Lonely Planet: Top 10 U.S. Travel Destinations for 2013

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  1. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    In November I posted about a couple of Lonely Planet Top 10 lists:
    I just came across another fun list of places to visit according to Lonely Planet. This list covers Top 10 U.S. Destinations for 2013.
    I found it really cool that the #1 place to visit in the United States (according to LP) is a place that we are heading to for a quick visit on Thursday night- Louisville, Kentucky.

    I'll also be visiting the #4 place on the list towards the end of January- Philadelphia. I've been to Philly many times but when I found a deal for free seats from Megabus, I felt that another visit was worth the free ride!

    According to LP:
    We wanted to dig deeper and shine a light on 10 places in the US that travelers should add to their wish lists for the coming year. Our 2013 picks are literally all over the map: once-in-a-lifetime northern lights, new top-tier museums, moose trails, Polynesian paradise and barrels of bourbon.
    Besides Philadelphia and my upcoming trip to Louisville, I have not been to any other places on this list. I've been to Maine and California, but not the parts mentioned in the article. I'd love to visit American Samoa and Glacier National Park in the future. We're also considering taking a trip to Minnesota at some point in 2013.

    Here is the Top 10:
    1. Louisville, Kentucky
    2. Fairbanks, Alaska
    3. San Juan Islands, Washington
    4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    5. American Samoa
    6. Eastern Sierra, California
    7. Northern Maine
    8. Twin Cities, Minnesota
    9. Verde Valley, Arizona
    10. Glacier National Park, Montana
    To find out about each of the destinations that made the Lonely Planet list, Click HERE.

    (originally posted to my blog HERE)
     
  2. AUSsie

    AUSsie Silver Member

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    Glacier is my favorite of the national parks. If you have the opportunity and inclination, take a multiday hike and get away from the crowds.
     
  3. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    This list was put together by their writers, and while they are many interesting places to visit on it, there's no indication of what the selection criteria for including a location was.

    DTWBOB
     
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  4. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    This looks good, anyone have any experience getting there? On AA points?

    options look sparse: http://www.theairdb.com/airport/PPG.html
    The biggest airline is Polynesian with 66% of the airport destinations. The other airline operating in this airport is Hawaiian Airlines

    APW looks like the access point: http://www.theairdb.com/airport/APW.html
    Which airlines use this airport? Only 3 airlines fly at Apia, Faleolo. The biggest airline is Virgin Blue Airlines with 57% of the airport destinations. Other airlines operating in this airport are Polynesian and Air New Zealand
     
  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Did some work in Fairbanks, but never really got to explore it (and it was the second week in November). Was an interesting experience... and I learned about how to tell temperature by how the snow sounds under your tires.
     
  6. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    I graduated from the University of Fairbanks... To me it’s an odd suggestion, but it is a lonely planet suggestion which might mean more of a backwater type place.

    It is a great place to see the northern lights, that’s best in the winter when it’s clear and cold. I just don't see how someone would fill the day when they walk out of their hotel into -30* weather.

    Most activities will be summer only. They mention the Great Fairbanks Pub Paddle, which I know nothing about, but I will say the Chena river should be completely frozen in the winter, so don’t expect to do any paddling at a time when you can see the northern lights. They do have a ski slope and lots of cross country ski tracks, and people who bike around in the -30*

    I’d error more towards flying into Anchorage and taking in some of the islands via a tour from Whittier, then heading north to Denali…

    Having grown up in SE Alaska I’d recommend that even more, fly to some small town of a few thousand people on an Alaska Airlines jet and go fishing or take a kayak tour etc., “cruise” between towns for a day or two on the Alaska State Ferry… The panhandle is all green snow top mountains…
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The days are short, no? ;)
     
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  8. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  10. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    and to use electric car heaters ....

    heard it was 40 below up there this week

    DTWBOB
     
  11. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    I tried finding availability to Samoa with OneWorld (AA miles) a few years back and had no luck at all. Never looked into it again but would still love to go some day.
     
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  12. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    have a Hot Brown sandwich at the Brown Hotel, delicious !
     
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  13. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    That is on my list! Seems like a bunch of great eating options for Louisville! Any other recs? (It's always good to get more ideas & opinions!)
     
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  14. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    cool.

    I'm not sure if Louisville has it but there are a number of BBQ places (the real kind) that make mutton/lamb BBQ, being a fanatic of that meat, I try to search it out. Nearest place I went that had mutton BBQ was Moonlight in Owensboro KY. Other thing I've read about but haven't found for Louisville is an oyster roll sandwich, not sure if this is a thing gone by or if they are still sold in Louisville. Again, being a fanatic for oysters I've always wanted to seek this out.

    Lastly, I've got it in my notes to have the French Onion sandwich at Jack Fry's (sourdough bread w/caramelized onions, brandy, hint of thyme, veal consomme and gruyere cheese) many things I like going on in that sandwich.
     
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  15. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    Great recs! With only a day to spare in Louisville, I might have to make another trip back at some point! Seems like lots of yummy things to eat and things to see!
     
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  16. Tad's Broiled Steaks

    Tad's Broiled Steaks Silver Member

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    Each time there's a new list, I think about this too. Every year they could have ten completely different destinations than the previous years- it's not necessarily that the ten places are the most-talked about, rather the lists are another way in which to promote travel to...another ten locations.

    Completely dissimilar from what radio stations do during the December holiday season- playing the same two-three songs ad nauseam.
     
  17. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Come back to Louisville for the greatest two mintues in sports, the Kentucky Derby. I went 13 (or was it 14) years in a row.
    Always a good time.
     
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  18. knick1959

    knick1959 Silver Member

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    My wife and I are going there in May. This as an extension of a trip to Hawaii.

    We used AA miles to get to PPG and HA miles to get back, both directions involve PPG and HNL on Hawaiian Air hardware. The cost of a roundtrip ticket in coach runs $900+. We needed 37,500 AA miles for one way and 27,500 HA miles for the other, each. These miles all came from 2 HA credit cards and 3 AA cards (2 for me, 1 for her) and I still had to pay a small fee to transfer a few AA miles around. I was pretty happy with saving the 1800+ for the two of us. I did not check for F seats ... although this flight is long, we were happy to just be getting there.

    We actually paid for tickets from SEA->HNL and then back KOA->SEA. Well, using the Alaska Airlines companion coupon for the second ticket, so I was also happy with that deal. We're getting between SEA and CLE, our home town, on a separate flight (UA miles) with an overnight in SEA.

    PPG service from HNL runs ONLY on Mon and Thur. Some times of the year its Sun and Thu. So, if you look for tickets on other days, you won't find any. The flight TO PPG leaves at 5:05PM and then leaves PPG to return at 11:30PM or some such. So, the flight back is always a red-eye overnighter. Whatever the case, only 2 flights there and 2 back a week offered by Hawaiian.

    APW is in Samoa, which is not part of the US territory.

    We researched other ways to get there ... from NZ and Austrailia ... however, if we were going that route, we'd need more weeks so as to visit those countries, too! For us, the HNL connection seemed more reasonable, although it is a bit out of our comfort zone.

    All this so that we can check another National Park off of our to-do bucket list. Yes, there is a US National Park on American Samoa. 2 in Hawaii, and we'll only visit one. Means we'll have to go back!
     
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