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Old 12-23-2011, 11:30 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
24,563 posts, read 42,185,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silfwer View Post
Interesting thread. Looking forward to see what u recommend.

I´ll contribute with a typical roundtrip a Swedish tourist go ...
SF, rent a car, Las Vegas/Grand Canyon/LA - Flight Florida, rent a car, Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Orlando - Flight New York - Flight back home.

"...Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Minneapolis or St. Louis...largely ignored by tourists from other countries....."
Absolutely, have a friend who has been to Atlanta visiting a friend, thats it. He wasnt that impressed though, is Atlanta really a city worth visiting as a tourist?

Driving from west to the east coast is something many talk and dream about, but few ppl do.
Just a few thoughts based on above for those headed to USA.

Rental car 1 way drop charges are high, but fuel is cheap and rental cars (returned to same destination) typically have unlimited mileage. (flights are CHEAP too, especially SWA, which allows changes and refunds, no questions asked !! + bags fly free !!, I often go one-way across USA for $89 - $119)
Tue, Wed and Saturday are least expensive days to fly.
1 week car rental is less expensive than 5 days (Quite common to get $10 - $20 / day rate via priceline, I have got as low as $4.95/day unlimited mileage (via "Name your price")). I frequently chose my route, so I am driving the boring stuff (or any duplicate roads) at night.(ie.e to return a rental car). You can really get far by driving overnight, 600- 800 miles. I just nap during the day when travel partners are eating or hiking. It is BEST to avoid driving between 4AM and 6AM, or at least be on a four lane divided highway, as sleepy drivers can be hazardous. I worked my way through college driving trucks, so driving a few hundred miles at night is no big issue for me. AND FEW / NO Tolls in USA, Europe driving is EXPENSIVE between tolls and fuel. (& Parking). I will use a motorcycle and backroads next time I travel extensively via road there.


Thus it does make sense to do 'regional loops' from cheap airports (cars and Air)
A few "loops" that make sense. "your interest(s) may vary" ~ 1 - 3 weeks each loop

SF> LA,> LV > Tahoe > Napa > SF (~ 5hrs driving each leg of triangle)
South Bound, Monterrey / Big Sur coast / Hearst Castle / Santa Barbara
Northbound Palm Desert / Joshua Tree, LV, Death Valley / Sequoia / Yosemite / Tahoe / Sacramento / Napa / Muir Woods

Denver /(5 hrs) Black Hills / (4hrs) Yellowstone / Tetons / Bear Lake, UT, (5 hrs) SLC, Park City / Moab, Mesa Verde, (5 hrs) Gunnison, Aspen, Colorado Springs, Denver (5 hrs)

Chicago - Madison - Minneapolis - SouthEast Iowa - Dayton, OH Indianapolis, Detroit, UP, Wisc - Chicago.

DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Lancaster, PA, Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smokie NP, Asheville, (Biltmore), Williamsburg / Norfolk, Ocean City, Cape May, Atlantic City, DC.

Boston, Pts north to Bar Harbor / NS / PEI / NB, Quebec City, Montreal, Burlington VT, West Mass (Deerfield...), Hudson Valley, NYC, Cape Cod ...

Orlando, St Petersburg, Everglades, Keys, up the east coastline, Miami / Palm Beach, Cape Canaveral, Daytona, St Augstine...

New Orleans and Gulf Coast - not my favorite, but worth a trip for the music / food / Mardi Gras

I don't much care for Atlanta, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, St Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, Dallas, Houston but as with each area, they have a few redeeming qualities and may fit for you. I DO like the open country and love spending time in small towns with locals (in about any place on earth (that I know so far...) Haven't tried Afghanistan, but I have US friends who have been working there for over 20 yrs and really love the rural places and people. I travel most anywhere,... I do a bit of reading, get a cheap fare, and go explore (like a local). I need to do South America, and plan to get some language immersion and head out. (based from a couple 'hubs').
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:04 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 47,168,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
BTDT (many, many times, I'm not impressed) (Forced to go there for work conferences / conventions / Consumer Electronics Show: 10 Things You'll See in 2012 - Mobile and Wireless - News & Reviews - eWeek.com Ugh... not again...

