Forward Planning.

I have a favour to ask some of my beautiful blogging friends, so hear me out and give me some thoughts on this one if you can. Virtual cookies provided, too.

For the purpose of asking the questions, pretend it's next year already. (Fast forward through me finishing the year here, through me moving to the UK, to me teaching for six months, and then stop.) Right. So where we've stopped is in Summer 2008 (late July-August) where I have five weeks vacation from teaching and some time to kill. And hopefully the funds needed, but let's not go there.

I've mentioned before that I want to do a Contiki tour of the USA, and I have a friend who wants to do the same tour, so we're looking into planning now - nothing booked, no dates set, just general planning and information at this stage.

This is the tour we're probably going to be doing - a 24 day stretch from either New York to Los Angeles or vice versa. (On that page, you can see the stops & sightseeing that is included in the package, too.)

What we want though, is to spend a couple of extra days at each leg of the trip (NY & CA) and some ideas of where to go/what to do/ways of getting around. That's where you come in! If you live around there, give me some ideas! If you've visited or know the areas or have a good general knowledge, come help!

Places we've listed as definitely wanting to see include: Niagara Falls, San Francisco and DISNEY (!) but everything else is up in the air. (Hence needing suggestions.)

I know the trip is ages away and that I have heaps going on before then, but it doesn't stop me from being excited about the USA now. Let's get planning!

24 Comments • Labels:  


Katie said...

No idea whatsoever.
But if you do want to visit places that are easy to get to, it's well worth the time, I am sure! I'm so jealous! :)

angela said...

This makes me sad to be stuck smack-dab in the middle of the country, so I'm no help. But I'll wave at you as you fly across Missouri.

janet said...

that trip hits some great cities for sure, and you will see lots of very different places. Sad to miss the Rocky Mountains though - they are a dream. But holla when you are in DC!

If you truly have extra days, from NYC I would somehow go to New England if possible. It's geographically different than the whole rest of the contiki. And GORGEOUS during certain times of year. Like late summer/fall.

Maya said...

Well, I'm biased, but: SANTA BARBARA. Also Monterey/Big Sur/Carmel - close to San Francisco and all so beautiful. Very nice late summer/fall (meaning: July-October)

kirby said...

I'm going to assume that the "friend" you're talking about is me. Even if it isn't...
And listen intently, yet still offer advice on what you and your "friend" could do.

san diego zoo.

BlackOps said...

I have traveled across the country several times and would find it very constricting to having to stick to a schedule as I see the Contiki trip offers. I would imagine the trip itself is quite costly as well. I would think you miss out on a great deal since you must always stick to a schedule as well. There is no possible way on actually seeing many of these places in a day--not to mention, if there is a place that you like, you cant stay longer. I suppose I could go on and on about the downside, Im sure there is an upside to doing this. I drove my own car when I did it, I dont know what your situation could possibly be next year or what you could make it but that would be your best bet. Of course you could take your time, even cut out some one those cities and pick your own places to go. I believe you would have to allot more time since you would be doing it on your own. Good Luck!

Marianne said...

Um... excuse me, that does not include stopping in Chicago. Um... *cry*

I have family in LA, Las Vegas, Arizona... and I used to live in Memphis... If you want to know anything about those places, I may be of some help. ;-)

Julie said...

I am pretty sure that I will be in DC by then.
So you just have to come to DC.

heidikins said...

Well, I'm with Janet - definitely stop by the Rocky Mountains. Either in SLC or Denver (although the mountains are closer in Salt Lake - they are slightly larger-but-farther-away in Denver.) The Rocky Mountain West really has no comparison, there is nothing like the feeling of being dwarfed by enormous, gray-granite peaks with snow on the top all year long. Wow, I live in a gorgeous place!


Carrieamc said...

Oh how fun! I've never heard of this before. Since I have never been to CA or NY, I wouldn't know. But if you still blog you should meet all of us.

Margaret said...

I'm with Angela, I'll wave as you fly across Missouri. But Memphis would be ok I would think. I've only driven through. I've visited California before and the beaches are warmer around Florida but you could always go to the Walk of Fame? in Hollywood. But honestly if you wanted to spend a few extra days at the beginning or the end I would do it around NYC. It's absolutely amazing. I've only been once when I was much younger and it was in June so the weather wasn't too hot just yet. I think it's called St. Patricks Catherdral was absolutely beautiful. And there is just so much that you could do in NYC as far as sight seeing. Hope that helps a little.

Lia said...

Ooooh, lots of ideas.

