Orlando and Dallas for example?

For me what is missing are some of the better scenic destinations -- national parks, beaches and such. I say you need to pick a region and focus on destinations there vs. hopping all over the US. You could take your time and actually relax. You could do a 5 week trip starting in San Diego and ending up in Vancouver just driving/taking the train up the coast and stopping along the way (which is something I wouldn't mind doing).
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NWAESC
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:56 pm

Make Seattle a day stop, and reallocate a day or 2 to PDX.
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Geezer
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:56 pm

It would be quite impossible for me to suggest what cities to spend X amount of time in, as I have no idea what you are interested in. Having said that............as you are going to be in Florida, here's an idea; many people go to Florida mainly to "sit on a beach"; this is great, if you like to "sit on a beach"; however, the vast majority of "beach sitters" go mainly to two "areas", ( both of which have "great" beaches..........the east coast, ( Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, etc ) and the west coast, (St. Petersburg, Ft. Meyers, Sarasota, etc ) I have been to all of these places numerous times ( but not necessarily to "sit on the beach"), and I can now suggest a "better" option, for several reasons; Panama City Beach !

The beach is probably better than most of the S. Florida beaches, offers all the same things, but is, well, somewhat newer, slightly less crowded, great food, and so on. Until May, a year ago, getting to Panama City was mainly a "drive to" matter, (unless you were EXTREMELY brave, and didn't mind landing on a runway about half long enough for the RJ's that used it. )

That has now changed completely ! You now have the option of not just Delta, ( in a dinky RJ ) but also SW in a "real airplane" ( a B 737-700 ), and the runway at the brand new ( are you ready for all this? ) "North West Florida Beaches International Airport" is not only "smooth as silk", it also 10,000 ft long, ( which should be sufficient length for all but drowsy pilots ), ( and you will never see a drowsy SW pilot ) Because SW has 8 flights in & out per day, the overall "load factor" is relatively low, so there is not much worry of getting canceled or "bumped". ( Both of which are mainly problems only to "non-revs" ( like me )).

Next is Las Vegas; ( or just "Vegas" to many ) No doubt about it, Vegas probably offers more things for more people than any "destination" I can think of; ( even those who have absolutely NO INTEREST in gambling ), ( of which I'm one). No need to "brag up" Vegas, as everyone knows all of this; there is one small thing that has changed recently about Vegas though, and it has been a "let down" for some; Until the severe "contraction", "implosion", ( what ever you want to call it ) of the U.S. economy, the overall "plan" of all the people who run the place ( the casino owners ), was to make everything ( such as fabulous hotels and entertainment ) relatively "cheap", ( or at least, not "high priced" ), just to "get you there", then relying on "human nature" ( and their slot machines and other "devices" ) to make sure you left Vegas with empty wallets and maxed-out CC's. That "plan" worked great, until the "bottom fell out"; the "guests" were starting to show up with "thin wallets" and un-realistic expectations of "freebies", so they had to "adjust" their "plan", ( and adjust it they have ! ) The hotels are still cheap; dirt cheap as a matter of fact. ( how's 3 nights for 2 people at Hooters, a VERY nice hotel. right across the street from NY, NY, for .......$60 sound ? ) Yep, it's a FABULOUS deal; ( until you get hungry) That's when they get you ! Eating has just become the 2nd most $$$$$ intensive activity there is in Vegas !
So if you go.........have a "substantial" food buget ! You'll need it ! ( I'm not sure if the "hookers" have raised their prices like the restaurants, or if they still rely on "bargains" like the hotels; ( I take my "entertainment" with me. )

Looking again at your "list", it's awfully "ambitious", and I hope you have "deep pockets"; and, are you: driving, RV'ing, walking, hitch-hiking, flying, or what ? I think I'd probably "delete" LA, Seattle, "Bean Town", Miami and Philly, ( if you do fly into Philly, TSA is always a "bitch" there, but you should notice that WN has "straightened up" their image quite a bit in the last few months.

Other than that, I can think of 4 or 5 places to go, but like I said, I have no idea what you like to do, and...............wait a minute...........you said "a few friends"; here's my BEST ADVICE so far..............the "fewer" the friends, the more what's left gets to do.......whatever ! One friend would be perfect; two.......maybe OK; three..........( that's 4 total ) That's a CROWD ! I'm not big on crowds ! ( especially on trips ! )

Have fun !

Charley
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Springbok747
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:20 pm

If you're heading to the east coast, or passing through, visit Atlanta and the nearby areas. I loved day trips around ATL to places like Huntsville, AL (which has the space camp and space center) and from there (100 or so miles) you have Chattanooga, TN with Ruby Falls (its an absolutely amazing underground waterfall).

http://rubyfalls.com/

Like others have said..nothing much to see in Orlando, apart from the Disney parks (meh...I've been to Disney World and Magic Kingdom 4 times..and there were literally millions of people everywhere..all the time, not really an enjoyable experience and the space coast nearby (but with the space shuttle retired, I don't think there's much to see there anyway (Kennedy Space Center was quite boring honestly).
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:07 pm

Just my opinion but no US visit is complete without seeing some of our incredible natural treasures...if you're limited to the east coast, Arcadia, Shenandoah or Great Smoky Mountain national parks are a must. Of course if you had more time, Zion and Bryce Canyon parks in Utah or Grand Teton in Wyoming are must-sees in one's lifetime period.
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Springbok747
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:14 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
Grand Teton in Wyoming

Yeah..it is simply the most stunning place I've ever been in my life.

To the OP..definitely don't miss it if you can fit it into your itinerary.
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ER757
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:48 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
7. Seattle (2 days)
8. Vancouver (1 day)

May or June? Bring your rain gear
 
Confuscius
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:58 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):

4. Vegas (4 days)
5. LA (4 days)

Unless you're driving between these two cities, make a side trip to Baker, California. Home of the world's largest thermometer.

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/18133961.jpg
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flymia
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:23 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
The beach is probably better than most of the S. Florida beaches, offers all the same things, but is, well, somewhat newer, slightly less crowded, great food, and so on. Until May, a year ago, getting to Panama City was mainly a "drive to" matter, (unless you were EXTREMELY brave, and didn't mind landing on a runway about half long enough for the RJ's that used it. )

You cant seriously say Panama City Beach has all the same things as Miami Beach. Lets get real here. Also I would say the water is nicer in Southeast Florida. The water in SE Florida is like Bahamian water clear blue and warm. Of course the water up there is great too and I think the sand there is better. But you cant compare Panama City Beach and Miami Beach and say the offer the same things.

