Approx USA Itinery, looking for advice..............
Replies: 25 - Last Post: Jan 29, 2013 2:11 PM Last Post By: smartcookiee
Jan 26, 2013 9:28 PM
15Apologies for the delay in response, have been on cyclone alert.
Thank-you for all your suggestions. Looks like will have to do some further research on the second part of the trip.....
Solohobo - Impressed with the hotel suggestion (Chamberlain, West Hollywood), pretty much exactly what I have been looking for and seems to be reasonably priced. Makes sense to give Orlando a miss, and get my Disney fix in LA. Could do it on way through to San Diego....
Will leave some room to perhaps make some additional stops - such as New Orleans, Chicago or spending some time at the national parks....
Would a car be necessary in New Orleans??
Not huge gamblers, however I am still curious about Las Vegas - however could probably reduce the stay. With the Grand Canyon, the skywalk is a must, I have read many reviews advising to instead go to the National Park. Would it be easy enough to do both? I am assuming we would need a vehicle for this.
The humidity in Florida, does not bother me - I live in the Pilbara, Western Australia - so our summer is mostly 80% humidity and 40+ degree days.
Nashville - does not appear to have much going on, fairly quiet town could include suggestions to include trip to Memphis or simular.
LongIslandBob - love the idea of college football, nothing of the sort here in Australia.
Jan 27, 2013 5:32 AM
16There are lots of great places for college football. Florida, Texas, Alabama several other places in the south. In a couple of major cities, parking is so expensive they skip the whole beer and barbecue experience we refer to as “tail-gating.” (Bummer) Anyway, ask around about the best games to attend.
If you are re-planning the second half of your trip feel free to send up a balloon. I know quite a bit about traveling in Virginia and parts north, so do many others here.
Jan 27, 2013 5:53 AM
The Skywalk is on native land. It costs $75 per person. You are herded from the entrance to the Skywalk to a gift shop and released. You can helicopter to the river (for an extra fee), but you cannot explore on your own. The national park is $25 per vehicle. There is no Skywalk, and you can't helicopter to the river, but you can explore at your leisure. The park is where the canyon is widest and deepest (they put the park there for a reason).
With that said, yes you can do both, if you really want to. You can take a bus tour to the west rim from Vegas as a fairly easy day trip, then rent a car to drive to the park (spend at least one night).
It's up to you.
Jan 27, 2013 9:01 AM
18The Skywalk is on native land. It costs $75 per person.
That's just to get into the West Rim area. Anything else you do there, including walk out on the skywalk, is extra.
Why is the Skywalk "a must"? Not to beat a dead horse, but the whole thing is a gimmick. You don't "look straight down to the Colorado River 4,000 feet below", as their advertisements say. The Skywalk is on the rim, several miles back from the river. You look straight down maybe a couple hundred feet to a slope on the canyon wall. The river is still way over there (and the canyon isn't even 4,000 feet deep at this location). With the canyon being several miles wide, how much difference does a few dozen feet make? With the exception of the glass floor, the actual view of the canyon is identical the view from the nearby rim. Don't get me wrong - you're still looking at the Grand Canyon, and it will still be impressive, especially if you've never seen the Grand Canyon before. Maybe that's good enough. But if you have time, IMHO it is a big mistake to spend it on the Skywalk and skip the actual National Park area.
Would it be easy enough to do both?
If you did an organized tour to the Skywalk, you'd have to return to Vegas and then set out for the South Rim the next day. Although there are day and overnight tours to the south rim, taking your own rental car is probably the best way to do it. An overnight tour that includes significant free time inside the park would be a good second-best.
I am still curious about Las Vegas - however could probably reduce the stay.
A couple days would be enough satisfy curiosity. Once you've gotten your fill of people-watching and checking out the "scene", actually doing anything in Vegas costs a small fortune. You really have to be excited about. If you're not totally thrilled about shows and nightclubs and gambling, 4 or 5 days would be an unbearable waste of time.
Jan 27, 2013 4:19 PM
19I'm going to beat a dead horse here, too, and suggest that you really skip the Grand Canyon skywalk. It's a gimmick, expensive, in the middle of nowhere, and the portion of the Grand Canyon at which it is located is certainly not very 'grand' compared to the National Park and South Rim. If you haven't been to the South Rim, you haven't been to the Grand Canyon. Also, because the Grand Canyon is such a giant hole, getting from the Indian reservation where the skywalk is located to the South Rim is a heavy lift for one day. It'll be quite dark and late by the time you get to the South Rim lodges and overlooks. As an FYI, you can stand on a glass balcony in Chicago at the Willis (Sears) Tower -- arguably more exciting than the Skywalk.
Jan 27, 2013 4:20 PM
20As you can see here (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/SkywalkFromOutsideLedge.jpg), the Skywalk is just a couple hundred feet down to some rock ledge. Sorry, I just feel strongly that you will waste your time and money there, but I won't mention it again...promise.
Jan 27, 2013 4:27 PM
The minimum cost to "enter" is $44.05 ($29.95, plus tax and fees).
Jan 27, 2013 5:46 PM
Jan 27, 2013 7:57 PM
Jan 29, 2013 2:08 PM
24Nashville is actually pretty fun. There are good restaurants and pretty unique nightlife in downtown if you're interested in country music especially. 2 nights is good there. Memphis is quieter I would say outside of Beale St which is happening mostly on the weekends (Nashville is crazier in my opinion and has much more interesting crowds).
Jan 29, 2013 2:11 PM
25Also, I love the Chamberlain in West Hollywood, but I still think staying in Santa Monica is a better LA experience (Seashore Motel is a good choice 1 block from the beach and right on Main Street. There is also the Holiday Inn which is cheaper than places like the Viceroy and Fairmont). Santa Monica is a much more interesting walkable area. But if you're into shopping, then West Hollywood is a good option and the Chamberlain has a good location (right by Sunset Strip as well as the gay scene in LA on Santa Monica Blvd).
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