Big United States Adevnture

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MattWett, Jun 1, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. I am thinking of going to Washington D.C , New York, Las Vegas, Orlando and San Francisco. I love buildings like Versailles, Louvre, Orsay .
    I am wondering if there are any places in the United States that have history I know its more new but love somewhere with historical places and artifacts that are important to the world.
    I really loved vancouver for its history and its scenery.
    I have 25 days and from Auckland.

    I loved seeing Matilda, Book of Mormon in London


    I am also keen to see other places in the world seen Paris and London and thats about it
     
  2. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Well, most of the real "American" history is in places like DC, Philadelphia, Boston, and New England... New York less so because it's so built up now.

    On the other hand, there is loads of history in California, Arizona, and New Mexico dating back to the 1700s and 1800s when it was a colony of "New Spain" and subsequently part of Mexico.

    Most places in the US are less rich in cultural history and more so in natural wonders, IMO (I'm sure some others will be quick to correct me, but to each their own). There are scenic places such as Lake Tahoe, Mount Shasta, Crater Lake, or you have many assorted national parks: Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier, Olympic, Rocky Mountain, and Grand Teton to name just a few, are quite spectacular without being structures. These are all located on the West coast of the US which means marginally less travel time from AKL, but not quite sure what you are looking for.
     
  3. I am keeping this question open so i can get open feedback and then make a full decision
     
  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Exactly. US from a historical bldg point of view is all on the East Coast. West Coast has some older/historical bldg but since its much more wide open, national parks and nature is more the West Coast thing.

    From what you said
    Only D.C. has that. NY is fun & has Broadway. Las Vegas/Orlando is a new tourist fun destination. I love SF but not for its historical significant when you compare it to Boston/Philadelphia/D.C.
     
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  5. disambiguous1

    disambiguous1 Silver Member

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    Matt-- Hey, guys, we can at least bid him a nice welcome! So welcome, and I hope you have a great trip.

    I have to agree with a lot of the other respondents, in terms of where the truly interesting parts of the United States are. Monumentally, Washington DC is a good place (I live in the area), and I love the cultural offerings of New York City. I also agree that Monticello and Williamsburg are good, culturally. However, I think that some of the greatest things about this country are the natural wonders. Go to Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite, and go see the aforementioned Hoover Dam. If you want a wonderful little experience that you can't get in Europe (or any other places I know of), spend a day on the beach at Assateague Island, a two-and-a-half hour drive from DC, and bask on the beach with wild ponies grazing around you (just make sure they don't graze out of your picnic basket).

    If you are into technology, go see the Udvar-Hazy annex to the Air and Space Museum-- it's got stuff that's too big to fit in the (enormous) building downtown. Udvar-Hazy is right by Dulles Airport (by DC), so if you are flying in or out of there they have shuttles.

    If you do go to DC, make sure you see the Phillips Gallery, with one of the greatest collections of Impressionist masterpieces in the world. If you are an avid cyclist, rent a good bicycle and ride up the C&O Canal Towpath (it starts in the Georgetown section of DC) and ride up to Great Falls Park, about 15 miles upstream (there are absolutely NO roads that cross the towpath in that stretch). If you are incredibly capable and adventurous, take a side trip on the Billy Goat Trail and see Mather Gorge (make sure you have a good mountain bike for this).

    In New York there are any number of fantastic museums. The Metropolitan Museum is outstanding, and of course there's the Guggenheim. I've visited so many museums there I've forgotten the names of most of them, but I can remember some of the exhibits perfectly. Go to a famous club called Birdland on Monday nights, when the Broadway shows are off some of the stars spend the evening there, showing off impromptu for their fellow performers and a few civilians who are in-the-know. Stop by Bill's Food and Drink at 57 East 54th St. and ask the piano player, Michael Garin, what it was like growing up in Greenbelt, Maryland.

    If you're into theme parks then Orlando will be heaven. Personally I'm not that big on such things, but I did like Sea World. I went with my kids to Disney World, and it was OK, but I have to say I was surprised that the place didn't rise above the meme of "theme park." It's simply a really big one.

    If you want a real Florida cultural experience, go to a place called the Linger Lodge, in Braden River, south of Tampa (Al Roker, weather guy on Good Morning America, says it is one of his favorite restaurants in the world). It's an old wooden screened-in restaurant that overlooks a swamp. Order their fried alligator. You'll feel like you're back in the 1960's. Then go northwest of there to a place called Anna Maria Island and wonder at the perfect, relaxing weather and waves. On the way stop at St Armand's Circle, and visit the Ringling Circus Museum. Note that you'll need a car to do all this, as public transport in Florida is rare.

