Planning a trip to the US next year to see what all the fuss is about.

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    Jun 27, 2012 5:51 AM GMT
    Planning June / July 2013 I generally like to visit unusual places and stay a way from tourist hot spots. I also visit places because they have weird names.
    I already want to go to

    San Fran - see all the place I read about in Tales of the City
    Chicago - To stalk Oprah icon_lol.gif
    Miami - Visit friends
    Frezno
    Nantucket
    New York
    Charlotte
    Dallas
    Washington
    Any place "Deep South"
    Plus would like to see some plains, deserts etc
    Maybe Mexico

    Also heading to Toronto to visit friends plus I love the idea of Canada

    Any ideas appreciated

  • Lanter

    Posts: 149

    Jun 27, 2012 9:45 AM GMT
    That is quite a list. If your trying to fit all that in during a few weeks I think its going to feel like a relay race. Are you going to fly from one region to the next? There are a lot of people that are saying to stay away from Mexico completly right now for safety reasons. If you are looking for Desert, I would say Arizona since you could do the whole Grand Canyon experience. If you do this and don't want the tourists, go to the North Rim. Its much quieter and more laid back. I suppose I'm somewhat biased, but if you want a lot of overlooked, and unique sights to see, the rural areas of the northern and eastern States are for you. Its true they might not have the most dramatic of natural scenery, but there is a very diverse concentration of a variety of things to see. I have traveled a lot of the country, but I am the most familiar with the northeast and with both ends of the tourist spectrum. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
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    Jun 27, 2012 12:00 PM GMT
    northoz saidAny ideas appreciated

    Your Miami friends will no doubt be your tour guides there (it's actually Miami BEACH you wanna see with its art deco district, a different nearby city on the ocean, rather than the City of Miami, which is on an inlet bay). But if you & friends wanna drive up to Fort Lauderdale & Wilton Manors and see the gay life, roughly 35 road miles depending on where you are, let me know. paulflexes should be back here by then, too, we can all meet up.

    Even Key West can be done, a day car trip if you leave early, can still spend 8 hours down there off-season when the tourists aren't so thick. And the drive itself through the middle and lower keys is an experience, crossing many bridges (one 7 miles long) where you're high over the water and view the Atlantic on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

    _MG_0176.jpg

    7-Mile bridge above on the right, on the left the abandoned earlier version, built exactly 100 years ago.

    BC, Canada is lovely, including Vancouver and Victoria. Then you could also see Seattle (gay friendly with a large gay population), and the spectacular natural scenery of the nearby Cascades, Olympic Mountains and Peninsula, and the Puget Sound area.
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    Jun 27, 2012 12:59 PM GMT
    Tourist hotspots are usually tourist hotspots because they have something
    interesting to see. If you've never been to the US before you might not want to have a knee-jerk reaction to popular sightseeing destinations.

    Maybe divide the US into its regions and sample something from each.

    Northeast: NYC, Niagra Falls (Canadian side), Provincetown (gay resort)

    Mid-Atlantic: Washington DC, Luray, Va (Luray Caverns), Ashville, NC (Biltmore estate), Rehobeth Beach, Delaware (gay resort)

    South: Atlanta, Charleston/Savannah, Smoky Mtns

    Florida: Miami Beach (beach + art deco architecture)

    Plain States: Yellowstone Nat'l Park, Mt Rushmore (South Dakota), Witchita Mtns

    Texas: Dallas/Fort Worth or Houston , San Antonio (The Alamo)

    Northwest: Seattle

    Southwest: Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Phoenix/Mesa (cinder block capital of the world)

    California: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Wine country



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    Jun 27, 2012 1:24 PM GMT
    I love trying new resturaunts and food when I travel, so be sure to google the top 100 resturaunts for each city/state you go visit!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Jun 27, 2012 1:42 PM GMT
    Definitely would add Los Angeles and The Grand Canyon in Arizona to the mix
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Jun 27, 2012 1:45 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidDefinitely would add Los Angeles and The Grand Canyon in Arizona to the mix


    Nothing to see in Los Angeles....except for maybe what it's like to live in one of the coolest cities in the world. icon_smile.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Jun 27, 2012 1:50 PM GMT
    groundcombat said
    CuriousJockAZ saidDefinitely would add Los Angeles and The Grand Canyon in Arizona to the mix


    Nothing to see in Los Angeles....except for maybe what it's like to live in one of the coolest cities in the world. icon_smile.gif



    Of course, I see that tourist magnet town of FRESNO is on his list -- how could any place top that icon_eek.gif
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:51 PM GMT
    Yosemite is just over an hour's drive from Fresno. Don't miss that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:51 PM GMT
    you forgot Key West!
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:01 PM GMT
    Excuse my ignorance, what's in Fresnoicon_question.gif I would definitely add Los Angeles to the list. This beast isn't beautiful but I don't think anyone visits LA for its beauty, it's the legend and ideology that tourists seek to uncover. I'd also argue that we have one of the most extensive art collections in America: Getty, LACMA, Norman Simon, MOCA, etc...
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:06 PM GMT
    why would anyone want to go to freakshow.... i mean fresno?
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Jun 27, 2012 2:06 PM GMT
    world24 saidExcuse my ignorance, what's in Fresnoicon_question.gif I would definitely add Los Angeles to the list. This beast isn't beautiful but I don't think anyone visits LA for its beauty, it's the legend and ideology that tourists seek to uncover. I'd also argue that we have one of the most extensive art collections in America: Getty, LACMA, Norman Simon, MOCA, etc...



