If you like the South, New Orleans is a must! It really is an incredible city and the people are truly gracious. The food is to die for and the music scene is out of this world! I've been there twice within the last 6 months and have made new friends everytime. If your interested, you can check out our online album at http://community.webshots.com/user/Ladymacwilly BTW, the natives are very, very, appreciative of those travellers who choose to spend their tourism dollars there since the government has done little after Hurricane Katrina. You may also like Shreveport, further north in Louisianna, as they have been filming some major movies there recently whereas The New York Times dubbed the city the "Hollywood of the South". (I noticed you are a film student...)
I agree with Daawgon in recommending Charleston, South Carolina, a really beautiful city and Savannah but you definately want to visit the South somewhere between October and April.
BTW, I don't know if you have ever thought of a cruise but Norwegian Cruise Lines has some incredible deals on 7 day cruises to Alaska. When you figure in your cabin, transportation between ports and food is all included it really is quite reasonable and I've found a lot of Europeans tend to choose NCL for it's sheer value. Just a thought for the future.
LadyMacWilly ^..^ ~
[ Edit: Edited on May 22, 2008, at 1:30 PM by Ladymacwil ]
I'll give you the same advice I did on another thread: Do some research about different areas of the United States and choose one that seems to be to your liking. Then research all the major towns and cities in that area and see which of those strikes your interest. Plan on staying in three or four places and sit back and enjoy them. A whirlwind itinerary is tempting, but I know from my Europe travel planning that concentrating it is a much better idea. Since you've got an entire year you could probably do several different regions like this.
My favourite areas (though I haven't seen too too many) are the general proximity of the Southern Appalachians, the Pacific Northwest, and the remote and expensive Alaska.
Thanks for all the advice, I will check out certain specific places instead.
Ladymacwil, thanks for that, I will certainly check those out.
At the moment I am waiting for my friend to help me with the planning. It may be a little early to plan but I just want to make the most of this trip.
Hey Cally, just thought I'd add my two cents. I've been all over the Southeast, and you've got some great advice on this thread. New Orleans is a cultural mecca, a very diverse one. It's an amazing city, and I hope you put it on your itinerary.
I live in Gulf Shores, on Alabama's Gulf Coast, and it's beautiful here. The locals are laid back and friendly, the sand is white, the Gulf is warm and inviting. There is fishing, birding, boating, lots of good restaurants. If you're camping, spring or fall are the best times of year to visit. There is a state park for camping that is clean and has lots of amenities.
Hope you have a great visit to the US!