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What is worth to see in US for average European

 
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What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 9:30:50 AM   
doomtrader


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Hi All.

I'm planning a trip to US this autumn for about three weeks, taking my wife and maybe a couple with us.We are planning to rent a car (some large SUV), and stop in motels without previous reservations (unless we know earlier we would like to stay for more than one night in one city).

I've already been in USA (living in CO, tripping to the west), and less more know what is worth to be seen, but I would be thankfull for your advices. Let me know what is worth to visit, what is must see.
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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 9:42:26 AM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: doomtrader
Let me know what is worth to visit, what is must see.


You are probably already aware of this, but the US is rather big so 3 weeks will allow you to visit just one general area - this example from a 3-week trip we're planning for June : San Francisco - Bryce, Zion & other parks - Death Valley - Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - Palm Springs - Los Angeles - some other west coast towns. This combination of must-see towns + must-see nature is what we like, but YMMV

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx


(in reply to doomtrader)
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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 10:01:25 AM   
doomtrader


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I know it's big (and I know that Texas is bigger than France ;)).
Travelled it from NY->Denver (2 days) and later Denver ->Messa Verde ->Grand Canyon ->Las Vegas ->Death Valley ->LA ->Frisco ->Salt Lake ->Denver (7 days) last time.
So more less I know something about USA size and I know that those places I visit are worth to see them again, but the others didn't travel trough USA yet so I just wanted to know are there better places. Personal experience welcome.

(in reply to sterckxe)
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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 10:04:30 AM   
Lützow


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I still remember Disney World, Florida keys and Hemingway's pub. They refused to sell me a beer as I looked too young when I was already 26.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 10:44:05 AM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lützow
I still remember Disney World, Florida keys and Hemingway's pub. They refused to sell me a beer as I looked too young when I was already 26.


My wife once had to show her ID during a police raid on a nightclub to prove she was over 18. She was around 24 at the time and mighty pleased that guy thought she looked so young

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx


(in reply to Lützow)
Post #: 5
RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 12:58:33 PM   
junk2drive


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Eddy you know that June in the desert can be well over 100f?

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 1:34:45 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Well, I think Vermont and the Adirondacks are worth seeing, but I live here so I'm probably biased. If you're into military history of the American Revolution though, you can see quite a few sites in the Northeast, including places like Fort Ticonderoga, Saratoga, etc. up in this area. I guess one question is whether you prefer cities or rural areas for sightseeing or both? Hitting the major cities would certainly be interesting, but there are also so many beautiful natural areas.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 1:53:12 PM   
Greybriar


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My vote goes for the northeast United States. I vacationed there years ago and saw a lot of scenery and visited all the state capitols in a short amount of time. Much of early American history is there, and the foliage in the fall of the year would be beautiful. I went as far as Maine on my trip, which began in Boston. In short, I saw a lot of sights in a relatively short amount of time.

And the cheapest lobster I ever ate in my life was in Portland, Maine.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 4:09:04 PM   
Lützow


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sterckxe

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lützow
I still remember Disney World, Florida keys and Hemingway's pub. They refused to sell me a beer as I looked too young when I was already 26.


My wife once had to show her ID during a police raid on a nightclub to prove she was over 18. She was around 24 at the time and mighty pleased that guy thought she looked so young

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx




On my secound trip to Florida I was already 29 and had to show my ID card as well, when I visited a bar. Guess they take this very serious in the states.

(in reply to sterckxe)
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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 4:23:44 PM   
Gil R.


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In terms of natural beauty, if I had to visit one place it would be Jackson Hole and Yellowstone (can stay in one and drive to the other). Of course, lots of other people will be there, too, since it's not a secret. Yosemite is second, Grand Canyon third, Everglades fourth. (I'm probably forgetting something.)

In terms of man-made stuff, Las Vegas should be seen to be believed, but I wouldn't want to spend more than a day there. But if you're thinking of the East Coast, D.C. and New York have the most stuff to do and things to see, and in both cases you can stay at a cheaper motel outside the city and take a train in, saving lots of money. Three weeks is enough time for a full East Coast trip, flying into Boston and seeing some of New England before driving to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, the Carolinas and Georgia (Savannah's a beautiful city, and Charleston is supposed to be), and finally hitting Florida. One can drive non-stop from Boston to Miami in two days, which means that there would be a lot more time for sight-seeing than a drive across the vast western part of the country.