You do have a lot of cities, Do you really need to see Disney World? Instead skip Orlando and use one of the days in Disneyland in LA which is the orginial park. San Deigo is great but one day is enough just drive down from LA. Dallas? It really makes no sense to go there unless there is a certain thing you really want to see.
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FingerLakerAv8r
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:30 am

I'n going to be biased because of my moniker....

The Finger Lakes region of New York.

11 lakes that run North to South. What do we have here? Let me tell you!

1. World class wine region with almost 100 distinct ads award winning wineries.
2. Out door activities like nowhere else. Golf, state parks waterfalls and gorges. Check ot Robert Treman, Buttermilk Falls, and Taughanook Falls State Parks around Ithaca and Watking Glen State park in Watkins Glen. Absolute serene beauty. Fishing, hiking (Finger Lakes National Forest has hiking trails for all levels) And you MUST check out the "Grand Canyon of the East", Letchworth State Park.
3. Excellent dining options especially establishments that focus on local and organic options.
4. Don't like wine? 10+ breweries for the beer snob in all of us.
5. And a exellent distillery, Finger Lakes Distillery. You MUST try there flavored Vodkas!
6. A chance to see White Deer that live on the old Seneca Army Depot
7. Excellent hotels and spas of all star leves and price ranges
8. Antiques and gift boutiques that you won't find anywhere else.
9. Native American and Early American history around every corner.
10. Check out the Canandaigua Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua where you can take gourmet cooking classes and eat your creations paired with New York wine.


No, I don;t work for the tourism department. Yes, I absolutely love where I come from and love sharing my region with the world.

But whereever you go get to know the people in each area. What a loss it is if we don't experience how other people live there lives.

Have Fun and I hope to see you soon!
 
N766UA
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:57 am

You're gunna want way more than 1 day in Boston. Boston is a fantastic city with so much to do, and it's 100% walkable! Knock Miami down to 1 day and bump Boston up to 3. Trust me on this one.

You could also trim time from Orlando and Toronto, if needbe.
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steeler83
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:21 am

You could probably do a few things in western PA, especially if you like the outdoors and a very scenic and picturesque skyline.  

Things to see/do in Western PA:

Duquesne/Monongahela Inclines
Ohiopyle State Park
Falling Water
Go to the Strip District for a Primanti Bros sandwich
Kennywood
Station Square
Southside (bar hopping and Southside Works)
Homestead Waterfront

I don't know why Seattle should be taken off the list of places to see. My wife and I were there in April from the 10th thru the 14th and didn't see enough. It's right near some primo wine country, is a short drive to a picturesque waterfall, and well the whole area up there is very scenic. Oh, I forgot to mention Mt. Ranier...
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Jetsgo
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:43 am

Assuming you were to cancel Orlando and Dallas and reduce Los Angeles and Las Vegas by one day each (all of which I highly recommend) that would give us six extra days to work with here.

Definitely give yourself another day in Boston, San Diego, Vancouver, and two more days in Washington DC. The last day would be up in the air for me, but I would probably lean towards San Francisco. Spend one day in the city, one day in the Napa Valley, and another day driving the 1 down as far as Big Sur and stopping in Monterey and Carmel on the way.
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sw733
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:17 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 4):
Must do: Arlington National Elementary

Are we planning the pedophiles trip to DC?
 
N766UA
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:31 am

Quoting sw733 (Reply 18):
Are we planning the pedophiles trip to DC?

LOL!

Did anyone mention old town Alexandria for while in DC? I liked it a lot when I was there.
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:48 am

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
4. Vegas (4 days)

I've been dragged to LAS many times with friends. Never really liked it. It's fun for the first 5 minutes then it got really boring. If you leave the strip, it's a dump. Just like PHX but with bigger hotels and even more nasty hookers. Heck even the strip itself is nasty at times. The only redeeming factor IMO was the food. Definitely check out the buffet at the Rio, it's HUGE and despite having food in industrial quantities the food is excellent, for all-you-can-eat buffet standards at least.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
13. Washington DC (2 days)

Definitely add another day or two here. I've been living here for little over 7 months and I've yet to see all the go-to attractions. Granted I've been almost 20 times total to both air and space museums. 
 
sccutler
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:57 am

I cannot comprehend what there is to do in Las Vegas for four hours, much less four days. If you don't gamble or crave staggeringly-expensive shows, why go there at all? I cannot claim Dallas is the most historically-significant city in the country, but it's freaking Mount Olympus compared to Vegas.

Also, I'll second the comment above suggesting you look a little more at some of the remarkable natural beauty the US has to offer.

How about telling us what you like to do?
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:07 am

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 21):
I cannot comprehend what there is to do in Las Vegas for four hours, much less four days. If you don't gamble or crave staggeringly-expensive shows, why go there at all?

Exactly. It's ridiculously overrated. Just another big expensive tourist trap.
 
flymia
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:20 am

Quoting sw733 (Reply 18):
Are we planning the pedophiles trip to DC?

Wow did not notice that at all. Spell check error I guess.
Of course I mean Arlington National Cementary

Quoting N766UA (Reply 19):
Did anyone mention old town Alexandria for while in DC? I liked it a lot when I was there.

It is nice, but would not be on a short trip list of places to see IMO.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
Confuscius
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:25 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 23):
Of course I mean Arlington National Cementary

You mean cemetery? You know, where the dead lives.

[Edited 2011-07-20 20:27:01]
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luckyone
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:07 am

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
14. Orlando (3 days)
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
4. Vegas (4 days)

I would say one day fewer in Orlando. The Disney Parks can be done in about two days, and beyond that Orlando is hot, sticky, and well away from other places of interest. Vegas just assaults my soul, so I'm a bit biased! Two days in Vegas is plenty to get the vibe. Most things are very expensive, and to me, simply not worth it. Merely walking up and down the Strip can be exhausting and infuriating weaving through thousands of drunk, under dressed idiots. I concur with others in that Boston needs at least two days. Probably four if you want to explore the surrounding towns: Quincy, Salem, etc etc.

