NYC - LA in October 2013
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Nov 5, 2012 12:20 PM Last Post By: tilos
Nov 5, 2012 1:10 AM
NYC - LA in October 2013Hey guys!
A bunch of my friends and I from Singapore are planning a trip to USA in October next year. Yayy! Super psyched! But we would really need some help in planning this trip!
For starters, we're all heading there for a conference and we have about 12 days in between to travel from NYC to LA.
These are the conference dates:
NYC: October 4th & 5th 2013 // Radio City Music Hall
LA: October 18th & 19th 2013 // Nokia Theatre
Hmm, from what I understand though, 12 days is a really short time period for travelling cross country so it's not likely we can see everything we want to. (In Singapore, it takes just about 2hrs to drive from one end to another)
But here's a vague, rough plan of the places we're sorta interested in. I know it's too ambitious but hah, I've never been there so I'm excited over everything. Please do let me know where would be impossible or even unwise to go. We do want to be able to actually enjoy our trip after all so advice from you experts would be very much appreciated (:
- New York
Texas (quoting my friend: great sights, explosions in the sky, BBQ ribs, explosions in the sky)
Las Vegas (for the Grand Canyon, not gambling haha)
We're not looking to spend too much though so any tips that could with saving money would be great. Hehe. We're open to any sort of transportation (train, car rental, flight). I'm not sure on the number of us though so maybe car rental would be a little difficult.
Also, could you guys help with a rough estimate on how much the roadtrip might cost?
In terms of where to stay, I'm thinking of cheap motels or even spending nights on the train..
Hmm because it's a bunch of us with different interests (ages range between 22-30) , I would think a variety of everything would be good (Scenery/wilderness/city life/live music bars/shopping etc) . Groups are a little harder to accommodate but eh, I think we're all quite open.
Oh oh! Personally, I wanna spend a day at Six Flags! I'm not too sure which to go to though, there's quite a number of them along the way of our trip. Also, I wanna eat In N' Out Burger! :D They came once to Singapore for a pop up store and sold out in less than 5 minutes I think I was there at 945am..
So yeah! I'm really looking forward to this trip, can't wait to be there!
I will likely be in NYC a month or two ahead of them, am a fashion photographer and am hoping to do a short internship there first but nothing is fixed yet.. Uh. What should I do with the excess luggage? Should I mail them back to Singapore first?
Nov 5, 2012 1:53 AM
1I think you're going to have a blast but that is a lot to pack into 12 days.
NYC "requires" 4 days to feel like you've done enough, anything less than 2 days (3 nights) will likely leave you feeling like you haven't scratched the surface. Add a day at 6 Flags and that leaves you with 9 days to see/do everything else.
DC is a 2-day town, although one full day "with shoulders" might be adequate, leaving you at 7 days.
The drive from east coast to west is about 48 hours if you don't stop for gas or bathrooms.
That's 5 days left for Chicago, Texas, Grand Canyon, LA and San Fran.
I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, but probably the best way at look at your trip is not as a coast-to-coast adventure, but as NYC with side trips and LA or LA/San Fran with side trips. Besides if you're on conference, you could probably save some bucks by having the boss pick up most of your hotel tab in those two cities.
Edited by: LongIslandBob
Nov 5, 2012 4:01 AM
Thanks for your reply, appreciate it :D
Well we'll be there in NYC a little earlier for the conference so maybe we don't have to spend too much days there.
My friend and I are the adventurous sort, so we're hoping to go water rafting or bungee jumping if it's available and not tooooo expensive. Are there any places that you would really recommend for that? (:
I was told DC is more of a museum sort of place and to skip it..
Nov 5, 2012 4:52 AM
3You don't have enough time for your plans.
Since you seem to be anti-museum, visit xBoston after xNYC.
Fly to xLA. Rent a car.
Drive to xSF via the coast. If you have time, detour inland to Yosemite (book accommodation early).
Nov 5, 2012 5:02 AM
Hmm I agree. Flying would seem like a much cheaper and faster option given the time limit. What would you recommend about Boston? Cause all I can think of is the really sad song by Augustana hahahaha.
Nov 5, 2012 5:20 AM
5Since it is has been recommended that you skip Washington, D.C., then plan to take the train from NYC to Chicago, then either the northern route through the Rocky Mountains to San Francisco, or the southern route past Santa Fe/Albuquerque to Los Angeles. You could stop for a couple of days in the Rocky Mountains area, rent a car and see Rocky Mountain National Park and the area (there might be snow in October), or stop in Lamy and take the Amtrak shuttlebus to Santa Fe (15 minutes) in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, to explore a 400 years old city that is renowned for its art and architecture plus cultures -- American Indians, Spanish, Anglo. The wilderness is within walking distance and there is a lot of nightlife in the city.
Nov 5, 2012 6:55 AM
It sounds great, but now I'm a little afraid I won't have enough time!
Right now after some discussions with my friends we're thinking of going by this way..
-Tour? (Free Tours By Foot)
-Visit Harvard SQ
-Eat Clam Chowder
-Tour (Chicago Greeters)
-Visit the Bean
Las Vegas (2days)
-Grand Canyon (Recommended to stay at least one night)
-Valley of Fire
-Fremont Street Experience
Los Angeles (2 days) RENT CAR
-In N’ Out Burger
-Six Flags Magic Mountain
-Drive to San Francisco (2 days)
-Visit Yosemite (White Water Rafting)
-Drive back to LA
What do you think? Is it okay?
