USA in early May
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Jan 5, 2012 5:40 PM Last Post By: hmjs
Jan 1, 2012 9:39 PM
USA in early MayHi everyone,
I'll be in Calgary visiting friends until about the end of April, then need to be in San Francisco by May 16th for a trip along the coast to Seattle. My dilemma is what to do for the couple of weeks in between. I've been to Vegas and the Grand Canyon, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Carmel and Monterey- but that's all in the US. I enjoyed everywhere except Vegas. I'm interested in scenery, history, markets, art, craft, photography, regional food, walking trips; happy to do organised small group trips, or travel alone. I have a budget of $2000-3000, and I'm happy to fly, bus or train anywhere. What would be your recommendation for some interesting places to visit in those first two weeks of May
Thanking you in anticipation
Jan 1, 2012 10:13 PM
Jan 1, 2012 10:28 PM
Jan 1, 2012 10:39 PM
Jan 1, 2012 11:19 PM
Jan 2, 2012 1:08 AM
I wish I had your dilemma :-)
Assuming you'd be flying in from Calgary your options may only be limited by weather (and only if that is a concern). Being happy to fly you could go to New York City if it were of appeal, but given that you're intersted in scenery I reckon it'd be just as easy to base yourself in San Francisco and do a couple of small tours. I second violets' Yosemite notion - a truly gorgeous and breathtaking place. Weather wise Yosemite should be fine in May, I've been a couple of times during May and the weather was pretty much perfect. Some areas would be off limits but there's still more than enough to see and do. But of course weather is weather. I'm not sure if your trip along the coast from San Fran to Seattle allows time in the San Fran area or for that matter in San Fran itself, but if it doesn't you could easily spend a week in and around there, and have the other week for a Yosemite trip, which would be a decent visit to a very beautiful place. There's heaps in and around San Fran - you've got Muir Woods, Alcatraz, the Full House houses (hehehe)...
If you are into music at all I'd highly recommend Memphis. And the Memphis in May festival is on during the first week of May - which could make it either appealing or unappealing???
What about Hawaii - you could easy get to a couple of islands in that time (Kauai and either Maui or the Big Island would be my picks)??? it wouldn't be cold, though it may stretch the finances (not sure how much it costs to fly there from Calgary)???
If it were me I'd go with the San Francisco and Yosemite option, but that's only because I love Yosemite so much.
All the best,
Jan 2, 2012 5:16 AM
Jan 2, 2012 6:01 AM
71) Departing from Las Vegas (for convenient flights/rental cars), make a circle tour of Death Valley National Park (3 days), Zion National Park (3 days), Bryce Canyon National Park (2 days) and perhaps Arches NP (2- 3 days).
2) Fly to Asheville, North Carolina and enjoy the Biltmore Mansion, Blue RIdge Mountains and waterfalls.
3) Fly to Austin, TX and drive the Hill Country, including San Antonio - cowboy / old West history, Alamo. The famous bluebonnets will be past peak blooming (early April) but the area is still scenic.
Jan 2, 2012 7:43 AM
Jan 2, 2012 7:50 AM
9I am thinking that May is a perfect time to "do" California's historic Highway 49 through the old mining towns of the Sierra foothills. See this link for some background. http://www.roadtripamerica.com/drives/ca49.htm.
I don't find any tours or transportation links that connect the different counties but they may exist. Anyway it is a beautiful area especially in the spring when everything is green and lush. The small towns are interesting and charming with all the historic emphasis and museums etc. There is a lot of walking and local exploring to do and small B&B's and hotels, I'm sure a creative person could solve the transportation problems easily.
Jan 2, 2012 8:56 PM
10I would look into Yellowstone and/or Glacier National Parks, but I also agree with the Yosemite advice. If you are in Calgary though you'll be SO CLOSE to Montana that you should definitely try and see it. It is by far one of the most beautiful states in the US. If you are in to natural scenery and history...Portland, OR has a great beer scene and then you could head south the Bend and check out Crater Lake National Park...
Jan 2, 2012 8:58 PM
11Oh, and the train idea is a great one, I've taken the Amtrak from LA to Seattle but its looong and you don't really get to stop anywhere, so that's a downfall...
Jan 2, 2012 10:08 PM
12Man, the penny has just dropped for me thanks to ehailstones' suggestion above.....
To echo tiltedflipcurves' question - are you happy to drive? If so, it makes perfect sense to drive down to San Francisco from Calgary. I agree, Montana is a very beautiful state. You could head from Calgary to Glacier NP, spend a day there, then from there head south-east to Helena (stay overnight) and then onto Yellowstone. Spend a couple of days between Yellowstone and Grand Teton and then head west into Oregon. A couple of days would get you to the Bend area where you could stop and axplore the area for a couple of days. Then head south to Crater Lake and spend the remainder of the day there, and from there head into northern California and stay inland as obviously you don't want to double up on the scenery you'll be seeing on your coastal trip. You could stop at Lassen Volcano and then head to San Fran from there.
I realise you're going to see Oregon (and California) when you head back up the coast which, although a great trip in of itself, is obviously quite different to the inland areas. Oregon is at least as beautiful inland as it is along the coast (in my opinion its more beautiful). Unless you're zigzagging inland on your coastal trip, I'd definitely recommend this as it offers so much - Glacier NP, the Rockies, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Oregon (enough said!).
I think the above is doable in two weeks, and not even rushing, but if you wanted something even more relaxed maybe just drop off Yellowstone and Grand Teton, and from Glacier NP start heading south-west straight away, still hitting the spots in Oregon. Still a great journey.
Things to consider:
Weather and the driving conditions up north during early May may be another consideration to take into account, especially if you were concerned about Michigan.
Another potential barrier (may be easy enough to get around???) is the car rental - because you'd be picking it up in Canada they may restrict driving in the US, or at least have a limit as to how far in you can go. Having said that it may just be a matter of swapping cars. Or alternatively maybe there is a bus or train that could take you to the border where you can pick up a car??? Either way its a samll price to pay for what could be an awesome mini-roadtrip!
More food for thought I guess...
Jan 5, 2012 5:39 PM
13Thanks for all your ideas.Another question- what would Boston/New England be like at that time of the year? I don't want to commit to two weeks somewhere then find I'm restricted by weather, having said that a bit of rain and cold doesn't bother me but I lived in Calgary for all of 2010,and was snowed on in May and June so I'm a bit wary about weather in northern USA.
While living in Calgary I visited Glacier National Park several times (one of my favourite places in the world- so close to Calgary I had forgotten it was the US, not Canada) and did the road trip as far down as Yellowstone in the summer then back up inland to Vancouver. I spent a couple of weeks in San Francisco at Christmas, including a couple of days in Yosemite. Then spent 2 weeks in Hawaii on the way home to Australia.
To answer tiltedflipcurves- I'm not that keen on driving- I'm travelling by myself and the whole other side of the road experience and perhaps icy roads further north takes some of the fun out of travelling, although I'd be prepared to rent a car for a few days to explore an area. And yosemitebaz; Crater Lake is on my tour itinerary and I'm thinking it will be one of the highlights.
So at the moment, I'm going to investigate Washington, The Blue ridge Mountains, The Music in Memphis festival, Bryce/Arches/Zion, and perhaps Boston. Thanks for all your thoughtful ideas; I'll let you know what I decide and how it goes.
Jan 5, 2012 5:40 PM
14Oh and I'm definitely checking out the Chicago- San Francisco train idea too!
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