Quoting sw733 (Reply 2):
3 days is a lot. If you are looking for a South Florida party, you can do that in 2 days. If you are looking at just sitting on a Florida beach, I would recommend elsewhere (the Gulf coast is more relaxing in my opinion).

He is right, if you're just looking to party two days is plenty for Miami. If you're looking to explore Miami's restaurant and design scene, spend an evening (second Saturday of the month if you can time it right, all the art galleries open up for free viewing) in the Design District, Wynwood to be precise. IMHO there are also better restaurants for a better price in Midtown than Downtown the food tends to be a bit more original. Joey's and Cafe Lemoni were two of my favorites. If you want to shop, there's South Beach, but you can get the same stuff for a lot less at one of the outlets that are not far away at all, Dolphin Mall and Sawgrass Mills. I personally prefer Dolphin Mall. If you want a relaxing beach experience stay as far away as possible from South Beach, spend an hour or two walking around Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive, people watch for a bit, and cross it off your list. If you like obnoxiously pretentious people cruising, loud music, and a bare-minimum twenty minute hike from the car then SoBe is your place. Take a drive up I-95 and you'll find much better beaches everywhere. If you like snorkeling just head down to one of the Keys for a day. If you're a real plane geek than take a drive up and down the 836/Dolphin Expressway. It takes you right by Miami International Airport and you get a really good view of the South Terminal and runway.   It makes getting stuck in traffic there much more bearable.

Quoting flymia (Reply 13):
You cant seriously say Panama City Beach has all the same things as Miami Beach.

Au countraire sir, Panama City is teaming with something Miami can only dream of: Rednecks!  

It's nowhere near anything you've posted so far, but a day or two in Charleston is well worth it in my opinion. Fantastic history, gorgeous, unique historic district, and the food, oh my god.
[quote=flymia,reply=13]Dallas? It really makes no sense to go there unless there is a certain thing you really want to see.[/quote
I concur. Dallas is a great place to live, but doesn't have any one thing that makes it a tourist stop. Austin however, would be great!
 
Gemuser
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:12 am

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
Organizing is well underway and we plan to visit the following cities over a 5-week period:

Personally, I think you bomb out right there - cities!!!

Yes there are SOME great cities in the USA, but its true beauty and heart and soul lie AWAY from the cities.
If you are fit and don't mind driving on the wrong side of the road, get a (big) car and road trip! One suggestion is get a plane to Boston, spend 3-4 days there, then follow the Revolutionary Trail around New England, the head west to upstate NY as FingerlakeAv8r suggests, head into NYC (leaving the car in the suburbs, don't think of driving in Manhattan unless you are a homicidal manic!), then down thru Penn and Maryland to DC, then wander south to Kennedy Space Centre, then back north thru ATL and the Smokes etc to western Penn and on to the Great Lakes then back to Boston.
That'll kill five weeks and you will see some great places both natural and man made and should have a great time.

Of course you and your friends will have completely different tastes to me, especially given our different ages. Other road trip suggestions include Route 66 (obligatory), the North East to New Orleans and back via the Mississippi Valley, across the Northern tier to SEA/PDX & YVR. There are dozen and dozens of alternatives.

I do think you're original plan is overly ambitious as you have your self traveling most days for 35 days, you'll be dead! It can be done, of course, but!

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Geezer
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:17 am

It happens every time ! Guy pulls up to a corner, asks for "directions"; 90 people give him 375 different "options", guy is so "confused"........."overwhelmed".........he runs off road, into ocean, ( which is salt water ), gets stung by jelly fish, (which really ISN'T a fish at all), and car rusts away !

Moral to this "story": NEVER ask for "where to go" destinations on a forum (especially A.net)


[quote=flymia,reply=13]You cant seriously say Panama City Beach has all the same things as Miami Beach.

No I can't, and no I DIDN"T !


[quote=flymia,reply=13]Also I would say the water is nicer in Southeast Florida.

I would say the water in Panama City is: the same color; same "salinity", same temperature, AND has the added advantage of being on the Gulf Coast, which many people seem to prefer over the Atlantic coast, AND there are more birds to "watch", "take pictures of", etc. Plus........( and this is a BIGGIE ) Panama City Beach is less than 3 air miles from Tyndall AFB, (where everyone on A.net knows all pilots learning to fly the world's greatest fighter plane, the F-22A Raptor, train to fly it at ! ( So you just might "get lucky" and catch a Raptor in the air ! ) ( They never go to Miami area ) ( too crowded )


The water in SE Florida is like Bahamian water clear blue and warm.
We have already covered that.......

Of course the water up there is great too and I think the sand there is better.

Yes, we agree on that.......water is great up here, and yes, the sand IS "better".......( whiter maybe ? )

But you cant compare Panama City Beach and Miami Beach and say they offer the same things.

Again.........no I can't, and no I didn't ! ( That's why I'm recommending PCB; it doesn't offer what Miami does ( huge drunken crowds of sweaty, scantily clad................individuals on So. Beach ( then there are all the.....................oh well, you get my drift )
( BTW.......I hope the poor guy doesn't go to DC and try to find "Arlington National Elementry" ! ) ( I know, a "low blow" )

You know.............in the "beginning", not being familiar with the "OP", I was attempting to "extrapolate" and ( guess what I thought maybe HE would like ! ) Who cares what I like ? Over 40 years, and app. 2 million miles, there are very few places in the U.S. that I haven't "been to" or "seen" at least once; some I enjoy visiting again ( the Superstition Mts just east of Phoenix for example ), but I realize not everyone enjoys "harsh", "hot", desert landscapes, so I didn't mention it.