Nov 5, 2012 7:24 AM
7Their is no white water rafting near Yosemite in October that I am aware of. The water is too low then. The only white water rafting in California in October that might be happening is on the South Fork of the American River around Coloma (east of Sacramento). And possible trips on the Klamath (near the Oregon border). Maybe the Kern in good water years? October is the end of a long dry summer and irrigation is also low at that time so there is not much water in the rivers. You might find a trip in Colorado or in the Grand Canyon? Not sure about other states.
Nov 5, 2012 7:24 AM
8In N Out Burger has 212 locations in California. If you don't make it while you are in LA, you can find one elsewhere.
October is a bad time for white water rafting. It is at the very end of the dry season, so rivers are at their lowest levels of the year. Rafting in the Yosemite area is usually over by August. Yosemite rafting.
There is not a lot of bungee jumping in California, and none near SF. There are some bungee places in the LA area. You don't jump off a bridge, though, it's from a high crane. Here is one
An old thread about Bungee jumping in Northern California. These companies are morel likely to jump from bridges, but may be several hours away from SF.
Second, be sure that any internship is permissible under the Visa Waiver Program. You can do anything under the VWP that is allowed under a B1 (business) or B2 (tourist) visa. You can use the VWP for "Participating in a training program that is not designed primarily to provide employment. Will receive no payment or income from a U.S. based company/entity, other than an expense allowance or expense reimbursement related to traveler’s stay."
However, "Practical training through an internship with a U.S. based employer, whether paid or unpaid by that company" requires a specific internship visa.
Business Visitor Visa (B-1) - For business-specific purposes.
Nov 5, 2012 7:56 AM
9Boston to NYC is a 4 hour minimum. Since you’re arriving early, instead of driving it both ways you should consider arriving in Boston, spending a day or two there and then driving south. Boston is a big history location with a great free foot tour called the Freedom Trail. Watch the first couple episodes of this mini series first. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0129692/
If you’re really into US history sites, there are several cool side trips you can take from Boston (Plymouth, Salem, Lexington-and-Concord) but I’m guessing your next stop should be hiking in the Hudson Valley near West Point.
There are two main hiking destinations there (and possible bungee jumping).
- Destination 1 is a place called Breakneck Ridge. I haven’t done it yet but it is so famous and proclaimed it is on my bucket list. It’s kind of rough, sort of on the cusp between hiking and mountain climbing but the views are said to be absolutely stunning and the popular hiking site trails.com has rated it the #1 hike in America many years in a row (that from people who routinely hike Yosemite, Grand Canyon etc.)
- Destination 2 is a place called Bear Mountain. Parts of the trail are a little rough so it’s your choice whether you wear sneakers of hiking boots. It’s not as rough as Breakneck Ridge but the views there are also quite impressive. Trust me.
If you make it a long day, you can leave Boston hike the Hudson Valley and still check into a hotel in Manhattan that night. Of course if you are going to Yosemite, I’m sure the hiking there will be splendorous so you could skip the whole Hudson valley to save time.
Coney Island is no longer a world class destination. Six Flags in New Jersey is better, but in October well, saving the amusement park for California is a good idea.
In the NE the only true whitewater rafting happens during the spring melt. I love the east coast but save that for elsewhere. I’m thinking maybe Colorado river (near Grand Canyon). Heck even if the water is calm seeing the canyon by raft might be a great way to do it.
Chicago is kind of like the New Orleans of the north. It is devoid of major sites. Folks who go there go there for the people, the atmosphere etc.. It’s a nice town (I’ve been there 4 times). Before Americans go there we don’t ask each other “what should I see,” we ask each other about the best places for hot dogs, pizza or music. Slow down and enjoy it or skip it altogether.
There are folks here who know much more about the desert and the w coast than I do so I’ll leave that advice up to them.
Oh if bungee jumping doesn't work out, find a ski resort etc. that offers autumn zip-lining. WHEEEEEE!!
Edited by: LongIslandBob
Nov 5, 2012 8:12 AM
10I meant to add: you could try sky diving. You are harnessed to an experienced sky diver and jump out of the plane with that person, who will take care of the parachute & what not. There are risks.
Here is one company. Skydive San Francisco I know nothing about them except their location. The web site does describe both the thrills and the risks.
Be sure to book your lodging in Yosemite well in advance.
I'd suggest driving from Las Vegas to San Francisco via Yosemite, and then driving south to LA. That way you do not have to drive round trip from LA to SF and back.
You do not need a car in SF, unless you want to do a day trip somewhere.
Nov 5, 2012 8:29 AM
11Forget Whale Watching in Boston at mid/end October. Most whales have left the area and it will be freakin' cold out on the water.
Nov 5, 2012 9:06 AM
12October is an OK time for whale watching in California. By "OK" I mean "not the best time, but you will probably see something." Try San Francisco or Monterey (Monterey is approximately a 2 hours drive south of SF). Dolphins and humpback whales are frequently seen; you might get lucky & see a blue whale or an orca.
Nov 5, 2012 11:45 AM
xChicago to xVegas is a 4 hour flight, plus all the airport time (another 2 or 3 hours, at least). The Grand Canyon is a 5 hour drive from xVegas, each way. xYosemite is 4 hours from xSF, each way.
You'll easily lose half a day or more each time you travel.
You should drop something. Or two.
xChicago is a good start. I like it, but you have too much on your plate and it doesn't really fit.
Next would be either xLA or xVegas. Based on what you stated you want to do in each, I'd go with the former (xLA).
Then you can add the time to other places.
-Tour? (Free Tours By Foot)
You can also do it with a guide (an hour).
Nov 5, 2012 12:20 PM
I am confused what great sights and explosions in the sky Texas is supposed to have. We do have great bbq, but I wouldn't drive all the way here on a cross-country trip just to experience that. Skip Texas.
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