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If you were to recommend places to visit in America what would you recommend?

If you were to recommend places to visit in America what would you recommend?

Old May 16th, 2000, 06:05 PM
  #1  
Catherine
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If you were to recommend places to visit in America what would you recommend?

My sister and her French family would like to spend two weeks touring America. This group consists of two couples each with two children. The children are two male teenagers (16&19) and a very young ( under 10 yers of age) boy and girl. These people are culturally very French but speak good English. The couples live in Paris and Geneva Switzerland. One is a home builder, one is an executive in the perfume industry and one is an executive with 3M.

Given this background what kind of a trip would you recommend if they told you that they would like to plan a trip to America that would last about two weeks?
 
Old May 16th, 2000, 08:06 PM
  #2  
Cindy
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Tough question. A few more details might help. What time of year? First-time visitors or veterans? How's their budget? Do they even know which coast interests them most?
 
Old May 16th, 2000, 08:16 PM
  #3  
Carver
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SF/Bay area--Lake Tahoe side trip
NYC
New England (coastal Maine, Vermont, NH)
DC
LA/SD
Chicago
Grand Canyon/southern Utah/Las Vegas
Charleston
I'd select a few of the above after inventorying the tastes and desires of the parties involved.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 01:21 AM
  #4  
Sabrina
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Catherine,

The above reply offers some great choices - in fact, New England was in mind also. In addition I would recommend New Orleans, and specifically the French Quarter.

Sabrina
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 04:26 AM
  #5  
Paul Rabe
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Two families with four children between them? I suggest starting in Los Angeles for the amusement parks and beaches, then Vegas for the excitement, then Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion for incomparable beauty. Would give a good introduction to what the US has to offer, and the kids would never be bored.

The time of year you travel is quite crucial; places that are great in summer are horrible in winter, and vice versa.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 05:03 AM
  #6  
cass
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The vast size of America is usually what amazes Europeans, thus I would recommend at least a day or two in in the southwest, esp. Grand Canyon -- the drive between Santa Fe and Flagstaff shows a lot. Another possibility is to take the train from West Coast to Midwest (i.e. train SF to just east of Rockies, then fly to NYC) -- it will not measure up to Europe's finest, but one can see the Rockies and the desert. Much as I love Boston, it would be the least different city from European cities, so I think New York is the unavoidable "must." But a flavor of the South seems a good idea, and my favorite Southern city is Savannah. One could go on to DisneyWorld, etc. from there (half-day's drive), to get the "benefit" (shudder) of Florida and its theme parks. If it were my kids, however, I'd by-pass Disney and go to Cape Canaveral and the Keys, swim with dolphins, etc. (Chicago is a possibility to show how "heart of America" lives and works, with major plus of good museums, skyscraper-skyline that rivals NYC.)

Forget Los Angeles because it sprawls (hard to do efficiently) and Disneyland isn't up to DisneyWorld standards, unless high camp and American movies are a passion with the kids.

Please let us know what you come up with.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 05:25 AM
  #7  
Joy in Virginia
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I would recommend they pick one region to concentrate on, depending on their interests. I can recommend central mid-Atlantic with several ideas: Baltimore for the aquarium, train museum, inner harbor, water taxi, paddle boating for kids. Go on down to DC for Smithsonian, monuments, zoo, Mount Vernon, etc. Then down to Williamsburg & get family "revolutionary Fun" tickets that include Wmsbg, Jamestown, Busch Gardens Williamsburg theme park, Water Country water park. Busch gardens is one of the most BEAUTIFULLY landscaped theme parks in the US, and has some of the BEST coasters anywhere. I alternate years getting season passes for my family to Paramount'King's Dominion & Busch Gardens Wmsbg, KD has terrific coasters as well but BG is prettier with some more adult geared activities. Any Civil War buffs in the group? A day trip to Richmond & the new Natl Park Service visitors center on the waterfront, and visits to nearby battlefields would be fun & not take too long. Let us know what they decide!
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 06:31 AM
  #8  
gb
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Visit as many National Parks as possilbe. I find that our most beautiful land, our heritage, our history, and our value to preserve our land are best displayed in our national park system.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 06:49 AM
  #9  
American Joe
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Trenton, New Jersey
Detroit, Michigan
Springfield, Illinois
Cleveland, Ohio
Galviston, Texas
Phoenix, Arizona
Mobile, Alabama

These will give you a good glimpse of Americana.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 07:03 AM
  #10  
lisa
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I would recommend two weeks on the west coast, perhaps something like:
3-4 days San Francisco
3-4 days Big Sur coast
3-4 days Yosemite National Park
3-4 days Lake Tahoe

 
Old May 17th, 2000, 07:11 AM
  #11  
Lori
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New York for the sheer diversity of it all. Washington DC, Boston, and Philadelphia for the history, Savannah for Southern hospitality, St. Louis for midwestern pride, Lake Tahoe for the beauty, and Los Angeles for the overexcessiveness of it all.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 07:12 AM
  #12  
Christie
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It has generally been my experience that Europeans are fascinated with Texas and cowboys, so a weekend on a dude ranch near San Antonio, Texas would probably be a high point with them. The most recent issue of Texas Highways magazine just had a fabulous article on dude ranches which profiled several of them. See if you can get a copy.