Disclaimer: I left out the Rocky Mountains, figuring you've seen them.

< Message edited by Gil R. -- 1/15/2009 4:49:11 PM >

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 4:30:32 PM   
Yogi the Great


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As already metioned, in one week your area of coverage will be limited, so the question would be what your interests are.

In General,
   Washington D.C. (you can spend the whole week there if you want to see it all)
   Orlando Florida (Take in all the Disney Parks:  Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studio's, Epcot and Animal Kingdom)

If a History Buff
   This can be tied in with D.C. above, but Maryland, Virginia (and Gettysburg PA) Full of civil war battlefields

Hunting, Fishing, Northwoods?
   Try Wisconsin, Minnesota areas

For just great scenery,
   Blue Ridge Parkway and Smokey Mountains are Great.  Take in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Tennessee.

Of course this discussion could go on much further, but as mentioned the U.S. is big, You need a week to drive across it, and that's without stopping to see anything.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 4:35:03 PM   
Canoerebel


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As a life-long American who loves to travel, loves history, loves nature, and writes about all of these topics, here's how I might package some 3-week vacation opporutunities:

South:  Great Smoky Mountains National Park (with enough time to do some hiking to Abram's Falls and Charlie's Bunion, plus the drive through Cade's Cove); Chickamauga Battlefield; Atlanta (history and culture - sort of); Cumberland Island National Seashore; Florida (including some of the theme parks, Cape Canaveral, Miami - what a cool and beautiful city - and the Florida Keys).

Northeast:  New York City, Boston, Acadia National Park in Maine, Niagara Falls, Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry, Fort Ticonderoga, and lots of time at Washington D.C.

Northwest:  Yellowstone/Grand Teton, Glacier National Park, Seattle, Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Oregon coast, Crater Lake National Park.

West:  Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Redwoods, San Francisco, Pacific Coast Highway.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 5:07:13 PM   
jimi3


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Not Detroit, but seriously:

We had a motor home when I was a kid and we covered most of the US. My two favorite long trips were these,
• Upstate New York-Vermont-New Hampshire-Boston-up the coast to Bar Harbor Maine. Lots of great scenery and history, and you just can’t beat Maine. One of my favorite states.
• Baltimore-Washington DC-Virginia-Williamsburg-Yorktown-Around Chesapeake Bay. Hit several major Civil War sites in Virginia. Problem is DC can take a week by itself

Of course there’s always Montery-San Francisco and then north to the wine country. The United States is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. You will enjoy wherever you choose.
(Northern Michigan is pretty awesome as well)

Jim

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 5:20:30 PM   
elcidce

 

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You have to see the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are great anywhere. Skyline Drive is a good trip if your in VA and headed to or from Washington DC. Charleston, SC and Savannah are great places to visit. Cape Canaveral, FL and Colonial Williamsburg/Jamestown,VA are fun places to visit. Niagara Falls is a favorite stop. I have always wanted to visit Nashville, TN. I am not a fan of large cities like New York or Washington DC.

There are plenty of places to see. It really depends on what you like to do and how much time you have. Like many have mentioned, the US is too large to cover it in a few weeks even.

Pm me if you need any more info. Good Luck.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 5:20:30 PM   
elcidce

 

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You have to see the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are great anywhere. Skyline Drive is a good trip if your in VA and headed to or from Washington DC. Charleston, SC and Savannah are great places to visit. Cape Canaveral, FL and Colonial Williamsburg/Jamestown,VA are fun places to visit. Niagara Falls is a favorite stop. I have always wanted to visit Nashville, TN. I am not a fan of large cities like New York or Washington DC.

There are plenty of places to see. It really depends on what you like to do and how much time you have. Like many have mentioned, the US is too large to cover it in a few weeks even.

Pm me if you need any more info. Good Luck.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 5:20:30 PM   
elcidce

 

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You have to see the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are great anywhere. Skyline Drive is a good trip if your in VA and headed to or from Washington DC. Charleston, SC and Savannah are great places to visit. Cape Canaveral, FL and Colonial Williamsburg/Jamestown,VA are fun places to visit. Niagara Falls is a favorite stop. I have always wanted to visit Nashville, TN. I am not a fan of large cities like New York or Washington DC.

