1. martinmc78's Avatar
    I'm currently planning a roadtrip for next year around this time of year - At the moment my route is as follows
    New York > Washington > Charlotte > Atlanta > New Orleans > Houston > Dallas > Albuquerque > Las Vegas > Los Angeles.

    Were going to get a full day in everywhere and at least two days in New York, Vegas and LA.

    What im after is local knowledge - places to go - places to steer clear of - things I must see etc.

    Figured the best way to find out would be to put it out to the community seeing as your all such nice folk.

    Thanks in advance.
    06-04-2013 10:09 AM
  2. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    I'm currently planning a roadtrip for next year around this time of year - At the moment my route is as follows
    New York > Washington > Charlotte > Atlanta > New Orleans > Houston > Dallas > Albuquerque > Las Vegas > Los Angeles.

    Were going to get a full day in everywhere and at least two days in New York, Vegas and LA.

    What im after is local knowledge - places to go - places to steer clear of - things I must see etc.

    Figured the best way to find out would be to put it out to the community seeing as your all such nice folk.

    Thanks in advance.
    That's a lot of driving! It's been a while since I've been to New York, LA, Washington (DC?) and Las Vegas. It all comes down to what you want to do when you're there. Any thing of interest to tourists will be jammed packed by tourists so I'm going to assume you're interested in things not on the usual tourist trail?

    Personally, with New York (I'm assuming city here not state) I'd have minimum three days at least. There's just so much to see, hard to put in a few lines. Central Park is nice and it takes a while to go through. With Manhattan everything is UP. You can mostly walk everywhere on Manhattan and I'd use public transport otherwise. Paying for a taxi is not worth the money. If you go out the suburbs just be careful where you end up.

    I found Vegas not to my taste but I'm sure someone local will speak up. My suggestion would be to make sure you stop by the Grand Canyon on your way.

    LA I personally found the mountains my favorite part and driving up the coast line. It's just stunning. There isn't much to Venus Beach or Hollywood though much is said about it. There is a way to get up to the sign to take a good picture if you're into that. There's always the star house tours, just make sure you get a good one. I recommend the Getty Centre for a bit of culture and simply because of where it is. The J. Paul Getty Museum

    It's been way too long since I've been to Washington DC but the capital is something to see.
    martinmc78 likes this.
    06-04-2013 10:53 AM
  3. martinmc78's Avatar
    Yes, but I do love to drive - recently drove from the London down through France and all round Spain in 10 days and I loved it so want to do the USA next year.

    Your also right I'm not looking for the usual touristy stuff am after the hidden gems that locals enjoy. A few of my friends have compared New York City to London and seeing as I spend all day in London there are bits of it I'm willing to miss.

    Las Vegas I've got covered have been there a few times now so know what's what. Also the route I have in mind will take me over the Hoover Dam and close to the Grand Canyon.

    Thanks for the tips on LA. I'm not that into the whole celebrity thing so doing a house tour on a bus wont appeal and the Hollywood sign probably looks better from a distance in my mind.
    06-04-2013 11:08 AM
  4. calfee20's Avatar
    Make sure you get a true feeling for the distances involved. I am from New England where the states are small and as soon as you leave here it seems the states will never end. When you cross the Mississippi the states are even bigger. GB France and Spain just covers our eastern seaboard.

    DC is great. Most things are free. Everyone does the Air and space museum but there is an annex to the west that will knock your sox off.
    National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center This is also free. They have a Concord an ST 71 Blackbird and a space shuttle just to name a few.
    martinmc78 likes this.
    06-04-2013 11:23 AM
  5. Rishicash's Avatar
    Personally, I don't think there is anything much worth seeing in any of those places other than N.Y. & D.C. I think Austin is the only interesting place in Texas. You won't find better for music and food anywhere else in the US and maybe the world.

    You haven't really described what you like other than "non-touristy". Do you enjoy looking at and being in nature? Culture/art? Put a finer point on this and you'll get better tips.
    martinmc78 likes this.
    06-04-2013 11:35 AM
  6. martinmc78's Avatar
    Make sure you get a true feeling for the distances involved. I am from New England where the states are small and as soon as you leave here it seems the states will never end. When you cross the Mississippi the states are even bigger. GB France and Spain just covers our eastern seaboard.

