My US trip is less than two weeks away, I am really looking forward to it. Seven days in New York, including an overnight trip to Niagara Falls then onto California and a side trip to Yosemite, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Already i know it's not half long enough to spend at this but at least it gives me an excuse to go back...sometime
[ Edit: Edited on Sep 2, 2007, at 2:01 PM by mostrim ]
Yes - that's a lot to cram in.
I would suggest taking the Grayline bus tour of NYC early in your trip. It will give you a nice overview of the city and history. The CircleLine boat tour is a bit long and I found it boring.
I would definitely take the tour of Rockefeller Center and if possible see a show at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes. I prefer the going to the top of Rockefeller Center than the Empire State Building - even though the Empire is the taller building, I think the view from Rockefeller is nicer. Of course, you want to do this on a clear day.
There is a very interesting Native American museum near Battery Park, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute. It has some permanent displays and some changing special exhibits. You can take a ferry from Battery Park over to the Statue of Liberty and then Ellis Island - both very interesting.
You didn't mention where in California. I have not been to Yosemite but my boss just returned from there and said it is very crowded - even on the strenuous hiking trails, he found too many people for his liking. But since you won't be there until nearly the end of September, it might not be as crowded as it was in August.
When in Las Vegas, see one of the Cirque de Sol shows. I saw Mystere at the Mirage last November and it was truly awesome. I didn't think I would like seeing it in person after seeing it on television, but it was GREAT! The trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower in the Paris hotel was fun - they take a souvenir photo before you go up - so dress like you might want to keep the picture. We did and there were five of us that actually looked good in one photo - imagine that. While we were up in the Tower, we could see the fountain show from the Bellagio without waiting for the nighttime one. It was pretty cool. Also - worth the cab ride to the downtown area to see the light show.
I haven't been to the Grand Canyon yet - perhaps my next visit to Las Vegas. It is several hours away.
I hope you enjoy your time in our country.
Thanks Judy for all of that. Am staying with cousins in New York and San Francisco and we've been planning to squeeze a lot into a short time. As already stated 'so much to do, so little time'
Mostrim: September is a very fine time to visit nyc. Judydaniel's suggestions are ace. Tip: cheap, satifying lunch- deli/grocery stores with sandwich counters and salad bars quite popular and common on the streets of Manhattan. Grab a bagel with whatever and a bagged can of beer. Find a nearby park, sit, eat. Watch the protean spectacle of New York whirl by.
San Francisco: Hike the cities many enthralling hills. Especially earlier in the day for the views of the bay and the sausages of fog.
Grand Canyon: If you plan on going ' down ' and into the canyon itself it is necessary ( or at least it was last time I was there ) to book in advance. Likely not a big deal but worth looking into.
Niagara Falls ( Ontario side ): For sure ' Maid of the Mist ' plus the Tunnels. Get up above Clifton Hill, there are 2 or 3 good Italian restaurants with lunch pasta specials.
Have a great trip!
Hey Niagra Falls is a great tourist destination. The Canadien side is much better then the American side. Though there is casino's on both sides of the border. If your into strip joints there's great strip joints on the Canadien side. Sundowners is the bes strip joint I've ever been too. Also Gambling at Casino Niagra is very fun. If you want a good night club check out Pumps. Its right near the casino's and s located right near a bunch of other clubs andbars. Niagra falls Canada is a great drining spot at night the strets are packed with drinkers and gamblers and its really fun. Good Luck Brother!!
In Niagara Falls, cross over to the Canadian side if you can. There are much better views of the Falls and more activities. I recommend the walk behind the Falls. Taking the Maid of the Mist or the tram over the whirlpool are fun but not for those prone to motion sickness. And September is a lovely time to visit!
Thanks all, you should get medals from the American tourism industry
During your side trip to Yosemite, consider eating at the Food Court in Yosemite Valley. It is inexpensive and the food choices are well-prepared and good.
For an excellent sit-down evening dining experience, try the Mountain Room located at the Lodge at Yosemite Falls.
Seating begins at 530pm, first come, first served.
Take advantage of the services offered by the Park. Enjoy your trip!
A couple of quick notes on New York. First off would be to buy a week long subway pass, unless you've got lots of money to kill. It makes it easy and you don't have to worry about how much you are riding. It's also good on buses and make tranfers ten times easier. Second, my favorite musuem is the Cloisters up in Inwood. It's a branch of the Met, so if you go to the Met you can keep your pin and get in at the Cloisters for free that day. Third, if you want to go and see and show Tkts is probably the way to go to get good rates. Better may be had, but it usually involves more waiting and figuring out each theatre's individual workings. The Tkts at South Street Seaport usually tends to be much less crowded than the one in Times Square, but check the hours because I'm pretty sure they are a little different between the two. Last, one of my favorite restaurants when I was there is Velselka's in the East Village (144 Second Ave at 9th.) Another is Bendix Diner (167 First Ave between 10th and 11th), but it's moved since I lived there and I'm not sure if things have changed or not. Have a great time!
Personally, I found Niagara Falls to be a bit of a tourist trap (on both sides of the border). The falls are great (the Canadian one is the best), but the city--especially right near the falls leaves a lot to be desired. Drive over to Toronto or across to Rochester for better things to do--or visit one of the wineries nearby.
As far as Yosemite--the best place to eat in my opinion is at the Ahwahnee Hotel
Here's a link so you can see the hotel and dining room and judge for yourself: http://www.yosemitefun.com/ahwahnee.htm
And walking the hills of San Francisco is fun--but not for anyone not in tip-top shape--because the hills are HUGE!!!
Consider taking the cable cars as an alternative--especially the Chinatown line or California line for an alternative (and much more relaxing way of getting up and down the big hills). Spend your walking time either on Columbus Avenue near Little Italy at Fisherman's Wharf or on Grant Street in Chinatown. Your legs will thank me.