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Old 02-17-2009, 04:45 PM   #61
 
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Oh and Piglet, if you and your friends decide to come through the boring Midwest and pass through Indiana, I'd love to meet with you and maybe host a cookout for you, where you can watch paint dry and grass grow!
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:28 AM   #62
 
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If you're going to be in Vegas and like the outdoors/national parks, there are some amazing ones within a couple hours' drive northeast in Utah. Also, if you're taking the time to visit Yosemite, I highly recommend you try visiting nearby Sequoia National Park as well. It's part of the same mountain range and has some of the same gorgeous scenery, with a fraction of the crowds. I'm biased though - I worked in Sequoia for many years!
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:45 AM   #63
 
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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?
If you go to Niagara Falls and the Rockies, the Canadian sides of both are more spectacular
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:22 AM   #64
 
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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.
AGREED!!!!! This is a great plan!!!
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:00 PM   #65
 
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Hi everyone, I thought I'd update you....

Firstly thanks for all the tips and I apologise profusely for not returning here sooner.

After a great deal of thought, we decided to just 'do the West coast'. The reasons were that by doing both coasts, it was spiralling out of control. Amneris helped 'clinch' it by saying that Niagara falls is better in Canada. With that in mind, we are saving the East for another holiday, when we will probably 'do' NYC, Niagara Falls, Washington DC and Florida.

However, this year, my friend and I will be California girls! We are flying out NEXT MONTH! I am so excited. I don't know how I will be able to act like a normal person until I go. We will be flying to San Francisco, poodling over to Las Vegas (and visiting the Grand Canyon) and then mooching over to San Diego and then taking the train up the coast back to San Francisco and then home. It's a two week trip. I have never been to the USA before and I can't wait. Did I say I'm excited?

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Old 03-14-2009, 04:28 PM   #66
 
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have fun! if you like nice restaurants, try Gary Danko while in San Fran.
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:44 PM   #67
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet View Post
Hi everyone, I thought I'd update you....

Firstly thanks for all the tips and I apologise profusely for not returning here sooner.

After a great deal of thought, we decided to just 'do the West coast'. The reasons were that by doing both coasts, it was spiralling out of control. Amneris helped 'clinch' it by saying that Niagara falls is better in Canada. With that in mind, we are saving the East for another holiday, when we will probably 'do' NYC, Niagara Falls, Washington DC and Florida.

However, this year, my friend and I will be California girls! We are flying out NEXT MONTH! I am so excited. I don't know how I will be able to act like a normal person until I go. We will be flying to San Francisco, poodling over to Las Vegas (and visiting the Grand Canyon) and then mooching over to San Diego and then taking the train up the coast back to San Francisco and then home. It's a two week trip. I have never been to the USA before and I can't wait. Did I say I'm excited?

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My brother was stationed in San Diego and it is beautiful, with perfect weather nearly year around. You won't be disappointed. Make sure you take plenty of pictures!
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:17 PM   #68
 
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Yay! Sounds like a great plan. I have to recommend Berkeley and Oakland (when you're in the San Francisco Bay Area). They're just across the bay, easily accessible by subway, and well worth the visit. Don't miss Chez Panisse--originator of California, and basically New American, cuisine--and the "Gourmet Ghetto" in North Berkeley. Love at First Bite has the best strawberry cupcake on earth. God, I could give you a whole list of places to go in the East Bay. I miss it so much!
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:32 PM   #69
 
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How fun!
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:04 AM   #70
 
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Very fun!


Let me know if you may venture down into Arizona from your Grand Canyon visit... There are some *beautiful* parts of the state near there, and I keep recommending Sedona to people - and everyone who goes tells me they're grateful they listened!

If you let me know dates (I have the same email, or you can PM me) I can try to let you know of concerts you may be interested in, assuming you're traveling with someone who would be interested in concerts as well.

I'm sad you're going to be here the same month I'm maid of honor in a wedding so there's no way I can fly to CA to meet up with you! Flights from Tucson to LA or San Diego are very inexpensive, and I have friends there.


In San Francisco, please ride a trolley car for me! I didn't get the chance when I was there, and I need to get back so I can! And don't miss out on taking a boat tour of the bay!
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:15 PM   #71
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet View Post
After a great deal of thought, we decided to just 'do the West coast'. The reasons were that by doing both coasts, it was spiralling out of control. Amneris helped 'clinch' it by saying that Niagara falls is better in Canada. With that in mind, we are saving the East for another holiday, when we will probably 'do' NYC, Niagara Falls, Washington DC and Florida.

However, this year, my friend and I will be California girls! We are flying out NEXT MONTH! I am so excited. I don't know how I will be able to act like a normal person until I go. We will be flying to San Francisco, poodling over to Las Vegas (and visiting the Grand Canyon) and then mooching over to San Diego and then taking the train up the coast back to San Francisco and then home. It's a two week trip. I have never been to the USA before and I can't wait. Did I say I'm excited?

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That sounds like a great plan. I was a little worried that you were going to try flying all over the place! And Tijauna, Mexico isn't really that far from San Diego if you want to skip on over into Mexico!

Your next trip, on the east coast, I'd sugget you add Boston-- fly into Boston, then go over to Niagra, NYC, and Washington, DC. Those two trips together and I'd say you'll have gotten a good flavor of the US!
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:27 PM   #72
 
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Glad you went for the Left Coast!
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:00 PM   #73
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet View Post
Hi everyone, I thought I'd update you....

Firstly thanks for all the tips and I apologise profusely for not returning here sooner.

After a great deal of thought, we decided to just 'do the West coast'. The reasons were that by doing both coasts, it was spiralling out of control. Amneris helped 'clinch' it by saying that Niagara falls is better in Canada. With that in mind, we are saving the East for another holiday, when we will probably 'do' NYC, Niagara Falls, Washington DC and Florida.

However, this year, my friend and I will be California girls! We are flying out NEXT MONTH! I am so excited. I don't know how I will be able to act like a normal person until I go. We will be flying to San Francisco, poodling over to Las Vegas (and visiting the Grand Canyon) and then mooching over to San Diego and then taking the train up the coast back to San Francisco and then home. It's a two week trip. I have never been to the USA before and I can't wait. Did I say I'm excited?

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Since you're going to be traveling up the coast by train, definitely factor in at least a day or two for a stop in Santa Barbara and the central coast area between there and San Louis Obispo. The train route cuts right through there, and it is absolutely gorgeous and lots of fun, with beaches, wineries, ranches, and architecture galore. (It cuts inland for most of the rest of the ride up to SF after that, too, so it will be your last chance to gaze at beaches for a while.) The SB Mission is arguably the most famous of the CA Missions and the SB Botanic Gardens are really beautiful from what I remember, and will give you a taste of different CA ecosystems, from a redwood grove to island desert scrub and everything in between. State Street in SB is loads of fun, and SLO is a charming little college town in the middle of some truly gorgeous country. And of course, there is a good reason the movie Sideways was set there.

I live is San Diego now and I love it here, but that part of our state is NOT something you will want to miss. Have fun!
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