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Old 12-30-2007, 06:11 AM
 
Location: London
50 posts, read 160,269 times
Reputation: 18

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We are just beginning to plan our first ever trip to USA. We live in London, England. Friends have just bought a house in Village Walk, Sarasota and we will be going in July/August to stay. I have never been out of Europe before and have really wanted to visit America for some time. I think it will be hot and humid, will this be a problem?
Can anyone advise what we should definitely see while we are there.
Also we had thought it might be possible to travel to anotherplace during our visit, even taking an internal flight, to maybe see another city. It is a long way from England and I don't know if we will be able to visit again. What place would be a contrast or will show us what America is all about. I had thought of Charlston, Birmingham, New Orleans. Is this a crazy idea? Any suggestions appreciated to make the most of the visit.
Many Thanks
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:36 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 32,108,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Brit View Post
We are just beginning to plan our first ever trip to USA. We live in London, England. Friends have just bought a house in Village Walk, Sarasota and we will be going in July/August to stay. I have never been out of Europe before and have really wanted to visit America for some time. I think it will be hot and humid, will this be a problem?
Can anyone advise what we should definitely see while we are there.
Also we had thought it might be possible to travel to anotherplace during our visit, even taking an internal flight, to maybe see another city. It is a long way from England and I don't know if we will be able to visit again. What place would be a contrast or will show us what America is all about. I had thought of Charlston, Birmingham, New Orleans. Is this a crazy idea? Any suggestions appreciated to make the most of the visit.
Many Thanks
Hi Brit, how exciting this must be for you. Will your time be limited or can you work around that? I'll let the Floridians suggest the "must see" things there, but wanted to offer a suggestion as another place to see. You may want to check out a state like Colorado. It is a huge contrast from Fla. and if you love mountains and streams, etc., you'll love going there.
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:44 AM
 
Location: London
50 posts, read 160,269 times
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Hi, thanks for reply. Yes I am very excited. America is such a big and important country and we see it every single day on the television in news programmes, films, sit-coms etc. It is fantastic to have a chance to visit. I have not finalised the flights and I think I will be there 3 weeks in total. I wanted to do more than just 'lie on a beach' as I could do that in Spain or Portugal.
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 10,015,542 times
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The beach is a must and in Florida you'll have your pick of beaches. You might want to see the manatees up in Citrus County, Busch Gardens in Tampa, and Sea World. I would definitely go to Orlando/Disney because it is incredible and so representative of Americana.

I'd also go to Tennessee and see the Great Smoky Mountains, Cade's Cove, etc. If you're into country music you could check out The Grand Olde Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. I'm trying to keep you on the eastern part of the US so you won't spend a lot of time enroute.

If you want to travel greater distances, I'd suggest The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Bryce Canyon, the California redwoods, and Mount Rushmore. You can't go wrong with any of our National Parks because they are incredible.

Washington, DC is a great city to visit and most of the sites are free!

It's hard to pick just a few things to see because our country is so vast. I hope this helps a little and welcome!
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:03 AM
 
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I'm also from London and have lived in Tampa for 21 years. Yes, it will be hot and humid! July and August are the peak of the summer rainy season with heavy thundershowers most afternoons. Late August also happens to be the peak of the hurricane season but don't worry unduly, the last couple of years have been quiet. Just make sure you catch a forecast daily so you get advance warning of any nasties.

You'll know already about Florida's major manmade attractions, but for something different try Bok Tower. I'd recommend seeing some natural attractions too e.g. Myakka River state park, Wekiwa Springs State Park, Sanibel/Captiva, Everglades (mosquitoes will be bad but you'll see alligators) etc. You can check all these out on the internet.

Out of state our favourite is the North Carolina mountains (look up Blue Ridge Parkway) but the scope is endless. Fares between major cities and Tampa are reasonable especially if you book early, so you might consider Washington D.C. which has great museums as well as the obvious sights.

Enjoy your visit!
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:53 AM
 
Location: London
50 posts, read 160,269 times
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I hadn't considered the hurricanes. I guess this could be a problem. North Carolina looks good, and Washington and they are not too long on the plane. Thank you all for suggestions.
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:48 PM
 
Location: England
101 posts, read 408,904 times
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From one 'Brit' to another, I also think it is worth doing a detour to North Carolina and you will see a totally different part of the USA. Maybe finish your holiday with a few days there and drive up through the Blue Ridge mountains. Believe me, the views will take your breath away. You could get a flight from Fl. to Charlotte NC, drive for a few days, taking in Asheville and some of the mountain towns and finish up in the Raleigh/Durham area where it is a shorter flight home.

We have stayed in the Sarasota/Bradenton area many times, and I'm sure you will love it. Be sure to do a trip to Disney while you're there. Maybe stay a couple of nights in Orlando - (might be worth getting over to Fl. first then keeping an eye on the weather forecast before booking that.) You should be able to get a good last minute deal on hotels near Disney.
Please feel free to send me a dm if you would like any helpful advice on shopping, places to stay, dining etc.
Have fun with your planning!
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Old 12-30-2007, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
39 posts, read 57,609 times
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Welcome to the US! I agree with redstephie about the idea of North Carolina, especially the Asheville area (you could check out the Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as do some hiking). Anywhere in the South will be hot and very humid during July and August. New Orleans would be worth putting up with the weather. But it's really more of an adult enjoyment; I'm not sure if it would work so well if you have children with you. If you do Disney, get an "unofficial" guide to the various Disney Parks. We have used the most popular unofficial guide for several visits and it has saved us a lot of time waiting in lines for the attractions. Assuming you stick to the east coast, why not do New York? As you probably can imagine, due to the size of our country there is no one area that can show you what America is all about. It's like a quilt of many fabrics. I hope you will have as wonderful a time in our country as my husband and I had in our first visit to London. If we are lucky, we'll be able to see more of your country some day!
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:11 PM
 
Location: London
50 posts, read 160,269 times
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Great suggestions. It is certainly difficult to truly comprehend the size of the USA compared to the UK; where you could drive from top to bottom in little more than a day. Three weeks is no time at all to get a feel of America I agree but we are surely very excited. The children are 15 and 17 and so would be interested in anything historical and cultural as well as the more entertaining pastimes. Thank you for all the help.
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 10,791,166 times
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I would actually suggest possibly doing something drastically different than Sarasota for your side trip, such as going up to NYC. That way you could really see some of the variety that the US has to offer.
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