One month in America...where to start?

Mar 13th, 2002, 02:12 PM
  #1  
Sheila
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One month in America...where to start?

We are Aussies who have done alot of travel, but mostly through Europe.

My husband has always been very interested in a holiday to America.

To me it seems tooo enormous to even contemplate. There is so much to see and so much variety, you cant see everything, how do you narrow it down and decide where to go?

If we had one month to hire a car and drive/fly, what suggestions could you make?
Sheila
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 02:29 PM
  #2  
Anna
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That's a tough one to answer. Why not narrow it down by choosing a number of states that you've been interested in seeing and spending one week in each? That would give you four states to visit. If you chose one in each part of the U.S., you could get a good regional blend of the country.

Or you could focus on a number of cities and plan your itinerary around those?

Without having any more information about your interests, it's tough to help more. I've been told by some friends from France that the national parks in the western and southwestern U.S. (Yosemite, Grand Canyon) are not to be missed. California and Florida are always favorites, New York tops the list as well.

Perhaps you could pick up a copy of Conde Nast's Top Cities list or a good travelbook for the states and read up on each. I've also always used iexplore.com as a starting point for my research. Looks like that site separates the U.S. into 6 regions and gives a listing of favorites, although, be careful since that site is designed more for marketing of their travel products rather than giving you a nonbiased overview of the country.

Hope this helps!
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 02:32 PM
  #3  
xxx
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questions: what time of year are you coming? what do you like to do - city dwellers, hikers, beaches, night life, cultural? give us some idea.
start off by eliminating places that are similar to your home or your previous travels. san diego is a GREAT city but probably similar to some in australia.
some suggestions i'd make that are unique are some of our national parks, yosemite, yellowstone, grand canryon, bryce. las vegas is i such a unique experience, i'd work that into the plans. new orleans is rather interesting and a lot of the southern states have a different type of life style.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 02:33 PM
  #4  
xxx
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if you haven't travelled canada and IF money is an issue, you may want to consider that. the canadian dollar and aussie dollar are much closer in value then the aussie/us
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 02:37 PM
  #5  
Clark
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NYC, Grand Canyon, Hawaii, Alaska. Glacier National Park, San Francisco My picks.

Alot of foreign tourist love New Orleans

Many Aussie tourists have told me they feel most at home in California. Not a resident just what I have been told.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 05:34 PM
  #6  
Paul Rabe
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How to whittle it down:

1) Decide what you are hoping to experience while here. Scenery? Museums? Cultural and ethnic diversity? Grand cities? Nightlife? History?

2) What time of the year are you planning to visit? Yellowstone is a glorious place to go to, but NOT in January! Likewise the Grand Canyon, but NOT in August!

3) Once you've chosen the above two, you must decide if you'll do better in the East or the West. Don't try to see both; there's simply too much.

For us to help us, you must decide (2), and then inform us of (1) and (2). We can then let you know whether the East or the West would be a better choice, and what one should see in either location. From there you can begin to make an itinerary When you have trouble deciding between specific places (Yosemite or Yellowstone? Philadelphia or Baltimore?), we can give our opinions on what to not miss and what to skip.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 07:07 PM
  #7  
charles
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I guess I'll way in with the rest. Do you like Cities, or natural beauty? A lot of europeans are more taken with the natural beauty, but coming from a country with a lot of that you might be more interested in cities? And what time of year can you come, and what kind of weather is important to you? We have more climactic variation than Australia, so this might be meaningful.

I think as a practical matter you will want to break your trip into either the east or west coast. Vast generalizations, but the west offers more natural beauty and will seem more like Australia, and the east has more urbanity and culture and will seem more like Europe.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 07:22 PM
  #8  
John
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1. The Southwest, meaning NE Arizona/SE Utah area

2. Coastal California

3. New York City
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 09:21 PM
  #9  
abc
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I would fly to California, see San Francisco and Las Vegas from the cities and visit a few national parks (about 3 weeks). Then fly to Washington DC spend a couple of days there and go up to NYC.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 09:45 PM
  #10  
xxx
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Ignore the stupid comment about the Canadian dollar. Yes you'll get a lot more Canadian dollars than US dollars for your money, but everything costs the same percentage more, so it comes out even. A $60 hotel in the US will cost $100 in Canada, so it is really the same amount of money. A 3 dollar latte in the US will probably cost you about 4.50 in Canada -- get my point?
 
