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Old 05-15-2010, 11:09 PM
 
94 posts, read 251,840 times
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Leaving from Pittsburgh to Chicago to visit family. From Chicago, driving down to St. Louis to hang out for a bit, then continue all the way till I-70 ends. and then, I will take I-15 through Las Vegas, and my final destination is Los Angeles.

What are the can't miss spots for food/entertainment,etc? What are some general things I ought to keep an eye on?
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:18 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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Check out this site for attractions in whatever area you'll be in. Just plug in the city/route, and it will tell you what's popular in that area.

ROAD TRIP USA

I love St. Louis. Here are some things I recommend there.

My favorite restaurant there is Bailey's Chocolate Bar. And, right next door is a coffee house (can't remember the name) that sells the best gooey butter cake . No trip to St. Louis is complete without trying some!

Baileys Chocolate Bar | St. Louis' Lafayette Square | Martinis, Desserts, Cheeses, Beer at the City's Most Romantic Restaurant

Other restaurants we liked were Franco, Pappy's Smokehouse (bbq), and Sidney Street Cafe.

Franco :: Eat. Drink. Enjoy. - St. Louis French Bistro Restaurant and Wine Bar

Pappy's Smokehouse | St. Louis BBQ | Memphis Style BBQ | Saint Louis Barbeque | Welcome To Pappy's Smokehouse

:: Sidney Street Cafe ::

Also check out Sauce Magazine. You can search for restaurant recs based on location/cuisine type. Click on the link in the top right that says find a restaurant.

Sauce Magazine

Things to do:

-Zoo Saint Louis Zoo

-Science Center Saint Louis Science Center > Home

-Botanical Garden Missouri Botanical Garden

-Union Station Welcome to St. Louis Union Station

If you like baseball, check out the Cardinals stadium. And of course, the Arch.

As far as LA and Vegas go, if you tell me what your interests are I can suggest tons of things since I frequent both very often. And while Chicago is one of my top 5 favorite US cities, your family will probably recommend some awesome local stuff!

Have a fun trip!
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:39 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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What time of year?

I like the scenic routes in the Kansas Kansas Scenic Byways - Welcome! Kansas Travel and Tourism Division, Kansas Department of Commerce

Be sure to plan an overnight in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The pool is superb way to 'unwind'. Discounts in evening. The lodge used to be great place to stay (~$20 / shared baths) I think they went 'upscale'.

I travel via private guest homes ($10-$20 / night) and have a great time meeting folks (where I'm at at the moment (Sturgeon Bay, WI)) Wonderful!!!
Couchsurfing may work for you.

If you can possibly take a detour in UT, see Arches, and Bryce (my favorites)

Near LV see these Valley of fire (50 miles NE) and Red Rocks Canyon (20 miles west)
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions this far!

I'm leaving July 3rd.

MAK803, I enjoy great food, nightlife stuff, museums, and just general "touristy" stuff.
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:20 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlh1981 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions this far!

I'm leaving July 3rd.

MAK803, I enjoy great food, nightlife stuff, museums, and just general "touristy" stuff.
That will be a perfect time for SoCal, but not Vegas. It'll be close to 120. I went last July and it was unbearable! As far as the Red Rock Canyon goes, I would personally skip that. I went last July and not only did we not hike because of extreme heat, it just wasn't anything worth looking at. If you want to see real red rocks, go to Utah. They are better than even Sedona!

If you want a true LA tourist experience, go to Pink's for Hot Dogs. I highly recommend getting there when they open though, or you'll be in line for 2 hours!

My favorite parts of LA are the beach communities, specifically Santa Monica. If you haven't already seen it, check out the Hollywood sign. The best place to see it and get an awesome picture is at the Sunset Ranch horesback riding facility. We have spent so much time trying to get a good shot, then a local pointed us in the right direction. We have since been taking all our visitors there if they want to see the sign.

Sunset Ranch Hollywood

If the 1981 in your name suggests your birth year, then we are close to the same age and you will probably like my suggestions, since you won't be surrounded by old men in Tommy Bahamas shirts, smoking cigars while ogling the hot, young women in stilletos. For some nightime fun, hit up Lucky Strikes Lanes. They are a nationwide chain, basically a bar/restaurant with bowling. Check out the dress code requirements, as I have seen them turn people away at the door in the past.

I'm a huge food person and travel the world in search of food or to try something I saw on a travel show/blog. That said, here are some of my favorite eats in the LA area.

