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Needing travel around America advice

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1. Posted by JCatherineH (Budding Member, 6 posts) 26 Jun '13 04:19

JCatherineH has indicated that this thread is about North America

Hi,
I'm arranging to work in America for 4 months in 2014. After this i have 1 month to do what i like before flying back to the UK. Some of the places i'd like to visit are New Orleans, LA, Texas, California and New York. However i am not stuck on just seeing these places and if you have any advice about anywhere else i'm all ears.
I was hoping i would be able to get some advice on places that are a must see. I've always wanted to see America, and any advice anyone could give would be really great!

I'll be travelling a month September to October
I mainly want to see the sites that America has to offer, although i wouldn't mind visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (and i think considering this just tried to change Wizarding to Rewarding it might be a sign?) and unless i find some people where i work that want to travel in a group and have a different idea i'm planning on traveling by bus and staying in hostels.

Jessica

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jun-2013, at 04:55 by JCatherineH ]

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4402 posts) 26 Jun '13 04:22

What is it specifically that attracts you about these places? I've done New Orleans, LA and Texas, and New Orleans is the only one I have much of a positive impression about; though I still like it significantly less than many other places in the USA. But recommending alternatives might be futile if your interests just lie in a completely different area than mine... (That is, are you looking for history, art, culture, nature, wildlife, adventure activities, hiking, clubbing, people watching, ...?)
Time of the year you'll be there would also be relevant for any advice on what to see and do.

3. Posted by JCatherineH (Budding Member, 6 posts) 26 Jun '13 04:26

I'll be there for the entire summer, however my traveling time will be September to October.

I'm interested in site seeing, culture and adventure activities, but my main aim is to see the sites that America has to offer, so any advice will help. I haven't settled on any route yet so i'm mainly trying to get advice on where to go and what to see why i'm there.

4. Posted by dkulas (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 26 Jun '13 05:19

I have to agree with SANDER ..... I have also done ... New Orleans, LA, Texas, California & New York City. I have also traveled quite a bit in the England & Wales. I really like Devon & Cornwall -- especially the area around Fowey. I have friends near Schrewsbury, and visit them a lot. I avoid London .... to expensive and to many people. That said, lets tackle you questions:

You most remember that the USA is BIG compared to England. The state of Minnesota, where
I live is as big as England .... but only has 4 Million People.

Since you will be traveling in the FALL ..... the "colors" in New England --- the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont are a big draw to many people. Upstate New York .... should also offer some great color. The Mississippi River Valley between Minnesota and Wisconsin also have
great Fall color.

Los Angeles is one big sprawling city and traffic as bad as London. Texas, depending on where in the state you go is a collection of some great cities and a lot of "flat land with not much to see". If you are expecting to see some "cowboys" , like in the movies .... not going to happen, much. It's like me coming to the England and expecting to see "Beefeaters - like at the Tower of London" on every corner.

The state of California is BIG .... Most of the population is in Southern California - LA + San Diego and all the cities in between. The other populated area is San Francisco ... one of my favorite cites.

How do you plan to travel in the USA ... by Car, Train, Bus or Plane.

5. Posted by JCatherineH (Budding Member, 6 posts) 26 Jun '13 05:27

My main reason for choosing Texas is because it's one of those places you always hear about, i thought because of that it might be nice to see it for myself. I also chose New Orleans because i'd love to experience the famed southern hospitality.
I have thought about San Francisco i might have to add it to my list, when i make it, i'm mainly in the looking phrase for now.

Southern California definitely appeals to me, i'm trying to find out what i could see while i'm in these places as well.

I plan to travel by bus, as i'll only just have turned 21 at the time and i know no one would rent to me and i don't plan on buying a car while i'm there.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jun-2013, at 05:29 by JCatherineH ]

6. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1940 posts) 26 Jun '13 11:21

As an American myself, I find Texas to be one big wasteland, and I do mean BIG! How are you planning on travel? We have no British Rail to take you from town to town, Amtrak is hardly a good imitation. Without a car, most of Texas and California (in fact most of the USA west of the Mississippi) would be inaccessible to you.

Los Angeles is one very very large, suburban string of communities connected by a confusing maze of freeways. Most Europeans find Santa Monica/Venice beach areas to be their favorite (and for many the only part of the city they're ever set foot in).

San Francisco, on the other hand, is everyone's favorite town - compact, walkable and endlessly interesting.

I do think it would help to research the areas you want to see a little more. Sept is a good month for travel - great weather (esp in the SF Bay Area).

7. Posted by JCatherineH (Budding Member, 6 posts) 26 Jun '13 11:31

I was planning on taking the bus, unless i meet some one at my job whose planning on traveling with a car, but i think it best i plan for bus just in case.

I think i'm going to take Texas off my route then, it doesn't seem like the best option for me, from the sounds of it it's best if i stick to the bigger well known places like SF, New York, LA, places like that, although i do hope i get to visit New Orleans or some where like it.

I've been doing some research but i wanted some advice before i decided where was best to visit before i settled on a specific route :)

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jun-2013, at 11:33 by JCatherineH ]

8. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1940 posts) 26 Jun '13 11:55

Good move! These days, the fact is that the coastal areas of the USA is where the action is - unfortunately the Plains and Midwest now have so many weather-related problems (tornadoes, drought and flooding) that it's a real problem for all of us.

I would not rely totally on Greyhound if I were you - it would eat up a great deal of that month just sitting on those buses. Since most people are interested mainly in coastal cities, you should consider a flight or two (New Orleans to California, for instance). Southwest Airlines is every American's favorite flying bus.

Greyhound is a mixed bag these days of drifters, poor families, college kids and immigrants. I would say that most middle class persons avoid this mode of travel (in the States, it's either the plane or the car).

9. Posted by JCatherineH (Budding Member, 6 posts) 26 Jun '13 12:05

Roughly how much would it cost for the plane flights? Just so i know how much to budget for those? Thank you so much for your help. I started today with not much of a clue but i understand a lot more now.

Once i know where i'm working and flying in to and out from i can probably start planning better. Do you think it would be better to fly in to and out the same place? Or fly in somewhere then fly out at the opposite end of my route, so i don't have to circle back?

10. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1940 posts) 26 Jun '13 12:25

For flight costs, I suggest doing a sample booking (just don't go as far as paying)

You might be interested in the adventure bus tours - I know of Green Tortoise Tours, but there are one or 2 others