I don't do crowds or traffic, so when I go to LV I stay here: (valley of fire NV)
https://www.google.com/search?q=vall...ley of fire NV


Each to his own, now that LV is no longer cheap, I just use McCarren as a transfer place, I find it better to sleep in the airport than to rent a sleezy, smoky, alcohol, smelling casino room. YMMV, and fortunately for LV, many folks come back, again and again. I was always so surprised that my friends / coworkers in Asia and Europe LIVED to vacation in USA and go to LV... each to his own. I always recommended that they add some National Parks while in LV, since they are surrounded by them.

Let me summarise my Vegas experience:

First night I drank too much and threw up in a limo. The damage bill was not small. As a result we hailed a cab and I went back to the hotel room criminally early for Vegas and had a hangover. Without the hijinx of the movie, though.

Next morning I woke up and realised I left my wallet in the taxi that took me from the Bellagio back to the cheapo Super 8 hotel we were staying at. I got a list of all the taxi cab companies operating in Vegas but I couldn't get through to any because it was a Saturday! By Monday we'd be in the Grand Canyon. So I thought maybe I dropped it outside the taxi, so I went back to the Bellagio and had a look - not there, then I decided to go back to the Fremont Street Experience, another place the limo went to, just in case I dropped in there. So I walked down half the strip having a look in every casino I passed by. The camera wasn't at Fremont. I took the bus all the way down to the other end of the strip and saw the remaining casinos, and had a lateish night because I was a bit exhausted after walking all day in 110F heat.

Second day I think I just did some shopping and looked around, played the poker machines and had one of those huge buffets Vegas is so famous for. I wanted to see a cabaret show but it was sold out or something.

Well there you go, it was nice to see once, but once is enough for me. I'm not into gambling at all, and I can party for cheaper in other places. Although I might go back just for the buffets and as a base to explore the surrounding areas.

Luckily one of the taxi companies did have my camera. I was in the Grand Canyon when I called though so they had to post it.
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:43 AM
 
8,265 posts, read 10,970,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Each to his own, now that LV is no longer cheap, I just use McCarren as a transfer place, I find it better to sleep in the airport than to rent a sleezy, smoky, alcohol, smelling casino room.
You seem have problems picking hotels, there are tens of thousands of non-smoking rooms in Vegas and many of them are easily as nice as any hotel you'll get in other major tourist destinations. If the rooms on the strip are too expensive might as well cross NYC, Amsterdam, etc. off your list of places to visit too.

It is also kind of odd to take personal preferences (not liking crowds, incapable of booking a nice room) and projecting that into being puzzled as to why millions of other people would want to go there.
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:54 AM
 
8,265 posts, read 10,970,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Well there you go, it was nice to see once, but once is enough for me. I'm not into gambling at all, and I can party for cheaper in other places. Although I might go back just for the buffets and as a base to explore the surrounding areas.
We go maybe once a year now, but it is just a five hour drive from Phoenix so a pretty easy on a whim 3 day weekend. When we were younger we used to make up our minds at work on Friday via email, sneak out a couple hours early to meet at home to pack, and be there by 9:00 pm, that was good times. We like playing blackjack and love people watching, Vegas is one of the best people watching places in the world you just go buy a few cans of beer at a convenience store to take out to the strip in the lovely evening weather to find a comfy spot and watch the crowds roll by.

If I lived in Europe or Asia I wouldn't want to see it more than once either, but if haven't been I couldn't imagine not including it on an itinerary if you're going to be in the Western US.
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Both coasts
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regarding the OP,

Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Seattle , Philadelphia and DC are major cities mainly Americans visit that have disproportionate levels of overseas visitors

To me, most foreigners to America mainly set their sights on LA, San Francisco, NYC, Las Vegas and Florida
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 47,168,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
regarding the OP,

Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Seattle , Philadelphia and DC are major cities mainly Americans visit that have disproportionate levels of overseas visitors

To me, most foreigners to America mainly set their sights on LA, San Francisco, NYC, Las Vegas and Florida
I would take Chicago, DC and to a lesser extent Philly off the first list, although I do agree the ratio of overseas/domestic tourists in those cities is much different to the cities in the second list. I felt Las Vegas was mostly American tourists too - the only place, indeed, where it seemed overseas tourists dominated was parts of New York and Boston. Both seem to attract many European visitors. There aren't many places in the US where the majority of tourists you see aren't American.
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:04 PM
 
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I've been working with tourists at various places in America for going on 30 years. Here's my observation:

Americans are more likely than overseas visitors to visit destinations in America with an American History or Natural History focus. Americans are more likely to visit smaller touristic destinations.