Hell, here's an even BETTER IDEA, and it would probably be "quicker" and maybe even "cheaper"...........Forget the U.S. all together..............Fly to Australia, take a loooooooong ride on the world's longest perfectly STRAIGHT stretch of railroad, and half way to Perth, stop at Alice Springs, and visit........Ularu ! ( formerly known as "Ayres Rock") (don't "quote me" on the spelling of either! ) You can even climb to the top.......( but I wouldn't, because the Aborigines think it's "sacred" and who am I to say it isn't ? ) ( Plus I kinda like the Aborigines........very "unique" people ! )

That would be a FABULOUS trip for anyone.............but again, the OP may not "dig" 1,000 mile straight as a string train rides, and possibly may not even like to hear Australians talk; ( even though I do )

I have to confess, I didn't "dream up" this unique "journey" myself; my daughter-in-law did it "solo", ( from Perth to Sidney ), after landing in Perth after 3 months and 20 something thousand miles riding all over the Pacific Ocean, as the only civilian female aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. ( What a trip ! )

Let's face it folks...........there are far too many "neat" places to see, and things to do in the U.S. to fit into three life times !
I've seen all "lower 48" several times over, some many times over, and there are STILL some places I would love to go back to; most are not in any of these cities, but a few are; after more than 15 yrs, I finally made it back to Phoenix last May ( a yr ago ) and drove out to Apache Junction and "re-did" the fantastic "Apache Trail"; for me........it's the single............no word seems to fit........it's just "the greatest" ( for me ) A lot of people probably wouldn't even like it; ( different "strokes" for different "folks" as they say )

Have fun where ever you go !

Charley

P.S. This just "flashed through" my brain...............if by any chance anyone reading this happens to find themselves in Phoenix, has even 2 hours to spare............quite near the airport ( Sky Harbor ) is the "Zoo"; ( don't go in, Zoos are all alike ) instead, right beside the Zoo, ( I don't even think they have a name for it ), there is a HUGE, and I mean really gigantic red rock "formation"; ( I never thought of this til just now ! ) the thing is like 75, maybe even 100 feet high, 2, 3 times that long, and you can climb all over it, see clear to the airport, AND...........( why didn't I think of this before ? ) the thing actually looks a lot like "Ularu" in Australia ! Just 100 time smaller, but still HUGE ! There is a gigantic hole that has "weathered away" over geologic time, and you can see though it to the other side; it's so easy to get "into" from the trail, even and elderly person with a "walker" could do it. Fantastic photo "op"; ( Come to think of it, every time I've been to Phoenix, it has kept me from going into the Zoo! ( and I was just kidding before; I really love Zoo's; I just love huge rock formations better !
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
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AmricanShamrok
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:13 am

Thanks for all the suggestions - I wasn't expecting this much of a response! OK so the general concensus I'm getting is to skip Dallas & Orlando and add more days to DC and Boston. To be honest from researching Texas myself, it doesn't seem like there is much to do there so Dallas may well be struck off. The only reason we included Orlando is for DisneyWorld (and I want to visit the Kennedy Space Center) so a day could probably be struck off here too.


Quoting Confuscius (Reply 1):
Skip Dallas and Orlando and add those days to the other 1 day cities on your itinerary.

This seems to be the most common advice - duely noted and thank you.

Quoting sw733 (Reply 2):
4. Vegas (4 days)
5. LA (4 days)
I say 3 in each would be just fine. Take those other two days and add one each to Boston and San Diego.

San Diego? Is there really a need for more than one day here?

Quoting sw733 (Reply 2):
9. Toronto (3 days)
Take out one day and make it an even 2 in both Toronto and Vancouver. Vancouver is an amazing city and you will want more than one day.

Good idea. While in Toronto we are planning on getting to Niagara Falls - would two days still be enough do you think?

Quoting sw733 (Reply 2):
I say take the two days from Orlando and put them here. DC is an amazing city and you will want more than just 48 hours to see it. In my mind, there is more to see in DC than in NY!

I think I will definately add some more days to DC. I have a friend who travels a lot and loves DC too so I'd say based on the reviews, it's a definate!

Quoting sw733 (Reply 2):
3 days is a lot. If you are looking for a South Florida party, you can do that in 2 days. If you are looking at just sitting on a Florida beach, I would recommend elsewhere (the Gulf coast is more relaxing in my opinion).

We were thinking of ending the tour on a relaxing note in Miami with a few days on the beach; no fast-paced, hard-core tourism here like all the other cities would get. Besides I love cities with beaches!


Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 3):
These are my personal opinions:

You could certainly spend the better part of a week in Boston. And I would drive around New England a bit too.

I'd take a day or two from LA and switch them to San Diego. Although LA is larger and more touristy, San Diego is a much nicer city.

I'd add a day or two to DC as well.

I probably wouldn't spend 4 days in Vegas. But depends on what you want to do there. I can't afford 4 days of losing money....

However, while you're in Vegas, take a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. Very cool.

Great advice here. we may have to venture out from Boston/New York a little if we get the chance. Again I'll ask, what's in San Diego?! It was only added on request from another member of the travelling party.

Quoting flymia (Reply 4):

I will definately take all this into account - this is great, thanks! I wouldn't get half this info on tourist websites!

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 5):
Somebody else posted a similar topic a while back and was overly ambitious. I think you are as well. While 5 weeks sounds like a ton of time it looks like you'll spend more time visiting airports than actually visiting cities. While I enjoy visiting cities, outside of a few in the US (which you have in your list) a lot of places end up being more of the same. Without the mouse could you really tell a difference between Orlando and Dallas for example?

For me what is missing are some of the better scenic destinations -- national parks, beaches and such. I say you need to pick a region and focus on destinations there vs. hopping all over the US. You could take your time and actually relax. You could do a 5 week trip starting in San Diego and ending up in Vancouver just driving/taking the train up the coast and stopping along the way (which is something I wouldn't mind doing).

No no, this is how we want it done - a cross country tour taking in everything. We're not the type to stop and admire every little thing a city has to offer, just show us the big stuff and we're happy to move on! When I say cities, I don't technically mean cities alone - the Grand Canyon is in our plan and one of the reasons we included 4 days for Vegas (we put it under the Las Vegas heading to avoid confusion). I will try and include more National Parks if I can at all.

Quoting nwaesc (Reply 6):
Make Seattle a day stop, and reallocate a day or 2 to PDX.

No is the short answer - sorry!   We want to get in the big cities and attractions and save the less-common gems for future visits.

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 8):
If you're heading to the east coast, or passing through, visit Atlanta and the nearby areas. I loved day trips around ATL to places like Huntsville, AL (which has the space camp and space center) and from there (100 or so miles) you have Chattanooga, TN with Ruby Falls (its an absolutely amazing underground waterfall).

http://rubyfalls.com/

Like others have said..nothing much to see in Orlando, apart from the Disney parks (meh...I've been to Disney World and Magic Kingdom 4 times..and there were literally millions of people everywhere..all the time, not really an enjoyable experience and the space coast nearby (but with the space shuttle retired, I don't think there's much to see there anyway (Kennedy Space Center was quite boring honestly).

