Travelling to America... recommendations please!

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Travelling to America... recommendations please!

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    09-26-2011, 04:41 PM
Travelling to America... recommendations please!

Hi guys,

Looking for some advice and as most of you guys are from the US I thought this would be a great place to get it...

Im from the UK and looking to travel around America and a bit of Canada for a couple of months probably April time. What are the best places to see? Any things you recommend that I can't miss whilst I'm there? And whats transport like across the country as im looking to go from east to west. Is it best to fly or how is the train service? I've also heard about the Greyhound bus being cheap but people are saying different things about it being risky ( I am a girl and I will be going on my own ). Just as helpfully, anything to avoid?

Opinions please, and everything in terms of advice needed, thanks everyone
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    09-26-2011, 04:59 PM
Wow, how exciting for you! Don't know what your interests are, but the first places that came to my mind as a must-see are the Grand Canyon and Vancouver.
    09-26-2011, 06:01 PM
LOL, it's hard to advise because this place is just so darn BIG.

So much depends on how long you will be here for, your age and how brave you are, for instance my son bought a cheap car and just drove around the country, still the best way to do it in my view, because you can get to all the must see things.

These include,

Grand Canyon
Niagara Falls
Death Valley
Blue Ridge Mountains

As well as

New York
Washington DC
San Fransisco
San Antonio

Oh and so many more that I haven't mentioned, including the whole of Canada, where I now live, having moved from the UK.

It is a huge and beautiful place, I hope you come up with a good itinerary
    09-26-2011, 08:06 PM
Green Broke
A girl on your own ? Stay off the buses, no security,
I lived in Europe for a couple years, and understand it is nearly impossible for Europeans to grasp the concept of the size of America, Seriously our states are the size of and in many cases much bigger than countries in Europe. Just Texas is larger than France, and twice the size of Germany, and it isnt our largest state.
I would go anywhere but the big cities, they arnt America. America is the rest of the country. Go to the grand canyon take a donkey ride, book a white water raft trip somewhere, go to a shooting range, go to the Everglades and tak a ride on an air boat,
    09-26-2011, 08:10 PM
Super Moderator
If you find yourself in North Carolina (not sure why you would be) Feel free to crash at my house. I have a spare room. You are most welcome.
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    09-26-2011, 10:08 PM
I disagree about the cities thing. Some of the Best of America Are the cities.

Depends on your tastes.
Really, though, unless you are planning to spend several months, there is no way you can see it All.

What are you interested in? What is at the top of your list? Mountains? Coastal areas? Big open spaces? Culturally, what are you intersted in? We've got them all here! It might be easier to pick a general area/corner and explore it.

The greyhounds are cheap, and I wouldn't mind going shorter distances on them, but they are not going to be very comfortable. Especially if you are traveling alone.
I Do love taking the train. It is a great way to sit back and see the country-side. But they do often run late. (Amtrak (passnger trains) do not own the tracks and therefore do not have the right of way. You will get stuck waiting for freight trains to pass.) That said, IF you have a few days to spare, (It takes a Full 3 days continuous travel to get from one coast to the other by train.) *I* think trains are great. I think, however, You'd be disappointed if you're used to high speed, reliable European trains. =P
Amtrak used to have a pass where you could hop on and off for a month, or something. Not really sure how it worked. You certainly don't get a sleeper car with that. But If you're interested... ...see if they still offer that.

Honestly, without access to a car, you will be limited to what you can see/do. Unfortunately. America is TOO big. And most of it was built around cars. You Might be able to find large tour groups/companies to take you into the National Parks, etc. That may be the only way to see them if you do not rent a car. And even then, depending on how brave you are... I wouldn't go alone.
    09-26-2011, 10:19 PM
Kentucky Horse Park.
Smoky Mt.
Driving is the best but takes to long so fly. We do not have a lot of trains for people transport.
Washinton DC

Let us know what your intrest are and we could give better sugestions.
    09-26-2011, 10:23 PM
Super Moderator
If you are old enough to rent an RV I think that would be your best bet. To rent a car or an RV an spend your nights at KOA campgrounds. It will save you quite a bit of money. I remember we traveled Europe one summer (we lived in Germany). We were able to see quite a few countries in just a few weeks. You are really going to have to map this out because the US is so huge compared to Europe.

My dad was military so I've seen just about every state (minus Alaska, Hawaii, and the tiny ones above NY). I would think you would want to see Niagra Falls which would give you Canada and the US. Then you'd probably like to see Ground Zero, the Empire State Building, the Lady Liberty... Baltimore has a really Cool Museum and then of course Washington DC has the Monument and some really awesome museums. The National Zoo is ok but there are better ones in the US. Natural Bridge VA is really cool and so is Luray Caverns. There is a Safari Park in VA and of course the Shenendoah mountains are gorgous. Tennessee and Pennsylvania are pretty. Of course GA, and SC are pretty.

There is just so much to see. I would think you'd have to map it out and figure out one thing that you really want to see and then go from there...

The trains are really expensive and take forever. I took the Amtrak from VA to FL and it was twice the cost of a plane and took like 17 hours. It only takes 13 to drive and 2 to fly...
    09-26-2011, 10:29 PM
Green Broke
Knowing what your interest in seeing might make a big difference.

Do you want to see history? Art? Nature?

April is still too early to see much of a whale migration, but I believe you can still get iceburg tours in St. John's, Newfoundland (Canada).

Montreal or Quebec City are both full of history and culture.

The Rocky Mountains in Alberta/BC.

National parks in either Canada or the States.

April can still (but not always) be snow storm time for parts of Canada, and areas close to mountains, so you might want to have secondary and tertiary plans, just in case the weather comes in looking bad.
    09-26-2011, 11:10 PM
I would look at it in "chunks" and approach them differently. For example, no doubt you will fly into NY. Consider a hostel there. Or splurge a bit and a decent hotel . Do some city things.

Take a train to DC. It is our capitol and I think is worth a couple of days.
Take a train to perhaps Charleston to see some of the "south". Then, maybe continue to Florida and enjoy some warm, tropical beaches and see Epcot center .

Then, fly to Austin TX and hang out there. Maybe book a short stay at a Dude ranch. Rent a car here, or a small camper/RV. And start the next chunk; the driving the wide open spaces. See grand canyon. Las Vegas (it is not natural beauty, but it's part of American culture.
Canyonlands nat park

Head to San Fran. Turn in the RV. Chungk #2
Spend time in SF See Monterey bay aqauarium. I think there are busses to there. Stay in a hostel. Rent a bike. No need for car.

Take train up to Seattle. And then train to Vancouver BC.
Go out to one of the many gorgeous islands off of Van and get a B and B,
Chunk #3
Fly home

OR, take the Trans Canada train back to east coast (3 days? Not sure) and fly home.
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