    Plus, there are the little things...like the PINK'S hotdog stand

    SantaPink-1.jpg
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:14 PM GMT
    Also, Mexico is one of the world's most intriguing countries, I should know, I am from there icon_biggrin.gif. Yet, I would certainly not "cross the border" just to say that I've been to Mexico. If you are willing to travel down south, these are the cities that I would recommend: Mexico City, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, the jungles of Chiapas, Merida, and of course any Pre-Colombian city - Chichen Itza, Palenque, El Tajin, Teotihuacan...the possibilities are endless!
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:16 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    world24 saidExcuse my ignorance, what's in Fresnoicon_question.gif I would definitely add Los Angeles to the list. This beast isn't beautiful but I don't think anyone visits LA for its beauty, it's the legend and ideology that tourists seek to uncover. I'd also argue that we have one of the most extensive art collections in America: Getty, LACMA, Norman Simon, MOCA, etc...



    Plus, there are the little things...like the PINK'S hotdog stand

    SantaPink-1.jpg


    I love Pinks! Guadalajara dog please, with a side of a naked Betty White!
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Jun 27, 2012 2:21 PM GMT
    I think it's a good idea he's visiting Fresno, and more foreigners should do the same of going to non-touristy cities. That way you'll have much better perspective, and gain a better knowledge of what the United States is really all about.
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:27 PM GMT
    northoz saidPlanning June / July 2013 I generally like to visit unusual places and stay a way from tourist hot spots. I also visit places because they have weird names.
    I already want to go to

    San Fran - see all the place I read about in Tales of the City
    Chicago - To stalk Oprah icon_lol.gif
    Miami - Visit friends
    Frezno
    Nantucket
    New York
    Charlotte
    Dallas
    Washington
    Any place "Deep South"
    Plus would like to see some plains, deserts etc
    Maybe Mexico

    Also heading to Toronto to visit friends plus I love the idea of Canada

    Any ideas appreciated


    Since you're going to be in Northern California and have Fresno on your list, consider adding a quick day trip to Yosemite National Park.

    While in Miami, don't miss "Viscaya": A palatial Italian style villa built in the early 1900's by a wealthy gay industrialist. Also, there is a restaurant in "Little Havana" called "Versailles". Must go. It's in the heart of the Cuban-American community.

    Charleston, South Carolina or Savannah, Georgia would be my picks for the "Deep South". Both for the food and the architecture.

    "Washington" DC or Washington State? There's way too much to see in DC which is already in the "brochures". Washington state is amazing. Seattle and a trip up to Vancouver would be a remarkable pairing.

    When in Chicago, make sure you go to "Lou Malnatti's" pizza for Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza. Get "The Lou". You'll wait 45 minutes for it to bake, but it's worth it.

    Desert? Go to Denver and go see the Red Rocks Amphitheater. Catch an evening concert if you can. Run the steps during the day for a great cardio workout!

    Also, Honolulu either on the way to or from Oz is a great stop. "Leonard's Malasadas" is a must eat. Also, "Shokudo" restaurant is a trip!
    Do the island of Maui if you have extra time.

    Fuck as many men as you can. We love the men from Down Under and you're especially hot!
  • fitone

    Posts: 276

    Jun 27, 2012 2:34 PM GMT
    how long will you be in the us? don't try to cram too much into your visit or it will be a blur. i'd spend at least 3 days in each city you visit.
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:35 PM GMT
    I recently drove across the country from Phoenix to Washington DC. I highly recommend spending some time in southern Utah... check out Monument Valley, Moab, and Arches National Park. That part of the drive was outstanding.

    550653_3488050073204_1441127031_n.jpg

    456445_3488063833548_557538598_o.jpg
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:38 PM GMT
    I wouldn't go to Fresno, nothing to do there at all. Come to Seattle or better yet go to Vancouver BC Canada, one of a kind city.
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    Jun 27, 2012 3:16 PM GMT
    Rent a car and drive Route 66, there are all kinds of weird, whacky and old real Americana that may be interesting to you. It would be fun! Mike
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    Jun 27, 2012 3:36 PM GMT
    Santa Fe may be a bit out of the way, but it's an extremely big draw for people abroad looking to experience the southwest. There are lovely biking and hiking trails all through the mountains and the downtown area is the oldest in the country (santa fe itself is ~400 years old).
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    Jun 27, 2012 4:09 PM GMT
    TropicalMark saidyou forgot Key West!

    Scroll up, I mentioned it to him. But I didn't add that you have a second home there now, and there's another RJer there, too.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Jun 27, 2012 4:12 PM GMT
    I'm going to echo the other commenters: just how much time are you planning to spend in North America, exactly? It's about 4100 km by plane from San Francisco to New York, and closer to 4700 km to drive it. Granted, the driving route would take you through plains, deserts, and mountains, and you'd go through the Chicago metropolitan area, but 4700 km is going to take you about a week to drive if you do it sanely. On top of that, none of your other possible destinations are near the SF-NY driving route, so you'd have to go hundreds or thousands of kilometers out of your way to see any of them.
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    Jun 27, 2012 4:24 PM GMT
    Caslon19000 saidTourist hotspots are usually tourist hotspots because they have something
    interesting to see. If you've never been to the US before you might not want to have a knee-jerk reaction to popular sightseeing destinations.

    Maybe divide the US into its regions and sample something from each.

    Northeast: NYC, Niagra Falls (Canadian side)

    Mid-Atlantic: Washington DC, Luray

    South: Atlanta, Charleston/Savannah, Smoky Mtns

    Plain States: Yellowstone Nat'l Park, Mt Rushmore (South Dakota), Witchita Mtns

    Texas: Dallas/Fort Worth or Houston , San Antonio (The Alamo)

    Northwest: Seattle

    Southwest: Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Phoenix/Mesa (cinder block capital of the world)

    California: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Wine country


    I set my travel location to South Padre Island for a reason. The gulf coast is beautiful in general, although laid back. I also heard that Portland, OR is a pretty cool place to visit.