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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: markpotts on January 14, 2015, 02:07:09 PM

Title: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: markpotts on January 14, 2015, 02:07:09 PM
Hi Guys,
I hope that you will be able to help me with some thoughts and recommendations.....geography, transport & accommodations within the US. Must see's/do's, probably should avoid etc etc. I will apologise in advance as this may be a long post.

I've wanted to come to the US now for a few years......it looks like I will be able to this either later this year or more likely in 2016.
There are 3 things on my agenda...baseball, food and craft beer.
I don't have an affiliation with any team.....but I do love watching games that are held in San Francisco; the place looks great on TV.
The food thing comes from somehow getting an interest in Diners Drive Ins & Dives (don't laugh).....most of the places this guy seems to go look awesome :D
The craft beer.....well I shouldn't really need to explain that.

My trip will probably be 10 days in total.....take off a couple of days travelling on either end, so I will have 7 or 8 nights on US soil.

From my initial research there is not much difference in the price of flights from the UK to either the East or West coast. Usually around £50 extra for a return flight to LAX as opposed to New York.
I've also looked at flying in to one coast and returning from the other.....but the price was utterly prohibitive. Internal flights seem to be reasonably priced.

I appreciate a bit of sunshine, so the West coast appeals. I know there is a lot of beer related stuff out that way.....I'm a regular BN listener so maybe those guys have skewed my view somewhat.

So what suggestions do you folks have?? Are internal flights and multiple destinations doable on such a short time frame or do you think I would be better concentrating my limited time over a smaller area?

Am I missing out by only really considering East or West coast?? What else is there?

Any pointers and tips would be much appreciated and thank you in advance for any help forthcoming.

 
 
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: ranchovillabrew on January 14, 2015, 02:19:52 PM
Come to the West Coast.  Go to a Dodgers game.  Seeing just California in a week will be difficult.  How much driving are you planning on doing? Diners, drive in and dives has a list of all the shows they've done.  Flying to lax, two nights in San Diego.  Then up the coast to Santa Barbara,  San Luis Obispo,  or Paso Robles.  Then through Big Sur to San Francisco. One night in SF. One night in Santa Rosa or Healdsburg,  then a solid drive back to Los Angeles,  Dodgers game and fly home.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: Stevie on January 14, 2015, 02:28:41 PM
If beer and baseball are your goal, you can't go wrong with San Diego or San Francisco. Petco Stadium is nowhere near as gorgeous when compared to AT&T Park, but I personally love baseball games near anywhere.


Don't rule out Minor League teams. Those games are very fun, often much cheaper for both tickets and concessions, and you will sometimes see a star from the Majors that is recovering.


A car will be required most anywhere you go in the US. While some of the bigger cities have solid public transport, once you get out into the suburbs, it sucks. If you are staying in a major city, look into getting a car only when you need it. Parking fees can get steep. Last time I stayed in San Francisco, we saved $100 ($50/night) by not renting a car and opting for a taxi.


Domestic flights run the gamut as far as price. You can catch cheaper flights if you stay within short distances (SF to LA/SD or Dallas to Austin), but overall it is a craps shoot. I just booked a flight from Dallas to SF and it ran me $350 round trip, that is about $100 more than I normally spend, but not outrageous.


Portland and Seattle might be up your alley, but your chance of sunshine is 50/50. Portland has a very good public transportation system and they have a minor league team. Seattle's public transport isn't great, but it is an easy city to drive.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: Stevie on January 14, 2015, 02:30:08 PM
Come to the West Coast.  Go to a Dodgers game.  Seeing just California in a week will be difficult.  How much driving are you planning on doing? Diners, drive in and dives has a list of all the shows they've done.  Flying to lax, two nights in San Diego.  Then up the coast to Santa Barbara,  San Luis Obispo,  or Paso Robles.  Then through Big Sur to San Francisco. One night in SF. One night in Santa Rosa or Healdsburg,  then a solid drive back to Los Angeles,  Dodgers game and fly home.


