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  1. Default From the Middle East with Love, NY To the West cost

    im very happy to find such a dedicated forum and you guys are amazing. please note that English is not my first language so i hope you are not Allergic to grammar mistakes :)

    im a 32 years old, will travel with my wife and this is going to be our first time in America. I travel once or twice a year, i like to explore and get exposed to other cultures. I live in a sunny, flat country, that used to be mostly a desert where it rains like once - 4 days in a year. although airline tickets are not bought yet, my initial plane is:

    - arrive in New York on the 9th of October.
    - spend around 20 days in America, can add 3 days if necessary to make it 23 day.
    - depart from either San Francisco or Los Angeles.

    days distribution:
    4 nights in New York ( Times )
    4 night Las Vegas ( attend La Reves )
    4 night in LA and visit Disney (could replace LA with SF if im leaving from SF)

    here are some of the questions i have:

    - what do you think about the arrival and departure locations?
    - what do you think about my distribution of the days ?
    - i heard a lot about Grand Canyon but most of the photos i saw were taking from an aircraft so does it look enjoyable when driving
    there and what is the usual program/schedule/activities that people do once they are over there? the same questions goes for all the national parks including Yosemite and the others. the concept of National park doesn't exist where i live.
    - which one is better the Disney in Orlando or the one in LA. although im a bit old for this, it remains a childhood dream.
    - how can i fell the 12-15 remaining days, with a Diverse of activities while driving through a panoramic routes/highways?
    - im thinking about driving for about 4 - 5 hours a day and get to an area with lots of things to see and do and book a room to sleep. next day or the day after drive again. i might take an internal flight from NY to an airport in the middle but this way i will miss the white house and the capitol? what do you think? am i going to regret it?

    to make it short, can you please assist me in drawing a road map? i would accept any reasonable changes in terms of the 3 major cities or anything else, as you can see i have a lot of questions and i still have more. i have been reading about America since quite some time, but man, the size of this country and the distance from A to B is beyond imagination.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Firstly, your English is very good ! ;-)

    Your choice of destinations are very popular as they are main hubs and well known tourist attractions. They often make sense as they can offer good flight deals, if you are happy with your choice then that's all matters.

    You have 20 days in total of which 12 you have dedicated to your choice of City. It is not 100% clear whether you are driving all the way between NY and LA, so we need to clear that up. If you are and you only want to drive 5-6 hours each day, you will have about 10 day of driving, so that would require 22 days, less time in the City or more driving hours.

    No photograph can replace the feeling of standing on the rim of the Grand canyon and witnessing this wonder of the world for yourself. This goes for all the National parks. There are programs and activities like Ranger led tours, but this is about the 'Great outdoors' and experiencing some of natures finest creations.

    Only you can decide what holds the most appeal for you to enjoy and this is where research comes in. Get a good map and look around the forums and other RTA planning resources and try to figure out how you want to spend your time, for some it would be the White house etc, and others the National parks, I'm firmly on the side of the latter.

    You could fly to Vegas and do a loop from there to include southern Utah and grand canyon, monument valley etc before driving through Yosemite and possibly to San Francisco before heading South to LA, or perhaps into Denver from NY and journey from there. These choices must be yours, and then we can help fill in the details, but don't under estimate the huge distances you are talking about compared to the amount of time available, which I fear is what you ma already be doing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Cities and National Parks.

    Be aware, that you will not want a car in New York City and probably not in Washington DC either. These cities have excellent public transport, and parking is very expensive. I would suggest that if you are set in visiting these cities that you take the train from one to the other.

    Furthermore, you say you "... might take an internal flight from NY to an airport in the middle ...". May I suggest that you take a flight from DC to a city out west - Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas or Phoenix - and visit some of the spectacular national parks Southwest Dave mentions. There really is nothing in the world, quite like them.

    You can have the best of both worlds.

    As for your distribution of days. I am not sure that I would be spending four nights in each of these cities. But then, that is a personal choice.