Mar 14th, 2002, 02:31 AM
  #11  
Stephanie P.
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Shiela:

I'd say don't spend all your time in big cities and don't think all of America is like NYC. I'd definitely tell you to see all the West sites like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Arizona. There is alot of American Indian history and artifacts in that area and you'd probably not see the same in Australia. My advice to you might be to rent a car and pick maybe the Southeast and Northeast or the West and mid-west and then do some homework and find key places and things to do. Since it is all new to you, everything should be interesting.

 
Mar 14th, 2002, 02:49 AM
  #12  
BTilke
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I hope you plan to stray from the typical NY-San Francisco-Las Vegas-Disney World--itinerary that a lot of Europeans follow but doesn't really give you a sense of the U.S. I would suggest (in no particular order): Chicago (!!); Savannah OR Charleston; NYC; Vancouver, BC; Portland, OR, with a side trip to Cannon Beach on the coast; Glacier NP in Montana or the Northern Cascades in WA State. I guess you have to visit California, so would suggest Monterey or Santa Barbara rather than LA or SF.
 
Mar 14th, 2002, 03:09 AM
  #13  
Ellen
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You've gotten some good advice so far -- think about the types of experience you want, or what you want a mix of (scenery, cities, history, adventure, etc.) and pick about 4 places to focus on.

However, I disagree with the posters who say you should concentrate on one geograhic area and that you can't experience both coasts. After that long haul from Oz, a single cross-country flight (e.g., from New York to Seattle or LA) isn't going to seem like much!

One possible itinerary would be to start in Washington, DC, check out the Smithsonian, monuments, and some US history, then drive around to some of hte scenic stuff, plantations, Monticello etc. in Virginia, then drive up to NYC (the only place I'd list as a can't-miss). After a few days in NYC, fly to the west coast for another tour for the other two weeks.
 
Mar 23rd, 2002, 05:57 PM
  #14  
Tim
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Sheila,

Since I am a California resident, I can give you a few pointers on what to see in the West. In terms of cities to visit in Caifornia (Los Angeles and San Diego in the South and San Jose, Monterey/Carmel, and Napa/Sonoma in the North.) Monterey and Carmel(www.monterey.com) offer some of the best coastal scenery California has to offer. San Jose (www.sanjose.org) is mostly known as the Capital of Silicon Valley. But as the largest city in Northern California, it is a cosmopolitan city with museums, performing arts, great restaurants, and parks. If you head north to the Napa Wine Country you could also stop in San Francisco on your way. However, in recent years San Francisco has become somewhat rundown with the many homeless begging for money on the streets. I would also suggest Lake Tahoe (www.laketahoe.com) for some great scenery as well. The Lake is partially in the states of California and Nevada. From Napa you can drive through Sacramento (the state capital) to Lake Tahoe. The surrounding Sierra Mountains are very scenic.
 
Mar 23rd, 2002, 08:31 PM
  #15  
Micki
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If I were you I would try and get a real flavor of America. Because America is so large you should narrow your choices by researching what would give you the most "bang for the buck". Off the top of my head I come up with: New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Dallas or Houston, Texas, Atlanta or Savannah, Georgia, and a National Park or two. You could combine Yosemite with San Francisco. Maybe throw in some place in Florida like the Keys or Destin. I know I've left out the MidWest but that's where I'm from and, well.. I just can't think of anyplace to recommend. Take each destination and then decide what are the "must sees". You know, now that I really think about it, there's just too much to see in a month. I haven't even mentioned the East coast with places such as Boston. Or, Chicago, Philedephia, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Seattle, Big Sur, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, or Utah. Oh, and I almost forgot - Louisianna. You've got to go to the "Big Easy". It's like asking the question, "We only have a month, where in Europe/Asia should we spend it? Well, maybe it's not exactly like that but you get the idea. Good Luck and have a great trip.
 

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