Thanks Springbok! A lot to consider here!

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
Just my opinion but no US visit is complete without seeing some of our incredible natural treasures...if you're limited to the east coast, Arcadia, Shenandoah or Great Smoky Mountain national parks are a must. Of course if you had more time, Zion and Bryce Canyon parks in Utah or Grand Teton in Wyoming are must-sees in one's lifetime period.
Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 10):
Yeah..it is simply the most stunning place I've ever been in my life.

To the OP..definitely don't miss it if you can fit it into your itinerary.

I will try my best...I think Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon are the only two included so far...

Quoting ER757 (Reply 11):
May or June? Bring your rain gear

Never thought of that...thanks!

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 12):
Unless you're driving between these two cities, make a side trip to Baker, California. Home of the world's largest thermometer.

Interesting!

Quoting FingerLakerAv8r (Reply 14):
You cant seriously say Panama City Beach has all the same things as Miami Beach. Lets get real here. Also I would say the water is nicer in Southeast Florida. The water in SE Florida is like Bahamian water clear blue and warm. Of course the water up there is great too and I think the sand there is better. But you cant compare Panama City Beach and Miami Beach and say the offer the same things.

You do have a lot of cities, Do you really need to see Disney World? Instead skip Orlando and use one of the days in Disneyland in LA which is the orginial park. San Deigo is great but one day is enough just drive down from LA. Dallas? It really makes no sense to go there unless there is a certain thing you really want to see.

I could probably live without DisneyWorld but for my travelling companions it's one of the highlights of the trip so I don't think I'd get away with it!

Quoting N766UA (Reply 15):
You're gunna want way more than 1 day in Boston. Boston is a fantastic city with so much to do, and it's 100% walkable! Knock Miami down to 1 day and bump Boston up to 3. Trust me on this one.

You could also trim time from Orlando and Toronto, if needbe.

Thanks for the advice - this line seems to be very common so I'll take it seriously!

Quoting steeler83 (Reply 16):
You could probably do a few things in western PA, especially if you like the outdoors and a very scenic and picturesque skyline.

Things to see/do in Western PA:

Duquesne/Monongahela Inclines
Ohiopyle State Park
Falling Water
Go to the Strip District for a Primanti Bros sandwich
Kennywood
Station Square
Southside (bar hopping and Southside Works)
Homestead Waterfront

It wouldn't be up there on our priorities list so I don't think it'll happen. Thanks anyway though!

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 17):
Assuming you were to cancel Orlando and Dallas and reduce Los Angeles and Las Vegas by one day each (all of which I highly recommend) that would give us six extra days to work with here.

Definitely give yourself another day in Boston, San Diego, Vancouver, and two more days in Washington DC. The last day would be up in the air for me, but I would probably lean towards San Francisco. Spend one day in the city, one day in the Napa Valley, and another day driving the 1 down as far as Big Sur and stopping in Monterey and Carmel on the way.

Thanks - these are good ideas!

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 20):
Definitely add another day or two here. I've been living here for little over 7 months and I've yet to see all the go-to attractions. Granted I've been almost 20 times total to both air and space museums.

I think we will now. Air and space museums eh?...Never really thought of them...interesting

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 21):
I cannot comprehend what there is to do in Las Vegas for four hours, much less four days. If you don't gamble or crave staggeringly-expensive shows, why go there at all? I cannot claim Dallas is the most historically-significant city in the country, but it's freaking Mount Olympus compared to Vegas.

Also, I'll second the comment above suggesting you look a little more at some of the remarkable natural beauty the US has to offer.

How about telling us what you like to do?

Well, I do have to consider the the interests of the rest of the group but I'm your typical easy-going kinda guy! I honestly don't mind where we go. Starting to look forward to it now though.

Quoting luckyone (Reply 25):
I would say one day fewer in Orlando. The Disney Parks can be done in about two days, and beyond that Orlando is hot, sticky, and well away from other places of interest. Vegas just assaults my soul, so I'm a bit biased! Two days in Vegas is plenty to get the vibe. Most things are very expensive, and to me, simply not worth it. Merely walking up and down the Strip can be exhausting and infuriating weaving through thousands of drunk, under dressed idiots. I concur with others in that Boston needs at least two days. Probably four if you want to explore the surrounding towns: Quincy, Salem, etc etc.

Thank you! First interesting insight into Vegas. Not all it's made out to be? Should we rent a car for Boston/New England then?

Quoting luckyone (Reply 25):
He is right, if you're just looking to party two days is plenty for Miami. If you're looking to explore Miami's restaurant and design scene, spend an evening (second Saturday of the month if you can time it right, all the art galleries open up for free viewing) in the Design District, Wynwood to be precise. IMHO there are also better restaurants for a better price in Midtown than Downtown the food tends to be a bit more original. Joey's and Cafe Lemoni were two of my favorites. If you want to shop, there's South Beach, but you can get the same stuff for a lot less at one of the outlets that are not far away at all, Dolphin Mall and Sawgrass Mills. I personally prefer Dolphin Mall. If you want a relaxing beach experience stay as far away as possible from South Beach, spend an hour or two walking around Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive, people watch for a bit, and cross it off your list. If you like obnoxiously pretentious people cruising, loud music, and a bare-minimum twenty minute hike from the car then SoBe is your place. Take a drive up I-95 and you'll find much better beaches everywhere. If you like snorkeling just head down to one of the Keys for a day. If you're a real plane geek than take a drive up and down the 836/Dolphin Expressway. It takes you right by Miami International Airport and you get a really good view of the South Terminal and runway. It makes getting stuck in traffic there much more bearable.

Thanks alot! I especially appreciate the little aviation-related places to see/eat at. I'll obviously try and casually squeeze as many of these in as I can  
Quote:
I concur. Dallas is a great place to live, but doesn't have any one thing that makes it a tourist stop. Austin however, would be great!

Seems Dallas/Texas is definately out then!

Quoting gemuser (Reply 26):
Personally, I think you bomb out right there - cities!!!