    And there's not much wrong with your English! You should be proud of it.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default About the Grand Canyon

    I agree with everything that's been said by others regarding this natural wonder of the world, but a few other things you should be aware of. Rim Drive (AZ-64) along the south side of the Canyon between Cameron and Grand Canyon Village has numerous pull outs and parking areas which afford different views of the Canyon. Stop at ALL of them. Each view, and the lighting of the Canyon, will be different! And when you get to Grand Canyon Village, be sure to take at least a short hike along the Rim Trail. You can also take an airplane ride over the Canyon from Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayon just south of the Park on US-180/AZ-64. While the planes can no longer descend below the rim, it is still a spectacular flight.

    While you're 'in the neighborhood', be sure to visit some of the many other wonders, and archaeological sites in the area including Petrified Forest and Mesa Verde National Parks; Wupatki, Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon, and Canyon de Chelly National Monuments; Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park; and Homolovi Ruins State Park.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-26-2011 at 09:08 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Disneyland Anaheim vs. Disney World Orlando

    Comparing the two would be like comparing an apple and an orange. An apple and an orange are both fruit, both grow on trees and both delicious. Whether you prefer apples to oranges depends on your tastes. The same can be said for the two Disney parks in America.

    Disneyland (the one in which I am most familiar) is the ORIGINAL park. It's been around for more than 55 years. It is smaller in acreage than the Florida WDW, but has many of the same attractions. From what my SIL tells me, the two parks feel different. Disneyland's sister park, California Adventure, has no counterpart in Florida. It is an original. Disneyland specializes in attractions for the entire family, and everything is decorated thematically towards the "land" you're in: Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Frontierland, ToonTown, New Orleans Square, or Main Street USA. California Adventure is also for the family, but the rides seem to be more adventurous. Here is where you'll find Tower of Terror (an elevator that is out of control, supposedly), the Maliboomer, and more carnival type rides.

    In the California park, you could feasibly spend 3 days - - 2 in DL, and one in CA.

    Walt Disney World is more spread out. The "main park" (WDW) has more space, and certain things are done underground. There is also an animal world, Epcot Center, and much more. The Florida property takes more time - - my SIL spent 4 days there with her family and still didn't see it all.

    Hope this helps.



    Donna

  6. Default

    i don't really know how to say this in a better way but i really would like thank you.

    i have been reading and reading until sometimes my eyes gets dry. even though i enjoy this part of my travels which is planning the trip yet, America is a different story. i went to the bookstore so that i can buy a road trip map of the USA but sadly its unavailable and i thought about buying one online but it might take more time to get here.

    i have 2 options:
    1- drive from NY to LS
    or
    2- fly from NY to somewhere in the middle of US map and drive from there.

    grand canyon is giving me a headache. i thought about flying from NY to Phoenix sky harbor and driving from there but, according to Google maps, the distance between Phoenix airport and the grand Canyon is around 6:30 hour, and the flying time between NY and Phoenix airport is 5:30 hours. so im trying to get to an airport as close as possible to Grand Canyon but with no hope, to the limit where im thinking about drooping the canyon from the itinerary. can you please shade some lights in here?

    if grand canyon is close to Vegas then i can add 1 more day in Vegas and dedicate that day for the canyon and during this period i will drive to the canyon in one morning and be back to my hotel at evening ? but how far is it and it is this type of trips enjoyable or just exhausting? the thing is im trying to make it as much one way/direction as possible.

    regarding the national parks, i can't visit all of them nor i plan to do so, in the same time i don't want to mis the opportunity of visiting at lease 1 or 2 so, which one do you recommend as a whole experience? i youtubed Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, death valle and waves in Coyote Buttes and still can't decide.

    how safe is the RVs? can somebody break in? is it a sound proof? is it easy to drive and handle? can we have some privacy or is it transparent? cause im thinking about spending at least 1 day in an RV and to be honest with you, this is more like a space ships to me, i know nothing about it and there is no RVs in my country, we only see them in the movies. im talking about the type that have shower and toilet and so on.

    if i have to cancel one of the following cities which one do you recommend, San Francisco or San Diego? in terms of the city itself and the surrounding area.

    a lot of people keep warning me about how dangerous it is to do a road trip, is there anything i have to keep in mind?

    sorry for talking too much, this is just a tiny fraction of the things in my mind.
    thank you in advance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default So hard to choose.