If you like nature, etc. - on the CA side, rent a car and head OUT of LA, go check out the national parks a few hours' drive from the city: Sequoia, Kings' Canyon, Joshua Tree, Yosemite. If you prefer theme parks, go to San Diego and DON'T miss Sea World. I've been there multiple times and still love it. No, it's not just a big aquarium. It's a lot of fun.

On the NY side, there's no shortage of things to do either. You should definitely catch a Broadway show, visit some local landmarks like the Empire State Building (Skyride is a waste of money, though. Fun, but expensive.)
and the Statue of Liberty. Wander downtown Manhattan for some New York history. Wander midtown Manhattan for excellent shopping and every museum type you can think of.

I could go on and on . . . Sounds like a fun trip - totally do it!

Audrey said...

That trip looks great and all, but how come you're only skimming across the far SW corner of Colorado? What's up with that? You need to get your ass a little farther north to appreciate what Colorado is really like. Specifically, you need to stop and have a drink at the SangriaLover bar in Colo. Springs -- all the booze you can drink, plus kisses from Ben! What more could you want?

Denise said...

I think I first need to say that no matter what form your travels to the US take, I will absolutely make an effort to meet you somewhere. East Coast, West Coast, no coast, whatever.

That being said, I think that the timing on the US Contikis is probably a lot like the Europe ones -- maybe even a quicker pace. I viewed my EuroContiki as a way to see which places I wanted to go to again, not as a way to explore Europe in a deep and thorough way. There is no way you will get an in-depth experience in each city, but you'll certainly be exposed to an overall sense of American-ness (word? No.) throughout the tour.

If you're planning on tossing in a few extra days (weeks?? Hopefully!) prior to or concluding your tour, I definitely think a trip to New England is in order, and also more exploring of Cali or Florida.

Ah, hell. I probably should have just emailed you. (Which is coming shortly after I close out this comment, btw.)

christy said...

sooo santa barbara is definatly worth checking out!

Brie said...

Pensacola is only about 2 hours from where I live. I have friends there! When in Pensacola, go to the Naval Aviation museum. It's awesome.
You must go to Cafe' Du Monde in New Orleans and have a beignet.

velocibadgergirl said...

I definitely recommend San Francisco. I had a blast there. :)

I figure it's highly unlikely that you'll be coming through Southern Indiana, but if you do and have some time, I'll gladly take you mini golfing or bowling.

I'll be in Cleveland in August, so if you're going that way and don't think I'm totally scary, you could let me know what dates you'll be there and we'll see if anything matches up.


-r- said...

San Diego and San Francisco are both amazing but very different. Definitely spend more time in NYC, and I agree that New England is worth a look. Maybe Boston? You will also miss all of the Midwest, so I guess you'll just have to make another trip!

Kristabella said...

I lived in San Francisco for 6 years, so I can give you all the scoop. I highly reccomend the wine country in Napa and Sonoma, so I can give you tips on that.

Also, Sea World in San Diego is great. I'm always surprised at how much I enjoy going there.

LA is a fun time. It's great people watching.

And since I'm a sports fan, babseball is best in any of those cities!

Hit me up for any suggestions!

Lindsey said...

Oh my gosh, I'm only a couple hours from DC. Can I vome up and see you? I have always wanted to see all of those sites too, but I just haven't made it up there yet. As far as NYC goes...I guess you'd want to do Times Square (it's gorgeous at night). Go to Rockafeller Center and places like that. I wish I knew more about the city. You'll have to see the Statue of Liberty too!

Alyndabear » Not Just Me! said...

[...] keep on updating me with USA travel ideas! You guys are great.   - Leave [...]

Eris said...

That is a huge amount of distance to cover. You'll be spending a great deal of time just travelling to your next destination. As a mini snippet tour of the US it seems like fun, but I'll be that someday you will want to come back and do just San Franciso, or just Lake Tahoe, or just any number of destinations as they all have so much to offer. If you come within 10 hours of me I'll try to find you :)

Christopher said...

Not sure if this would be a long way out of your way, but I'd have thought Yellowstone National Park would be worth a stop. Particularly for Old Faithful... and the Great Statues of Auburn, California. I'm in Sydney and I'd love to see both when I go to the US (eventually!).

Love the blog, btw. Just discovered it. :)

Teacher A said...

Our zoo here in San Diego kicks all other zoos' asses. You should visit it.

I would also recommend:
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Exploratorium in San Fransico (yes, I'm a dork)
Lake Tahoe
Any national or state park

Also, if you want to do any swimming in California, San Diego is definitely the place to go. All the other ones are just too cold!

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