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1. Posted by ShEpS (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

Okay so basically me and my friend head off to the USA on tuesday 30th June until July 30th. An outline of the itinerary is as follows:

  • Boston
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Las vegas
  • San Diego
  • Los Angeles (Pick up rental car here)
  • Head up to final Destination of San Francisco

Travelling between Boston - NYC - Philly will be done via greyhound. We then have flights from Philly to Vegas and then from Vegas to San Diego.

After that the plan is to pick up a rental car in LA then to head to Costa Mesa and stay there for a few days. After that our return flight home is from San Francisco so we will start to head north. On the way to San Fran we plan to visit Yosemite National Park as well.

Any tips or further advice for travelling would be appreciated in terms of places to stay etc.

Thanks
ShEpS

2. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 385 posts) 7y

Hi Shep, for Philadelphia, check out the gophila website, as there are a lot of specials going on right now for hotels. there's a lot of touristy information here as well if you need it. there is also a hostel on Bank Street in Old City, if you are looking for more backpackers accommodations. Incidentally, it is right around the corner from the Glam Restaurant and Lounge where the UFC100 will be showing. You might want to book ahead thought as its the only hostel in center city (downtown philly).

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1992 posts) 7y

I'm a Philly boy myself, but why are you going there? Yes, it does have important historical sites there, but compared to Washington, they're small change. Washington is so much more beautiful and interesting than Philly. The Smithsonian Museum is probably the best of it's kind in the world and right in the middle of DC.

I've lived most of my life on the W. Coast (LA, San Fran and Portland) - my best advice to spend as little time in LA as possible, and more in San Fran and along the beautiful Pacific Coast in places like the Monterey Peninsula (Carmel, Monterey, Pacific Grove), Big Sur and the Marin/Sonoma coastal areas.

Avoid the California freeways if at all possible (especially in LA - they drive at a minimum of about 80mph) since you won't see a thing on them, and you'd most likely get lost anyway.

4. Posted by ShEpS (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

Quoting soupatrvlr

Hi Shep, for Philadelphia, check out the gophila website, as there are a lot of specials going on right now for hotels. there's a lot of touristy information here as well if you need it. there is also a hostel on Bank Street in Old City, if you are looking for more backpackers accommodations. Incidentally, it is right around the corner from the Glam Restaurant and Lounge where the UFC100 will be showing. You might want to book ahead thought as its the only hostel in center city (downtown philly).

Thanks I will look at the website as im sure the touristy info will be very useful. In terms of a place to stay we are undecided what sort of options are available in philadelphia? Are there any decently priced motels or anything along those lines?

Glam Restaurant and Lounge is where we may end up for UFC 100 as you mentioned in the other thread its in a good location with other restaurants and bars.

Quoting Daawgon

I'm a Philly boy myself, but why are you going there? Yes, it does have important historical sites there, but compared to Washington, they're small change. Washington is so much more beautiful and interesting than Philly. The Smithsonian Museum is probably the best of it's kind in the world and right in the middle of DC.

I've lived most of my life on the W. Coast (LA, San Fran and Portland) - my best advice to spend as little time in LA as possible, and more in San Fran and along the beautiful Pacific Coast in places like the Monterey Peninsula (Carmel, Monterey, Pacific Grove), Big Sur and the Marin/Sonoma coastal areas.

Avoid the California freeways if at all possible (especially in LA - they drive at a minimum of about 80mph) since you won't see a thing on them, and you'd most likely get lost anyway.

I think our main reason was that it is only a couple of hours away from NYC. We are only there a couple of days then we move over to the west coast. I;ve read a lot about LA and a friend of mine said its not that good a place to visit. AS you said about the freeways I will definately try and avoid them. I think we would be taking a more coastal route when heading up to san fran, hitting some nice beachs/coastal areas along the way, hopefully stopping via yosemite aswell

5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1992 posts) 7y

Quoting ShEpS

Quoting soupatrvlr

Hi Shep, for Philadelphia, check out the gophila website, as there are a lot of specials going on right now for hotels. there's a lot of touristy information here as well if you need it. there is also a hostel on Bank Street in Old City, if you are looking for more backpackers accommodations. Incidentally, it is right around the corner from the Glam Restaurant and Lounge where the UFC100 will be showing. You might want to book ahead thought as its the only hostel in center city (downtown philly).

Thanks I will look at the website as im sure the touristy info will be very useful. In terms of a place to stay we are undecided what sort of options are available in philadelphia? Are there any decently priced motels or anything along those lines?

Glam Restaurant and Lounge is where we may end up for UFC 100 as you mentioned in the other thread its in a good location with other restaurants and bars.

Quoting Daawgon

I'm a Philly boy myself, but why are you going there? Yes, it does have important historical sites there, but compared to Washington, they're small change. Washington is so much more beautiful and interesting than Philly. The Smithsonian Museum is probably the best of it's kind in the world and right in the middle of DC.

I've lived most of my life on the W. Coast (LA, San Fran and Portland) - my best advice to spend as little time in LA as possible, and more in San Fran and along the beautiful Pacific Coast in places like the Monterey Peninsula (Carmel, Monterey, Pacific Grove), Big Sur and the Marin/Sonoma coastal areas.

