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4 months in America.. HELP

Hey people my name is Louise. A friend and I are planning to go to America next year and could do with some help...
11 years ago, October 5th 2009 No: 1 Msg: #88457  
Hey people my name is Louise. A friend and i are planning to go to America next year leaving here (Cornwall, Uk.) around October 25th 2010 (ish) and staying till February 25th 2011 (ish) we have chosen this time of year because we want to experience Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, New Years is a different country 😊

What I’m really getting to is that we have no idea where to start.. there are so many places, things to do, places to see..
..so could anyone list some of the best things to see and do in America..
we will be aged 19 and 21 when we get there and as people we love Music, Art, the beach, shops and helping others... sounds sappy but hey that’s us.

*where's the best state for us to stay for the first month? cheap? fun? friendly?
* Best ways to travel around? again Cheap? Lmao!

And last but not least.. we would love to be able to chat to some of you lovely Americans over the next year or so and maybe hang out when we get over to your Country as it would be lovely to not feel completely alone when we get there 😊

sorry for such a long post 😞
hope you can help us 😊
Thanks Lou and Charlotte!
xxxxxx Reply to this

11 years ago, October 8th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #88764  
America is very expensive but you have one thing going for you and that is that the pound is worth a lot more than a us dollar so your money will go further.

American southwest is generally cheaper if you stay out of the big cities. The deep south is also cheaper. you don't want to be in the north in the time frame that you are going to be there as it will be very cold.

bring a tent and sleeping bag. look into a amtrac pass .

Good Luck! Reply to this

11 years ago, October 8th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #88807  
The time frame that you are talking about will really limit what you can do & see because it will be very cold most places. Even in all but the most southern areas it will be very cold. Check daily temperatures in cities or areas that you might be interested in visiting over the next few months and you will see what I mean...All but the very southernmost beaches will be cold too, and on the ones that are not freezing, it will be High Season (most expensive)
The best months for visiting the US are Spring (April, May June) or Fall (August, September, October). Then you could catch some music and Arts festivals (there are some good free ones I could tell you about) do some camping (cuts way down on costs) & walk around with out freezing your a## off! Think about it...
---Tommee Reply to this

11 years ago, October 9th 2009 No: 4 Msg: #88838  
Consider couchsurfing (couchsurfing.org) which is a great way to get to know the people and places as well as saving money. It is not for everyone though.

Sounds like New York, San Francisco, and either Miami or Southern California would be great placse for you.. Can still go to the beach in November and possibly December in Miami, though I think southern Cal has more to offer.

Reply to this

11 years ago, October 10th 2009 No: 5 Msg: #88991  
Well the time frame you are choosing will be during the fall and winter months but that is really a great time to visit the New England area. Fall foiliage in vermont, new hampshire, maine, massachusetts or anywhere in that region is breathtaking. If you want to experience Halloween in the states, the Salem witch museum has some scary wicked fun, but there are literally haunted houses in every city that are fun, even if not really too scary. If you want to have Thanksgiving here it seems sort of lonely to spend Thanksgiving alone but you could probably find someone here to spend it with. If you stay at a hotel they will usually have some sort of a celebration for the day and you can get some turkey and dumplings. Christmas is a wonderful time in the states if you are not at the mall as they get a little crazy the closer you get to Christmas. They have a lot of parties and parades in New York City and the tree lighting ceremony at rockerfeller square is cool. They have a big ceremony at the Whitehouse in Washington DC when they light the tree there as well.

If you are not cold weather lovers then head south to the keys in Florida and you can spend the days laying on the beach and nights at the beach bars. Doesn't really feal to much like Christmas but hey a couple of Margaritas and who really cares?

Over in the west San Diego and south california aren't too bad to celebrate in. The seafood is great and the beaches are great as well though some days it might be a little cool.

If you want touristy ideas there must be a million "See America" web sites that will give you some ideas.

Good luck and hope you have fun. We're really not all that bad! LOL Reply to this

11 years ago, October 11th 2009 No: 6 Msg: #89046  

Agreeing with above post, the weather will be on the cooler side up to freezing depending on where you go. It is expensive to travel in and around the states. Unfortunaley we do not have good tranportation systems like most of Europe does. Getting from one state to another almost required flying or driving.

The experience it sounds like you are looking for I would suggest San Diego, San Fransisco and Los Angeles. The weather can be a little cold, but you wont have to deal with any snow. I live in San DIego and can tell you there a millions things to see and do in and around the San Diego area. You will want to rent a car with GPS system. There is a youth hotel right on the beach, in the Mission Beach area. Lots of music, museams in gorgeous balboa park and great night life. However th drinking age is 21 and that can limit your options for some music shows and of course night clubs.

