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Old 12-30-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,408 posts, read 21,967,727 times
Reputation: 33698

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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Liz View Post
Here's another Brit on another first 'Journey of Discovery' to the USA!!! I am also going late Feb for just under a month and am having similar problems to you, it's just too big a place for me to get my head around.
I am going to rent a car, get a good guide book and just go with the flow. For some reason I fancy the Florida Coastline, not necessarily Miami, the Florida Quays and I really want to go to New Orleans, but don't understand why I do, just like the sound of it! Who knows where we will end up. Exciting though isn't it?
Good pick for Florida in Feb/March, as they should have great weather. Keep in mind that "Bike Week" is around that time in Daytona Beach and while lot's of fun, it's best to get hotel reservations in advance. Might be a busy time before and after as well, with the Daytona 500 Race a couple weeks before and Spring Break starting soon after.

Florida Keys would also be a good place to check out if you go to Florida, figure a few days to meander out to Key West and back. Time it so you aren't heading south on a weekend. Islamorada is a good place to stay, many nice hotels/resorts right near the water and not as expensive as Key West. Very unique experience.

officialbikeweek.com
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
4,836 posts, read 10,207,854 times
Reputation: 2512
Spend your 3-4 days in NYC. Take a train from NYC-Philadelphia visit all visit all the famous landmarks there 2 days will be plenty IMO then take a train to Washington DC visit the national monuments, free museums which are some of the best in the world, arlington cementary, The Capitol etc.. for 2-3 days, then fly down to Miami spend 2-3 days in Miami and either drive or find a shuttle down to Key West for a day or two. Now you can either drive back up and fly out of Miami or fly out of key west but flights out of key west can be expensive. Now I do not know how much money you are willing to spend but if you dont mind spending some more money on air fare fly to Chicago spend a few days there (it will be very cold) if you dont want the cold skip Chicago and head to LA from Miami. Spend a few days in LA and San Deigo head up to San Francisco and then maybe fly from there to Boston spend a few days there and take a train back to NYC if that is where you return flight leaves from.

This is a lot of flying and traveling but this would be a great picture of the US
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Brookfield, Illinois
288 posts, read 762,186 times
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As a Chicagoan, I can put in a good word for my city, but that isn't a very nice time of year here (although we do have world-class museums and architecture). On the other hand, a lot of places that other folks suggested visiting aren't very nice in Feb/March, either. But you can make the best of it. There are some hot springs resorts in beautiful places like Colorado (for example, Glenwood Hot Springs) and great music scenes, like Austin, Texas. I would not go to Phoenix, Arizona (lived there, there's nothing to see), but Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona is worth a visit, especially if you do a road trip across the Mojave desert to California. They might even have a special wildflower display in the desert in Feb/March (the most beautiful time of year there), since they're getting more rain than usual.

Last edited by ihynes; 12-30-2009 at 09:03 PM..
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Brookfield, Illinois
288 posts, read 762,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
It's worth the effort to visit the heartland and see how people actally live in "flyover country"
you make us midwesterners sound like museum curiosities
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,578 times
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Ive decided to visit the following cites on my trip:
New York
Washington dc
New orleans
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Seattle
Chicago
Boston

I plan to see a total of nine cites. Two cites Im having trouble choosing between are miami and las vegas.
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:25 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,437,341 times
Reputation: 4849
Ok, so if you are set on those, I'd go in this order: Boston, NYC, DC, Miami, New Orleans, Chicago, Seattle, San Fran, LA. I would definitely choose Miami over Vegas any day. Vegas is like a glorified Disney for adults and my least favorite city in the US. Miami has a great culture, nice beaches, and amazing food. It will also have the best weather during that time of year! That said, if you're already in LA, it might be worth a trip to Vegas just to see it since it is very close. You can always spend your last night there and fly home from there!