Avoid the California freeways if at all possible (especially in LA - they drive at a minimum of about 80mph) since you won't see a thing on them, and you'd most likely get lost anyway.

I think our main reason was that it is only a couple of hours away from NYC. We are only there a couple of days then we move over to the west coast. I;ve read a lot about LA and a friend of mine said its not that good a place to visit. AS you said about the freeways I will definately try and avoid them. I think we would be taking a more coastal route when heading up to san fran, hitting some nice beachs/coastal areas along the way, hopefully stopping via yosemite aswell

It could be rather difficult trying for Yosemite on a coastal trip north as the park is nowhere near the coast! Another problem w/Yosemite this time of year is crowding - all the world wants to see it in June, July and August. Really think you ought to skip Philly for DC though.

6. Posted by ShEpS (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

Quoting Daawgon

It could be rather difficult trying for Yosemite on a coastal trip north as the park is nowhere near the coast! Another problem w/Yosemite this time of year is crowding - all the world wants to see it in June, July and August. Really think you ought to skip Philly for DC though.

I see what you say about fitting is Yosemite, the idea was to travel so far up the coast then travel inland and work towards Yosemite. We'r still not 100% on the idea of a car though. WHat advice would you have with regards to gettin a car? If we dont what travel options will we be left with?

After we have to been to san diego we plan to go up to LA and visit costa mesa. From there we dont have any finalised plans but i think we may head for santa barbara?

The places you suggested are quite north i.e Monterey Peninsula (Carmel, Monterey, Pacific Grove), Big Sur and the Marin/Sonoma coastal areas. Where would you suggest on the way to these places?

Many thanks
ShEpS

7. Posted by Slakin (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y

I grew up in San Diego, it truly is an amazing place and I would live there again in a heart beat. How long will you be there? I would suggest Mission Beach and a tiny restaurant called Saska's on Just dwon the street from the Park at the beach. It is a quaint restaurant, maybe 12 tables, but has an awesome ambiance - many people don't even know its there. As far as touristy stuff to do: Seaport Village, Old Town, and Balboa Park are awesome attractions. The San Diego Zoo is ranked second in the country (behind the Omaha zoo, which is the city I live in now).

Coronado is a great place to visit, very upscale with some great restaurants as well - Miguel's Cocina is an awesome hidden Mexican Restaurant. I would suggest a visit to La Jolla Coves - several hidden beacj Coves and Cliffs, plus the Sea Lions that live right on the shore - beautiful. If you get a chance, visit a hole in the wall taco shop - best mexican food you will ever have, it is very cheap and tastes amazing. Also, do yourself a favor and have an In 'n Out burger while you are in San Diego...you won't regret it.

There are great palces to shop: Horton Plaza, Fashion Valley etc. You will also be very close to Tijuana (known as T.J. for the locals). If you are looking for a grimey night of drinking and debauchery, this is a great place to visit...just stay away from the Mexican police. When I was in San Diego, I spent a lot of time at the bars in the Gas Lamp Quarter (try and catch a show at the House of Blues) and at the bars in Pacific Beach - you can't go wrong.

As you head North, I would suggest you take a ferry over to Catalina Island, it is beautiful. You can spend a whole day on the island. ALSO, as you head North, check out some of the Missions, there is some amzing history there and the chance for several breathtaking pictures.

Let me know if you havea any questions.

Shannon

8. Posted by ShEpS (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

Quoting Slakin

I grew up in San Diego, it truly is an amazing place and I would live there again in a heart beat. How long will you be there? I would suggest Mission Beach and a tiny restaurant called Saska's on Just dwon the street from the Park at the beach. It is a quaint restaurant, maybe 12 tables, but has an awesome ambiance - many people don't even know its there. As far as touristy stuff to do: Seaport Village, Old Town, and Balboa Park are awesome attractions. The San Diego Zoo is ranked second in the country (behind the Omaha zoo, which is the city I live in now).

Coronado is a great place to visit, very upscale with some great restaurants as well - Miguel's Cocina is an awesome hidden Mexican Restaurant. I would suggest a visit to La Jolla Coves - several hidden beacj Coves and Cliffs, plus the Sea Lions that live right on the shore - beautiful. If you get a chance, visit a hole in the wall taco shop - best mexican food you will ever have, it is very cheap and tastes amazing. Also, do yourself a favor and have an In 'n Out burger while you are in San Diego...you won't regret it.

There are great palces to shop: Horton Plaza, Fashion Valley etc. You will also be very close to Tijuana (known as T.J. for the locals). If you are looking for a grimey night of drinking and debauchery, this is a great place to visit...just stay away from the Mexican police. When I was in San Diego, I spent a lot of time at the bars in the Gas Lamp Quarter (try and catch a show at the House of Blues) and at the bars in Pacific Beach - you can't go wrong.

As you head North, I would suggest you take a ferry over to Catalina Island, it is beautiful. You can spend a whole day on the island. ALSO, as you head North, check out some of the Missions, there is some amzing history there and the chance for several breathtaking pictures.

Let me know if you havea any questions.

