Three-week trip to America

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I'm assuming, though it's not explicitly stated, that it's a first trip over to the States. As everyone keeps repeating, 2-3 weeks is not a long time. What sort of a traveller/tourist are you though? Are you one of those rush-around, tick-the-boxes-on-the-checklist types? Or more of a plonk-yourself-down-and-try-to-get-into-the-rhythm-of-a-place type?

 

PS: I always have a soft spot for Chicago, but that's very much a personal preference.

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Well I am off to go draw in the sunshine and listen to Erskine Hawkins but when I come back I will post perdido's list of things to do...granted it might be a little off.

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I'm moving to Seattle in a couple of months so I really favour the Pacific northwest! One of the places that is a must see if you go to Oregon is Crater Lake! We were there 2 years ago in July and they were finally able to open the north entrance to the park after the snow mellted off a bit. It still had snow drifts that were 20 feet high along the road though! Adsolutely amazingly beautiful!

 

post-2442-1170078159.jpg

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See what I mean? And Mount Lassen National Park if you're into volcanoes.

Although I am sure that the whole cascade range is impressive if you are into volcanoes (my visit in February 2001

to Mt. St. Helens was impressive as was just seeing Mt. Rainier from our offices in Seattle), I'd say if you have

limited time & are into volcanoes - then its Hawai'i / Big Island for you.

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second the recommendation for the Grand Tetons - I loved it there

Yellowstone was good, too

 

and Arizona - I totally fell in love with Arizona.

 

i haven't been anywhere in America I didn't like, really (apart, maybe, from Atlanta)

 

what kind of things are you interested in?

countryside? big cities? off-the-beaten track stuff?

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I agree with the other people who have said that what you're trying to do is really two trips. Pick a coast and stick with it for the 3 weeks. Do the other coast another time

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Jacksonville??? Are you nuts! Been there so many times

So you admit that there is that certain something that brings you back, time after time? The redneckness is part of it's charm IMO

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Only went there cause my ex had family there. Don't mind the redneck thing cause I'm a bit of a midwestern redneck myself but these people were hostile towards us! Mind you it might have had something to do with me being white and my ex being black. We lived in the South for 5 years after we were married and I have to say it really put me off the whole area of "The Old South"!

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Yeah, nah I was actually joking. Jacksonville, Paterson & Scranton are the absolute pits. The worst places I went to in the US by a long way.

 

As for where I really think you should spend your 3 weeks it would be a tough call between New York, New York and New York.

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A few additions;

 

I'm just planning this at the moment. It is worth considering that I've never been outside of Europe traveling wise. I've also not really been abroad alone either (without family or peers) so anything complex would look good on paper but may be a stretch in practice.

 

Budget also needs to be brought up. I really have no idea how much such a trip would cost. I am willing to spend a bit of money but would like to manage it on as little as possible. Looking at flights it seems to get across to America would be around 550 euros (thats from Munich to Los Angeles via lufthansa). I guess as an initial max I wouldn't really want to spend much more than 1500 euros on a trip (if it looks like much more to go across to America I would possibly choose to stick inside Europe instead). Is that reasonable (if stuff like cheap accommodation is chosen at all times)?

 

If it helps the idea of choosing one coast does seem interesting. The example of say California and then spending time in a few of the big cities (LA, San Diego and San Francisco) would be nice, if it is affordable.

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I would check into San Fran over LAX because of geographical location as well that LAX can be a pain in the ass. I have used last minute rates for hotels in the US and found that I can get usually a good deal. Although it has to be less than seven days planning so does not help out too much. If you do California San Fran and up north can and probaly will take up all your time. Highway 101 , Mt Shasta, San Fran's chinatown (not oaklands chinatown), Santa Cruz, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara, and best of all the Pacific Ocean are just a few things that come to mind.

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I agree with the idea of doing one coast or the other, and in my biased opinion California would be an excellent choice. I'd even be happy to meet up with you for a beer while you're here! A good, reasonably inexpensive vacation would be to rent a car and drive around California. The Pacific Coast highway is a must, and there are lots of stretches of it to choose from. Personally, I think a great itinerary would be to start off in San Francisco, spend a few days there, then drive down the coast to So Cal. Big Sur is along the way. If you've got the time, take a little tour of Hearst Castle. Then head off to Disneyland (don't bother with California Adventure - that only exists, because Walt Disney wouldn't allow beer or upside down rides at Disneyland). From there, drive out to Las Vegas. Take a trip to the Grand Canyon along the way. Then head back to San Francisco via Yosemite. That should be enough to keep you busy for a little while, take you to three states, and give you a good taste for the area.

 

 

You coud also rent-a-car and drive it cross-country to California like an air-conditioned Woody Guthrie.

This I would not recommend. I took 4 months to do that once, and I still felt like I hardly saw any of the country.

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A good, reasonably inexpensive vacation would be to rent a car and drive around California.

That's probably the way I'd go. And IPJ's recommended trip is a good one for starters (might go to Universal rather than Disney myself though ;) )

Another side trip could be drop in at Napa or Sonoma, Sacramento (the capital of California after all), up to Lake Tahoe and even into Nevada to Reno.

Loads of possibilities.

The thing is that you don't need to plan too much: as a tourist the US is an extremely easy country to get round (if you have a car!) and to do and go where you want when you want.

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If you start out in SF, I could even stop by AAA and pick you up a California hotel guide for free, too. It would be useful to have one of those along your trip, so you can pick out a hotel/motel on the fly. I used their camping guides on my 4-month cross-country road trip, and it was incredibly useful.

 

 

might go to Universal rather than Disney myself though

I haven't been to Universal since I was a kid but go to Disneyland every time I head down to visit my sister. It's got a lot of nostalgic value for me, though, since I grew up in the area. I still love the Peter Pan ride!

 

I just though I'd add that the trip mentioned above is one that my husband and I plan to take with his parents when they come out to visit this summer. I'm really excited about it, because it will be their first time in the States. It'll be fun to take them on a tour of my home area. :)

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If you plan to visit Southern California, take a look at this thread as well.

Previous Los Angeles Thread

 

Another recommendation would be to head to Natchez, Mississippi. If you are going in the springtime, you can tour the antebellum homes. They are gorgeous and many of the homes have been passed down through generations of families from the Civil War. I have done the tour and it was amazing.

Natchez Info

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I'd even be happy to meet up with you for a beer while you're here!

screw that if in oregon and you need info let me know. Coffee shops ( I am an espresso snob), resturaunts (food is a vice for me), dive bars (my first home), hiking (my second home), or a little "somethin somethin" to smoke give a holler at your boy I got your back.

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i love this piece of advice. yes, get your rental car, drive down to Nappa, sample lots of wine, get back in car and drive back to SF drunk. so many people do the Nappa Valley tour, but someone has to be the designated driver. i wonder if they do arranged tours or something?

Get Crawlie working on that one, he might know.

 

I agree with the idea of doing one coast or the other, and in my biased opinion California would be an excellent choice. I'd even be happy to meet up with you for a beer while you're here!

Providing you bring the beer. IPJ prefers Augustiner, and so does her brother.

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Nobody has mentioned Florida, and the panhandle area to New Orleans (was reading they are fixing it up nicely). I loved the Gulf area.

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