Have you decided where in LA you want to go? It's such a broad term. The actual city of Los Angeles really has nothing to offer. Santa Monica is beautiful, as are most of the coastal sections. If you need more specific recs, don't hesitate to ask. I live in San Diego and go to LA pretty frequently!
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,955,004 times
Reputation: 2978
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihynes View Post
you make us midwesterners sound like museum curiosities
You'll notice that most of the suggestions are to visit places on the East, West, and South coasts because these places are easy and accessible for tourists who do not want to do a LOT of driving. I believe that the midwest is an important part of the country that is often overlooked by visitors and people who want to experience America. It's difficult for an outsider to really do much in the midwest due to the sprawl and lack of public transit outside of major cities, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't make an effort to visit a small town or two. Aside from a few local festivals, it's hard to recommend that they do anything in the Midwest other than "go and see." Sorry if that makes you think I'm being dismissive, I'm not, it's just that the midwest lifestyle is something that is lived, not something easily visited and understood like the Statue of Liberty or Smithsonian.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
4,836 posts, read 10,207,854 times
Reputation: 2512
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcdavis View Post
I plan to see a total of nine cites. Two cites Im having trouble choosing between are miami and las vegas.
This is an easy pick trust me. Vegas as others have said it just a hyped up adult disney world. If losing your money at Casinos, seeing over priced shows and a bunch of new fake looking hotels is something you want to see then go for it.
What Miami has to offer is this:
One of the most diverse cities in the world. It is a mixture of the US, Caribbean and Latin American and Europe.
World Famous Night Life
World Famous beaches that are warm enough all year to swim in. Crystal Clear warm water. No other area of the continental US has beaches like South Florida. LA beaches will be too cold to swim in.
Perfect weather that time of the year. Vegas is in a desert so nights can get cold Miami does not get cold.
Real culture, much from all over the world.
A real dense urban environment that is different from any other in the US.
Just the scene of Miami Beach is worth the visit day and night. I suggest you try to arrive into Miami so you can spend at least a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night in South Beach.

Also one more thing. When you plan your trip I do not know if you are a sports fan or not but I suggest seeing a NBA game in one of the cities. All these cities have NBA teams. However.
New York Classic Arena most famous in the US but horrible team
Washington DC: Pretty bad team and boring fans.
New orleans: Decent Team, fans are okay
Los Angeles: Best team in the NBA might be hard and expense to get tickets.
San Francisco: Okay team, a little far from San Francisco in the outter part of the area.
Chicago: Decent team, good fans.
Boston: 2nd best team in the NBA. Great fans.
Miami: One of the better teams in the NBA pretty good fans.

I suggest just asking in each city at the hotel info on the team to see if you can make a game and see where you can buy tickets. Or reasearch online at NBA.com and buy tickets in advance online.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,408 posts, read 21,967,727 times
Reputation: 33698
For a visitor to the US
Las Vegas > Miami !
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:16 AM
 
Location: MI
333 posts, read 1,098,420 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcdavis View Post
Ive decided to visit the following cites on my trip:
New York
Washington dc
New orleans
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Seattle
Chicago
Boston

I plan to see a total of nine cites. Two cites Im having trouble choosing between are miami and las vegas.
That's a pretty good list

Just be aware other than in the northeast corridor i.e. New York, Boston, Washington DC where you can take a train the rest of the country requires flights.

You never said what you are looking for but the most European cities we have are San Francisco, New York and Boston in my opinion. You can get around by public transportation and people walk around. Most of the other cities you will find are very sprawled out and you need a car within the city.

If you are coming for weather, Los Angeles, Miami.

Las Vegas just has casinos, and some entertainment shows - nothing special about the city other than a vacation spot for Americans. New Orleans if you can go around Mardi Gras would be great, I think you might be about a month early. It's differnet than most US cities so at least its unique and a smaller city.

If you could only go to two I'd say Boston and San Francisco so you migh want to allocate your time that way - there is so much to see, and enjoy in those cities - much like NYC but a different pace of life.

I like Chicago but you won't see anything unique there that you won't see in the other major cities so as I look at the geography of your trip you might want to skip it and simply go along the coasts... start in the east, go south to new orleans (or miami) and then up the west coast, LA, San Fran, Seattle. If you look at a map every other city you listed is on or very near to the coasts.
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