    Do you REALLY want a modern cultural experience that will blow your mind? In the Florida Keys, just south of Plantation Key, there is a place where they put the sand that was dredged out of the channel. It created a perfectly flat sandy area in the Atlantic Ocean that is anywhere between calf-deep and thigh deep, depending on the tide (which isn't usually very big there), several hundred yards on a side. It is the home of a perpetual party. On any given day when the weather is halfway decent, there are dozens and dozens of amazing speedboats anchored there, and hundreds of people lounging in the shallow water, or playing volleyball, and most of them will make sure you have a drink. In case they don't, there's a concession boat. I brought some Aussie friends there and they didn't leave for three days. For months afterward all they talked about the amazing women they saw there.

    There's so much to see here-- as there is in Europe! Big things are nice, but the nicest times I've had traveling were when I was able to meet new people and see interesting little pieces of their real lives. Keep an open mind and hang loose, and you'll have a great time.
     
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  6. JennB
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    JennB Gold Member

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    Are you traveling alone? With kids or family? I ask because for certain travelers, Vegas and Orlando don't offer much. I could easily never visit either again and be fine with it.

    There is a lot of great stuff to see here though. As others have mentioned, the east has most of the history. But, we do have a lot of lovely buildings on the west coast as well. All the Victorian architecture and some really beautiful bridges and monuments. I am a little partial to our PNW volcanoes though.
     
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  7. I am not that fit and my partner does not want to rent a car. She also really wants to see Hamilton the Musical.
     
  8. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    The OP started off by saying he loves architecture and history and most everybody tells him to visit the national parks:D
    I expect coming from New Zealand he wants a slightly different experience than just gazing at nature (its pretty impressive back in the homeland).:)

    For his criteria I agree with Philadelphia (perhaps a short visit to Baltimore and with visit to Fort McHenry) and for architecture Chicago would be the prime candidate.
    I would forget Florida unless you are a Disney fan and visit Charleston and Savannah, again for the history and old ante-bellum mansions, museums etc etc.

    For history of the West, then Santa Fe is the place or even a visit to Taos to see how the locals lived for the last thousand years.

    Don't let anyone dissuade you from visiting San Francisco its a great city, top-class restaurants and museums, tour Alcatraz, ride the cable cars ( or even the Muni) and for a little nature see the sea lions at Pier 39....plus a visit to nearby Napa/Sonoma wineries with some of the best restaurants in the country to help your wine down is a wonderful experience.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  9. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    If you liked Book of Mormon, try Salt Lake City and the Mormon Tabernacle. It's impressive and the Mormons provide free tours with free transport from the airport.
     
  10. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    The Book Of Morman is really going to make you more interested in that religion?:D:D
     
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  11. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    I would suggest the "Grand Tour" of the Southwestern US. Although there are not many historic structures, the landscape is like nothing else in the world.
    The Grand Tour is usually considered the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park. Don't think that you would have experienced anything like that in Auckland. Add in Canyonlands and Arches National Park, and Goblin Valley State Park in Utah, and maybe the Four Corners Monument. and you will have spent a decent week to 10 days.
    For Structures, visit Salt Lake City and the Mormon Temple, Las Vegas for the Glitz, and San Francisco for the 'Vibe'
     
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  12. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    Other than a "welcome", I would add that you should map out your adventure, and understand the how far apart things can be in the U.S... especially the SW, NW, and California. Folks from other lands often are disappointed to find out, for example, that it is a 5-hour drive from Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
     
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  13. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Y'all are selling a lot of US history short. History does not start when europeans arrive, and there are some extremely influential historical sites and very well-runuseums as well. Aviation history, nuclear history, computer history, world war history (although not battle sites), export of US culture and eating habits - the world has changed more in the past century+ than any previous time period I can think of and the US has been in the thick of those changes. Because it's so recent it's often poorly covered by education systems as well, but a lot of very interesting stuff that may interest Adam.
     
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  14. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    If you want old stuff and history, don't forget Charleston SC and Savannah GA. We have lots of old buildings and historical stuff in Charleston. If you like military stuff, old plantations or just historical buildings we have it all in. Come on down. :D
     
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  15. adamefimoff2

    adamefimoff2 Silver Member

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  16. adamefimoff2

    adamefimoff2 Silver Member

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    thanks everyone please see route above
     

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