My wife, myself and another couple are heading over to the states for just over a month, from june 14 to july 16, and we need some advice on our itinerary. We've put together a list of the places we want to visit and the length of time we think we need in each, but without having much time yet to check these forums we're not sure how good the plan is, so any feedback or ideas would be greatly appreciated. We are all in our mid 20's and enjoy seeing the bigger cities.
First we fly into LA and spend 3 nights, then drive down to San Diego to stay 2 nights (3 full days).
Then flying to;
San Francisco for 4 nights,
Las Vegas for 5 nights, including a day trip to grand canyon,
Chicago for 4 nights,
New York for 6 nights including a trip to Niagra Falls,
Miami for 3 nights before going on a 4 day Carnival cruise to the Eastern Carribean. (Key West and Cozumel)
We then fly back to La to spend another 2 nights before flying back to Aus.
We've planned to be in NY for 4th of July assuming that the biggest city would have the biggest parties but if you think any of the other cities we are visiting would be better then let us know please. not sure what to expect for Independence Day, but was told its a big day.
Thanks to anyone in advance who can add to our itinerary, we certainly need some help!
I vote that you spend the 4th of July in Washington D.C. Great parade, fireworks over the mall. Certainly plenty to see in our nation's Capital. It should be on your list of things to do/see.
If you try to do the Grand Canyon as a day trip from Las Vegas you will be there long enough to blink twice, and take one picture. Plan on at least an overnight stay.
If you're going to be in San Diego, why not bop down to Mexico for the day. There are trolleys down in the morning and returning in the evening. If you're Australian, the visas shouldn't be an issue, right?
Do you know where you're staying in these cities? Since you're young, I'd recommend Venice Beach in LA for a more Bohemian atmosphere. In Chicago, check out what outdoor music festivals are going on.
If you go to DC for Independence Day, Colonial Williamsburg is nearby. You could see Just How crazily patriotic Amis are. Busch Garden is in the same area if you want an American amusement park experience (better rides than the Disney parks).
Have you thought about Atlanta on your way down to Miami? It has it's own culture, good boutique shopping in Virginia Highlands, Piedmont Park is happening in the summer, and a pretty great party scene in Buckhead if you like hip-hop.
One city you might want to consider is New Orleans. The tourist center has been rebuilt (although you can still see the ruined parts of town), and it's great for 20-somethings: it won't be Marti gras, but there's music, partying...
Since you'll be in the area, you definitely should visit Washington DC during the 4th of July. That's as American as it can get!
Luckily enough, DC has one of the best metro systems in the United States (probably the best) and the fact that it's super-clean is somewhat uncanny. I always associate metro with graffiti/trash/decay..etc. This will be your best bet too since it'll be impossible to get anywhere by car on this date.
I posted in the "Time in American Cities" thread (see post #5) about things to do and upcoming events in Chicago. Links and dates are also listed for some of this year's summer festivals/celebrations. Hope you find them useful also.
If this is your first time here, you will love everything and everywhere you are going. All the cities you selected are cool. Check out Venice when in LA, San Diego is cool and will remind you of Aus a bit. Take a trip to Mexico (20mins south of San Diego) good fun and food...bit of drinking down there...heaps of partying in TJ and Rosarito. Vegas will blow you away and heaps of partying every night...Grand Canyon can be done in a day (I think), its not far from Vegas. Niagara....how romantic! Try and get to the Canadian side....much better, also if you get time check out Niagara on the lake...cool town. I agree DC is the place to be for July 4, but everywhere will put on a show...
Never been to new york on the fourth of july but the fireworks on the 4th of july in Philadelphia are pretty good too. After all the declaration of independance was written here. My advice as always...plan to spend more time in miami.