    DC is great. Most things are free. Everyone does the Air and space museum but there is an annex to the west that will knock your sox off.
    National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center This is also free. They have a Concord an ST 71 Blackbird and a space shuttle just to name a few.
    Yeah think I've got the distances covered - the road trip I did round Spain was 3100 miles from my front door and back again, the route ive got on google at the moment puts it at 3470 miles from NY to LA so not a great deal more.

    Thanks for that tip on the museum in DC
    06-04-2013 11:39 AM
  7. martinmc78's Avatar
    Personally, I don't think there is anything much worth seeing in any of those places other than N.Y. & D.C. I think Austin is the only interesting place in Texas. You won't find better for music and food anywhere else in the US and maybe the world.

    You haven't really described what you like other than "non-touristy". Do you enjoy looking at and being in nature? Culture/art? Put a finer point on this and you'll get better tips.
    Music and food is subjective I guess and could be argued till the cows come home but I have heard about some of the BBQ places in Austin so could make a detour - What im really after is places that locals like to go to. museums, parks, places with amazing views, great restaurants and bars or the smaller towns on route that have got an awesome "something" that most tourists miss.

    Theres obvious stuff that anyone that's had a holiday in America has got pictures of the main reason for the trip is to get memories from the places most tourists wouldn't even think about.
    06-04-2013 11:53 AM
  8. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Yes, but I do love to drive - recently drove from the London down through France and all round Spain in 10 days and I loved it so want to do the USA next year.

    Your also right I'm not looking for the usual touristy stuff am after the hidden gems that locals enjoy. A few of my friends have compared New York City to London and seeing as I spend all day in London there are bits of it I'm willing to miss.

    Las Vegas I've got covered have been there a few times now so know what's what. Also the route I have in mind will take me over the Hoover Dam and close to the Grand Canyon.

    Thanks for the tips on LA. I'm not that into the whole celebrity thing so doing a house tour on a bus wont appeal and the Hollywood sign probably looks better from a distance in my mind.
    I wouldn't compare NY to London. It's way more busy especially if you're there during the weekday. Weekends tend to be more quiet in Manhattan, mostly tourists. Definitely do a boat cruise (even though it's touristy) as the pictures are worth it, we did a sunset one. If you like art there's the Guggenheim, the building itself is art. Recommend finding a little hole in the wall pizzariea just because. I personally like just wandering around on foot and seeing things. Also driving in NY is not fun, especially on the weekdays.

    In LA, since you're drivng (not the funnest thing to do in LA by the way), I would recommend going by Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive just because. Don't need to stay there, just drive through, it's about perspective really. You hear so much about these places then you seem them in real life and your opinion may change. If you do go to Hollywood I would personally get in and get out quickly. There's just way too many tourists. There's normally a way to get into shows in LA and it's free so if you ever wanted to do something like that.

    I have a friends who lives in LA and I can gain more them but sort of need to know where you're going to be staying. LA is a big place.
    martinmc78 likes this.
    06-05-2013 02:58 AM
  9. martinmc78's Avatar
    Thanks. Comparison between London and NY was only down to a lot of both being office blocks and not worth viewing from a tourists perspective. One place I will definitely be going is the ground zero site for 9/11 lost a friend in that so want to go there just to pay my respects. As were starting in New York the plan so far is to get there Friday night and leave for Washington Sunday around 5pm. Driving in the Monday morning rush hour is bad enough in London, there is no way I'm spending my holiday fighting to get out on a Monday morning.

    Will be doing lots of walking, the driving is mainly just to get from city to city and do any interesting detours on the way. Figured I will definitely need the exercise with the increase in food I will be eating. I really want to see as much as I can everywhere, I'm not one for lazing on a beach in the sun as I get bored after about 5 minutes. Haven't really looked at places to stay yet anywhere, need to do a bit more research on all the cities and hotel locations and prices. I was hoping that this thread would give me some bonus info on where the best places would be.
    06-05-2013 03:34 AM
  10. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    One of the things I've found when asking someone about their home town/city they tend to stumble about what's best. This is due to feeling guilty if they suggested something and it turned out to be crap. I have the same issue. I've lived in four countries now and if someone were to ask me what to see and what to do I'd have a difficult time telling them except for the typical touristy things.

    One of the times when I was in NY I stayed here: Manhattan Boutique Hotels-ON THE AVE Upper West Side New York City Boutique Hotel what was nice about this place is that it's not in the madness of NY. It's mostly quiet (it is NY after all). You're just a short stroll from the Natural History Museum and Central Park. You'll need to use public transport if you stay here to get around or be prepared to walk a lot.

