need help with time table to USA and Canada
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 7, 2012 10:25 PM Last Post By: davidjm
Oct 6, 2012 5:29 AM
My wife and I will travel to the USA next year for 4 weeks (Jan- Feb) but would like to include Canada as well in our trip. We'll depart Sydney 7th January and will arrive at LAX airport.
I have sisters in California, one in Anaheim, one in Torrance and the other in Murrieta. They are happy for us to stay with them but do not know if we still need accommodations whilst in/not California. Would love to explore west coast, then east coast then Canada. We are confused as well where to start our trip as one of my sisters told me to go to Florida, east coast, canada then spend more time with them in west coast. Honestly, we have no idea and would like to know how much time is spent when visiting each place. e.g. how many days in San Francisco, NY, DC, etc..? I guess January is still winter time, we need advice where to go or not so we can better manage our time. Thanks!
Oct 6, 2012 5:35 AM
1What are your interests? History? Art? Music? Food? Hikes? Bikes? Night clubs? Strip clubs? Remember, we don't know you, and what we like may be what you hate.
Are you willing/able to rent a car?
Can you handle the cold?
You talk about "east coast" and "west coast" like they are specific places. Each is at least 1300 miles (2100 km) long. (Detours, are of course, extra.) You can drive 3600 miles (5800 km) in one direction and never leave xCanada. It takes time to visit them, and with four weeks for both coasts plus the north, you'll find yourself making large sacrifices on what you want to see.
Oct 6, 2012 5:58 AM
As we only have 4 weeks
Interests: seeing some highlights for each place and food
Transport: we can rent a car
We can handle the cold, is it as cold as Europe when winter? We survived winter when we went there..
As regards specific places, important places in west coast, would love to go to Vegas, San Francisco and to my sisters' area. East coast NY, Boston, DC. With Canada, we need help too, maybe toronto and montreal? Would love to add orlando, florida. Any advice? Thanks
Oct 6, 2012 6:27 AM
That's pretty much your 4 weeks right there.
Look here for averages.
Oct 6, 2012 6:55 AM
4I really have no idea of the places but at best, what I mean by highlights are main attractions or places of interest: e.g. If I'm in NY I would like to see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the site of the World Trade Center – “Ground Zero”. Then the business district area, that's it.
Sorry I have no idea about the places there so I can't specify further. Thanks
Oct 6, 2012 7:18 AM
5Visit a Sister or two in LA...Take the Train to San Francisco for three or so nights(no car needed). Fly to NYC (expensive) for three or so nights...Bus or train to Washington DC...When ready to move on fly Orlando(rent a car) Warm up a bit for a few days & then fly to Las Vegas... Return to LA for a final family gathering before returning to OZ.... Canada needs be a future trip...Have your domestic air travel pre purchased at least 21 days in advance...And, get thee a guide book ! carracar
Oct 6, 2012 10:38 AM
Oct 6, 2012 10:55 AM
Oct 6, 2012 11:53 AM
8That sounds like a lot for 4 weeks.
Boston is known for its seafood and it’s Freedom Trail (a walking tour of lots of little sites relating to the American Revolution.) It would be more interesting if ahead of time you read a book or watch a miniseries or something so you know what you’re looking at (Boston Massacre, Stamp Act, Boston Tea Party, Sons of Liberty, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Lexington and Concord.)
Nearby Boston is the town of Plymouth which played an important part in America’s founding. The way we tell the story the bitter conditions of the first winter played an important role. There you can see both the actual town where they lived and a full-scale historic re-creation of it with character actors playing the roles of historic people. Anyway, seeing it in cold weather seems appropriate.
Depending on how late in the day you arrive etc., 2-3 nights is probably adequate for Boston.
NYC? Well you can keep touring there until your money runs out. When you are done with the major sites you can take a guided tour of the historic gangster areas, see a show, spend an entire day in any one of several museums etc. etc.. I’d say 3 full days (3-4 nights) to see the major sites. Basically, you can see one museum plus one site per day or 3 major sites and maybe squeeze in one more after dinner. If you’ve got the bucks, you can see a show or the Philharmonic. Taking your wife on a carriage ride around Central Park is considered a romantic tradition. If you are heading to DC, you can skip the NYC Museums. There is so much to do in NYC you can easily spend as little as one full day there and just admit "we'll have to do the other stuff next time."
