Honeymoon to USA in September - Advice and Thoughts
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Jan 11, 2012 9:01 AM Last Post By: LittleStarla
Jan 9, 2012 1:43 PM
Honeymoon to USA in September - Advice and ThoughtsI'm getting married next month and we are going to delay our honeymoon until September and do a 3 week trip of the USA. We live in Sydney, Australia. I have been to America before but I was only about 10 years old (I am 30 now) and my fiance has never been (actually, we have been to Hawaii together twice in the past 3 years). We love the beach but this trip we are interested in just seeing and doing as much as possible. A nice mix of touristy things and cultural things mixed with relaxing and a bout of shopping and general sight seeing. We love live music and enjoy a good pub.
We need to book something soon and have gotten an initial quote.
It currently looks something like this (I have given links to the hotel website and a map of where the hotel is located):
• 4 nights in LA staying at Sunset on Grafton ( Website | Map )
• Fly to Washington staying 2 nights at Carlyle Suites ( Website | Map )
• Catch Amtrack train to New York staying 4 nights at Courtyard by Marriott in Upper East Side ( Website | Map )
• Fly to Las Vegas staying 3 nights at New York, New York ( Website | Map )
• Fly to San Francisco staying 3 nights at Days Inn SF, Downtown, Civic Centre Area ( Website | Map )
So a few questions:
• Does anyone know these hotels and the area that they are in? Do they seem ok / close to the action?
• Can you recommend things that we have to do in each of these cities?
• Is there a destination we are glaringly missing from this trip? (Memphis, Boston, Philly etc)
• In LA, should we spend 2 nights on Sunset and then maybe do 2 nights at Venice Beach or something like that? How about Santa Monica
• Should we drive to Anaheim to do Disneyland, Universal etc... I'm not fussed, but if we are going all the way to the states, is it something we should see? Do we need to spend a night there or can we do a day trip from LA?
• Should we take the drive to San Diego and see the zoo etc and stay there for a night or 2? (If so, do we do a day in Tijuana?)
• Is Miami worth the extra $$ that it will add to the trip?
• What will the weather be in September for these different cities?
• Judging by the number of nights we have in each place, would you say we have left enough time to see everything? Or is there a city where you think we have too many nights?
• I want to see a Baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Yankees are playing Tampa Bay Rays when we are there. Whats the best way to secure tickets?
I checked the map of the hotel that is in our quote in NY and it seems to be away from all the major things that I wanted to see like the WTC, Broadway, Times Square, Empire State Building etc. Is there any hotels or anything you would recommend a bit closer to the action? Or do you reckon it would be better to stay in Upper East Side for a bit of quiet and just communte into town each day. Are cabs the best way to get around in NY, or Trains, Bus, foot?
Any thoughts, comments, must see's etc would be very much appreciated.
Jan 9, 2012 1:48 PM
Jan 9, 2012 2:53 PM
Whether you want to go to a theme park is up to you. If you do go, do drive.
Either are day trips, but beware rush hour.
Really, we can't predict the weather.
Jan 9, 2012 3:24 PM
3Thanks for the replies so far.
bzookaj - Why do you recommend Boston? And what do you suggest to do for 3 days?
We wont have a car in LA, so may just brush Disneyland and do Universal instead if it is closer.
Though we may hire a car to drive from LA to San Diego if we decide to do that (or is train / bus just as easy?).
My fiance works for Lego so would like to do LegoLand in SD as well as the zoo and check out the beaches. Is it a nice drive from LA to SD? Are there plenty of nice beaches to stop at along the way?
Jan 9, 2012 3:37 PM
Universal is about 5.5 miles from your hotel. About 15 minutes by car, however, the bus trip will take almost an hour (barring traffic).
Transit in southern California is possible. However, it is very time consuming.
(And if someone comes up and says "don't rent a car because you'll get stuck in traffic," remember, buses get stuck in the same traffic.)
Jan 9, 2012 3:53 PM
5I would not add Boston to this itinerary, because you're already planning to spend much of your trip traveling from place to place. No point in trying to add yet another city to the list.
Three days in Vegas is one day too many.
The Days Inn Civic Center is actually in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of SF. Though the motel itself is nothing special, Hayes Valley is a really charming residential neighborhood with a fantastic variety of restaurants and small boutiques. It's less central than Union Square for tourists, but I'd still recommend it because you'll get a real feel for the feel of San Francisco neighborhoods.
