Travelling USA

ok travellers I’m looking for tips. planning on doing a trip to america for 6-8 wks next year. idea is to fly into LA, see a bit of the west coast, then make our way East stopping somewhere naturey in between, or anywhere else that is worth visiting, then spend the most time in NYC. thinking to buy bikes and ride/train around (though at first glance trains seem fairly pricey).

What are your Top 5 places to visit in the US?

Any other details/advice much appreciated.

PS. I did see thisthread but a lot of it is car-centric

Don’t bother staying in Hollywood in LA, stay near the beach if you can and day trip into downtown LA. If you can, drive from LA (or catch a train to Santa Barbara from LA) to San Francisco along the coast.

I’d go back to SF, Portland and NY in a heartbeat. Wouldn’t bother with Las Vegas. Would like to see Austin, Seattle and further south of LA.

EDIT: missed the train part, so disregard my advice about driving to SF.

I absolutely despised Vegas but that might have been cos I was 15 and with my parents. LA was rad but that might have been cos we were staying in a 5 star hotel.
Bryce and Grand Canyons were amazing, would love to go back there. Also, Dateland (it’s a really small place all about dates, America is fucked) was weird and interesting.
I wanna go back to America.

boston’s boring as shit yet tourist people like it. lots of history…revolution stuff. tea.
and if you come here i can get you drunk and take you to the cool spots and stuff.

seattle & san fran are rad, but you probably knew that. didn’t rate nashville much. feel like you’d need a local there.

the middle of america is large.

The amtrak cascades line is awesome. there’s a bike hook on it too. Other lines require boxing. Trains aren’t cheap, but prepurchase saves a lot. By the time you add food and lost time, flying is cheaper, but less visuals.

Screw vegas unless you have a local guide and you avoid the strip completely.

LA is so much more than hollywood. Silverlake/echo park is a nice region, public transport in the city is good.

Seattle and surrounds are great, esp for nature-y.

Austin is pretty fun, avoid SXSW time though.

NYC plus citibike = maximum explore.

I’d like to visit ATL/BOS(coz jimmy)/Chicago.

National parks in the USA are done well. As are small towns (under 1M)

If you were flying into LA and out of NYC, with some buses/flights/trains inbetween, maybe:
LAX->SFO->redwoods->PDX->SEA->Chicago->NYC.

There’s a lot to be said for road tripping to national parks / small towns though.

Background viewing: Stephen Fry in America (TV Mini-Series 2008) - IMDb

If you want some tips about the deep south, I’d suggest just not going there unless you’re really into seething racial disharmony and barely-disguised segregation.

There is a lot of info from others here:
http://www.fixed.org.au/forums/f10/road-trippin-usa-21231/

My faves would be for parks - and all have great camping facilities:

  • Zion
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Grand Canyon (South rim)
  • Yosemite

My fav towns

  • NYC
  • Seattle
  • Vancouver
  • San Fran

yeah was thinking staying venice way in LA - i dont know why. good/bad idea?

places like seattle/austin/chicago im unsure on. from all reports they are pretty cool, but i think “why? go there for what?”. is it worth the extra money/time/opportunity cost - which I mean you could ask about anywhere, but still…

redwoods is a good idea I didnt think of. yeah fk vegas

im thinking LA/NYC/SF to satisfy the “just a cool place to be in and explore” type thing, then the rest should be mad things I cant really see anywhere else - ie. cool nature thing, or something unique - not just “it has cool bars” or whatever

may take you up on that jimmy

Only been to NYC, and things to do and see there are fairly well documented.
– but if you’re an art nerd, I’d recommend jumping on the train and heading to Dia Beacon.

Santa Monica / Venice / Manhattan Beach / Hermosa Beach are worth looking into for accommodation by the beach. I regret not going to Silverlake / Echo Park when we were there.

i liked boston a lot, but i had mates there, and that always makes or breaks a city. therefore, my advice is to go where you know people. or know people who know people.

Echo JLN’s sentiments.

NYC, San Fran, Portland… Also loved New Orleans.

Naturey… Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Mt Hood

I travelled 5 cities in 6 weeks on my trip this year with a folding Dahon Mu Uno. Rebuilt the rear wheel to run fixed. Carried a 32lt T-Level Challenger. Absolutely awesome way to travel. Could have packed less… learnt a lot from that exercise. NYC on a bike is just amazing.


100% this.

as opposed to this

Sounds pretty epic Mr Balki

I went to Vegas in my early 20’s hated it never will ever go back.

Sf is a must.

LA is great, but massive and you really need a car and quite a lot of time to appreciate how good the city really is, as Brendan said, if you know someone there, then it will be amazeballs. Silverlake is so so in my opinion.

California is an awesome place with heaps of varying nature. The desert in and around Joshua Tree is amazing.
Sequoia National Park is also great, they really have great National Parks.

NYC is as good as you think it will be.

I’d take the southern route to NY, it’s more interesting to me at least. (Although I have never travelled the Northern route, so YMMV)

Sorry, should clarify… did Yosemite and the Canyon & Nawlins on a previous trip. I’d prefer a proper bike for those destinations. But the folder for city access and inter-city convenience was so good. Unpack and ride from the airport.

Also not sure I agree with needing to know people in your destinations. Found Americans to be super friendly and chatty when sitting at a bar by myself, and up for a few beers… which was quite often. :slight_smile:

I agree with this - so many times we were approached in bars by locals and then would have new friends for the rest of the night/few days after. Americans are so open to a chat. The only real place I had a hard time with was Portland… BUT I think my state of mind had a lot to do with this. We travelled in the wet season and had had constant rain for 2 months by this stage.

Vegas - well you either love it or hate it. But I think you need to make your own mind up on this. It is very unique… it is where people go to party. 2 days will do you for this place though and if you are heading to Grand Canyon, you may as well stop over and see it for yourself.

If you’re at all keen on art, politics or museums then I reckon a couple of days in DC is a must.

Easy train ride from NYC

that is impressive. we’re gonna go over with backpacks (my nixon landlock, then a new one for gf - looking at ILE) and see what happens. buy/get rid of/send back clothes/purchases as needed

yeah I’d maybe be searching for ppl who know ppl more if i was going solo, but ill be with my gf so should be fine. we’re planning to airbnb a lot so should get some local knowledge that way too

anyone done a good city->city ride in the US?

Check out pathlesspedaled/amtrak if you’re thinking of train-bike travel:
Amtrak Across the Country @ The Path Less Pedaled

define city-city? one day ride? carrying luggage?