I live outside NYC and I usually recommend people travel Boston-NYC-Baltimore-DC by train, although by bus may be cheaper. Either way once in those cities you pay to store your car and get around by public transport. Side trips (such as to Plymouth) can usually be done by tour bus.
I enjoy Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, but I find it a little pricey and I’ve never been there in January. It can be done as a side trip from DC.
Once you get your hotel figured out DC is a discount location. There are lots of free museums and memorials to see. If you go to the Capitol Building take the GUIDED tour.
I was fond of the guided tour I took of the Air and Space Museum because it combined a history lesson and we saw the exhibits chronologically, but you can do it self-guided as well. The American History Museum and the Natural History Museum are also each worth a visit. Figure on a half-day each bare minimum, but an entire day each is not a waste of time. They’re free.
DC is also a good place to catch the touring version of Broadway shows for about half the NYC price. I enjoyed my trip to Arlington Cemetery, but I’m an American, so for me it was something of a pilgrimage. I don’t usually recommend it to foreign visitors.
Enjoy your trip.
Edited by: LongIslandBob
Oct 6, 2012 1:11 PM
9Hey nrclibn (#7) - your map is rather odd ... it is showing "Cloisters" results from Maine to Kansas. And it's not because I'm viewing it out of country ... a dodgy googlemap is dodgy everywhere, I expect.
And David, is it absolutely essential that you travel in Jan-Feb? Lots of the country gets freezing cold at that time, and I estimate that you will experience and enjoy NYC, Boston, Washington DC, etc, about 20% as much as you would a few months later.
Forget Canada this trip ... too cold and your time can be better spent elsewhere.
Travelling in deep winter to North America makes sense if you actually want to experience winter ... by which I mean the Rocky Mountains (even if you don't ski), plus the high deserts and lower deserts of the Southwest. Coasts are not so good in cold damp weather, usually, and as noted above, cities can be dreary when you're cold, and with lots of evening and night-time activities severely curtailed..
In broad terms, I would look at California, Las Vegas, some of the national parks between there and Denver, including the Rockies, then New Orleans for good food and good weather, and a brief trip to Boston / NYC / Washington DC if you must, at that time of year.
Not sure I'd bother with Florida ... lots of parts of Australia are pretty similar. Have a great time planning it!
Oct 6, 2012 1:39 PM
10Getting back to your sisters, staying in Anaheim is great if you want to see Disneyland and the Orange County beaches. Torrance is also good for beaches. It's closer to the sights of Los Angeles - Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills but you would still need a car. Murietta is in the desert and is quite popular in the winter.
I think I would spend a few days in LA, drive up slowly to San Francisco and spend a few days there. Then fly to the East Coast via Las Vegas. No need to spend more than 2 days in Vegas until you also want to see national parks. Spend 10 days or so tourist the East Coast. Then come back to LA.
Oct 7, 2012 10:25 PM
11Thank you so much for all your tips and and advice. These information are all helpful to us. This is what we have planned after reading the comments here. We still need your help/suggestions.
When we arrive on 7th January in the evening at LAX airport, my sister from Murrieta will pick us and we will stay in their place until 8 January. Then, we'll go early next day to my other two sisters in Anaheim and Torrance to spend the whole day with them. Then at night, we will fly to NYC Newark airport.
This means that for our first three days we will just meet and greet our sisters and spend our 10-11 days first in the east coast. The remaining days of our 30 days vacation will be spent in the west coast with our family. Our friend X who live in NYC will help us organise our tour in the east coast at the same time we now have a car offered by our friend X.
For our west coast itinerary, we would like to ask for your suggestions and advice. We do not like visiting the inside of museums but we love to see main attractions in each place. I guess we still have 13-14 days left for the west coast. As mentioned before, one of my sisters will lend us a car and we can stay in their place. We need your help when to have accommodation in other places and your suggestions of the places we must visit in the west coast. Specifically, where to go and not go considering it is still winter at the time we visit USA.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$255.15 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night
Des MoinesBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$129.00 per night