Also, there are many treasures in the San Antonio area itself, so a week spent in the area would be great. (Fiesta Texas theme park, riverwalk, etc.) If they could do it in March-May or September-October, the weather should cooperate!

Galveston?? Ewww....not a pretty beach at all! South Padre Island or Corpus Christi would be much better!
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 07:13 AM
  #13  
Hadley
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THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST!!! here in Oregon we have everything, Mountains, desert, beaches ,rivers, cities, farmlands and FORESTS! the kids would love it here, parents, too. Portland has a great zoo and a forestry center and mant great restaurants and shopping for the parents. Seattle is pretty great, too.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 07:40 AM
  #14  
Bill
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Someone above mentioned a dude ranch. That would be a great way to get a feel for the "old West", which Europeans seem to have a fascination for. Rather than Texas, however, I would go for Wyoming near the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Pick one that has an organized children's program so the little ones don't get bored.
Of the American cities worth seeing, I'd say: Washington, NYC, San Fran, Chicago, and maybe New Orleans (never been there, but the French factor may be a plus). Also, Disney World in Orlando is probably the ultimate mecca for every child on earth.
So, how 'bout a week in the saddle in Wyoming, 3 or 4 days in Orlando, and finish up in DC or NYC before flying home.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 07:47 AM
  #15  
Lori
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Two weeks is not enough time to "tour America" so they need to decide what interests them and focus on that area. For diversity I'd say the west coast and Rockie's would be my first choice, but frankly it depends on them. Apparently they have good jobs so their budget is probably more than adequate so going for the least expensive area is not necesarily an option in this case. They just need to define their interests (historical, national parks, the ocean, cultural activities, etc.) and decide on area from that. I'd break it down into sections - New England/NY/DC - DC/Virginia/Smokey Mountains - Florida/Gulf Coast/New Orleans - CA & coastal areas, Sierra Nevada (Tahoe) & Las Vegas - the Pacific NW - the desert Southwest (but it's going to be very hot there) - I am not leaving out the mid-west on purpose but to be honest I don't know many first time visitors to the US who decide to tour Iowa or Nebraska for example (this is not to say there are not great places to see there, people just don't choose this area normally for a first time visit.) Frankly I like getting off the beaten path and like places that tourists generally do not go to, but I understand most people want to see the "famous sights" first before venturing out into areas where there are less of them.

Just remind them that whatever area they visit it will not be typical of all the U.S. NYC is vastly different than the southwest for instance. With 4 children accompaning them of such varied ages, they have a challenge ahead of them to keep everyone amused. The older ones are not going to want to do the same things the younger ones might like. I'd go for CA - it's got something for everyone!
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 08:10 AM
  #16  
Kelly
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I would also highly recommend the south and Savannah is one of the south's lovliest towns. Tybee Island has nice beaches and is a quaint 50's southern beach town itself. If they DO go to Savannah and Tybee Island (15 mins. from downtown) be sure to have them eat at the Crab Shack (this is no franchise restaurant) but a real experience.

Sante Fe also seems like a natural choice but for kids I'm not sure.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 08:16 AM
  #17  
Adrienne
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"The Tall Ships" will be coming to Newport Rhode Island, USA. Over 50 tall ships from 14 nations. This should be spectacular. If you would like a contact person I would be glad to post you one or you can visit their website at http://www.tallshipsnewport.com

June 29-July 2, 2000
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 01:10 PM
  #18  
Steve
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New York City, San Francisco Bay area, and New Orleans are great choices. 2nd tier would be one or two national parks in the West, Charleston, Savanah, Seattle, Washington DC.

Do not go to more than three of the above if you only have two weeks.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 05:50 PM
  #19  
Catherine
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Thank you so much for all of your ideas! Some of you asked what time of year and I agree I should have specified this. The time frame these families would come and visit America would be between the last two weeks in July and the end of the month of August.
 
Old May 17th, 2000, 05:58 PM
  #20  
Show us your GenX
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American Joe: I'm assuming your post was a sarcastic poke. What's up with that? This is one of the better questions I've seen of late.
 

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