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Travel to USA and Canada - help me refine my trip

 
 
margo
 
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 03:00 pm
Well - I've bitten the bullet and booked a flight to the US next April - May.

I have just over 3 weeks to get a slight taste of your countries.

The only things set in stone so far are flights in and out of NY from Sydney, 3 days in NY initially, and 2 days on the Rocky Mountaineer. I think I'll return to NY for a few days before I fly out.

Possibles on the agenda are: Boston, Washington DC, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Banff, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco. I realise I won't be able to manage all of these. I don't like to travel every day, but could consider day trips.

I'm looking for opinions, suggestions, advice.
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Type: Question • Score: 16 • Views: 7,824 • Replies: 73

 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 03:02 pm
@margo,
well, Toronto of course!

there are a few of us here who would be pleased to show you a bit of a good time

Smile
margo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 03:16 pm
@ehBeth,
Two jellybeans to Beth - first responder!

Apart from yourself and the doggies (and whatsisname) what else is there to see / do in Toronto.

From some of your posts, eating looms large - and that's a good thing!

(I'm off to work now - back later)
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 03:25 pm
@margo,
Ha!

there is more to Toronto than food, but there is good food here

Toronto is considered to be the most multi-cultural city in the world. There is music, theatre, dance. Major league sporting teams. There are museums and art galleries. There is the island, which is a great way to see the city from the lake.

What would you like to see/do? we can put together a pretty huuuuuuuuuuge plan. Your entire trip could be spent here (many people do come here for 2, 3 week vacations).
Ragman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 03:47 pm
@ehBeth,
I'll second that re Toronto. Entertainment, arts and theater hub second to NYC. I've a family friend who's in his 20s now and he's been in some excellent productions of Tommy. If plays are your thing, you won't be disappointed. World class museums too. Quite the variety and quality of ethnic foods galore. I like the clean city aspect..and for a city as large as it is with multi-lane expanses, the traffic is far more orderly/civilized than NYC and (gulp) LA.

If it were me coming from Down-Under to USA, I'd make a northeast loop of Montreal, Toronto, Boston NYC Wash DC.

I'd make a tour of the northwest US and BC/ Canadian Rockies (Calgary, Banff, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco incl. Monterey Pacific coast Highway... and Yosemite.

I'd do southwestern US., LA/So CA, New Mexico, SF, Las Vegas maybe AZ Grand Canyon.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 03:50 pm
I have to look up what the Rocky Mountaineer is, guessing Calgary to Denver?

Three weeks is both nice and long and too short. I am not going to try and divert you here, much as I dearly would like to meet you. As many, I've places I strongly love and think you would like, but they are a bit off the beaten track (for example, what is normally, speeding along, a four to five hour drive from San Francisco, city dear to my heart still, despite its recent changes), across the Golden Gate, up through Marin and Sonoma Counties (love the landscape and much else, ohhhhh) and up through the redwood curtain, a magisterial length of forest where I've many times driven with symphony cds on loud (see my driving 101 thread), maybe the most gorgeous land I've ever been in, ending on the north coast by the ocean. It's not a first trip place, but something for you to remember for a next time or two.
Not easy access as there is no train through. There are flights though, and when I lived there (the north part) it was via either San Francisco airport or Sacramento's, something like an hour flight. Once you get to, say, the Eureka/Arcata airport, there are many more miles of redwoods to the north, gorgeous driving, not crazed highways either.

And north of that is Oregon, which I know less about but when I've been there I was happy with the beauty.

Sort of opposite, there is Chicago, also a place I like for a thousand reasons, and there are knots of a2kers there.... and a great art institute. And skyscrapers to beat the band, one by a female architect who and which is quite lauded.

Enough for now.



ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 04:08 pm
@ossobuco,
Oh, that part north of the E/A airport is also in oft ocean near. (I saw a colony? many? roosevelt elk, just before the turn into the fern forest to get to the ocean..

Adds, Vancouver and British Columbia (oh, not to forget Seattle) are still north.
Both of those are places I crave to go, which ever side of the border.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 08:39 pm
@Ragman,
Ragman

All of them? In a 3 week trip! I don't think so.