Yes there are SOME great cities in the USA, but its true beauty and heart and soul lie AWAY from the cities.
If you are fit and don't mind driving on the wrong side of the road, get a (big) car and road trip! One suggestion is get a plane to Boston, spend 3-4 days there, then follow the Revolutionary Trail around New England, the head west to upstate NY as FingerlakeAv8r suggests, head into NYC (leaving the car in the suburbs, don't think of driving in Manhattan unless you are a homicidal manic!), then down thru Penn and Maryland to DC, then wander south to Kennedy Space Centre, then back north thru ATL and the Smokes etc to western Penn and on to the Great Lakes then back to Boston.
That'll kill five weeks and you will see some great places both natural and man made and should have a great time.

Of course you and your friends will have completely different tastes to me, especially given our different ages. Other road trip suggestions include Route 66 (obligatory), the North East to New Orleans and back via the Mississippi Valley, across the Northern tier to SEA/PDX & YVR. There are dozen and dozens of alternatives.

I do think you're original plan is overly ambitious as you have your self traveling most days for 35 days, you'll be dead! It can be done, of course, but!

Thanks for the suggestions Gemuser. As I said, we're not strictly limited to cities but most of our travels will be confined to them. Nonetheless, you gave me some more info to think about - thank you!
 
Pyrex
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:46 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 3):
You could certainly spend the better part of a week in Boston. And I would drive around New England a bit too.

Totally agree.

Plus, I would add one day or two more to New Orleans - wonderful and unique place, and incredibly fun.
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kngkyle
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:31 am

For a group of 20-year olds the theme parks in Orlando will be a lot of fun. I think 3 days is just enough time. Spend 1 day at Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure. The parks are right next to each other and they have 2 park 1 day tickets, you should be able to get through both of them assuming it's not jam packed. Then the other 2 days you can spend at 2 Disney parks. I find Epcot and MGM to be more adult oriented whereas Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom are more for children.

Apart from the theme parks there is nothing to really see or do in Orlando itself. If you are a roller coaster fan then I'd recommend Busch Gardens in Tampa. It's about an hour or so drive from the theme parks in Orlando. I used to go alllll the time, the lines are hardly ever longer than 10 minutes and there were times when you could just stay on the ride since nobody was waiting. You could take a day off of Miami to do that. Or you could just skip Miami and go to the beaches near Tampa (they are better).

If I were you I would focus on one half of the country. Stick to the eastern half of the US and visit Toronto, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans, Orlando/Tampa, and Miami. I also recommend just renting a car and driving instead of flying everywhere. It will probably be cheaper and will allow you to stop whenever you want and stay however long you want at each place. As some others mentioned, you should visit some national parks along the way. White water rafting in the appalachian mountains is a lot of fun.

Heres a possible route just to give you an idea of what I'm thinking:


Toronto
Boston
New York
Philadelphia
Asheville (nature, hiking, camping, white water, etc.)
Chattanooga (nature, hiking, camping, white water, etc.)
New Orleans
Pensacola (beaches)
Orlando (theme parks)
Miami
Key West

Those would be your "anchor" destinations and you could stop anywhere else along the way if you find something interesting to do.
 
sw733
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:21 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
San Diego? Is there really a need for more than one day here?

San Diego beats Los Angeles hands down. LA is a pit...San Diego is a gem. Better beaches, nice museums (including a nice but I believe slightly overrated aerospace museum), Gaslamp is a neat place to spend a night drinking, Temecula has some decent wineries, the zoo is world class, La Jolla has amazing food, shopping and views. By all means, visit LA, but...San Diego is better.
 
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AmricanShamrok
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:53 pm

Quoting Kngkyle (Reply 30):
Heres a possible route just to give you an idea of what I'm thinking:

Way ahead of you! This is our current routemap; subject to change of course.
http://i52.tinypic.com/30jl6r5.jpg

http://i53.tinypic.com/3307koo.jpg

Quoting Kngkyle (Reply 30):
I also recommend just renting a car and driving instead of flying everywhere. It will probably be cheaper and will allow you to stop whenever you want and stay however long you want at each place.

We will be flying mostly. No better way to have it  
Quoting Kngkyle (Reply 30):
White water rafting in the appalachian mountains is a lot of fun.

Good idea - I must look into that.

Quoting sw733 (Reply 31):
San Diego beats Los Angeles hands down. LA is a pit...San Diego is a gem. Better beaches, nice museums (including a nice but I believe slightly overrated aerospace museum), Gaslamp is a neat place to spend a night drinking, Temecula has some decent wineries, the zoo is world class, La Jolla has amazing food, shopping and views. By all means, visit LA, but...San Diego is better.

Hmmm I may have to do some more research!
 
StuckInCA
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:21 pm

I'd say you should cut your list in nearly half. 1 and 2 day stops aren't enough in many of these places.

I'd for sure remove Philadelphia, Orlando, and Dalllas. Toronto is a nice city, but in my opinion it doesn't have a lot to offer relative the the other places you're going. It only offers "city" and you're already seeing some more interesting ones.

I've never wanted to be in Vegas for more than 1 night. Boston deserves several days.

Quoting nwaesc (Reply 6):
Make Seattle a day stop, and reallocate a day or 2 to PDX.

A day stop in Seattle? It's a great place to visit. I guess if you can't stand clouds and you don't like the outdoors it may not be a highlight, but I think it has more to offer than Portland (which I love).
 
flymia
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:39 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
The only reason we included Orlando is for DisneyWorld (and I want to visit the Kennedy Space Center) so a day could probably be struck off here too.

KSC will be cool and Space Shuttle Atlantis will be there as it has made its final landing this morning.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
San Diego? Is there really a need for more than one day here?

Eh I do not think so but some people really love San Diego.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
I think we will now. Air and space museums eh?...Never really thought of them...interesting

Yes! They are great go to both of them! One requries a bit of a drive or public transport the other is right by the mall and most of the things in DC are FREE

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
I could probably live without DisneyWorld but for my travelling companions it's one of the highlights of the trip so I don't think I'd get away with it!