The beaches are beautiful, but more than likely it will be too cold to to go swimming. You can do alot of water activites that do not actually require a getting in.

If you want more information on San Diego and possibly San Fransisco, I can email me at jodinbill@cox.net.

Another good option would above suggestion of Florida and the East Coast. I would also recommend going to New York City if you can afford it. It is amazing, but it will be very cold the time you are planning.

You have alot of options, sorry none are really that cheap. But don't let that discourage you, you just need to get a little creative. Come visit and I am sure you wont be disapointed where ever you end up choosing. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 12th 2009 No: 7 Msg: #89190  
thank you lovely people for your help..
just a few things..
we do love beaches but have plenty at home so if its to cold thats fine.
but as for snow.. i'm 20 and have only ever seen an inch of snow once so to have a white christmas would be lovely!
and neither of us can drive... i think this is gonna be a huge problem..
Reply to this

11 years ago, October 14th 2009 No: 8 Msg: #89466  
B Posts: 5
Western US offers many options for that time of year. Southern CA is gorgeous as are the northern mountains. LA is an experience in and of itself. Northern CA offers beautiful scenery, great skiing. San Francisco is awesome. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 15th 2009 No: 9 Msg: #89480  
New Years in Vegas Grey Hound is horrible, Amtrac would be the way to go if you don't drive Hostels in USA are fairly expensive they have in SD LA LV and I am sure in SFO but they would be good as hotel stops as they have kitchen and laundrys. Find somebody that knows how to drive or take leasons "nobody walks in LA" Reply to this

11 years ago, October 22nd 2009 No: 10 Msg: #90377  
B Posts: 602
We have some really great skiing here in Montana. Red Lodge is almost a secret as to great skiing. They have already had over 40" of snow this year and will be open late in Oct or early Nov. If you would like to see this - I don't live too far away and can help you make arrangements. I know I got an e-mail earlier that said you could get a ski package for $43.50 a night to stay in a lodge and have the lower lifts per night. The expense will come with the rental of equipment, a lesson (recommended for newbies), and for upper steeper lifts.

This would also put you in here during hunting season, which ends Thanksgiving weekend. You might want to try an outfitter to go hunting.

The Rockies are very different from the Alps. I remember being asked which is more beautiful and all I could say is that you cannot compare apples to oranges.

Christmas in Yellowstone National Park will get you more snow than you can imagine and cold. But it is so beautiful and something you will never forget. I can get you a web site to look at what they have to offer if you like. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 11 Msg: #90654  
Why would you want to visit a country that voted for George Bush twice who openly admits that the Arabs have been paying him millions of dollars for many years, America where a war somewhere is better than peace. You can view America thru all the destruction is has done in other countries, probably much closer to you. Iraq, Afghanistan etc. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 26th 2009 No: 12 Msg: #90694  
Hi Lou and Charlotte:

Since you two are so young I think you'd have the best time in so-called "college towns" like Austin, Texas, Athens, Georgia, or Charlottesville, Virginia. These 3 are home to their respective state universities and have huge student communities. You'll certainly find vibrant new music and art scenes there. The Dave Mathews Band comes to mind as a band that grew up in Charlottesville, for example.
Asheville, North Carolina is another fun town even though their local university is a little smaller than the others.
Because Austin, Athens, Asheville and Charlottesville (especially for you Charlotte!) are located in southern states they're going to be cozy warm during the winter months. That being said however, I think some of the posters here over-emphasize the severity of the cold in the northern states. New York will be colder than you're used to in Cornwall, but the real severe cold stays pretty much in the north-central states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota and around. Montana is an interesting idea because it is so remote and wild but it will be VERY cold up there in January. Missoula and Bozeman are the prettiest cities in that state, IMO, and are also the seats for the state universities up there.
Halloween is becoming more and more popular every year. San Francisco has the wildest Halloween parties anywhere, but it also gets crazy in any good college town.
Thanksgiving is really for families in the US, so you need to get to know someone so you can be invited to their Thanksgiving dinner! Otherwise it will be a very quiet day for the 2 of you.
Everyone talks about how magical New York is at Christmastime and it's true. New Year's Eve in Times Square would be unforgettable. You might have snow in New York at Christmas; but you might not. If you want to be sure of snow try the mountains of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, or Montana (as the earlier poster mentioned).
January and February might be a good time to go to the desert southwest -- Arizona and California. February is about the only time of year you can see the Grand Canyon without crowds.
Don't give up on air travel as an efficient way to get around. With a few weeks advance booking you can take a flight from Texas to New York for as little as $99 each way. The same trip by train, bus or car would take up to 3 days and would end up costing you almost as much in incidentals. Even the smaller cities in the US have airports so you don't have to travel to a large city to get a flight with good connections.
Good luck with everything. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 26th 2009 No: 13 Msg: #90862  
B Posts: 602
Actually the biggest celebration is St. Patrick's day in Butte - they go all out. Bunch of Irish minors who know how to party! Reply to this

11 years ago, October 27th 2009 No: 14 Msg: #90968  
D Posts: 7
Hello Lou and Charlotte !