Shannon

Hi Slakin we will be in san diego for 3 days, I think the top of the list place to visit is definately Mission Beach as it looks fantastic! thanks for your comment as you have suggested a lot of places for us to visit and shop. What sort of bars are in the pacific beach area?

I googled the "La Jolla Coves" and they look nice so I think we will try and see them during our stay. You have me curious when you said about the In 'n Out burger so I will defo be on the look out for these. I love food so while im away I want to taste some new dishes and foods. Are the hole in the wall taco shops located at various points around town as im up for trying 1 of these also?

I didnt realise Tijuana was soo close until my mate pointed it out, we may even consider a quick visit there to add another place to the list but not entirely sure. Have you visited TJ before?

Also When you said as we head north what do you mean by the Missions?

thanks a lot for your help so far
ShEpS

9. Posted by Slakin (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y

Mission Beach is awesome. You are also very close to Sea World if you are down by mission beach. They bars in PB are typically frequented by younger people (21-30), there are a lot of clubs there as well. The majority of really packed bars are in the Gaslamp Quarter of Downtown San Diego. Here is a link for the PB and Mission Beach clubs/bars: http://www.pubclub.com/sandiego/pacificbeach.htm

Do be sure to go to La Jolla. There is an awesome seafood restaurant there called The Marina. It is kind of pricey, but it is right on the water. In 'N Out is a fast food chain that used to be only in Southern, CA. It has since spread to Nevada and Arizona. It is a local classic and typically has an hour wait at noon (even though it is fast food). They serve burgers, fried and shakes...and that is it. Everything is fresh and made to go. GREAT hangover food. If you get into the actual suburbs and surrounding cities of San Diego (El Cajon, La Mesa, Hillcrest), while not as glamorous, you will find a lot of great ethnic food, especially Mexican and Middle Eastern.

I used to go to TJ a lot...sad enough. It used to be a lot "safer", but it is still a great place to go. You can take the trolley over to the boarder and just walk across, that way you don't have to worry about driving. Just make sure you hold on to your passport tight...you will need it to get across now.

Southern, CA has a very rich Spanish culture, this started with the Spanish missions, my favorite is San Juan Capistrano, but here is a link: http://www.americansouthwest.net/california/missions/

As you go North to L.A. and San Francisco, these missions are every where. I remember when I was in London, everyone asked me if I was from the O.C. (because I am from Southern, CA), you will drive through Orange County on your way to L.A., so if you want to look at the amazing cliffs, this is a good place to stop. I also can't recommend Catalina Island enough. It is beautiful, here is the link: http://www.catalina.com/catalinahome.html

Let me know if I can do anything else!!

Shannon

10. Posted by ShEpS (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

Quoting Slakin

Mission Beach is awesome. You are also very close to Sea World if you are down by mission beach. They bars in PB are typically frequented by younger people (21-30), there are a lot of clubs there as well. The majority of really packed bars are in the Gaslamp Quarter of Downtown San Diego. Here is a link for the PB and Mission Beach clubs/bars: http://www.pubclub.com/sandiego/pacificbeach.htm

Do be sure to go to La Jolla. There is an awesome seafood restaurant there called The Marina. It is kind of pricey, but it is right on the water. In 'N Out is a fast food chain that used to be only in Southern, CA. It has since spread to Nevada and Arizona. It is a local classic and typically has an hour wait at noon (even though it is fast food). They serve burgers, fried and shakes...and that is it. Everything is fresh and made to go. GREAT hangover food. If you get into the actual suburbs and surrounding cities of San Diego (El Cajon, La Mesa, Hillcrest), while not as glamorous, you will find a lot of great ethnic food, especially Mexican and Middle Eastern.

I used to go to TJ a lot...sad enough. It used to be a lot "safer", but it is still a great place to go. You can take the trolley over to the boarder and just walk across, that way you don't have to worry about driving. Just make sure you hold on to your passport tight...you will need it to get across now.

Southern, CA has a very rich Spanish culture, this started with the Spanish missions, my favorite is San Juan Capistrano, but here is a link: http://www.americansouthwest.net/california/missions/

As you go North to L.A. and San Francisco, these missions are every where. I remember when I was in London, everyone asked me if I was from the O.C. (because I am from Southern, CA), you will drive through Orange County on your way to L.A., so if you want to look at the amazing cliffs, this is a good place to stop. I also can't recommend Catalina Island enough. It is beautiful, here is the link: http://www.catalina.com/catalinahome.html

Let me know if I can do anything else!!

Shannon

Hi Shannon,

thanks for providing further information about san diego, I will make sure to try and follow some of your suggestions and I will definately be going to In 'N Out Burger, as you said it is ideal hangover food :) Me and my mate are both 21 so i'd imagine we will try and have a night out around the pacific beach area as it sounds a good place. We wll also try and make it to the Gaslamp Quarter area you mentioned.

As for orange county we plan to visit there once we have picked up our rental car. My friend stayed in a place called costa mesa which is located right next to laguna beach and huntington beach etc so we plan to stay there as well. Its only a day till we go now so im very excited now and cant wait for the whole experience.

Thanks once again for all you help.
ShEpS