Overseas visitors are more likely (naturally) to visit places that are well publicized - hence LA, LV, Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Miami, NYC. I don't think that most Americans want to be tourists in Miami or Los Angeles proper, due to the high crime images of these cities, although Americans do want to visit "Hollywood" or nearby Disneyland or DisneyWorld.

I doubt if there are many tourists from far away, whether Americans or Overseas, who choose to be tourists in the smaller American cities. People may go because an event or a meeting is held there, but not primarily for touristic purposes. On the other hand people from the nearby region will go to these smaller cities for vacations because they know more about what there is to do there, and because it's what they can afford.

You might be surprised where Overseas visitors turn up. At my current small obscure place in the midwest this summer we had visitors from Holland (they picked a smaller highway and were following it across the country), England (they were hunting out places where distant ancestors settled in America), Nigeria (they were being shown around the state by Rotarians), Sri Lanka (their son is teaching at a nearby university), and India (their son is working in a nearby town.)

Just adding my 2 cents to Stealth Rabbit - Las Vegas is Vile! I'm going to make a generalization and say that tourists who choose Las Vegas as a destination are not people who do much travelling for pleasure.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Both coasts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I would take Chicago, DC and to a lesser extent Philly off the first list.
have you been to these cities?

I agree that while these are not cities that overseas ppl "ignore" per se, they have a proportionately UNDERWHELMING amount of overseas visitors- for instance, for business reasons, Chicago may have international connections but for other areas of tourism, it is very Midwestern in its reach- here in CA, alot of people have never ever been to the Midwest and are startled when we tell em we are going on vacation to Chicago (as great a city as it is).

Also, DC and Philadelphia are very All-American in their (historical) attractions and feeling and although sure they have overseas visitors, it is very very much disproportionate in relation to these cities' domestic visitors.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 47,168,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
have you been to these cities?

I agree that while these are not cities that overseas ppl "ignore" per se, they have a proportionately UNDERWHELMING amount of overseas visitors- for instance, for business reasons, Chicago may have international connections but for other areas of tourism, it is very Midwestern in its reach- here in CA, alot of people have never ever been to the Midwest and are startled when we tell em we are going on vacation to Chicago (as great a city as it is).

Also, DC and Philadelphia are very All-American in their (historical) attractions and feeling and although sure they have overseas visitors, it is very very much disproportionate in relation to these cities' domestic visitors.
I didn't see Chicago because of the route the tour took (the South). I wanted to see Philly but opted for Boston/New England instead, and saw D.C., most who come to the East coast see Philly. I agree most visitors to D.C. are American, but that's the case with Vegas, even Hollywood too (fair number of overseas visitors but I mostly heard American accents).
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I don't know about specific sites, but I'll assume some places of significance to American history others never learnt about. Famous sites the Alamo, the sites around Washington and Philly, Gettysburg.etc are well known internationally, but what places within the US that are frequently visited are almost unknown outside the US?

As for cities...I'm not sure if Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Minneapolis or St. Louis are major tourist destinations, but they're largely ignored by tourists from other countries.

Not sure if there is anywhere rarely frequented by American tourists that are popular with international tourists.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) / Voyageur's National Park in Northern Minnesota is somewhat popular with Americans but not so much with international tourists.

The Mall of America, Minneapolis's only "world-class" attraction, is visited by plenty of domestic and foreign tourists alike.

Otherwise, the metro area really doesn't see much foreign, or even domestic, leisure tourism, except perhaps during sport events.

Denver and Phoenix must be on the itineraries of the many international visitors to the Southwest, as they are the only large cities in their respective areas. If anything, they're places to fly into.
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