    When we go to LA we typically stay here: OFFICIAL WEBSITE for Inn at Playa del Rey: Bed and Breakfast Places in Los Angeles, Bed and Breakfast Hotels in Los Angeles again this isn't in the thick of it but a touch out of the way. It's somewhat close to the airport but no noise. We're always startled when we stay here cause to think just a short drive away from it all that is LA but this is a nice quiet escape. It's a good place to start a drive up the coast and into the mountains.

    We tend to stay at B&Bs mostly but we found in NY there just isn't much in Manhattan and what you pay for you don't get much value from it and usually a lot of hassle.
    martinmc78 likes this.
    06-05-2013 05:56 AM
  11. martinmc78's Avatar
    I understand and know what you mean, it can be difficult as you don't want to be blamed for a bad experience.

    Ultimately I will make my own choices on where to stay and what to do but when you search for things on the internet all you get is the tourist attractions. I've found reviews by holiday makers are often swayed by a tiny inconvenience blown out of proportion or one good thing that masks a lot of ills.

    I'm starting with a blank canvas as it were and want to build up information from people that live there first before going digging for extra information online. For example I'm seriously considering the length of my stay in Albuquerque purely because it looks pretty cool from what I have seen online and I have currently got it down as a stop over between Dallas and Vegas as its a 10 hour drive from Dallas and 8 from Vegas. If I'm lucky enough to find someone on here that's been there or live there and can say its worth staying longer or that its not worth it then it all helps with making my trip as good as possible.

    Bottom line for me is every little bit of information helps - even if its negative.
    06-05-2013 06:40 AM
  12. palandri's Avatar
    Honestly, you're trying to do too much. You'll be rushing from point to point, just to say you've been there and you'll be missing what each venue has to offer.

    If you want to make the trip interesting, pickup Route 66 in northern Texas and take it the rest of the way to California.If you don't, all you'll see is concrete expressway.
    martinmc78 likes this.
    06-05-2013 09:01 AM
  13. stmav's Avatar
    My sister lives in Albuquerque. Unless you like hot air balloons or peppers you'd be better off going to Santa Fe. In New Orleans try Masparo's or Central Grocery for some great food. Swamp tours or Antebellum mansion tours are different and great fun. It's touristy but you need to hit the French Quarter and have a hurricane at Pat O'Briens. This city is the place for good food and music.
    martinmc78 likes this.
    06-05-2013 09:14 AM
  14. martinmc78's Avatar
    Honestly, you're trying to do too much. You'll be rushing from point to point, just to say you've been there and you'll be missing what each venue has to offer.

    If you want to make the trip interesting, pickup Route 66 in northern Texas and take it the rest of the way to California.If you don't, all you'll see is concrete expressway.
    I get what you are saying, I'm allowing 3 weeks for the entire trip so it gives me a bit of breathing space for things to feel less rushed. I also don't intend using the expressways unless its necessary. I want to see the country not the roads.

    I didn't think the 66 existed anymore and it was replaced with the I-40?
    06-05-2013 09:35 AM
  15. HeyCori's Avatar
    Personally, I don't think there is anything much worth seeing in any of those places other than N.Y. & D.C. I think Austin is the only interesting place in Texas. You won't find better for music and food anywhere else in the US and maybe the world.

    You haven't really described what you like other than "non-touristy". Do you enjoy looking at and being in nature? Culture/art? Put a finer point on this and you'll get better tips.
    You don't think there's anything worth seeing... IN LAS VEGAS?!?!
    06-05-2013 09:36 AM
  16. martinmc78's Avatar
    You don't think there's anything worth seeing... IN LAS VEGAS?!?!
    Its worth going to Vegas just to see the curved escalator in the forum at Ceasars Palace. Seen that three times and it amazes me every damn time.
    HeyCori likes this.
    06-05-2013 09:40 AM
  17. stmav's Avatar
    For some reason I've never noticed any elevators when I've been to Vegas!
    06-05-2013 09:55 AM
  18. martinmc78's Avatar
    For some reason I've never noticed any elevators when I've been to Vegas!
    Your missing out then. Sunset from the voodoo lounge at the top of the Rio, only way to get there is by elevator.
    06-05-2013 10:07 AM
  19. palandri's Avatar
    ...I didn't think the 66 existed anymore and it was replaced with the I-40?
    Route 66 does exist. You'll need to search driving Route 66 and find sites like this: Driving Route 66 - Your one-stop resource for planning the road trip of a lifetime...