I went to the US four months ago for a student exchange, which is not excatly what you plan to do, but to find a flat and to know more about day-2day life in the US,

I hope you'll find what you need !
Good luck !
Reply to this

11 years ago, November 30th 2009 No: 15 Msg: #94779  
hi hi

I been to US because of company asignment, is not my another trip of backpacking, but is another chances for experiencing summer of California.

I stay at Extended Stay Santa Rosa for 3 month, and what is the topic of my life??

Is about NBA playoff live, online purchase, cooking, oat meal, jacket, american humor, right lane, lotion, potato, beef, burger, wireless, outlet, GPS, early morning and late night msn chatting, market, travel, picnic, pot luck, and party...

Reply to this

11 years ago, December 2nd 2009 No: 16 Msg: #95171  
Hi Louise -

Most of the responders above have already provided you with some good advice and suggestions, but here's my input.

Given that you can't rent a car and want to experience the holidays (and snow!) I would recommend that you plan a trip down the east coast along one of the Amtrak routes. Starting in October you could see all the fall foliage (which, coming from myself who grew up on the west coast where we don't see the leaves change as much, is the best way to experience Halloween. I also love the suggestion for Salem, Massachusetts), and slowly make your way down to New York for Christmas and New Years, and see the impressive window displays, the tree in Rockefeller Center, ice skating in Bryant Park. For Thanksgiving, I agree that a home-stay is really the only way to get the "authentic" experience and echo the suggestion to look into Couchsurfing. We've been CS hosts in the past and it was a wonderful experience for all involved.

Moving on down to the south through Virginia and the Carolinas in time for basketball season at the colleges of the SEC (this is a huge part of American university experience Dec through March) - you could stay in places in Chapel Hill, NC and Athens, GA.

It's hard to imagine just how large this country is when you fly over it, and I'm of the opinion there is no 'bad' place to go, nor is there ever a 'bad' time to be there. You'll find art and culture no matter where you are, but to get the most out of your experience that's what I'd recommend.

Reply to this

11 years ago, December 3rd 2009 No: 17 Msg: #95260  
B Posts: 602
Alex - please keep your politics to yourself. Reply to this

11 years ago, January 14th 2010 No: 18 Msg: #99771  
D Posts: 9
Hi Louise,

Me and my bf spent 3 months travelling in the states - we planned to stay longer but ran out of money! We are now living in VAncouver, Canada on a working visa.

We started in Seattle and worked our way down the west coast of the states. We went to Seattle, Seaside, Sacramento, San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas and then we flew over to New York, Boston, Chicago and made our way to Vancouver, Canada.

We did not have a car and this was no problem. We travelled by Greyhound bus but mainly Amtrak. Amtrak is rail and is much nicer and if you book at least a week/two weeks ahead is usually cheaper then bus. We flew from Vegas to New York. I definately recommend checking out both and working out which works for you.

We stayed in hostels and we had some great experiences and met some really cool people. I would recommend staying in HI (hostelling international) hostels. We did stay in Green Tortoise hostel in Seattle and San Francisco which were amazing! and HI everywhere else.

Of all the places to see.. our favourites was definately San Francisco which we spent 2 weeks at, Yosemite National Park was amazing as well. Las Vegas is like nothing you have ever seen and worth checking out as well. We stayed at the STratosphere hotel there for $30 a night for both of us which was cheaper then any hostel! We were in Vegas on Halloween which was pretty crazy! New York is definately another must see as you can imagine.

Depends on what type of experience you want to have. You will have an amazing time! We didn't plan alot and depending how we liked a place, we stayed shorter or longer. Have a great time! This is my travel blog from my travels http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/allsey/3/tpod.html I recommend you keep a blog too which helps family & friends keep up with where you are!
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11 years ago, January 14th 2010 No: 19 Msg: #99772  
So did you make the trip? If so, how was it? Reply to this

11 years ago, January 14th 2010 No: 20 Msg: #99774  
D Posts: 9
She said she isn't leaving until October 2010, your a bit early :P Reply to this

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