Disneyworld IS going to be a nightmare in June, an absolute nightmare. Lines will be huge, everything will be so crowded you even have to make reservations to eat at a food court. It is a mess. Lets also not forget it will be 95 degree with 100% humidity and then there will be a thunderstorm from 2-4pm.
Disneyland on the other hand lines are not as big, that one "park" has more to offer then Magic Kingdom less walking and more rides. Also this is the original Disney park. It is Southern California weather is much better and again lines are no where near as bad and food is even better there. Unless you want to go to the other parks like Epcot or also check out Universal Studios I highly reccomend you pick Disneyland in LA over Disneyworld in Orlando. If you were going in December or February it would be a different story but a Disneyworld/Magic Kingdom in June is not fun. I never been there in June since everyone in Florida knows not to go there in the summer. But I know. Do some research about it. Besides I am telling you Disneyland is better! Again but if you want to see epcot etc.. Then you will have to go to Orlando of course.

I cant get this right, this is where you must go in DC. Also make sure you take the walk to the top of the hill to the Custis-Lee Mansion it is the best view of DC. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/index.htm
Also I would recommend looking into getting timed tickets reservations to take a tour to the top of the Washington Monument. And try to fly into DCA! Best airport in the country. And make sure to sit on the left side of the plane when you fly into DCA and the right side when you fly out. So if you get the famous river visual you will get a great view of DC.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
desertjets
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:14 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
No no, this is how we want it done - a cross country tour taking in everything. We're not the type to stop and admire every little thing a city has to offer, just show us the big stuff and we're happy to move on! When I say cities, I don't technically mean cities alone - the Grand Canyon is in our plan and one of the reasons we included 4 days for Vegas (we put it under the Las Vegas heading to avoid confusion). I will try and include more National Parks if I can at all.

I certainly understand, but I still feel like you are being overly ambitious... and from the looks of it I am not the only one in this thread either. I am still of the mind that you should really pick a coast or a region and focus your trip there and make your transportation plans flexible so that if you and your group start feeling a little worn down you can adjust as needed. This is already an expensive trip but I think for a lot of it having a long-term rental car makes more sense -- especially if you don't do the whole cross-country extravaganza.

I think it would be a bit useful for all of us to know a bit more about your group. Ages, male/female ratio, likes, etc....
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
luckyone
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:25 pm

Quoting Kngkyle (Reply 30):
Chattanooga (nature, hiking, camping, white water, etc.)

You won't be able to miss the signs, but you don't have to See Rock City   The views are great, the but the whole thing is phony.
Ruby Falls however, though a bit commercialized now, is beautiful--if you've never heard of it it's an underground waterfall at the end of a serious of caves and underground rock formations. The Aquarium is pretty cool if you've never been to a large aquarium before.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
Thank you! First interesting insight into Vegas. Not all it's made out to be? Should we rent a car for Boston/New England then?

Most welcome. Yes, I definitely recommend renting a car for exploring around Boston. In the city proper you can park the car at the hotel and never need to move it--you can literally walk from the South End to the bay by the north side in about two hours. I would also suggest that you will want to rent a car and drive between Las Vegas/Los Angeles/San Diego if you go. None of those areas has a very good public transportation network. Same for when you go to Florida. A car is a MUST in Orlando and Miami. No two ways about it--it will be far too hot to even pretend to want to walk outside for more than five minutes. It's only a threeish hour drive between Orlando and Miami, and since you'll need a car anyway it will save you a lot of money not flying between the two cities, just make sure the car has a SunPass.
 
Dazed767
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:34 pm

Throwing this out there too, Orlando has numerous water parks like Aquatica, Discovery cove. A few off beaten paths to consider would be ifly Orlando (indoor skydiving thing, I've heard great things about it, never tried it though), and maybe Gatorland.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:46 pm

Quoting steeler83 (Reply 16):
Duquesne/Monongahela Inclines
Ohiopyle State Park
Falling Water
Go to the Strip District for a Primanti Bros sandwich
Kennywood
Station Square
Southside (bar hopping and Southside Works)
Homestead Waterfront

You did forget Kentuck Knob here - it and Falling Water aren't a far drive away from each other and it's interesting to compare two different styles by the same architect back to back. Also, Kentuck Knob has a rather interesting statuary park.

As for the OP itinerary, I'd suggest Charleston, SC be added to that list. Quite a bit to do in the way of museums, shopping (both on King Street and in the historic Charleston Market), the Battery and White Point Gardens, Rainbow Row, the SC Aquarium and it's 365,000 gallon tank, historic homes and plantations, Patriot's Point Maritime Museum (including the USS Yorktown (CV-10)), and Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began.

I also concur with the inclusion of Asheville, NC. In addition to all the acitivites mentioned by Kngkyle, you also have the Biltmore Estate, and tons of microbreweries and brewpubs - Asheville's been named Beer City USA for about 3-4 years in a row now and it's well worth checking out.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:26 pm

Some other suggestions:

If you're traveling between LA and San Francisco, it's worthwhile to rent a car and do the coastline drive. It takes longer (set aside a whole day for it), but it's staggeringly beautiful.

See any and every national park you can fit in.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
Again I'll ask, what's in San Diego?!

To be quite honest, I'm not very familiar with San Diego from a tourist perspective. But it's a large city with great weather that's significantly nicer than LA, in my opinion. But there is this:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 31):
the zoo is world class

And the Wild Animal Park.

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
First interesting insight into Vegas. Not all it's made out to be? Should we rent a car for Boston/New England then?

Vegas is what it is, and I think it's exactly what it's made out to be. When I go there (usually once or twice a year), I pretty much think I see exactly what I expect.

I love gambling, and that's why I go to Vegas (and that's also why I only go once or twice a year   ). For a newcomer, though, it can be quite surprising how much of a dichotomy that city is. There's the main Strip area, where the major (huge) hotels/casinos are, and it's very ostentatious and what-have-you. Then there's the "regular" city outside of that, which feels like any sprawling desert city.