Note this requires driving, but overall a very solid plan that would allow you to see and taste a lot. You could run it in reverse easily as well.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: klickitat jim on January 14, 2015, 02:38:02 PM
There are about 6 or 7 entirely different worlds in the states. The northeast, the south, the midwest, west, alaska, hawaii, and California. Most areas within 50 miles of salt water are all the same type of people, the farther you get from salt water the more independent the people get. If I could only spend 7 days in the states I would not do it in an airport. I would go to western montana, but that isnt the hub of craft beer, though you can find it. If I couldn't go there, I'd go to the south. Ashville, nashville, memphis, new orleans...

No offense, but if I had a choice between a week in California or just stay home.... id stay home.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: markpotts on January 14, 2015, 02:49:01 PM
No offense, but if I had a choice between a week in California or just stay home.... id stay home.

Hahaha ;D
But is that coming from someone who has actually been to California??

I understand that the US is a huge, huge place....especially compared to lil old England.

Really appreciate the information guys; that's a great start.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: Stevie on January 14, 2015, 02:58:05 PM
Lived in Northern California for 98% of my life. Made that drive countless times.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: homoeccentricus on January 14, 2015, 03:02:47 PM
the farther you get from salt water the more independent the people get.

Wow, a quick internet search teaches me that the people from Rapid City, South Dakota, are the really really really independentiest!
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: theDarkSide on January 14, 2015, 03:06:02 PM
Ok, I'll put in my bid for New England.  Fenway Park, mountains, ocean, and tons of beer.  While we have a lot of bigger breweries (Boston Beer, Harpoon, Allagash, Smuttynose, etc.) the nanobrewery movement is big in New England.   Tons of smaller breweries with some fantastic offerings.  I have 4 breweries and Moonlight Meadery within 4 miles of my house right now.  Oh, and we have the Red Sox at Friendly Fenway Park!

Are you traveling alone or bringing a family?  Lots of history and activities for the family from beaches in Maine and NH (yes, NH has beaches on the Atlantic...18 miles worth but still has beaches), mountains in NH and VT, American History, museums, aquariums in Boston...oh and the Red Sox!

Skip NYC...they don't have the Red Sox :)

Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: ranchovillabrew on January 14, 2015, 03:06:24 PM
I've lived my whole life in California.  Grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the North end of LA. College and a few years after in San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay.  Short stints in Napa and Chico.  Currently live in Orange County.  With the exception of Chico I've never lived farther than 50 miles from the Pacific Ocean. 

That trip would be a lot of driving but there are stops along the way and the Big Sur Coast drive on PCH is incredible
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: pete b on January 14, 2015, 03:09:00 PM
The East Coast is just as sunny as the West Coast, probably more so on average, and there is no Fenway Park on the west Coast. It was extremely sunny here yesterday (15 degrees, but sunny). That's my unbiased opinion. That being said the combo of sun and beer makes me think San Diego.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: homoeccentricus on January 14, 2015, 03:11:31 PM
Why go all the way to the US? Come to Belgium! The food is great, the beer is great, and, true, we don't care about no stinkin' baseball, but we have great cycling!

Plus, you can basically do the country on foot!
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: markpotts on January 14, 2015, 03:24:01 PM
Why go all the way to the US? Come to Belgium! The food is great, the beer is great, and, true, we don't care about no stinkin' baseball, but we have great cycling!

Plus, you can basically do the country on foot!

I'm lucky that I do a lot of business with people in Belgium and visit at least 2 or 3 times per year on company expenses!! Taras Boulba anyone??
Hope to do the hop festival in Poperinge at some point  :D

Again, thanks for all the info so far......this is just the type of response I'd hoped for. I knew the home brewers would never let me down  8)
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: kramerog on January 14, 2015, 03:30:05 PM
Time of year could be an important factor in your travel plans.  It may be just me, but going to Southern Cal in the height of summer sounds like torture unless I go to the mountains or to the sea, but very pleasant in the spring and fall.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: yso191 on January 14, 2015, 03:41:11 PM
A big difference between East Coast and West Coast is humidity.  The East Coast gets so hot and humid in Summer I can't stand it.  Lovely people, a LOT of good things to do and see, but I am miserable the entire time.