    Pleased we and the forum have been of help to you. That's what it is all about.

    The Grand Canyon is not a day's drive from LV. It is a good five hours drive each way, so you would drive there on one day, do some sightseeing, stay the night, a bit more sightseeing the next morning, and arrive back in LV that night. If it is giving you that much of a headache, why not drop it. Yes, it is one of the most magnificent sights you can see. But it will still be there when you have a chance to come back, be it in a year or two, or twenty. Sometimes we just have to make choices. Be aware that when you are in LV you will see many advertisements for day trips to the GC and also for flights over the GC. None of these go to the National Park. They go to and over Indian lands at the West Rim.

    Spending one day in an RV does not make much sense to me. What I suggest you do is, while you are in the US you make sure you get to see some, be it at a rental place, in a campground or wherever. Then you will know the different types there are, and be more sure in your own mind for future visits. But to just spend one day in one seems pointless to me.

    As for maps. Do you have automobile clubs in your home country? Are you a member? If you are, I would go and ask if they have a reciprocal arrangement with AAA (the American Automobile Association). These arrangements give you access to touring materials, information and maps at no cost. The AAA is probably the best place for you to get some maps, and I would seek out an office while in NYC. If you cannot get them free, they certainly won't cost much.

    As for deciding between SF and SD, that's a hard call. SF would be more logical if you are driving from LV to LA. It would give you a chance to go through Death Valley, Yosemite and (if time permits) down the Pacific Coast Highway.

    And as for the dangers of roadtripping... allow me to assure you that you should not have a worry. I was already a senior citizen (female) when I first hit the road in 2001. Now, almost 100000 miles later, I am in the process of planning my fifth trip. And all of these have been solo trips. Just use common sense and courtesy, and you will find that you will be treated the same way. It is a great country!

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 09-04-2011 at 12:22 AM. Reason: add info

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I would recommend that you fly from New York to somewhere out west, and make a "loop trip" from there with a rental car - be it San Francisco, Phoenix, LA, San Diego, or Las Vegas. Pick the city that will be easiest and most economical to get in and out of, and allow you to see what you want to see.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Choices.

    I'm not sure why Grand canyon is giving you such a headache ? Although your overall plan is still vague at this stage, I don't see why you need to try and see the GC in one day. If you flew into Phoenix and stayed the night nearby and then continued to GC for another night before continuing to Las Vegas, it would be fine. If you flew to "somewhere in the middle" such as Denver, it would only be a small detour off your route to LA. You certainly don't want to visit GC as a day trip from LV, it would be a long tiring day, rushed and not as rewarding.

    All NP's are spectacular in there own right, Yosemite is one of my favourites but you need to see how your route and time develops to decide on the best course of action. If I were to visit Yosemite, I would most likely head to San Fran [a wonderful city] and end my trip there. [But it is your trip remember] The 'Wave' has a limited number of permits and a lot of people wanting to go, I believe the 'lucky few' get drawn in a lottery in the morning and the others miss out. Not ideal if you are in the area for a short time.

    RV's are safe. No you are not "transparent", they are self contained with curtains ans is not a lot different to being in a large caravan. You can rent different classes of RV and different sizes, the smallest being 'quite' big and the large ones, Huge. I'm not sure that you can hire an RV for a day and if you could, it just wouldn't be worth it. They are slower and larger to manouvre than a car and more expensive than a car and Motels, so unless you want the Lifestyle an RV offers and want to do your full road trip in one, I wouldn't bother with renting one.

