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USA in 4 weeks

Travel Forums North America USA in 4 weeks

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1. Posted by Cesca19 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi Everyone
First time posting a thread, have read heaps and got so much info but still need some advice. Please. We have booked our tickets out of Melbourne and we now need to plan the internal trip

Leave for San Francisco on 1 September and fly out of LA 30 September.
We have a vague idea of what we want to do from books and friends, here goes:
4 nights in San Fran
Drive down to LA - 5 nights in LA
(possibly go down to San Diego)
Fly out to NYC spend 5 nights, then we want to drive to Washington DC (maybe 2 days) as well as do Niagra falls
From there fly to Vegas, 4 nights in Vegas and go to Grand Canyon.

there are a couple of wholes in there as we are thinking about doing Miami as well but the travel agent is trying to put us off going there. The reason we are doing Vegas last is it my partners 30th birthday on the 25th Sept and he wanted to be in Vegas.

My question really is what does everyone think of the plan and are we spending enough time at each place.

2. Posted by janban214 (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I can only speak for san francisco, as i live here. 4 days/nights is actually plenty of time to see the important places and eat the great food in San Francisco. SF is pretty small, you just need to have a list of things that you definitely want to see and do. If you have a travel agent, it might be wise to go through them to find tickets for places such as Alcatraz or the Planetarium. But otherwise, SF is pretty easy to manage. You can walk where you need to and take the bus, trolly or MUNI to anywhere you want to go. SF has amazing food, so don't forget to eat well here

3. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Would it not be better to fly into the east coast and then leave from the west (or vice versa) rather than do some of the west, fly to the east, then back to the west again, before flying home? You'd save a bit of time that way?

4. Posted by jeantyc (Budding Member 73 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

4 nights in Vegas is good enough to see most of what Vegas has to offer, but you will have to cram alot in; I have been there several times, lots to do during the day and night, and if you had the grand canyon that's one day gone already.

I am from NYC and 5 days here will not cover it, so you will need to decide what's important and plan accordingly

5. Posted by Cesca19 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi Guys

thanks for the advice, Qantas was having a special with the flights so we jumped at it really.

has anyone been to miami, still deciding if its worth going down?

6. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5644 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I would definately recommend to spend those 4 weeks in the west of the US for sure.
I don't understand why you would visit NY (and even Miami you are considering) if you only have 4 weeks?
O, and 5 nights LA?
There is so much more than cities in the US, and apart from San Francisco and NY (maybe a day Las Vegas to see what all is about) I would spend some more time in National Parks etc etc. Niagara Falls is nice, but there still you need some time to get there as well.
Do you want to sit in planes and cars all the time or have some quality time?
This is meant to be positive post by the way, to give you some good advice, as is the meaning of the forum

7. Posted by Cheap Guy (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I always advise people seeing the U.S. for the first time to focus on the "big things." A month is a good period of time to do this, here's how I'd work the itinerary:

Arrive SFO--3 days, see the highlights, get over jet lag, then rent a car and drive to L.A. for four nights, drive down to San Diego for two nights, drive across to the Grand Canyon for a night, up to Las Vegas for three nights, fly to NYC for five nights, take a train to D.C. and stay for four nights, fly to Miami and stay for four nights, from there head to New Orleans for two nights, back to SF, and then home.

Wow that sounds tiring!


Cheap Guy

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

8. Posted by Cesca19 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Michael, I dont really want to spend most of the time flying around or driving.
there just so much to see its hard to decide what to do in 4 weeks.

9. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I suggest you consider the following:

Start in San Francisco, spend 4 days there, then spend 7 days driving down the coast to San Diego (see my other post to cuddlekez entitled "drive san diego 2 san fran", but just reverse the order of that trip--and take an extra 2 days in Los Angeles, and 1 extra in San Diego).

From San Diego, either drive or fly to Las Vegas--I suggest drive so you can see the desert here and understand how vast it is.

Spend a day driving to Sedona, Arizona, then another day going to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, then another day driving to Page, Arizona through the Navaho Indian Reservation and seeing Lake Powell in Utah, one day to go over to Monument Valley and one day back, then one more day back through Zion National Park to Las Vegas. Then spend 4 days in Las Vegas. Drive back to Los Angeles, spend your last 4-5 days there, then fly home.

Monument Valley and Lake Powell is the closest thing to a true western US experience you can find--Monument Valley is the place where most US westerns were filmed because of it's amazing backdrop--and was even featured in the second "Mission Impossible" movie--where you see Tom Cruise climbing the side of a gigantic mesa at the beginning of the film. Lake Powell has the most amazing river/lake scenery you will ever see anywhere. Here are three pictures--the first of Monument Valley, the second of Lake Powell, the third of Sedona:

To give you some sense of perspective, there is a boat in the second picture above. The boat shown holds 50 people and is taking them to see the famous "Rainbow Bridge Arch" that is 40 miles farther up the lake. (The lake is over 250 miles long).

You could also take a day to go see Death Valley (from Las Vegas)--and you could also take a 2 day trip from San Francisco to see Yosemite National Park (although most of it is closed in the winter), and possibly Lake Tahoe.

Here's a Death Valley picture:

Enjoy--no matter what your choices are

10. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Oh, and here's a picture of San Francisco (taken from Treasure Island at night)