I agree with Jim about the cultural differences between coasties and inlanders.  I fit better with inlanders, but in terms of being in a target-rich environment for visitors there is no comparison - the coast wins.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: kmccaf on January 14, 2015, 03:49:30 PM
I am biased towards the upper Midwest myself, but if it is easier for you to travel to the coasts the I would recommend North Carolina. No major league teams, but a lot of Minor league teams in the state. Asheville is one of the best cities in the country, lots of great beer, food, and culture, and the you can go rent a cabin by the Great Smokey Mountains.

If theMidwest is an option! I would do a St. Paul/Minneapolis to Madison to Chicago run. The Twins Stadium in Minneapolis is great. Lots of great beer and just a wonderful area with great people. Stop in Eau Claire for some Lazy Monk brews, then go to Madison, for a great mid sized city. Then Go see the Cubs at Wrigley Field, and eat great Chicago cuisine.

For the West Coast, Seattle would be a great city to look into.

Nothing wrong with going to San Francisco. Wonderful town with a team that has been great for the past few years. Redwoods are nearby, and you could make run to Yosemite. Lots of great choices on the Coasts!
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: duboman on January 14, 2015, 03:58:35 PM
Having done both coasts by car several times, beer nor food will be a problem! It's the time. In 6-8 days you can easily create a great trip with lots to do and see, weather should be your determining factor. If winter months are when you plan go west, if mid fall, go east, you will not believe the colors, spectacular! You don't want to be in the East during a winter storm and get stranded somewhere, been there, done that:(

Coming myself from the Midwest you can't beat the nice weather on the West coast through most of the winter months!
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: HobsonDrake on January 14, 2015, 05:09:12 PM
I t has been touched on by a couple of people but I think Seattle and Portland are a good bet. You say baseball so I would suggest you start in Seattle for a Mariners game. I would think flights in should be close to what you LAX is. Lots of food and fun in the city.
Then drive to Portland (only 3.5 hours drive through some great county). Lots of food and beer. Good public transportation. During the spring/summer there are beer festivals every weekend (or most weekends anyway) and the last full weekend of July is the Oregon Brewers Festival http://www.oregonbrewfest.com (http://www.oregonbrewfest.com/). I have meet people from many countries that come just for that and stay for everything else.
What ever you decide, have a great time.  :D
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: jeffy on January 14, 2015, 07:47:27 PM
I live in Florida, but my favorite part of the country is the Pacific Northwest.  I think you could easily spend your week between Portland and Seattle and have a great trip.  Heck we did a whole week just in the western part of Oregon a few years ago.  Weather there is usually great in the summer months - long days, plenty of sunshine despite what you may have heard.
You could also fly in and out of San Francisco and spend some time in Sonoma County.  We did that for a week once.
Keep in mind that dropping off a car in another city is sometimes cost prohibitive, but also realize that driving hundreds of miles back to the original airport can be daunting on the final day or two of a trip.  It's bigger than you think.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: BrewingRover on January 14, 2015, 08:06:05 PM
It's bigger than you think.

Yeah, keep that in mind. Boston to New York is roughly equivalent to London to Manchester. Interstate flights can eat up a whole day with time at the airport, etc.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: narcout on January 14, 2015, 08:12:37 PM
Ashville, nashville, memphis, new orleans...

Yeah, that would be a great trip.

Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: Steve Ruch on January 14, 2015, 11:02:28 PM
I t has been touched on by a couple of people but I think Seattle and Portland are a good bet. You say baseball so I would suggest you start in Seattle for a Mariners game. I would think flights in should be close to what you LAX is. Lots of food and fun in the city.
Then drive to Portland (only 3.5 hours drive through some great county). Lots of food and beer. Good public transportation.
Take a right at Portland and go to Hillsboro for some minor league baseball, the team name is the Hillsboro Hops (yes, those kind of hops).
Have fun.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 14, 2015, 11:15:39 PM
It's bigger than you think.

Yeah, keep that in mind. Boston to New York is roughly equivalent to London to Manchester. Interstate flights can eat up a whole day with time at the airport, etc.

