I'm from Europe and this summer I'll be going to the USA for the first time as a usual tourist. Will have a month for traveling. Please advise what places should I visit? I'll have a car at my disposal, so distance is not a problem. What are the best tourist attractions that I should not miss? Thanks.
Hmm...well the U.S is very large. That's like asking "What should I see in Europe?" It's going to depend to a great extent on what interests
you. Do you like museums, cities, rural Americana, natural wonders, colonial history, food, pop-culture...??
Also, it does take a considerable time to travel by car between various places, so you might want to focus on just one region, or one particular route, if you only have a month.
I can list the "most visited/most iconic" but these won't necessarily be the most interesting.
Stephanie is spot on with her comments and questions to you.
In addition to getting answers to Stephanie's questions I would ask what is your point of entry? Are you a photographer?
But- without knowing the answers I would tell someone coming to America for the first time to explore one large city, one smaller city and at least one of our National Parks.
My favorite large cities are: (in no particular order)
My favorite smaller cities are: (in no particular order)
Key West, Florida
New Orleans, Louisiana
Napa Valley/Sonoma Valley, California
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Favorite National Parks: (in no particular order)
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
Glacier National Park in Montana
Olympic National Park in Washington
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
Devil's Tower in Wyoming
The Everglades in Florida
I need some local knowledge!
We are planning a two-month camping trip in July/August through Washington, Oregon and California.
I can - and will - do my own research once I get some time, but unfortunately said time is limited due to thesis writing, Jennifer flying off to a conference this week -leaving me with the kids, and flight-booking-holiday-planning (before moving out of the apartment) for Fiji/Vanuatu/New Zealand/Malaysia/Korea which will come straight on the back of the US camping trip.
So I guess, what I am asking for is that invaluable local knowledge which isn't readily available as soon as I flip open the guidebook or idly google-search.
We like spectacular natural settings (we are strange that way) both mountain and beach and everything in between. And we plan to camp FREE as much as possible and with the money we save we plan to be sampling copious amounts of the local food and wine, so please bear that in mind (particularly the vino bit)
If this is your first visit to the states it would not be complete without a trip to HISTORICAL Charleston, SC. There is tons to see and do.
Hey Alec, if that is a response to the original poster Katepg I don't think she has been back with us since she posted her query?
On the subject of HISTORICAL Charleston, SC. My wife was there a couple months back at a conference and returned with some "World Famous Pralines" and some Myers's Jamaican Rum (not very local to my knowledge). I didn't care much for the pralines to be honest, but can now hazard a guess at Charleston's location on the map.
Did you just mention camping, wine, saving money and the PNW? Oh it's like all my favorite things on earth balled up into one. Fortunately for you (the misses and the kidos) my thesis has been cleared and submitted (huzzah!!) leaving me with plenty of time to draft up a very long and overly ambitious response to your query (with respect to Washington, that is).
Give me a few days (and I'll get Andras to chime in on the wine business, as local wine was
his business there for a while. This is red-wine country, although I myself prefer whites).
In response to: Msg #136501
Our excitement at the exploration of the previously unknown PNW, and the start of a new adventure clashing with your passion and knowledge of the region makes for a tantalizing potential outcome.
I promise to blog about it – after the previous five months writing we probably wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves in any case!
Really great news about your thesis!
We've six weeks until our thesis submission/road trip D-Day.
We wait with bated breath for your reply.
idk what region you'll be in, but if you're in florida i think it'd be a good idea to go to orlando. there are plenty of theme parks, but that's not all orlando has to offer. there's plenty of good restaurants, shopping, and swimming/ lounging in the sun to be done here as well.
If you want the full U.S. experience, you need to go to these cities:
New York City:
This city is pretty much all the U.S. has to offer rolled up into one big city. It has all kind of restaurants with all kinds of food. There are many landmarks to visit including the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. There is also Central Park if you prefer a relaxing day, or if your in the mood for entertainment, go see a Broadway play.
If you want to learn about the history of U.S., this city has everything you need. From war memorials to all of the museums, which are amazing, you can become an expert about the U.S. in no time. Also you can learn a lot about U.S. goverment while there and visit the peace of paper that founded this country, the Declaration of Independence.
Vegas is more than just gambling, its also the entertainment capital of the U.S. No matter what day, there is always something happening in this city. You can also take a drive to see the Grand Canyon, which I can say from experience is breath-taking.
Finally, if what you want is a thrill ride, go no further than central Florida where Orlando is the amusement park capital of the U.S. From Disney World to Universal Studios, there are never shortage of things to do.
I hope this was helpful and hope you enjoy your time here.
When you travel to the United States we think it is important for you to visit at least one small town or small city. To truly understand America you must visit the small towns. It is what makes America, America.
i think it'd be great for you to visit mt. rushmore in south dakota. or all the historical monuments is washington, DC. i make it a point when i'm traveling to eat whatever the locals eat. i love to eat. just make sure you eat plenty of good american food. i know, everyone says americans are all fat, but that's not true. i just like to enjoy my meals.
Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular attractions in USA. It has incredible natural beauty and is best known for its waterfalls. This park has a vast wilderness area with many other attractions including deep valleys, alpine meadows and giant sequoia trees.
If I was to pick 10 cities to go to, this would be my Top 10 List of places to go in the United States:
10) San Francisco
7) San Francisco
6) Los Angeles
3) Las Vegas
2) Washington D.C.
1) New York City
[Edited: 2011 Jun 21 17:21 - mixingbluegreen:200732 ]
In response to: Msg #136069
Quite frankly if you have only a month I would give up on the idea of driving as you will spend all your time driving since the US is so large. I would focus on cities that had a good public transit system such as New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco. If you can take in these three cities in a month you will be lucky. There is just so much to see and do in each. If you really wanted to drive in your extremely limited time I would fly to Denver and rent a SUV and explore Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Springs, and then North to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. Also the Black Hills of South Dakota. I have made this trip on one of my time off's and it was great. And in the summer it is also cool in the parks although hot in the plains. I would visit a SuperWalmart and buy a tent and camp out. Get whatever else you need from thrift stores and toss it all or donate it back to another thrift store when you leave. If you buy a National Parks Pass you will probably get your money back very quickly but do the math. The National Park service has a very good website which will let you know all you need. Camping at State Parks is also reasonable. Stay away from Texas in the summer. It is so hot the devil moves out. But if you ever get a chance to visit San Antonio November up through January its very nice.
William is a wise man and I agree with everything he has said.
The thundering falls of Niagara, it also features the harrowing water-chutes of Disneyland and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Amusement parks; Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, remains on top in the theme-park world. Tourists appreciate renowned art collections and sunny beaches in equal measure.
Many visitors are interested in seeing the natural scenic attractions like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks.
I agree with the other writers...what is it you like? Food, arts, landscapes, theme parks, tourist stuff etc etc.
My favourite city in the US is New Orleans. I love that it is so different...it has spanish architecture all over the place, above ground cemetaries, voodoo, amazing cajun food and a huge atmostphere.... it has the basic drunken mardi grae feel every weekend but it also has piano bars and blues bars with the best atmosphere and with people with great talent.
If you have kids i'd say definitly go to orlando...it is made for families. With theme parks and themed restaraunts you wouldnt believe.
New York is a must...it has a great vibe. So many museums and monuments and history and fashion...and world class theatre and restaraunts!
and flights are so cheap...much easier to catch a $50 flight in 2 hours to orlando from nyc than driving