The Farm of Beverly Hills is a chain in the area, but so very good. I love them for breakfast, but I know they serve lunch and dinner as well. Their brioche french toast with Vermont maple syrup is amazing.
Brownies Cookies Gift Baskets Fresh Baked Goods Online Farm Beverly Hills los angeles

There is no other place in the US that has as good Mexican food as Southern California. Both San Diego and LA are very well-known for their amazing, authentic Mexican food. Try a care asada burrito, a SoCal staple. And, avoid those sit down places, since the best Mexican food here comes from the back of a truck! Oh yea, and if you're lucky enough to find a place selling Tijuana hot dogs, you must try one. You'll thank me later! A good option in LA for cheap, awesome Mexican food is King Tacos.
King Taco Restaurants

If you like sushi, Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant is really good. It's on the 21st floor of an office building, with some awesome food and views.
Takami Sushi & Robata Resturant and Elevate Lounge Downtown Los Angeles

And no trip to LA is complete without a visit to Koreatown for some Pho. This is my favorite place to get it.
http://www.bcdtofu.com/locations_eng.php (broken link)

I have so many restaurant suggestions, that it would take hours to list them all. If you tell me what food recs you're most interested in, I'll post them for both here and Vegas. Also, are you looking for club recs? I have a ton for Vegas if you are!
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:14 PM
 
14,257 posts, read 23,974,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlh1981 View Post
What are the can't miss spots for food/entertainment,etc? What are some general things I ought to keep an eye on?
Stop in St. Louis for the entertainment, but stop in Kansas City for BBQ:

Jack Stack Barbecue - Martin City

Oklahoma Joe's BBQ In Kansas City



One of the more interesting new venues in Kansas City:

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Hall of Fame and the American Jazz Museum occupy the same building and both are well worth a visit.

www.americanjazzmuseum.org
nlbm.com


Personally, as for an interesting route, I would go up to Omaha, pick up I-80 through Nebraska and I-76 to Denver. It is more interesting than the Kansas scenery.
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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I'd recommend I-40 and a stop at the Grand Canyon and do a helicopter tour

You can also take a couple of hours at Blue Hole in Santa Rosa just outside of Albuquerque for a little cliff diving and swimming. A day in Albuquerque would let you take the Sandia Tram for some nice views
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:17 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Too bad you won't be in St. Louis on July 3 as that is the date for the Veiled Prophet parade. Looks like a good time with lots of activities all weekend. Of course, the crowds will be huge....

VPPARADE.ORG

Forest Park in St. Louis contains several museums as well as the Zoo and the Science Center. Many of these attractions are free.

http://stlouis.missouri.org/citygov/parks/forestpark/ (broken link)
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Stop in St. Louis for the entertainment, but stop in Kansas City for BBQ:

Jack Stack Barbecue - Martin City
I had the pleasure of Jack Stack Barbeque myself (in Overland Park, KS) so I can co-sign on its goodness.

Quote:
One of the more interesting new venues in Kansas City:

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Hall of Fame and the American Jazz Museum occupy the same building and both are well worth a visit.
I only had time to drive by this building in the 18th and Vine Jazz District but I agree that it would be a good idea.

I'd also add Country Club Plaza in downtown KC. It's essentially an upscale-leaning open air mall but it's really nice to walk around, especially to observe all the interesting fountains.

Quote:
Personally, as for an interesting route, I would go up to Omaha, pick up I-80 through Nebraska and I-76 to Denver. It is more interesting than the Kansas scenery.
I'd agree with this too, with all do respect to those who like the KS route. In Omaha, your taste buds might appreciate Big Mama's Kitchen, a soul food restaurant. That's right, I said a soul food restaurant in Omaha! LOL We saw it on Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins on the Food Network and set out to see what we figured to be a unique place. It's located in a residential neighborhood in a former school for the blind so you might miss it if you don't have directions. It was really good food and Big Mama herself came out to chat with us for a little bit.

On the other end of the spectrum, I suppose you could search for Warren Buffet's supposedly unassuming home as well.

Further west on I-80 is North Platte, NE where there is a national park based on western cowboy Bill Cody. Keeping in the western theme, stop through Cheyenne WY before dropping down to Denver as suggested. You'll certainly get your fill of mountains between Denver and Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is its own topic! But for sky-high views, check out VooDoo Lounge @ Rio (free during the day), Mix@Mandalay Bay (only open at night) or the Stratosphere Tower ($$ at all times).

Palm Springs would make for a nice stop between Vegas and LA. Hotels near the airport are relatively inexpensive and only a couple miles away from downtown.

All of my recs are based on my own similar cross-country trip last year. Enjoy!
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:26 PM
 
14,257 posts, read 23,974,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
I'd agree with this too, with all do respect to those who like the KS route. In Omaha, your taste buds might appreciate Big Mama's Kitchen, a soul food restaurant. That's right, I said a soul food restaurant in Omaha! LOL
Big Mama's has been on my radar for two years. Unfortunately, I am only in Omaha on Mondays and that is the day that they are closed. I really want to try that spicy hamburger.

I like the Bohemian Cafe on S. 18th St in Omaha for good Czech food.

There are also 3 other DDD restaurants in Omaha.

Every major town has a great museum along I-80 - Hastings, Lincoln, Omaha, Grand Island, Monden, etc.
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