+2.  I think it's best to pick a specific part (or even state) of the country to focus on, to keep from burning up so much time in airports and very long drives.  I took a mostly beer related vacation out west a few years back and spent a week in California, and a week was not near enough. And that's only one (albeit huge) part of the West coast. Still want to get to Oregon and Washington and try some of those great beers in person. 
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: flbrewer on January 14, 2015, 11:24:50 PM
As a Floridian, I love my state. As a craft beer nerd, I have to say that you should stick to the West Coast. In particular San Francisco (Russian River, Lagunitas, and Bear Republic are a bit north of the city) and Seattle. Both cities have wonderful vistas, world-class breweries, and great sports.

Of course, you'll have to take a quick flight between the two which would be very affordable.

Which month are you coming, that could make a difference in your mood.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: JT on January 15, 2015, 03:05:39 AM
I'm from the midwest.  Go to California.  Plenty of everything you are looking for there. 
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: markpotts on January 15, 2015, 08:50:27 AM
Thanks again guys, lots to research there 8)
The most likely time of my visit would be May or June of 2016.
It's quite clear from some of the responses that I shouldn't try to fit too much travelling in and waste valuable time on such a short trip.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: jeffy on January 15, 2015, 12:31:33 PM
The AHA Conference is in San Diego June 11 to 13.  Stop in and meet 3,000 of your closest beer buds.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: MDixon on January 15, 2015, 01:14:52 PM
It all depends upon what you want to do. I know you have a list, but honestly all you need for baseball is a major or minor league stadium. I'm not a fan, but do enjoy a good minor league game and those stadiums are everywhere.

You wanted food and that is not quite specific enough. In a metropolitan area you can get all kinds of restaurants from almost any ethnicity. In a smaller area you get regional cuisine.

As far as beer you cannot go wrong in several states. I tried to find a list by state, but every one I saw was wrong including this one:
http://www.brewersassociation.org/statistics/by-state/

FWIW - North Carolina is sitting at 125+ at the moment.

You will have to drive no matter where you go, the US is a big place and we don't have good public transportation.

Since beer and food is one of your goals I would suggest you fly into Charlotte, NC and then drive to Asheville, NC and spend at least a couple of days. The reason why is you can see several breweries in a very small area. Sierra Nevada is close by, Oskar Blues is close by, and New Belgium is under construction. From there you can visit many midsize all the way down to nano breweries. The food in the area ranges from local Southern to ethnic, there is not much white tablecloth, but there are some definite foodie joints. They have a minor league baseball team. The weather is never bad, sometimes rain can diminish the fun, but it typically doesn't hang out forever. Asheville is in the Mountains and within ~6 hours you could visit the beach from there. Asheville to Washington, DC is ~7 hours with much of it through some pretty mountain scenery. The NC beach to DC is about 6 hours, but the drive is not nearly as scenic, although Richmond, VA has some nice breweries and Green Flash should be settled in to the Tidewater area of VA soon. Also Stone is building a brewery in Richmond and I hear it may be in production by the end of the year.

California is a great place to visit, but it is a large state and not much is walkable. Washington and Oregon have a plethora of breweries as well. Wisconsin is very pretty in the spring and summer.

It all depends upon what you want to see. Washington, DC has the monuments, NYC is well, NYC, we have almost every climate under the sun at some point in the US and everything from flat land to mountain peaks.

Once you know kinda where you are heading I'm sure the group can put you on the right path or help with arrangements in the US.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: pete b on January 15, 2015, 02:29:50 PM
The lack of public transportation is a good point. Exceptions are Boston, NYC, and DC. And you can get between those cities by train. Baseball wise that gives you 5 major league teams if you include Baltimore which has a nice park. It would be interesting for you to see a game at Fenway (100+ years old) and Yankee Stadium (almost brand new). I really like visiting NYC. I would avoid DC June-early August and Boston/NY from late June-early August due to the possibility of a humid streak.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 15, 2015, 03:17:32 PM
You could see a lot of any part of the country in ten days if you're willing to do a lot of driving. The drive through California is pleasant but it is a lot of time spent in a car and you may want to spend several days in San Diego and San Francisco. Making that entire trip is probably too ambitious if you want to watch a game and try to hunt down restaurants along with breweries or good bars. It might be easier to enjoy yourself to pick San Diego up to LA or LA up to San Francisco.