On Tripadvisor, we are often amused by Americans wanting to see our country and have a whole two weeks to see it all! Australia is roughly the same size as mainland USA - but without the population.

I'm not making the same error - I have fairly realistic ideas of what's possible for me. I suffer from jetlag badly as I age - so I need to allow some down time.

Except that I really wanted to go on the Rocky Mountaineer, I would have limited myself to the east side of the country. But - the Rocky Mountaineer is booked - and that puts me on the west coast (briefly).

I like trains and I'm not fond of flying - but I'll have to include some flights in this trip. I'd like to include Washington DC and Montreal - but they may perhaps be not possible. I'm not interested in driving.

The south west may have to wait for another trip.

Thanks for your input Smile
margo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 08:51 pm
@ehBeth,
Bethie

Apart from NY, I've not really done any research on other places yet. So, I literally have no idea of what to see in Toronto. But I'd love to meet you (and him!)

Music - yes. You often post about music events that sound interesting.
Sports - probably nothing that I'm interested in. Cricket, Rugby? Tennis.
The island - no idea - but I'm always interested in water and boat trips.
Museums and art galleries - yes - but less. I may be museumed out after NY.
I quite like ambling about.

I'll do some more research and ask questions later.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 08:56 pm
@ossobuco,
Osso

Rocky Mountaineer is Banff to Vancouver.

A friend has previously raved about the California coast, and right up to Seattle - but I don't think I can manage it this trip. And - I don't want to drive - I'm an old bat from a country that drives on the left. I don't care to indulge in that foreign 'drive on the right' behaviour at this time of life! Razz

Remember - I live on the coast (more or less) so inland and cities are probably of more interest right now. I want to see things that I can't see in Oz.

I'm just trying to establish what is possible.

Thanks for your input.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 09:06 pm
@margo,
I do remember that, Margo, and in many ways california and your area of australia reverberate, and I was thinking about that as I posted. Took me a while to relate to the redwoods myself, hundred miles or more of tall ones, as anything to do with me, and then they did, whappo.

I'm a city person myself, as you probably know, well, I know you know.
Vancouver - I want to hear your takes on it, long have envisioned going there.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:31 am
@margo,
I assume you're including a stop-over in the Sandwich Islands on your way over the blue Pacific? If not -- baaad girl and shame on you!
margo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 02:58 am
@Lustig Andrei,
No, Andy - but the Sandwich Islands remain on my list - despite what the natives did to Captain Cook!
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 04:33 am
@margo,
No, not all...but as alternative routes. I would recommend one or 2...however, if it was a month long trip... maybe then. but us older folks...would be torn apart doing the bi-coastal boogie. one one single trip of 2-3 weeks...I'd probably do west-coast-only or east-coast-only, if it were me.
George
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 07:14 am
@margo,
Boston is a short trip from NYC
and Lash has already done your homework for you.
margo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:18 pm
@George,
George Cool

I've certainly been looking at that thread. The question is: do I skip Boston and go straight to Canada. But then - I would like to see Boston.

I'm just wrangling with time and distance. And Boston is expensive.
margo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:29 pm
@Ragman,
Very Happy
This is my first (and possibly only) trip to the Americas. Europe always gets my attention, and I have lot of friends there.

The main things on my list are:
1. NYC
2. Rocky Mountaineer
3. San Francisco

The first 2 of these are booked, I'm trying to see what else is practical - without exhausting myself. (or sending me into bankruptcy!)
0 Replies
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 01:20 pm
@margo,
margo wrote:
. . . The question is: do I skip Boston and go straight to Canada.
But then - I would like to see Boston.
I'm just wrangling with time and distance. And Boston is expensive.

As a Bostonian, I am biased in favor of my hometown. But, yeah, it
certainly is expensive.

On the other hand, Montreal is my one of my favorite cities and I
would absolutely recommend seeing it. If you decide to do so, let
me know. My son went to university there and I have some familiarity
with the city.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 01:27 pm
What George said. Montreal rocks. (But so does Boston in a slightly different, more genteel Puritan sort of way.) It helps to have some passable French; not absolutely essential but it makes things go more smoothly.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 01:45 pm
But . . . but . . . what about Possum Cat?
 

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