Advice please on 4wk USA itinerary (for Aug2013)
Replies: 24 - Last Post: Jan 20, 2013 12:53 AM Last Post By: ianw6705
Jan 18, 2013 2:18 PM
Jan 18, 2013 3:06 PM
16As noted very well above - August in the US can be tough, since places can be very hot, or very humid (or both), and pleasant places are crazy busy with Americans on vacation. We also live in Melbourne and have road-tripped in the US a number of times, but not in August for those reasons. (BTW Melbourne being a "colder" area is decidedly relative - it is still warmer on average, especially in its mild winter, than virtually all of the continental US).
So going to New Orleans will be like going to Darwin or Cairns in January, and going to the Southwest will be like going to Alice Springs in summer ... not necessarily ideal, but thousands of tourists still do it - and have a good experience. I would still head to NO if you're determined to go ... I content that travelling in the US in hot/humid weather is preferable to visiting in cold dreary times.
Yellowstone NP (and nearby parts like the Grand Tetons NP) are wonderful, but as noted, there is a lot of driving involved, it warrants almost a week including travel, and August accommodation will be scarce. Yosemite NP is also wonderful.
I would also reconsider Austin TX, and see either parts of New England (Boston, Maine Coast, etc) or the country south of Washington DC. You could in fact drive from NYC to New Orleans in two weeks, and fly from NO to San Francisco, and have a second two weeks from there to Los Angeles, with a diversion to the Grand Canyon via Yosemite NP and Las Vegas.
Alternatively, fly from NO to Las Vegas, and then to Los Angeles via the Grand Canyon NP, Yosemite NP, and San Francisco. There is no one-way drop-off fee between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. But whatever you decide, you really need to settle your accommodation in many places - it is sometimes difficult for Australians to appreciate just how popular many US destinations can be in summer.
Jan 18, 2013 4:15 PM
17A lot of fuss is made on this board over things being "too hot". It gets a little silly at times. Austin, New Orleans, Las Vegas are all hot in the summer. Yet, they're visited by millions during this time, not to mention the millions who live there, and nearly everyone manages just fine. I'm not arguing that August is the best time to visit these places - its not. But depending on what you plan to do in these places, uncomfortable afternoon highs might not impact your overall experience to an unacceptable degree. Las Vegas in particular - nobody does anything during the day in Las Vegas except sleep off the night before and sit around by the pool, icy drink in hand. It's hot as the devil's pants, to be sure, but I've had as much fun in Vegas in August as in February.
Grand Canyon is another case, it's not actually particularly hot on the canyon rims. Days above 90F are rare, especially on the cooler North Rim. Afternoon thundershowers commonly cool things off as well. For sure, hiking into the depths of the canyon is a different story, where temperatures can be 20-30F hotter than on the rims. Other national parks in the area are similarly worthwhile in summer - Zion is hot, but has a river to cool off in, and many shady hikes that are actually more pleasant in summer than winter. Bryce is higher elevation and quite pleasant in summer - even a bit chilly at night.
In any case, give the Skywalk a miss and head straight to the National Park (North or South Rim) I agree that the Skywalk might be worth a look once, but for your only trip to the GC you really should see the area within the National Park, where the canyon is wider, deeper, more colorful and more intricately carved. not to mention, the National Park offers more to do and see, at a tiny fraction of the cost. Its a no-brainer.
Jan 18, 2013 4:45 PM
Agreed, but we do that with winter weather also. Part of the function of a travel advice board is to give the kind of travel advice (this works, that doesn't) that sometimes seems a little protective.
I was in Rome when it was, I dunno, a million degrees, the fact that I could sit down and have a icy cold beer made it great. If I had done the same thing in 72 degree weather it would not have been the same. Overheat . . . sweat . . . drink . . . . relax. . . awwwww . . . perfect.
Beer in Rome? What the hell? Isn't that supposed to be wine? . . . . . The beer was perfect. Almost thirty years later and I still remember it.
Still the OP said she was concerned about humidity and so that's kinda the advice we are giving. It makes sense.
Jan 18, 2013 5:59 PM
19I agree with # 17 and was about to post on this also. What is the drama about the weather, really. Millions of people live in these so called awful environments and function quite well. Just the mere fact, as also noted, that destinations are full of oh my gosh, tourists
in the summer should tell you that the weather is hardly an issue. Touring after all is experiencing an environment the way it really is. If you get these weather notions out of your head, they will cease to be an issue. Just do things at your own pace and you will be fine. Bring a variety of outfits and plan on warm, sometimes wet weather, and carry on. The world awaits, in its real state. Cheers
Jan 18, 2013 6:22 PM
20I agree with the weather over-concern comments.
It is also the case that Australia is generally a hot-dry or hot-humid climatic place - more like Mexico and Central America than much of the US. Most Australian travellers to the US will not be fazed by summer weather (it was 113°F in Sydney yesterday ... but I concede that is an extreme event). Winter in North America is also stunning, but takes a little more care and a lot more preparation.
I also strongly recommend that you simply go to the Grand Canyon NP South Rim ... stay in a lodge there is you can find a vacancy, or in one of the many motels in nearby Tusayan. The South Rim is a magical experience, and I think a far better one than the SkyWalk offers. Spend at least one night there, or even two. If you make it Friday-Saturday nights, then you also avoid the most expensive rates in Las Vegas.
Jan 19, 2013 4:37 AM
21see....WIKIPEDIA.ORG / Hurricane season
Hurricane season peaks from mid- Aug to mid Oct
for upto date weather see.... ACCUWEATHER.COM /
use Google MAPS to build your intended route(s)
using features like "Street-View" and "Search Nearby"
for tips on how to get the best from Google MAPS
there are demos on Youtube.
Jan 20, 2013 12:28 AM
22Thank you all so much for the thoughts - I agree there's lots of fuss about the weather, just wanted to make sure I wasn't underestimating things! The hot weather is part of those places so all an experience anyway, as long as we're prepared I'm sure it'll be all good. We'll ditch Texas from the itinerary to limit time in the hotter areas and reallocate elsewhere.
Agree about the South Rim tip, we'll go with that option over the SkyWalk. Hopefully it's not too late to get some lodge accomodation in Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, I read it all books out very far in advance for the busy August period. Anyway, thank you again :-)
Jan 20, 2013 12:51 AM
23If you check http://www.wyndham.com/ - they have rooms below $100 in the broad Grand Canyon area for some random dates in mid-August. Wyndham are good to deal with, have a wide range of properties (we use Super 8 a lot), and they have a neat website.
Jan 20, 2013 12:53 AM
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