There's a lot of interesting stuff to do in Portland and Seattle and it's not too bad driving between the two if you want.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 15, 2015, 05:16:16 PM
I live in Florida, but my favorite part of the country is the Pacific Northwest.  I think you could easily spend your week between Portland and Seattle and have a great trip.  Heck we did a whole week just in the western part of Oregon a few years ago.  Weather there is usually great in the summer months - long days, plenty of sunshine despite what you may have heard.
You could also fly in and out of San Francisco and spend some time in Sonoma County.  We did that for a week once.
Keep in mind that dropping off a car in another city is sometimes cost prohibitive, but also realize that driving hundreds of miles back to the original airport can be daunting on the final day or two of a trip.  It's bigger than you think.

Jeff likes Jeff's advice.

When we were in the  PNW for the NHC we flew into PDX, and flew out of Seattle. Rented cars in both cities. Used Amtrak Portlandto Seattle.

One can do a lot in both cities without a car, if so inclined.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: Steve Ruch on January 15, 2015, 10:59:19 PM
Thanks again guys, lots to research there 8)
The most likely time of my visit would be May or June of 2016.
It's quite clear from some of the responses that I shouldn't try to fit too much travelling in and waste valuable time on such a short trip.
Last weekend of June is the North American Organic Beerfest at Overlook park in Portland. It's right on the yellow light rail line.
I've been pouring for the last 4 or 5 years.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: markpotts on January 16, 2015, 01:05:14 PM
The AHA Conference is in San Diego June 11 to 13.  Stop in and meet 3,000 of your closest beer buds.

That would be unbelievable if I could pull that off.

MDixon - thanks for your response. I'm not looking for anything specific food wise. I joked in my first post about DDD; but tbh that's the type of thing I would be looking for. Local places used by local people serving honest well made food......I don't need white tablecloths or fancy service  8)

I'm going to sit down over the weekend with a map and a notebook to try and get an outline plan together and then I can start to look seriously at dates and flights, though I'm going to have to wait a while to book anything as flight only showing for Jan 2016 at the moment.

Thanks again to all who've posted; I really appreciate it.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: MDixon on January 16, 2015, 08:29:19 PM
If you want to see anything like The Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, or Mount Rushmore, keep in mind they are in the middle of nowhere and will require transportation.

The East tends to be heavily wooded while places like Arizona and portions of Utah don't have trees for miles.

I'd suggest you prioritize what you might like to see and then fill in with beer, food and a baseball game or games. For instance if you know you want to see the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco then we can pitch in an help with the rest. Now if you want to see The Grand Canyon your choices are going to be more limited, but you must spend at least a little time in Sedona if coming from the South. Even though it isn't a beer mecca it is a great area with all the red rocks.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: jeffy on January 16, 2015, 10:28:24 PM
My wife and I have started several vacations from Denver.  We stay there a couple days and then head out.  Once we went west to Ledville and then south through the high plains, stopping at Great Sand Dunes for the night and ending up in Taos, New Mexico.  That was a memorable trip.
Another time we went north through Fort Collins and into Wyoming, turned left and went to the Grand Tetons.  We flew out of Salt Lake City.
Another time we went west across the mountains into Moab, Utah and stayed there to visit Arches.  Every Western you've ever seen was probably filmed there.  We came back through Colorado on a more southern route, through Colorado Springs and back to Denver.
Now I need a vacation.  I wish we were retired like Jeff (hopfenundmalz)...
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: klickitat jim on January 16, 2015, 10:35:43 PM
If you want to see anything like The Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, or Mount Rushmore, keep in mind they are in the middle of nowhere and will require transportation.

The East tends to be heavily wooded while places like Arizona and portions of Utah don't have trees for miles.