    Which city is like asking "what's best, Apples or Oranges?". As I mentioned earlier, I really like SF, [and I am not fond of City's generally speaking] but I have never been to SD. As I also mentioned earlier, these are pieces of the puzzle that come together when you work your route as a whole and start to join the dots.

    a lot of people keep warning me about how dangerous it is to do a road trip, is there anything i have to keep in mind?
    I would ask these people, what dangererous experience they have had on the road while in America. I think you will find they haven't had one, nor have they even taken a road trip in America. More than likely, they have been watching to many movies, you have nothing to fear from this small minded attitude. Use your common sense and 'built in radar' as you would at home, and if you feel you are in the wrong part of town, simply move on.

    Keep working on your trip and when you have reached some of the decisions that need to be made, we can help to fill in the missing parts of the puzzle.

    One more thing. Have you considered just flying to the west and creating a full road trip from there and leaving NY for another time ?

  10. #10

    Default Possibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Corleone View Post
    i don't really know how to say this in a better way but i really would like thank you.

    i have been reading and reading until sometimes my eyes gets dry. even though i enjoy this part of my travels which is planning the trip yet, America is a different story. i went to the bookstore so that i can buy a road trip map of the USA but sadly its unavailable and i thought about buying one online but it might take more time to get here.

    i have 2 options:
    1- drive from NY to LS
    or
    2- fly from NY to somewhere in the middle of US map and drive from there.
    Unless you want to drive NY to the Southwest, the obvious thing to do would be to fly.

    grand canyon is giving me a headache. i thought about flying from NY to Phoenix sky harbor and driving from there but, according to Google maps, the distance between Phoenix airport and the grand Canyon is around 6:30 hour, and the flying time between NY and Phoenix airport is 5:30 hours. so im trying to get to an airport as close as possible to Grand Canyon but with no hope, to the limit where im thinking about drooping the canyon from the itinerary. can you please shade some lights in here?
    There's no reason you couldn't fly into, say, Phoenix from NYC, rent a car and head up to Williams or Flagstaff or so. You could spend the next day at the GC and then head to Las Vegas.

    if grand canyon is close to Vegas then i can add 1 more day in Vegas and dedicate that day for the canyon and during this period i will drive to the canyon in one morning and be back to my hotel at evening ? but how far is it and it is this type of trips enjoyable or just exhausting? the thing is im trying to make it as much one way/direction as possible.
    I, personally, wouldn't choose to do this.

    regarding the national parks, i can't visit all of them nor i plan to do so, in the same time i don't want to mis the opportunity of visiting at lease 1 or 2 so, which one do you recommend as a whole experience? i youtubed Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, death valle and waves in Coyote Buttes and still can't decide.
    You are starting to run a little short of time. The obvious thing to do, if you are stil headed to LA is to go through Death Valley. If you are headed to SF, it would be to head through Death Valley and/or Yosemite.

    how safe is the RVs? can somebody break in? is it a sound proof? is it easy to drive and handle? can we have some privacy or is it transparent? cause im thinking about spending at least 1 day in an RV and to be honest with you, this is more like a space ships to me, i know nothing about it and there is no RVs in my country, we only see them in the movies. im talking about the type that have shower and toilet and so on.
    Oh, it's safe - lots of people do it and you can learn all of the logistics easily. That being said, I have never really gotten the appeal of the RV myself. I generally prefer either car/motel or car-based camping.

    ]if i have to cancel one of the following cities which one do you recommend, San Francisco or San Diego? in terms of the city itself and the surrounding area.
    Hard for me - I love both San Francisco and San Diego (and I say this as someone who is not generally a city person). You can't really go wrong going to either one.

    a lot of people keep warning me about how dangerous it is to do a road trip, is there anything i have to keep in mind?
    Are there any particular dangers they are warning you about?

    --Jon

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