So I have 30 days to travel around the US after finishing work near Boston. I am a student, young solo female traveller from Australia. I really want to see different places, since I finish work on the East Coast and fly out of the West Coast 30 days later I thought I'd spend the time getting across the US and seeing it on the way!
The cities I've got down that go from East to West fairly spaced out are:
Grand Canyon National Park (not a city but I want to stop here somehow)
It works out okay-ish time and distance wise and I'd love to see these places! It seems the only real travel option (since I don't have a drivers license) is to get the Greyhound bus to these places- IS THIS DO-ABLE? IS THIS SAFE? Can anyone tell me who has used the Greyhound or done a US cross country trip what they think? I don't mind sleeping on buses, I do know it's faster to fly but I have the time and it's SO much more expensive to fly.
Suggestions on alternatives, other cities to add (I have spare days), cities to miss or anything else is welcome! Tell me what you know PLEASE!
If what you want is to visit those cities then it is fine. I would not say that it is 'seeing' America however.
Anyone could give you a list of cities they prefer but what would that mean? Why Austin, why not San Antonio with the Alamo and the Riverwalk for example? Personal preferences for whatever reason, are personal. I'm sure some people will respond with their favourites and no regard to why you might or might not like a place. But then you haven't given any indication of your interests other than a city place name, so you've left the door open for them to list anywhere at all.
Can you 'see' America without spending some time seeing the natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon? What about all the other places like Monument Valley or Arches? The average visitor to the Grand Canyon south rim spends something like 17 minutes actually looking at the Canyon and taking the obligatory selfies these days. They spend longer in the souvenir stores than that. If that is how long a place can hold their interest, is it really worth going there?
What I know and will tell you is that most people don't actually THINK about what it is they want to see and do. They come up with a list of places they have heard of, without actually considering if they would pick them themselves out of personal interest or are only picking them based on what they have heard of or seen in a movie and want to check of a list and say 'iv'e been there'.
With only a month and being limited to bus travel, I would spend a fair bit of time thinking about what you really want to get out of your trip and where you are likely to find that.
Thanks for your advice! I didn't even think to describe why I have those places, such a good point! I am really into history and culture, I have these cities because they have historical and cultural sites I'd love to visit and/or they seem like fascinating cultures to see!
I'm not much of a bucket list person, I'm more interested in going to MoMA than taking a selfie in Times Square. The Grand Canyon I've been tossing up, I'm really interested in the Zuni migration mythology out of the Grand Canyon and the landscape is so captivating- but you probably are right that it could be a bit of a tourist trap.
I have my list of places because of my preferences, but if there's places people have travelled to and loved I'd like to hear about them so I can research and see if I'd like to go there! I hope that clears that up!
[ Edit: Edited on 23-Apr-2016, at 07:51 by CeciliaDee ]
You have several options besides the bus.
It's easy to travel down the Boston, NY, DC corridor. If you don't want to take a bus, take Amtrak. Check out Amtrak's other routes around the country.
To cover great distances, add some flights. They need not be expensive. Check out Southwest Airlines, a major carrier that sells tickets only on its Web site. The other major airlines, such as Delta, now offer no-frills "basic economy" fares on some routes where there is competition from discounters, such as Spirit. I bought a "basic economy" roundtrip Atlanta-Miami ticket last October (for travel in early December) on Delta for $136.20. That's cheaper than driving.
Use day tours. Fly into Las Vegas and take a day tour to the Grand Canyon. It's easy to get to LA from Vegas.
Bus travel is safe. So no worries there. You have options; check them out.
P.S. In New York, don't miss "Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World," now on exhibit through July 17 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
[ Edit: Edited on 24-Apr-2016, at 04:06 by berner256 ]
If you are interested in the ancient peoples then that opens up all kinds of possible suggestions for places for you to consider.
For example, you plan on visiting Santa Fe. From there, you can get a bus to the Bandelier National Monument shuttle bus stop in White Rock.
Then taking the shuttle bus into the park, you find a small and very walkable park that should be of interest to you. https://www.nps.gov/band/index.htm
Bandelier is one of the less visited sites in the southwest but by means less interesting. Another site a bit to the west is the Chaco Culture National Historic Park which at one time was the central hub and largest 'city' in the southwestern Pueblo culture.
Unfortunately there is no public transport to Chaco. Even by car it is a treacherous road to drive. But if I really wanted to visit, I wouldn't let it stop me. You can get a bus from Santa Fe to San Ysidoro, south and east of Chaco. From there, you get out your thumb. If you can get a ride into Chaco, chances are getting a ride out will be relatively easy.
The Zuni Pueblo is not the only place in the area worth visiting for someone with an interest in ancient Pueblo culture.
go to the greyhound website and look at their schedule.