The US - your favourite spot?
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Jul 10, 2012 8:44 PM Last Post By: z_crush
Jul 6, 2012 10:34 PM
The US - your favourite spot?Hi everyone.
Next August I am travelling to the US for a friend's birthday celebration, which is in Texas. I'm doing a 3-4 week road trip, mostly avoiding the big cities and concentrating instead on small towns and amazing landscapes.
Basically I want to know where you would go if you could teleport yourself to any of your favourite spots in the US. :)
Budget and distance are not concerns at this point. I can plan my route however I like, and I have over a year to save.
I will definitely go to the Grand Canyon, New York, and New Orleans. I may go to Las Vegas. Also, I will have to pass through Texas at some point for the party.
I'm keen for suggestions on any of the following:
- any small town festivals of any kind that would be interesting and somewhat unusual - could be music, art, food, horses, or even sack racing! Anything a bit unique, ocurring from mid July to mid September.
- anywhere in the mountains (any mountains) that you find particularly beuatiful/spectacular.
- any tour on horseback that goes through interesting landscapes.
- any random little shops/cafes/museums that you love, that are not on the average touristy list.
- any roads that you feel are truly special to drive along.
- anything else you wish more tourists would see, instead of the usual "tick the box" places.
Jul 7, 2012 1:11 AM
1Go to Colorado (it meets many of your criteria above - possibly not including sack-racing), Southern Utah (ditto), the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yosemite NP, and then San Francisco. Fly from Texas to Denver and then fly out from SF ... all wonderful. Take two weeks for that, and the 3rd (4th) weeks in New Orleans plus New York.
BTW - all the "tick the box" attractions in the US are that way for a reason ... they're great. And you will find plenty of the "Real America" on the itinerary I suggest anyway. Plus many of the hugely popular attractions in the US are only crowded within the few hundred metres of the main road - lots of solitude to be found out there.
Jul 7, 2012 2:56 AM
Jul 7, 2012 9:33 AM
That would be the Middle Florida Keys for as long as I lived or could afford it, but that does not answer your implied question. You want a list and a route.
That is a 3100 mile (5000 Km) trip even if you go one-way from Las Vegas to New York. Are you still going to drive?
"Small town festivals" are not hard to find. Late summer and early fall is the "season" for them. Use Google after you decide on a route. Unless you are talking about oddball places like Taos, NM, more or less on your way, you don't look for art museums in small American towns. What you find in small towns are "crafts" more than "art."
There are no beautiful/spectacular mountains on your route with the possible exception of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico. MOUNTAINS are in Colorado, Washington, Wyoming, central California, Montana, and Alaska. None of these locations is "on your way."
You'll find the iconic American "horseback" trip in Grand Canyon on the South Kaibab or Bright Angel Trail - actually, they are mules. RESERVE THEM NOW or as soon as they take reservations.
If everyone who asks for "non-touristy" "shops/cafes/museums" on this forum actually went to them, they would be overrun and the "touristy" places would be empty. YOU ARE A TOURIST. Deal with it. It should not take you long to decide if a place suits your tastes or not. If you pass billboards for hundreds of miles advertising an "attraction”, you probably don't want to stop there. Actually, three of the four worst offenders in this category are now defunct. Wall Drug remains but it isn't on your way either.
None of the roads I especially like to drive are on your way. "VFR direct" from Grand Canyon to New Orleans to New York City is an especially bland drive, terrain wise. You will waste two or three days of your life driving I-10 across Texas.
"Tourists" are not all as stupid as their stereotype. You're one of them remember. Some of the "tick the box" places are probably what you want to see. Some of them will appeal to you more than they appeal to others but I can't tell you where those are. Besides, we need a route before we can suggest anything useful.
Have a great trip.
Jul 7, 2012 11:59 AM
Jul 7, 2012 1:08 PM
Jul 7, 2012 2:16 PM
6Arches National Park (Devils Garden hike, Delicate Arch), + Dead Horse State Park + kayaking near Moab, Utah.
