We are hoping to visit the USA for the first time in late September / early October 2006 for about 3 weeks (since we are tied to school holidays). We are planning where we want to go, but are concerned that we are trying to fit in too much in 3 weeks - some advice from people who know the US would be great. So far we are considering LA, Las Vegas, Orlando, Washington DC, New York, Boston and some time in New England area before jetting back to San Francisco and then back to Sydney, Australia. Also we would like to know if it's worth taking the kids to Disney in Anaheim or Disney World in Florida? I was thinking Florida since I would like to go to the Kennedy Space Centre also - but we've never been so which is better? There is so much to see in the US, but with only 3 weeks or so to do it in.....can anyone advise on this?
I think you've picked a fairly good selection of places to visit. As far as "DisneyLand Vs DisneyWorld", there is no comparison. DisneyWorld in Florida is a 1000 times better. That is where you must go. As far as packing your trip into three weeks, I can give you a vague idea as to how much each city on your list warrants:
Los Angeles: 2-3 days
San Francisco: 4 days
Washington D.C: 2-3 days
New York: 4 days
Orlando: 5 days (this includes Sea World and Disney World)
Boston: 2-3 days
Hope this helps.
I agree Disney in Florida is a better choice, however i think your children may enjoy the many other amusment parks in orlando as well. In my opinion Disney is more geared towards children under 10 (i.e. less thrill rides).
However I do believe you are visiting too many places within 3 weeks especially if you plan driving between destinations. Unless you plan to put your family through a rigorous pace, my suggestion to spend a week in 3 cities. (Boston and Las Vegas would not require a week).
Orlando should be a definite visit as your kids will have a great time. Washington DC is also great, but check the Smithsonians website to make sure the museums are open, when i was there this past spring many were closed for renovation -- don't remeber when they were reopening.
Consider NY is expensive, but a great place to visit -- also consider taking the helicopter tour -- the night boat tour which does a semi cirle around Manhattan is a must. Times Sq at night is also a must.
If it were me on a budget:
Orlando 7 days -- note you can drive to the beach and spend the night there as well. I think its a 3 hour drive.
DC 5 days
Los Angles 4 days
San Francisco 5 days.
If $$$ is no object: 5 days in Orlando, 10 days in NY (with side trips to DC and Boston, 4 days in San Franicso.
Note the following budget airlines:
Independence Air (Orlando to DC, SFO)
Song (NY to LAX)
Jet Blue (most locations you mentioned in your post)
ATA (most locations you mentioned in your post).
Driving from east coast to west coast conservatively speaking will take 6 days.
If you are in the NY-DC area, you should stop by Philadelphia as well. You won't need to spend too much time there, but there is some good history and a nice center city area.
I suggest picking one or two regions and limiting your travel to that. Trying to do it all will make for a tiring trip.