Travelling inspiration and ideas

Travel Forums North America Travelling inspiration and ideas

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1. Posted by jrmfc99 (Budding Member 5 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Hi,

I'm 21 and after I finish University next June I plan to travel the USA. I'm having trouble with coming up with places to go!. All I know is that I plan to travel for a month then end up in Florida at a family place for another month, and I want to start in Boston and then onto Myrtle Beach and from there I'm clueless!. I like historical towns and to see a bit of history but I also like beach towns and places with an upbeat vibe to it. I'm genuinely not fussed about going to the big places like New York City and Washington D.C, I sort of prefer going to lesser-known places.

Is anyone able to help me out with destinations?.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1340 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

When you say 'next June' do you mean this year or next year?

You don't tell us your citizenship but, at present, the US is barring entry to citizens of the Republic of Ireland, the UK, all the Schengen countries and several other countries. There is no indication of when that restriction will be lifted.

Assuming you mean this year and your citizenship allows you to enter the US, how do you intend to travel when you're there? Domestic flights? Train (limited)? Greyhound/Megabus? If you want to hire a car you'll pay a hefty premium because you're under 25 ......and not all rental companies will hire to under-25s. Telling us how you intend to travel will give us an idea of what destinations might be feasible.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-May-2020, 17:41 GMT by leics2 ]

3. Posted by jrmfc99 (Budding Member 5 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Next June and am British. I can't drive so would be relying on flying and trains. So preferably wherever I go the main sights/landmarks would ideally be in said city/town.

4. Posted by jrmfc99 (Budding Member 5 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!
  • June next year
5. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1340 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

It's much more difficult to visit lesser-known US places without a car. I think you'll need to consider Greyhound & Megabus as well as trains and flights, but be aware that some pick-up points are well away from settlement centres.

https://www.greyhound.com/

https://us.megabus.com/

I enjoyed Boston very much: it has some 'proper' history. The Freedom Trail is well worth walking and there's even a burial ground with graves from the 1600s. Make a daytrip to Salem whilst you're there and think about either whale-watching boat or an evening harbour cruise: both are worth the money imo.

As for elsewhere, I'd start by looking at the available Amtrak routes. US trains tend to only serve the larger settlements and some stations are a long way from the settlement centre. They're comfortable but slower than most UK trains. You need to buy tickets well in advance to get the best fares.

https://www.amtrak.com/train-routes

You could also use skyscanner.net to research what domestic routes exist, who flies them and what fares are like. Of course, what Skyscanner shows now is not necessarily what will exist in a year's time but I think it's safe to say that US domestic flights won't be too much changed by this crisis (though imo fares will be). Remember to factor in the potential cost of transport to and from airports: not all of them have regular public transport.

Don't write off NYC entirely. If you've never been before a night or two will give you an idea of what the city's like (it's not just flash & glitter). Walk as much as you can, take the free Staten Island Ferry, explore Brooklyn, walk the Highline, visit Central Park, take the subway out to The Cloisters......

Much the same applies to Washington. There are some excellent museums and Georgetown is historically interesting.

If you do decide on Boston > NYC (and then perhaps NYC > Philadelphia and/or DC) New Haven is worth a night or two en route, if only to see the faux-Medieval Yale University Library and the uber-modern Beinicke Library (you can just go in but there are also free student-guided daily tours of the campus). The three early 1700s churches on the central Green (which was originally a cemetery) are interesting and, being a uni town, NH has loads of good places to eat a variety of cuisines (I had my first Ethiopian food there) as well as several excellent microbrewery-type bars.

Alternatively you could take the train from Boston to Chicago (worth a day or two for its art & architecture) and then use Megabus to Iowa City for a taste of a non-touristy 'flyover state' settlement.

Or, if flights are still relatively cheap when all this is over, you could fly from Boston to San Francisco (def worth a visit), take the train to Chicago and then another train right down to New Orleans?

There are far too many possibilities to list so I suggest you use the sites I've mentioned to start researching and creating a basic itinerary which you can tweak to fit your budget and interests.

:-)

[ Edit: Edited on 26-May-2020, 20:44 GMT by leics2 ]

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1546 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

There are a lot of small airports in more out-of-the-way places that you might consider. Getting to and from the airport can be problematic but most have either a shuttle or a bus service of some sort. Check the airport web sites for transport information.

Unfortunately, our country is built for cars so it takes a bit of planning to use other forms of transportation. Trains used to be great in my grandmother's day but those days are long gone. You can train to major cities and probably do not want to stay anywhere near the train stations. Smaller towns will not have train service. That's where the small, local airports come into play.

Use something like Google Maps to spot the airports and then check the airport web site. It will give you transportation and accommodation information. If you do AirBnB, there may be people who would be willing to pick you up at the airport. As leics2 mentioned, renting a car is either impossible or expensive if you are under 25.

7. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2026 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

It sounds a waste to spend a long time travelling in an expensive country, when you can't use their predominant mode of transport, and when there's nothing you particularly want to see.

It's also a culture similar to your own, and outside of the big city sights that don't appeal to you there are mostly ordinary towns that are perfectly nice to live in but fairly dull for the traveller.

Personally I'd be tempted to spend the time and money on something else before heading direct to Florida. Rail hopping around Europe or backpacking somewhere cheap and exciting like Thailand or India.

8. Posted by jrmfc99 (Budding Member 5 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Thank you all for your advice! It'll definitely be central to me planning my trip. Already done a load of countries in Europe and coming from London, I get bored of the 'big city' vibe so that's probably the reasoning behind wanting to go to lesser-known places that aren't exactly number one on every tourists list, like some State Capitals that a tourist wouldn't usually think of going to. Another thing I've been researching into is lake towns, I've seen theres a few along the rust belt area. Can anyone recommend any lake towns that'd be worth staying in for a night or two?.

9. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 472 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting jrmfc99

Another thing I've been researching into is lake towns, I've seen theres a few along the rust belt area. Can anyone recommend any lake towns that'd be worth staying in for a night or two?.

The rust belt is a curious choice - are you sure? ;) I'm originally from Pittsburgh. While this is a great city to explore for a few days, let's look at some other places in your case...

Cleveland is also a great city for a visit, however that area may be more suited to you because it's on Lake Erie and several lake towns are nearby. Also, Jamestown, NY and Lake Chautauqua and the Finger Lakes just northeast are worth a look.

If you really want something lesser-known, look at the Conneaut Lake area in Pennsylvania.

As others have mentioned, transport is something to seriously look into and plan for.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-May-2020, 21:41 GMT by road to roam ]

10. Posted by jrmfc99 (Budding Member 5 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

Quoting jrmfc99

Another thing I've been researching into is lake towns, I've seen theres a few along the rust belt area. Can anyone recommend any lake towns that'd be worth staying in for a night or two?.

The rust belt is a curious choice - are you sure? ;) I'm originally from Pittsburgh. While this is a great city to explore for a few days, let's look at some other places in your case...

Cleveland is also a great city for a visit, however that area may be more suited to you because it's on Lake Erie and several lake towns are nearby. Also, Jamestown, NY and Lake Chautauqua and the Finger Lakes just northeast are worth a look.

As others have mentioned, transport is something to seriously look into and plan for.

Haha yeah believe it or not!. The rust belt area has always interested me. I think its because whenever I've been to the USA I've always been in the South Florida area so seeing places that are different seems a lot more intriguing, but I'll definitely research those areas, thanks!.