A big 3 weeks US trip in 2011

Discussion in 'Hobby/Travel Forum' started by Spear, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Spear

    Spear
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    Hi,

    My wife and me, are planning to visit USA with the kids (or at least a part of USA as it is a huge country) in 2011, and we started to write down the place we WANT to see :).

    I'll leave a little idea of an " ideal tour " in our minds, we'll miss many many things, but we have to make choices, please tell us if it can be made in 3 weeks, in reasonably good conditions, driving, and taking a plane from one point to another if necessary.

    Here is the basical idea, without taking distances in consideration, for 3 weeks :

    Trip idea :
    Landing at : LA (visit) -> San Francisco (visit) -> Grand Canyon (visit) -> Taking off from Las Vegas -> Landing at New Orleans (visit) -> Miami (visit) -> New-York (visit), Washington (visit), Niagara falls from canadian side (visit). Trip over : tired.

    Required :
    My wife absolutly wants to visit the Grand Canyon.
    I absolutly want to visit New York.
    We both ABSOLUTLY want to go to Louisiana (Louisiana is our 1ST desired destination in USA to be honest).

    Optional :
    I fear it might be too much for 3 weeks, so IF NECESSARY, (but sadly :() we can remove Miami and fly from New Orleans to Washington.

    I realize it's a very big trip.

    The things i require your help with :
    - How long does it take to drive from there to there (ie, from New Orleans to Miami, and the to New York ? Can we take a train to go faster ?).
    - What would be an honest amount of time spent at different places ? (I mean, the aim is not to say " I was there " but without visiting anything) ie : Grand Canyon can be made in 1 day ? More ?

    Of course, i don't know much about USA, if you have better propositions, please do, or places we absolutly must visit !

    Thanks !
     
  2. Johnv

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    If you're coming into Los Angeles, I suggest a day at Disneyland in Anaheim, or at least a few hours at Hollywood and Highland (home of Grauman's Chinese Theater).

    A drive from the LA area to the San Francisco area takes approximately 8 hours. I suggest staying in Oakland rather then SF proper. Lodging rates are considerably less expensive in Oakland.
     
  3. Spear

    Spear
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    Thanks :) *taking notes*
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Not a whole lot in Miami other than South Beach and fishing. Considering the cost to get there it is not worth your time. If you want to come to Florida visit the Central Florida area eg Orlando where you can visit both Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, Busch Gardens, Daytona Beach all within a short drive.
     
  5. annsni

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    Disney in Orlando FL to NY is about 18 hours or so. There IS Amtrack that has a nice service from Florida to Washington DC to NY so I'd recommend that unless you want to stop a few places on the way to NY.
     
  6. Spear

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    Thanks for the advices, Revmitchell and Anne ! We won't go to Disney parc (We have Eurodisney in Paris, it might be close). The Hollywood parc idea, why not :) ! I purposed my wife to go to some country bar in Nashville, but she said " no " :( ... i purposed Elvis house, she said " no ".

    There must be some typical things to see in Florida, no ?
    OH ! I'd be VERY interested in visiting a museum about Secession war, is there one that's among the other in the country ?
     
  7. abcgrad94

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    I'm with revmitch about Miami. Unless you have family there you wish to see, I'd say Miami wouldn't be worth the trip.
     
  8. Johnv

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    I suggest that if you're going to be anywhere near the Orlando area, I highly suggest spending at least a few days on Disney property. Disneyland Paris doesn't remotely compare to the four Disney theme parks in Orlando. I would at least suggest Disney's Animal Kingdom if your time is limited.

    I'm somewhat of a Disney Park entusiast. I live near Disneyland in Anaheim, and have am a Disney Vacation Club owner in Orlando. I'm in Orlando about once a year.
     
  9. just-want-peace

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    If by Secession war, you mean the war of northern aggression that Lincoln started against the south, you should stop by the "CYCLORAMA" in Atlanta.

    It may be just because I was born and bred "southern", but that display was a very moving experience and the fact of so much "brother against brother" violence in that senseless & un-necessary war really ripped my heart out.:tear:
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    What do you mean by typical?
     
  11. Spear

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    Yes ! In french we call it " Guerre de S├ęcession ", and its native name is " Civil War ". I write this one down ! I write the Disney animals too ! And removed Miami, which, in a way, makes things a little easier.