Jan 9, 2012 5:27 PM
6I would skip LA, based on your likes and time and the "no car" issue. It's just not worthwhile unless you're willing to drive everywhere. And the freeways can be terrifying. I'm a dual US/Aus citizen and lived in Sydney for 7 years, and I don't think that you'll get excited about LA and its beaches.
Your hotel choice in DC is good--near Dupont Circle is a great area to be based. And yes, add a night or two.
No San Francisco or national parks?
Jan 9, 2012 5:30 PM
Though Fudgy has a point as well about LA.
Jan 9, 2012 5:35 PM
8Well we have to fly into LA anyway and we do want to atleast experience LA.
To be honest, I have heard a few people say LA is not very nice, but it seems funny to fly all the way there and not get down and dirty in LA.
Yes, San Francisco is the last stop of our trip for 3 nights.
Havent thought of the National Parks. What do you recommend?
Jan 9, 2012 5:46 PM
9If you were looking for a great drive, I'd do the coastal highway between SF and LA (or some part of it). So stunning--there is good reason California is a popular place to live. It is beautiful.
From Las Vegas, you could head to Zion National Park and/or Bryce Canyon (and...the other regulars would give you better info). The Grand Canyon is not overrated. It took my breath away.
As for the east coast, NYC is a not-miss although I'm also partial to Philadelphia, DC, and New England (including Boston, but it seems a shame not to head to at least southern Maine or Cape Cod). You seem to be emphasizing cities, and that's fine--but if you want to see mountains, parks, small towns, and beaches, there is a lot to see.
Jan 9, 2012 6:00 PM
Jan 9, 2012 9:03 PM
11Your hotel in NYC is not the most ideal location, but you can make do. Definitely try and take the subway or walk as much as possible--cab fares add up quickly! A great resource for understanding the metro system in various cities is www.hopstop.com. You can put in your start and end points and it will give you up to date transit directions, which can come in handy when certain subway lines are not in service.
Do you know what you're planning to do in NYC? If you have an extra window of time, make sure you check out the Brooklyn Bridge! Walk across at sunset and you'll have great city views. Grab a slice at Grimaldi's pizza on the other (Brooklyn) side (though be prepared to wait for a while!). Also, if you're an art lover, make sure to check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA, the Guggenheim... seriously, the list goes on. Another website that might be helpful for you to look at is http://newyork.timeout.com/. They usually have itineraries for different time frames that can be especially helpful, and you'll find things more tailored to your interest.
September will also be a nice time for a walk around Central Park, a personal favorite of mine. It's also a great spot to just grab a hot dog, sit on a bench, and people watch. Various people from all walks of life are present in NYC so it's fun to observe.
Personally, a game at Fenway Park in Boston would be much more fun than in Yankees stadium. Yankees stadium also isn't in the greatest area and if you're unfamiliar with the metro could be a bit of a hassle.
As for DC, I agree with other posters that you should consider adding an extra night. Check out the Newseum, all the monuments (Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam War memorial, etc) and Georgetown is fun for a night out.
Have a great honeymoon!
Jan 10, 2012 3:18 AM
12Yay, I'm glad someone mentioned Central Park :-)
I would reduce LA to 2 nights, which combined with your unused nights totals 6 nights to account for.
Here's what I would use them for:
1 night - I personally would drop San Diego, but if you must see LegoLand spend a night there and skip the zoo. Its a great zoo, there's no doubt about that, but zoos are everywhere and I think your time could be better spent elsewhere. While you're in NYC go to the Central Park Zoo - its a great little zoo and doesn't take long to explore.
3 nights - either Philadelphia or Boston (both are great suggestions - if you go to Philly check out Eastern State Penitentiary
2 nights - Yosemite NP (just add them to the San Francisco leg)
Las Vegas: if you've got 3 nights there I'd definitely recommend as others have that you take a day trip to either the Grand Canyon, Zion, or even Bryce Canyon.
LegoLand: if you were to consider dropping this I would add the night to DC.
All the best,
PS - Perhaps your partner can score a business trip to LegoLand one day??? :-)
Jan 10, 2012 5:00 AM
13Since I suggested moving your NYC hotel, I guess I should post the usual NYC hotel FAQ links:
249, 256 and 268.
Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, Death Valley, Channel Islands, Shenandoah, Acadia, Sequoia/Kings Canyon, Joshua Tree
In rough order of which to consider (factoring in scenery, distances, climate, time needed to really enjoy it, etc.).
Jan 10, 2012 5:04 AM
14Note to #11--
Skip the Newseum. And don't waste any time waiting for pizza at Grimaldi's. It's just pizza.
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