4 weeks in america dec/jan 2019-20

Travel Forums North America 4 weeks in america dec/jan 2019-20

1. Posted by jessczauderna (First Time Poster 1 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone,

I'm looking at doing a 4 week trip around America Dec/Jan next year. I originally wanted to do the whole white Christmas in New York, but with some discussion with my partner we thought we'd do it a couple of week after Christmas and new year and head mid-late January. Thoughts on this?

Also, with looking at places to see and things to do, I need some advice on what to do.

So far my itinerary is looking like -
Fly Sydney to New york spend 5 days here doing Empire state, 9/11 memorial, statue of liberty, brooklyn bridge, rockefeller centre and maybe a basketball game. Also were thinking of trying to squeeze in a day trip to washington DC or philadelphia. Whats the best and cheapest to do all of that also considering the day trips adding a few extra days.

Then flying New York to Vegas spend 4 days here exploring all the casions and the strip and doing a day trip to the grand canyon.
Hiring a car and driving Vegas to LA

In LA spending 5 days doing exploring of Hollywood walk of fame and rodeo drive, hollywood sign all the tourist things. Santa Monica Pier, muscle beach etc... A day for Disney Land and a day for Universal Studios

Fly LA to San Fran spending 4 days here doing sight seeing, golden gate bridge, maybe a basketball game.

Thats all i have planned so far, any advice or fixtures to this?
also other places i'd love to go to but dont know how to fit it in is San diego, Boston, Texas, Chicago

Cheapest way of doing things as we want to do 4 weeks and see and do as much as we can.

As much advice as possible please!!

2. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 994 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

It sounds to me as though you have your 4 weeks filled up. Why not save "other places i'd love to go to but don't know how to fit it in is San Diego, Boston, Texas, Chicago" for another trip in the future? You can only do so much and you may run into bad weather in January-February. If a bad storm comes in, flights can be delayed or cancelled and that may slow you down. Try to be as flexible as possible.

BTW, you are hardly visiting the "empire state" since you are only in the NYC area. There is an entire huge state above New York City but in January, you probably don't want to explore it. You'll be fine with what you want to see, but don't forget the rest of New York (state) for a future visit. As far as Philadelphia or Washington DC, there is good train service so either should be easy for you. Obviously, Philadelphia is closer to NYC, but I think Washington DC is more interesting. That's just my opinion, of course, but as the nation's capitol, there is a lot to see and do in DC. You could take the train to DC at the end of your NY section and then fly from DC to Las Vegas. Just a thought but it would save you paying for the return to NYC just to leave for LV.15

You might want to consider flying from Las Vegas to LA instead of renting a car. It's not the most exciting drive in the world, mostly desert, and it is winter when we can have really bad storms in the mountains. You would be taking Interstate 15 (I-15) which goes through the Cajon Pass and is occasionally closed for snow December through March. (The Cajon Pass is the prettiest part of the trip because you go through the San Bernardino Mountains. I used to drive it every day to work.) If a storm is coming, they will know in advance and there will be warnings on the television weather stations so be sure to check if you are driving. Worst case scenario is probably an extra day in Las Vegas until the roads open. Occasionally there is a worse storm that closes the pass for a few days, but that is very unlikely. If it's not too bad, they stop you at the top of the pass and you get a police escort down the hill (mountain). If you do rent a car and drive, be sure to check the television weather reports. Storms do not surprise us because they come in from the Pacific and we know about them days ahead of time.

It's probably going to be cold in the East and relatively nice in the West although it is winter out here too. We won't have snow except in the mountains but it can rain. San Francisco will be damp and chilly, great for walking all over town. You might take a tour up to the wine country while you're in SF if you're interested in that sort of thing. Check trains to Napa Valley (Napa or Sonoma). We drive so I'm not sure about train service there. You could rent a car or sign up for a guided tour if you plan to do a lot of tasting. Drinking and driving laws are pretty strict here so you don't want to get caught up.

3. Posted by footloose_llr (First Time Poster 1 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!


If you've only got 5 days in NYC I'd forget about trying to get to DC or Philly - there's soooo much to see in NYC you'll be flat out there anyway. Get an idea of how the subway system works before you go, I love it and find it easy to use but can be confusing at first.

I agree with getting a flight from Vegas to LA - cheap and quick versus a boring drive and extra expense for a one way rental. Again - Vegas has lots of fabulous things to see and do. Fremont St, Red Rock Canyon, Neon Museum, Mob Museum to name a few as well of course as all the casinos and the great outlet Malls. Don't miss the Conservatory at Bellagio, it's always worth a visit!

I can't say much about LA - it's never really excited me much. I'd probably spend some time driving LA to San Francisco rather than flying.

Have a great trip!!

4. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 994 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

Quoting footloose_llr


I can't say much about LA - it's never really excited me much. I'd probably spend some time driving LA to San Francisco rather than flying.

Have a great trip!!

Going in January / February, driving LA to SF can be problematic. Sometimes winter storms come in and there are mudslides along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and that is the only reason to drive from LA to SF. The Interstate that goes up is beyond boring. The PCH is beautiful and if the weather is (and has been) good, it is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. You can drive it in a day if you don't stop too often for photos. Personally, if I didn't have much time and it was January-February, I'd take the train. You could get the best of both worlds by taking the train from LA to SF. It goes from central LA from a beautiful, historic train station, along the gorgeous Pacific coast to central San Francisco. That might be your best option if you wanted to see the scenery.

On the other hand, I like LA better than San Francisco. There is more to do and the weather is better. You have the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) with a world-class collection and next to the La Brea Tar Pits, the Huntington Museum and Gardens, the Getty Museum and Gardens (free), the Hammer Museum (free), the Natural History Museum, the Petersen Automotive Museum, the Annenberg Photography Museum, the Griffith Observatory, several famous beaches, the Santa Monica Pier and of course, Disneyland and Universal City if you like theme parks. I certainly wouldn't cut my time in LA short with so much to see and do. There is also shopping and fascinating architecture (Disney Concert Hall), and a state park right in the middle of town at Olvera Street.

Whatever you decide to do, have a great trip.

5. Posted by Ahmed11 (Inactive 1 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

Have a great trip

6. Posted by PewterCommuter (Budding Member 6 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

Hi, New Yorker here. :)

NYC is great in the winter! My favorite time in the city. If you wait until January, the ice rinks (Central Park and Rockefeller Center) will still be open, but the holiday decorations will be down. That's a major draw from some people, I know. Whatever you do, steer clear of the New Year's holiday week. It's crazy, packed, and hard to get around midtown. Second or third week should be great though - and you'll have much more breathing room.

Philadelphia is an easy hop from New York. In fact, it's a a VERY easy day trip on the train. You might consider keeping your NYC hotel as a base , and hopping down to Philly for a day or two. I go down all the time, and public transport is great in both cities.

I have family in Vegas and visit at least once a year. I guess the length of the flight bothers me. It bugs me to spend the same amount of time flying to Las Vegas that I could fly to London in. LOL Consider the downtown hotels as well as the Strip hotels if you go to Las Vegas. Anything in the Freemont area, especially the Golden Nugget. There's tons to do there, and it's a short hop to the Strip.

LA is a quick jump on a commuter airline from Las Vegas, so again, you could base yourself in Vegas and take a short trip to LA. I know folks that fly over for the day and come back late that night.

Have a great trip! :):):)