    I think we could, then, schedule 1 week in the west, LA, San Francisco, and the great Canyon, then flying to Louisiana for let's say ... 5 days and wander around, and then the 9 past days to make our way to the north-eastern coast, New York, Washington, Niagara Falls ....

    I see this as a " recognition " travel, visiting all the " famous places " (i know, many will miss) so that the next time we can visit different areas, from the north to the south.

    How much would you expect for :

    - 1 average meal (not sophisticated, some " common food " everyone eats over there at lunch while at work, or in family when you want to go out).

    - I've checked from here what we can find from France, and a one of our companies holds some little hotels over there called Motel 6, which don't seem to be very expensive, is that kind of hotel of good quality in USA ? Did you hear about these ?
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    They are clean and well kept but very basic.
     
  13. Spear

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    How can i say ... historical ? Some things truly tied to the people from Florida, about their history, way of living, things they've built, their favorite meals, important places, ... :)

    All i know about Florida is the Art quarter around Palm Beach, and that Florida produces much Orange Juice :)
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    St.Augustine Florida has quite a bit and the local income is tied up in things like old forts and jails, the fountain of youth etc. You can easily drive from Orlando to and from and see the sites in one day. Most of that history is tied up in the spanish occupation of Florida.
     
    #14 Revmitchell, Oct 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2009
  15. Spear

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    Oh, i've learned one thing by checking a website about the Civil war. It is written that in french manuals, we use " Guerre de S├ęcession ", but than in USA, you use " Civil War "; because the " Secession " and creation of the Confederation was never recognized by the Northern Union states. Interesting ! See, even when trying to plan far (in time and distance) holidays, you learn important things :)
     
  16. Spear

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    Oh St Augustine :) I remember that name when i played the old game Pirates ! (if some know about it). That's great ! Thanks for the info :)
     
  17. Revmitchell

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  18. Crabtownboy

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    Sounds like a great trip. Personally I do not care much for Miami.

    On the Grand Canyon, I like the north rim better than the south rim. It is 1000 feet higher and not overrun with tourists. It is a bit more difficult to get to, but to me it is worth the effort.

    If you have time rent a car and drive California Rout 1 through the Big Sur. You would go north if you are driving from LA or south if you are in SF.

    You can save quite a bit of money by stopping at grocery stores and purchasing food. Many have Deli's and will make good sandwiches for you. They also have good salads. Another option is to buy bread and sliced mean and cheese and make your own sandwich ... stay away from American White Bread ... it is an abomination before the Lord in my opinion. Usually you can buy a decent loaf of bread, especially if the grocery store has a bakery. They will slice the specialty bread for you on their machine.
     
    #18 Crabtownboy, Oct 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2009
  19. abcgrad94

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    Spear, if you want to save some money, here's a few tips that may help you:

    Find a motel that has a refrigerator and microwave in your motel room. Also, see if you can find motels that serve a continental breakfast. Holiday Inn is a good motel chain that usually has breakfast and many times, the option of the fridge and microwave. This will save you on food. You will find that in the USA, our restaurants serve much larger meal portions than in Europe. It is perfectly acceptable here to ask your waiter for a "doggie bag" or "to-go box" to take your leftover food home with you. You can take this back to your room and put in the small refrigerator and microwave it later for another meal. My European friends tell me taking home leftovers is frowned on over there, but here it is very common and even expected. Expect to tip your waiter 15% of your total bill. We usually do not tip at fast food restaurants, or at cheap motels like the ones mentioned so far in this thread.

    You will find that the bigger the tourist attraction, the more money you will be charged, especially for food or water. For example, a normal restaurant might charge between $1-$3 for a hamburger, but at a theme park you might pay $5 for the same burger. If possible, schedule your meals around the times you will be in tourist areas and buy food from local grocery stores instead of eating at restaurants.

    Crabby is right about our white bread. I suggest you swing by West Virginia and I'll gladly give you a loaf of my homemade bread that I sell at our local farmers' market!:laugh:

    I have good friends in France, so if I think of any other tips, I'll add them to this thread.
     
  20. Spear

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    THANK YOU :)

    It brings much to my preparation ! :)

    :thumbsup:
     

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