Travel Advice to USA really appreciated


May 7th, 2006, 01:39 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 11
Travel Advice to USA really appreciated

Hi there,

I am an Aussi that will be travelling to the US/Canada for the first time this October and would really appreciate some advice. I will have approximately 4 weeks (I wish I had more!)to spend. After reading through books and travel guides on the US, I am still finding it so difficult to limit the places to visit.

I intend on flying within the continent as I have a maximum of 5 stop-overs as part of the airline package. If time would permit I wouldn't mind some driving as well.... Attractions of a 'big city' appeal to me, however I also like great scenic attractions as well. Being I bit of a foodie, restuarants and markets appeal too.

So how does this sketch fare? Do you have any other suggestions?

Montreal (3 nights)
Quebec (3 nights)
Boston (3 nights)
New York (8 nights)
Las Vagas (2 nights)

Ben_Travelling is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 08:41 AM
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Personally, I would skip Montreal and go to Toronto instead. You don't really need two French-Canadian cities. Montreal is a big, relatively busy city with wonderful restaurants where they speak French and can be huffy about speaking English. Toronto is a big multi-ethnic city where they speak at least a variety of English. It also has better (your opinion may vary) museums and wonderful restaurants. Quebec is a small city, far more like Europe than Montreal for my money (again, your mileage may vary), where they speak French but where because their main business is tourism, they also speak English and don't have an attitude about doing so. They also have lots of good food.

I am assuming that you are arriving somewhere on the West Coast and can stop over there. Either LA or San Francisco is not to be missed.
Ackislander is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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Just a couple thoughts:
1.Eight days in NY is a big chunk of your
time.The first time I went to NYC I
took one of the tour buses and amazingly
covered a huge amount of territory in
a short period including Wall Street,
Statue of Liberty,Chinatown, Little Italy and much more.Then you can go back
and explore selected spots on your own.
I hope you get to see a Broadway show..the day of the performance tickets go for half price.Top tier talent.
2. Yes, you can miss Los Angeles and
nothing horrible will happen to you.
In fact,I recommend it.
3.Now, San Francisco...there's a city
not to miss.Drive the coast south to
Montery and Big Sur.
4.Las Vegas? well, OK, if you must.
5. Canada...i would hit Montreal and
skip Quebec. In three trips to
Montreal, I've never had one language
barrier encounter.(Quebec is a different
story--beautiful city but lots of
French-speaking only citizens.Either that or they pretended not to speak it
when they figured out we were American!)
6.Chicago is one place to definitely
7.If you really want to see a spectacular place to tell the folks
back home about, consider Alaska!
schoong324 is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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I agree that your first 4 cities don't give you much diversity of experience: Two French-Canadian cities, and two older Northeastern cities. I'm very fond of NYC and Boston myself, but you could spend your month in and around those 5 places and not have seen 99 percent of what the US and Canada are all about. Drop Boston and add Denver, for instance.
Anonymous is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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I agree, you can see NYC very well in 2 days.. you must see some of the American West - Denver if you must do a city/fly but what about Montana, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City. Grant Tetons etc. VERY MUCH worth the detour and time to see a western national park
elmom is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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I love NYC, but 8 days there, when you are trying to get the 'flavor' of the USA is too much.

I'm a former LV naysayer, but have come to appreciate it for what it is (someplace like absolutely nowhere else!), and to understand its appeal to overseas visitors. But, why not take a couple of those NY days, tack them on to the Vegas portion and get in a car to see the Grand Canyon or some of the Utah National Parks.

Also, the itinerary you sketched out is for 19 I take it you are looking for suggestions to fill in the extra days?

Re the Chicago suggestion - it's a great town, but cities can be very tiring to explore (my opinion) so I think your city-city-city itinerary will get a little 'old.' And the USA has so much more to offer beyond its fabulous cities.
tuckerdc is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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Ben_Travelling, so glad that you will be visiting us. I hope that you can make a little time in your itinerary to visit us in Chicago because many consider it to be the most American of all the metropolises (or is that metropoli?) Besides October is one of our loveliest months weatherwise, especially if you are coming at the early-mid part. And-to toot our horn a little-Chicago does happen to have a lot of choices for foodies - from the world renown Charlie Trotter's, Tru, Alinea, Avenues, Everest and Spiaggia - to Hot Doug's, making a big name in encased meat haute cuisine.

My #1 recommendation to you is that, whatever else you do or wherever you go, PLEASE make some time to go to the Grand Canyon. Without a doubt, I believe that would be a highlight of your trip here. I know that you must have seen photos of it, but - believe me - they just don't do the GC justice in the least. In fact, if you are not totally in awe of it at first sight, I would be truly astounded.

You can take tours, drive or fly from Las Vegas out to the GC, so if you could arrange 2 days to be added there, I think you would be doing yourself a big favor. If you do go, you might want to stay overnight to watch the sunset or sunrise.

I also agree that 8 days in NYC is a bit much. However, if you were to spend 3 or 4 there, you could always take a side trip to Washington DC via AMTRAK, for example, for 2-3 days. I seem to remember it's about 3-3.5 hours by train from NYC to DC, if my memory isn't faulty. If you are interested in this and do go to Washington DC, there is another sidetrip from DC which I would recommend - Mount Vernon (plantation home of George Washington). You can either take a tour or drive there from DC--it's very close. I happened to take a tour myself - went through Alexandria and then onto Mount Vernon for several hours. I started out in the early morning and was back by 1 pm; however, if you drive, you aren't limited in time. Personally, I wished I had another hour or so at Mount Vernon, but I was well pleased with the tour I took.

You could also take a train from Boston to NYC, if you are running out of stop-overs on your flight package. It will probably be about 4-4.5 hours via train. You could always fly but with the commute out to the airport and check-in time, I'm not sure how much you'd be saving altogether.

If you were wishing to forego one of the Canadian locations (sorry folks!), I would recommend something like this:

Fly into US through San Francisco (I also agree on SF instead of LA) - spend 3 or better 4 days there due to jet lag.

2 Days Montreal (or Toronto)

3 Days Boston

2 or 3 Days NYC - then side trip via train to:

3 Days Washington DC (2 if you don't include Mount Vernon)- back to:

1 or 2 Days NYC

2 or 3 Days Chicago (Hopefully!) Yes?

2 Days Las Vegas - side trip to:

2 Days Grand Canyon - back to Las Vegas

Return to SF for trip home.

Actually, this is only about 3.5 actual weeks of time at the destination themselves, depending on how you want to split it up, but the travel time will eat into the schedule.

Hope this gives you something to consider! Happy Trails to You!
exiledprincess is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 11:31 AM
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Good advice all, but come to Colonial Mexico for a real treat in Oct.
M (TA SMdA, Gto.)
mikemo is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Sounds like this itinerary has already been revised (for the better in my opinion) on your other thread, to include more of the west coast USA.
suze is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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I'd skip Denver and visit San Francisco and add the Grand Canyon and/or the Utah parks to your Vegas itinerary. The west is a must see.
wtm003 is offline  
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May 7th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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I wish foreigners didn't have the need or want to visit any major cities in the USA when they first come visit. The best part of the USA is the stuff in the middle, driving old rural routes, roadside attractions, old time grocery/gas stations, antiquing and factory tours of items that are still made in America while viewing the most spectacular scenery in the world.
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