I'd suggest you prioritize what you might like to see and then fill in with beer, food and a baseball game or games. For instance if you know you want to see the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco then we can pitch in an help with the rest. Now if you want to see The Grand Canyon your choices are going to be more limited, but you must spend at least a little time in Sedona if coming from the South. Even though it isn't a beer mecca it is a great area with all the red rocks.
I think the must see is the worlds largest graffiti (Rushmore), and from there its not too far from a restaurant that has all of Kevin Costners costumes, so in just a couple hours you can see everything that makes this 'merica.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: Stevie on January 16, 2015, 10:51:21 PM
I thought Costner was Scottish. If not, he sure did have a convincing accent in Robin Hood.  :o
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: ranchovillabrew on January 16, 2015, 10:52:44 PM
Saw Costner out fishing a few years ago off Santa Barbara.   He's got a very nice catamaran
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: jeffy on January 16, 2015, 11:45:38 PM
Did you get close enough to see the webbed feet?
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 16, 2015, 11:50:15 PM
Yeah, his accent definitely made Robin Hood. Or made it laughable.    ;D
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: 69franx on January 16, 2015, 11:58:29 PM
I hear he parks that catamaran in Albuquerque when not on the high seas, right around Saul Goodman's  law offices
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: ranchovillabrew on January 17, 2015, 12:05:11 AM
Did you get close enough to see the webbed feet?
Gills too
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 17, 2015, 03:26:10 AM
My wife and I have started several vacations from Denver.  We stay there a couple days and then head out.  Once we went west to Ledville and then south through the high plains, stopping at Great Sand Dunes for the night and ending up in Taos, New Mexico.  That was a memorable trip.
Another time we went north through Fort Collins and into Wyoming, turned left and went to the Grand Tetons.  We flew out of Salt Lake City.
Another time we went west across the mountains into Moab, Utah and stayed there to visit Arches.  Every Western you've ever seen was probably filmed there.  We came back through Colorado on a more southern route, through Colorado Springs and back to Denver.
Now I need a vacation.  I wish we were retired like Jeff (hopfenundmalz)...

Not all of the Westerns were filmed around Moab, but many were. Think John Ford And John Wayne.

One summer we drove the Shafer trail on a rent a car, scraped once. Got to a place where everything was torn up , like cars were doing doughnuts. Then "Thelma and Louise" came out, and we knew where the final scene was filmed. Cowboy movie?
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: chumley on January 17, 2015, 04:35:09 AM
My 2 cents worth, as someone who lives in an American summer vacation destination (western Montana, halfway between Glacier and Yellowstone National Park).

I would go with some of the previous advice and plan on the PNW between San Francisco and Seattle.  Lots of good breweries, great food, excellent sites, and of course MLB in San Francisco and Seattle.  Sonoma County and wine is good, as well as Russian River and Bear Republic.

Lots of other great places to see in this fine country as others have seen, but if you are coming from England, you should go see something completely different.  The east coast resembles England enough already.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: markpotts on January 22, 2015, 02:29:53 PM
Again, many thanks for the help.

I'm leaning towards the West Coast......Los Angeles/San Francisco/Portland looks a great route. Not too taxing driving wise; though it looks like I may have a partner in crime who will share some of the driving :)

One thing I will say.....I knew the US was big, but having looked in more detail at a few driving options I didn't have any real appreciation as to how big the place is.

Going to have to wait now for 2016 flight schedules before I can progress this any further really.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: jeffy on January 22, 2015, 04:09:00 PM
Although beautiful, that is along drive, especially if you get caught behind a "caravan" on the Pacific Coast Highway.  Just doing one portion of that trip might be more manageable.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: morticaixavier on January 22, 2015, 04:38:59 PM
Although beautiful, that is along drive, especially if you get caught behind a "caravan" on the Pacific Coast Highway.  Just doing one portion of that trip might be more manageable.

I was thinking that but plugging it into the fantastical internet map machine (google) it's only a little shy of 1000 miles. a bit longer than driving from the northern tip of scotland to the southern tip of england. in 7 days that's 3 or 4 half days on the road with a few days stationary to catch a game or what have you. there are a lot of good breweries just off the I5 corridor.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 22, 2015, 06:16:55 PM
Although beautiful, that is along drive, especially if you get caught behind a "caravan" on the Pacific Coast Highway.  Just doing one portion of that trip might be more manageable.

