Author Topic: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US  (Read 2381 times)

Offline markpotts

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Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« 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.

 
 
Yorkshire, England

Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #1 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.
- Charles

Offline Stevie

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #2 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.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #3 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.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #4 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.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 02:42:18 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline markpotts

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #5 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.
Yorkshire, England

Offline Stevie

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2015, 02:58:05 PM »
Lived in Northern California for 98% of my life. Made that drive countless times.

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #7 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!
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #8 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 :)

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Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #9 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
- Charles

Offline pete b

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #10 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.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #11 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!
Frank P.

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Offline markpotts

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #12 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)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 03:41:31 PM by markpotts »
Yorkshire, England

Offline kramerog

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #13 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.

Offline yso191

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Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« Reply #14 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.
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