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Old 08-10-2017, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,441 posts, read 21,278,178 times
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There's a growing number of cities today with a developed light rail system where you don't need a car to get around, with trains waiting for you at the Airport.

Dallas has a great light rail system (DART) and get an all-day pass real cheap, trains come by every 10-15 minutes, so if find something interesting along the way, hop off, explore, wait for the next train.

You can also do that now in Denver, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and L.A. Most people don't realize how much light rail/subway L.A. has now and you don't need a car to get around. I like to take the earliest flight out of Las Vegas to L.A., take the latest flight back home at 10:20pm, and ride the rails all day, and museum hopping.

Las Vegas, sadly, only has the Deuce Bus on the Strip to get between places, but no rail line going down the Strip. And the Monorail is very limited.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:36 PM
 
Location: North Taxolina
1,008 posts, read 926,053 times
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I'd suggest to go to Google Flights to get a good overview of what tickets are available from your nearest airport. There could be some surprising destinations you haven't thought of.

I go to Vegas for a conference each year and IMHO it has become quite crowded. Restaurants are outrageously expensive. There are good deals on the hotels though. I very much recommend using HotWire for that.

Asheville is not worth the trip IMHO unless you want to see Biltmore and surrounding mountains. Pretty much any major city would fit in your criteria though. I'd also mention Atlanta, which has great food scene and many attractions.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,134 posts, read 23,037,051 times
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San Francisco would be nice and cool. I live in the SF Bay Area, grew up here, moved away and came back. I love to go to SF, but hate driving there.

I like to get on the tourist buses that take you around, and I really love the cruises on the bay. The city is beautiful from the water. You can get on the little charter cruise boats, let them wine and dine you, and view the city from the water. They take you by Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate bridge. Really fun.

Here are some examples on Trip Advisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...alifornia.html

I like taking the electrified cable car tours that take you around so you can see all of the different neighborhoods - China Town, Japan Town, the Russian area, etc., etc.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...alifornia.html

Lots to do. And if you aren't into the tour bus thing, just figure out where you want to eat, or what show you want to see, etc., and call Uber or Lyft or a taxi, etc.

A show that's been going on forever, and they change the show to reflect current events, is called Beach Blanket Babylon. It's a hoot. They're known for wearing huge hats.

https://www.beachblanketbabylon.com/

My first thought when I read your OP was New Orleans! But, it would be hot. You could have just as much fun in SF and it would be cool.

Enjoy your vacation. Turn off your phones :-)
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:57 AM
 
7,360 posts, read 4,473,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
Well, we just want a quick trip to get out of the house for a few days. We live near Austin, TX. We prefer a flight under 2-3 hours.


=
Or, maybe.....not for now. Perhaps schedule a "trip home" to MSU around the Fall, when the weather is cool. The pacing item is boarding the cats, they book up way in advance. I would never trust a pet sitter again.
OP, it sounds to me like you are a little homesick. I've lived "away" from where I grew up for over 30 years and every now and then, when my life seems out of control and frantic (or just plain boring), a good quick dose of "home" where people think and talk like me cures whatever ails me.

If that's the case, book a flight to Michigan. If you want something a little different, how about heading to Ann Arbor for the weekend? Yes, I know that you're an MSU alum, but that would give you both a taste of "home" and something new/different to experience. There are some great restaurants in Ann Arbor and lots of fun events and things to do there most weekends, and you can also do a nice side road trip drive out of Ann Arbor to get more of the "back home" feel, should you so desire. Or, land in Detroit, do a quick stop at MSU and then head to the Upper Peninsula for a few days. That will still give you a dose of "home" yet also a change of scenery and pace from Texas.

All the other places mentioned sound great too, but speaking from personal experience, there have just been times in my life when I needed to touch the ground back home in order to get grounded.

I don't know you, of course, so I could be totally wrong, but the fact that you've mentioned going "home" a couple of times in this thread suggests to me that you should follow that longing.

Las Vegas, San Francisco, etc. can wait for the next trip, after you've satisfied that longing for a taste of home.

Whatever you decide, happy travels!