I was thinking that but plugging it into the fantastical internet map machine (google) it's only a little shy of 1000 miles. a bit longer than driving from the northern tip of scotland to the southern tip of england. in 7 days that's 3 or 4 half days on the road with a few days stationary to catch a game or what have you. there are a lot of good breweries just off the I5 corridor.

There is a pretty good one just off the 101 in Paso Robles named Firestone Walker. Some great wine around Paso too. One could drive parts to the PCH "the 1" near there, and not lose too much time.

Some friends who live in Orange County did a trip from San Diego to Vancouver BC, and that was about 3+ weeks IIRC, stopping in many places to see the sights.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: gmwren on January 22, 2015, 06:42:26 PM
Another vote for California. It is America's best example of a Nanny State, so you might feel a little (but not too much) at home. The difference would be all seven previously mentioned worlds found in the States can be found there. Oh, and the weather is better, the suntans better, and the teeth obnoxiously whiter.

My favorite place to go would be Colorado, but California does have the reputation. Can't see much of it in a week though.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: MDixon on January 23, 2015, 01:27:08 AM
My $0.02. Unless Los Angeles is the lowest cost flight or there is something there you are dying to see I would skip it and fly into the San Francisco area and head North from there. That would save at least 400 miles of driving through some dry arid country without much scenery other than farming operations and some old vine vineyards.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: ranchovillabrew on January 23, 2015, 03:55:20 AM
I think that from a brewery and weather perspective I wouldn't skip San Diego or the Central Coast (firestone). It's 16 hours driving from my place to my brother's in Portland.  Unless you really want to see a red bridge covered in fog I would skip the bay area.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: MDixon on January 24, 2015, 12:31:06 AM
I'd fly across the country just to go to Tornado in San Fran right now. I've been to the San Diego location, close, but no cigar. ;)
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: jeffy on January 24, 2015, 12:37:46 AM
I'd fly across the country just to go to Tornado in San Fran right now. I've been to the San Diego location, close, but no cigar. ;)

Why?  Do you like the abuse?
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: MDixon on January 24, 2015, 01:05:32 AM
That's half the fun and the neighborhood of course and the fact they only take cash. ;)
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 24, 2015, 03:10:41 AM
I'd fly across the country just to go to Tornado in San Fran right now. I've been to the San Diego location, close, but no cigar. ;)

We went to the SD Toronado before the 2011 NHC. We thought it was a parallel universe Toronado. The staff were mostly young ladies (they did have lots of tattoos) that were helpful and cheerful. The bathrooms were semi-clean and not totally stinky. There was a little patio out back that was in the sun and looked to be a great place to set, but some that we know from the Falcons were well ensconced, and having too much fun! The clientele was as we can say, a little different from what we were used to at the original.

Mrs R and I like the SF Toronado, just because.  8)

Edit - there is now one in Seattle, if you can believe that.
Title: Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
Post by: mbalbritton on January 24, 2015, 03:26:24 AM
I lived in England for about 3.5 years. I can't wait to go back, hell I might not return if I go!

That being said, 7-8 days of visiting and you want food, craft beer and baseball... I'd suggest... Well... That's a tough one. California isn't really "the US" it's ... California. Different breed out there. But it is cool, and probably your best bet for those three items. Personally, I'd skip the Major League Baseball games and find a Minor league game. Cheaper and more entertaining. Obviously there a ton of Craftbrewers out there as well.

Other suggestions, if you want to hit a few states, head to the north east. Boston, NY, etc. you can drive to other states about as fast as driving from Holland to Belgium to France and Luxembourg. The NE states have the same proximity as continental Europe.

Personally, I like the suggestion of Asheville, NC. But I'm kinda partial to it since I'm up that way a couple times a month. It's not but 3hrs away. And easy driving to hit the rest of NC for some great micro brews, and minor league baseball games.

Hell, if you do decide to hit NC, let me know, maybe I can show you a few.


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