    It's coolest, funniest route you could take through the southern United States. My wife and I have driven it. Every historic site you stop at along the way will have an old timer that will tell you the whole history behind the historic site. You'll hear stories about ghost, shoot outs in the 1800's etc..
    martinmc78 likes this.
    06-05-2013 11:06 AM
  20. martinmc78's Avatar
    Route 66 does exist. You'll need to search driving Route 66 and find sites like this: Driving Route 66 - Your one-stop resource for planning the road trip of a lifetime...

    It's coolest, funniest route you could take through the southern United States. My wife and I have driven it. Every historic site you stop at along the way will have an old timer that will tell you the whole history behind the historic site. You'll hear stories about ghost, shoot outs in the 1800's etc..
    Thanks for the link. Its exactly the sort of thing I am after.
    palandri likes this.
    06-06-2013 02:31 AM
  21. CHIP72's Avatar
    In New York, definitely take the Staten Island Ferry from lower Manhattan to Staten Island. The views of lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey City, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge are spectacular on a nice day. The ferry is free and a one-way trip takes about 30 minutes. The Manhattan ferry terminal is probably about a 15 minute walk south of the World Trade Center site.

    Also in New York, make sure you go to one of the many really good pizza places to eat casual food on at least one of the days you are there. The $1 pizza places are OK if you want something cheap, but if you want very good pizza, go to a non-$1 pizza place.

    Go to Grand Central Station if you have interest in transit. There is a museum store in the station that is worth checking out IMO. There is also an actual transit museum in Brooklyn, but I've never been there (yet) so I can't comment on it.

    As for Washington, I think it is highly, highly overrated and bland. (I live and work in the Washington area currently.) Having said that, some of the free museums, especially Natural History (north side of the National Mall) and Air and Space (south side of the National Mall), are good. If you are a media hound, you should also check out the Newseum, which isn't free but IMO is the best museum in DC among the ones I've been to. The U.S. Capitol tour is fairly short but good. Union Station is an architectural gem, though it's (IMO) become too commercialized. Incidentally, the Washington Monument is currently closed for repairs due to damaged caused by the August 2011 earthquake in central Virginia.

    Food-wise, unlike say NYC and Philadelphia (which I suggest you also spend at least a day in - check out the Liberty Bell, Franklin Institute, the Art Museum, and 30th Street Station for starters and buy a Philly cheesesteak at one of the many cheesesteak places), DC doesn't have a strong casual food tradition. However, you can go to Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street and get a half-smoke (spicy sausage with chili on top). I'd also recommend getting a Maryland crabcake on one of the days; Baltimore is a little better for buying crabcakes but you can buy good ones in DC too. (Incidentally, Baltimore is also worth a visit IMO, though you might want to avoid the Inner Harbor, which is very touristy.)

    I've never been to Atlanta yet, and I've only been to Charlotte once, but I'd suggest taking a day or half-day and checking out Richmond, VA, which is a very underrated city IMO. Monument Boulevard (which contains monuments to various U.S. Confederate Civil War figures) is interesting; at the end of the west end of the boulevard, there is a statue of late tennis great and Richmond native Arthur Ashe, facing away from the Confederate statues.

    I personally don't care much for Las Vegas (I've visited there a few times because I have relatives who live in southern Nevada), but the Fremont Street area IMO is worth checking out. I'd also go to Hoover Dam, which is about 30 miles southeast of Vegas, and check out the dam itself and the new bridge just south of the dam. You can walk up on that bridge, but only if you aren't afraid of heights; the bridge is about 900 feet (nearly 300 meters) above the Colorado River. (I've walked on that bridge and have taken some pictures up there, but it is a bit nerve-wracking.) The dam itself is about 700 feet tall from the top of the dam to the river. You should pass right by Hoover Dam if you follow the route you suggested (or more specifically, travel from Albuquerque to Las Vegas).

    One great thing about driving in the western U.S. is the different landscapes. There is some great scenery in western New Mexico and Arizona along Interstate 40 (and historic US 66, which parallels I-40 in most of Arizona and New Mexico). The Painted Desert national monument in eastern Arizona is worth checking out. In general, the desert landscapes in Arizona, Nevada, and California are interesting, and sometimes you come across the unexpected (like the interchange for "Zzyzx Road" on Interstate 15 near Baker, CA).
    martinmc78 likes this.
    06-09-2013 02:54 PM

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