As for Boston/New England, you don't need a car IN Boston. But if you're going to travel around New England (highly recommended), then yes, rent a car. I would recommend the Green Mountains and Stowe in Vermont; the While Mountains, Echo Lake/Whitehorse Ledge/North Conway in New Hampshire, Acadia Nat'l. Park in Maine, the North Shore of MA (Cape Ann, Salem, etc.), Cape Cod & Martha's Vineyard, among other places.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
Arcadia

I think you mean Acadia.  
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:38 pm

Don't come to the US! You'll get arrested and tasered for doing nothing!   
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AmricanShamrok
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:06 pm

Thanks again for the suggestions. I'm particularly intrigued by the whitewater rafting idea; I forget who mentioned it. I think this will fit nicely into our itinerary.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 35):
I certainly understand, but I still feel like you are being overly ambitious... and from the looks of it I am not the only one in this thread either. I am still of the mind that you should really pick a coast or a region and focus your trip there and make your transportation plans flexible so that if you and your group start feeling a little worn down you can adjust as needed. This is already an expensive trip but I think for a lot of it having a long-term rental car makes more sense -- especially if you don't do the whole cross-country extravaganza.

I think it would be a bit useful for all of us to know a bit more about your group. Ages, male/female ratio, likes, etc....

I WILL prove you wrong and we WILL enjoy the cross-country tour thoroughly!    As for our demographics, there are four of us (2 lads, 2 girls). 3 out of 4 of us will be 21 by May. We're all very open-minded and interested in seeing the usual touristy things. None of us are overly interested in sports but we'll probably get in a ball game or two as well.

Quoting KPDX (Reply 40):
Don't come to the US! You'll get arrested and tasered for doing nothing!

I'm from Chicago, I'm well used to being tasered for no reason at this point     
 
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:45 pm

Quoting Kngkyle (Reply 30):
White water rafting in the appalachian mountains
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 41):
I'm particularly intrigued by the whitewater rafting idea

Rafting in Appalachia?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RRdRGkmszI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gLN3QoN-q8

Quoting KPDX (Reply 40):
I'm from Chicago, I'm well used to being tasered for no reason at this point

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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:58 pm

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 42):
Rafting in Appalachia?

Oh hush. That was in Georgia (which itself is hardly Appalachia) not NC. He's more likely to come across a pack of granola crunching hippies in a VW Microbus/amphib conversion running on biodiesel than he is to run into hillbillies in Asheville.
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:14 pm

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 42):
Quoting Kngkyle (Reply 30):
White water rafting in the appalachian mountains
Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 41):
I'm particularly intrigued by the whitewater rafting idea

Rafting in Appalachia?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RRdRGkmszI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gLN3...oN-q8

I've never gone whitewater rafting, but I have always wanted to do that myself. When I mentioned visiting Ohiopyle State Park near the Burgh, you can do plenty of that there along the Youghoghenny River. Further upstream in Maryland is some of the best class 5 rapids this side of the Continental Divide.
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:18 pm

I think you know exactly what you are doing, so enjoy. Sometimes the trip is the journey, or part of the trip is the journey, or part of the journey is the trip... or something like that.

You know what you are doing because if someone asked you a similar question on traveling from Dublin to Manchester to London to Amsterdam to Paris to Istanbul and so on, you are aware enough to give an opiinion.

You'll find as many opinions on how many days to stay where and don't go here and don't go there as there are people responding.. so ultimately do what you feel is best for you. Personally I've never been to Dallas, but would do so if given the opportunity. We had some people at a firm I used to work for go there for a seminar, and they ventured to Ft. Worth and did some VERY GOOD eating. I think I saw some famous steak restaurant called the Cattlemans or something.
 
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:05 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):

I am planning on touring the US (and 2 Canadian cities) next May and June with a few friends. I'm half American but I've never really wandered too far from Chicago. Organizing is well underway and we plan to visit the following cities over a 5-week period:


Are there any particular places you would recommend visting/seeing in any of these cities (or indeed, anywhere I haven't listed!)? What do you think of the time schedule - would more than a day be needed for some places? I appreciate any comments and suggestions.

General advise don't think like a European: In Europe you go and see cities, in America in most cases you are better off in the countryside/ National parks

I haven't been to all destinations you are thinking of visiting, but as a European that has been for 1.5 year in the US and that also sought to visit as much as possible and often outside the beaten the track let me comment on what I know:

1. New Orleans (1 day) ---) Huge party town I'd stay at least 2 days
2. Dallas (1 day) ---) If you ever watched Dallas the tv series, go, otherwise if unavoidable I would go to the fort worth Cattle yards
11. New York (4 days) ---) I'dd add another day
12. Philadelphia (1 day) ---) Sounds enough
13. Washington DC (2 days) ---) I live here and 3 full days sounds about right
14. Orlando (3 days) ----) skip
15. Miami (3 days) -----) skip

I'd rent a car along the way if I were you. National parks are absolutely breathtaking here. Stopping at a Motel and eating at a diner is a must do as well.

A city not in u'r itinerary which I absolutely loved: Little rock Arkansas. It has a feel to it, houses Bill Clinton's library and feels like the south... Not quite sure how to explain this...
 
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:52 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 3):
However, while you're in Vegas, take a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. Very cool.

Yes, don't leave without!
Orlando is only fun if you like theme parks, while that's not all there is it's still meh!

Travel in new England as much as you can because that's where all the good stuff to see is. When going to NY however, you have to make many trips because there's never enough time to see everything. Keep going up there like I do. Best city on Earth!
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:05 pm

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Thread starter):
1. New Orleans (1 day)
2. Dallas (1 day)
3. San Diego (1 day)
4. Vegas (4 days)
5. LA (4 days)
6. San Francisco (2 days)
7. Seattle (2 days)
8. Vancouver (1 day)
9. Toronto (3 days)
10. Boston (1 day)
11. New York (4 days)
12. Philadelphia (1 day)
13. Washington DC (2 days)
14. Orlando (3 days)
15. Miami (3 days)

DC, Vegas, San Francisco, New York and Boston are worth visiting, but I would recommend dumping the other cities, and spending the time to visit Yellowstone, and to drive through Monument Valley, visit the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Southern Utah.

If you really really want to visit cities, try Charleston SC.
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RE: Places To See/Visit In The US

Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:01 am

Quoting AmricanShamrok (Reply 28):
Thanks for the advice - this line seems to be very common so I'll take it seriously!

You're welcome! I'm happy to advise places to go and things to do. There's so much beyond Boston too- Cape Ann, Cape Cod, the Islands-- you could spend so much time. I've lived in Boston and the surrounding area for going on 5 years, and I moved here because I loved the town. From someone who used to work for the airlines and has flown to so many different US cities, it's absolutely worth your time.
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