Last edited by RosieSD; 08-11-2017 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:05 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,677 posts, read 40,039,994 times
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For short trips... we are often following a 'theme'
  1. Quilt shows (did 13 shows in 6 states a few weeks ago)
  2. Hot Spring Pools / SPAs (several in a select region for a long weekend)
  3. Antique / swap meets
  4. Wild Game / Harvest festivals
  5. Themed annual events (Valentine's Day in Loveland... (previous home)) Flower / garden shows
  6. Volunteering during farm harvests
  7. Wine processing (great time to go to Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal! (And several USA regions)
  8. Fruit Season,
  9. BBQ parties / Chili Cook-offs
  10. Christmas Events (Germany / Austria / Switzerland) and ethnic places in USA
  11. Hot Air Balloon events (Such as ABQ Fiesta (a great time of yr to see NM aspen colors north of ABQ))
  12. Craft / fine skill competitions and shows (Handmade furniture / pottery / fiber arts / glass / recycle art...)
Name your interest... Pursue it! take a variety of trips.

On our one yr RTW, we focused on finding Botanical Gardens in Full Bloom!
ChristChurch, Singapore, Dublin were our usual favorites, but we found SO many more (often several daily!)

Tulips were great too, and mtns full of Hibiscus and Rhododendrons.

great adventures to be had.

Following the "Sheep Shearing crews" in NZ, Australia, Wales, Scotland and Ireland added a lot to our trip (Since we stayed on farms, and were willing to 'get dirty' ! milking, herding, building fence, cleaning barns, picking fruit, chasing 'escapee' livestock!, butchering... driving Combines, Swathers, grain and hay trucks. Harvest should be in full swing in Southern Canada at the moment. It is REALLY fun!!! (and very long and tough days, but the food!!!! OH the harvest crew FOOD!!!

Almost forget this weekend's events...
Annual Meteor Shower This yr in UT, usually in WY)
What are the Perseids anyway?

Active from July 17 to August 24, the Perseids are particles released from a comet named 109P/Swift-Tuttle, flying off its tail as it journeys deep into the inner solar system.

Every year, the best time to watch the shower of particles is August 12 or 13. In a normal year you might see 50-75 meteors per hour in a rural location.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 08-11-2017 at 03:24 AM..
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:40 AM
 
6,662 posts, read 2,404,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
Well, we just want a quick trip to get out of the house for a few days. We live near Austin, TX. We prefer a flight under 2-3 hours.


Our idea of fun is night life, restaurants, scenery, not too crowded, but not isolated.


Sounds like Las Vegas mid-week.... or, maybe, I've wanted to go "home" back to Michigan, for awhile. All my family is gone and friends are scattered. I wouldn't go near Detroit, where I'm from. I've considered using E Lansing as my base, since I went to MSU, then just drive around from there. But, I know, I'm not keen on a driving vacation.


I'm starting to think perhaps San Francisco. We could stay in a hotel near, but not actually in, the tourist areas, and just check things out.


Or, maybe.....not for now. Perhaps schedule a "trip home" to MSU around the Fall, when the weather is cool. The pacing item is boarding the cats, they book up way in advance. I would never trust a pet sitter again.

How about New Orleans? It'll be hot and muggy, but maybe you're already used to that. You could time your trip around one of the music festivals.


Or, you could go to San Diego maybe. Excellent food, lots of things to do and see, beautiful weather.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:44 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,677 posts, read 40,039,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
...
Or, you could go to San Diego maybe. Excellent food, lots of things to do and see, beautiful weather.
a great airport (downtown / Waterfront) / city to visit for a short trip and not require a car.

Buses, walking / Trains (along coast)

good choice and CHEAP to get to from LAS or PHX (sometimes under $40)
Spirit was offering direct Flights PDX to SAN for $19.90 (2.2hrs direct flight) Down at 5 AM, home at midnight! No need for bags / hotel. I took MANY of those flights for 'sun-escapes'.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,098 posts, read 19,059,396 times
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Stealth Rabbit- read the OP. They live in Austin, want a domestic location, no more than a 3 hour flight and are only doing a 3-4 day trip.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:58 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,677 posts, read 40,039,994 times
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I too live in AUS, so most of these recommendations are within 3 hrs (including SAN),

Sometimes there are readers who are not the OP, but have similar interests to the subject matter. (occasionally, probably not often)

It is possible and sometimes necessary to do short international trips... you can be anywhere in the world in 24 hrs (usually 12 - 14hrs for the LONG hauls) Weds fares are as low as $300 RT to international destinations that make great weekend trips (Tokyo, Hong Kong, Amsterdam...)

Since I take short trips nearly every weekend (and have for 40+ yrs), I have a few ideas / experiences and lessons learned the hard way.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:45 AM
 
Location: East Coast
3,204 posts, read 1,918,903 times
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I think you're on track with SFO. You could stay in the city or you could go to Napa/Sonoma, too if you want. Great food, beautiful scenery. I love that city. If you've never been, I think you MUST GO.

So, my vote, hands down is San Francisco.
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