Zion National Park (Angels Landing hike)
Yellowstone National Park, bison, elk everywhere, amazing landscapes.
All 3 highlights of my trip to the US last year. I also really enjoyed New Orleans and rafting near Santa Fe and of course New York City.
Jul 7, 2012 4:24 PM
7Thanks zeldasdad , some great ideas in there!
I am actually not asking for a route plan at this stage - you can suggest places in all corner of the country if you like, and I can work out whether I want to go there. I can also extend my trip to 6 weeks if I manage to save enough money. So at the moment, there is no "on the way".
5000km in 3 weeks is fine - that's only 10 days of 5 hour drives (traffic dependent). I live in a country where I have to take a plane to get to work, so that's a pretty relaxed road trip for me :) Besides, the actual driving and scenery is a huge part of what I am interested in, not just the stops.
As to asking for non touristy shops - I guess what I was trying to get at is something similar to where I would send people if they asked me that question about Australia. e.g. I'd suggest the little antique shop in Katanning, 250km south of Perth. There's a surfer cafe called "yelo" on Scarborough Beach road that does great coffee with a view across the street to the surf. There's a restaurant on the river in Freo called the Red Herring that has amazing seafood and a great place to watch the sun go down. I'm just asking where you would take visiting friends for dinner, rather than people trying to send me to some Americana steak house or whatever ;)
Also, I wasn't implying that tourists are stupid or that I am not one: I asked for places that you wish MORE tourists would see. For example, I wish more tourists to Australia would visit the northern coast of WA (aust) instead of driving from Sydney to Melbourne. It's beautiful coastline and doesn't get enough interest either from Aussies or visitors. It's not a "hidden gem" so much as something that all the visitors to Australia simply ignore, which I think is a shame. Those are the kinds of places I'm trying to get people to tell me about in the States :)
You say none of the roads you like to drive are on my way - which roads are they? I can jump on a plane at any point, and drive stretches of road if I decide to do that, rather than driving the whole way.
big thanks also to Usher, tilos and ninasarita - I'm excited to go and google all those places now! especially kayaking at Moab - that sounds awesome.
Jul 7, 2012 6:36 PM
8Scenic Drives -- Black Hills area of South Dakota and Custer State Park, also Badlands National Park near Wall, SD. This area isn't "near" anything, which is why it's more often visited by USA families from surrounding states.
Another vote for North Carolina - Blue Ridge Parkway drives & waterfalls hiking, Biltmore Estate in Asheville
In Texas - The HIll Country -- Kerrville, Fredricksburg, Boerne, etc. LBJ State Park and Ranch in Johnson City, TX. If you like Country music, lots of live venues in Austin, TX.
Jul 7, 2012 6:59 PM
San Fransciso area/wine country
Boston/Cape Cod Nantucket
Jul 7, 2012 7:12 PM
10My Favorite Drives:
Deal's Gap "The Dragon"
US-395 past the Sierra Nevadas
Any road through a national park
I-70 over the Rockies, through Glenwood Canyon, and out across the San Rafael Swell
I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge
The road up Pike's Peak
The AlCan before pavement ruined it
Wolf Creek Pass
Blue Ridge Parkway
I-75 over Jelico Mountain
The Northern Branch or US-14 over the Bighorn National Forest
To name a few.
Jul 8, 2012 5:17 AM
11How could I have omitted Glacier National Park, Going To the Sun road? Another not "near" anything place, spectacular scenery.
Jul 8, 2012 5:33 AM
Jul 8, 2012 7:07 AM
Jul 10, 2012 8:44 PM
14One of the most amazing small towns in America is Sedona, Arizona. Yes, a little touristy, but this is a place you will never forget, and there are not many places like it. Take 82A north into Flagstaff for an amazing drive through canyons, great views of cliffs and rock formations, and a feeling of satisfaction. This will be on your way to the Grand Canyon, and you can also visit the painted desert while you are in the region.
After hitting Ziion National Park, head over to Moab and visit the Utah's famous Arches. After that, rent a Jeep for a few hours and explore the red-rocks personally.
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