There are plenty of places to see. It really depends on what you like to do and how much time you have. Like many have mentioned, the US is too large to cover it in a few weeks even.

Pm me if you need any more info. Good Luck.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 5:35:47 PM   
Punk Reaper


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A sub prime mortgage

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/15/2009 11:43:56 PM   
hgilmer3


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You're from Poland!  You should come live here, we need all the Polish people we can get!

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 12:15:01 AM   
doomtrader


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hgilmer3

You're from Poland!  You should come live here, we need all the Polish people we can get!


Indeed I'm.
I was considering this last time.
If you find a good job for my wife, hell why not? ;-)


Driving topic back on track.

As I wrote. We are planning to come for about three weeks. I know it should be at least three years. I also understand that trying to cover whole country has got no sense at all. So I'm trying to choose best area.
I know that Rockies, Grand Canyon are wonderfull. I felt in love in Frisco, but life is about making choices. So with your help I'm trying to make best one.

Of course when you will posting here, you can realize how wonderfull your country is :-)

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 12:42:04 AM   
junk2drive


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When I lived near L.A. my neighbors were Dutch and had a seemingly constant flow of visitors from Holland. Sometimes the overflow would stay at our house.

Most would rent a car and head to Zion/Bryce then Grand Canyon then Las Vegas. The rest of the time would be SoCal stuff, Disneyland, Hollywood, etc.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 12:44:56 AM   
darbymcd

 

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Although I am a totally west coast kind of guy, I really think for what you are looking for a SW focus would be great. I am thinking Zion NP and south, get in New Mexico esp. This is just a type of area you don't have at all in Europe. Of course I am biased toward the US version of mountains, forests and cities, but you do have that stuff . The cliff dwellings, other Anasazi ruins, the high desert (I really love the area around Albiquirque (even if I can't spell it to save my life)). It can give you a great mix of cool small towns, interesting cities and unusual natural areas. It is also a great specifically for road trips, lots of really open road, awesome views from the car, you can get a sense of the scope of the US. And then you can exit either from LA or SF, both of which would be a fun way to end the trip, or Dallas which I suppose some people find tolerable. I have taken several euro visitors on a variation of this road trip, although not for as long as 3 weeks, and I think it has been really good. Oh, Wyoming also is interesting.
You lived in CO, so you probably have a feel for it, but if your wife hasn't been to the US before maybe she would like it. But I know lots of first time visitors like the beach and city tour, Florida and NYC. You have to do what your wife wants anyway , so it depends on what she would like out of the trip.

< Message edited by darbymcd -- 1/16/2009 12:46:20 AM >

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 4:04:12 AM   
Feltan


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I've been in all 50 states, and lived in six different states for varying amounts of time.

All the suggestions above are fine -- just a couple of other points:

Visit small towns. This is where America exists in my opinion. NYC and LA are OK to visit, but you get a warped sense of the US if that is all you see. At my stage, there isn't enough money around to get me to go to NYC or LA unless I am lashed to a team of wild horses and dragged there.

All the big cities are all the same in some sense, very homoginized. That being said, if you are drawn to the big cities, there are three or four you need to visit. Washington D.C. is amazing to tour; San Francisco is the most beautiful big city in the US; Chicago and Cleveland might interest you because both have huge Polish imigrant communities. You can get authentic Kishkas and Perogies in both cities. I haven't been to either in a while, but time was that if you didn't read or speak Polish, there was a part of town that you couldn't get around easily.

If you can avoid it, don't eat in hotels, chain restaurants or fast food. Local diners are the best -- less expensive, less pretentious, better tasting and generally healthier food too.

With few exceptions I have always found this rule-of-thumb useful (in the US and anywhere in the world I have visited): If you find tourists there, go somewhere else.

Regards,
Feltan

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 4:20:32 AM   
06 Maestro


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Go west young man, go west! New England has some very nice scenery, but you can see that same kind of boring stuff in Europe. The south is hot and steamy with big cockroaches-stay away from New Orleans-seriously-for your own good.

If what you are after is natural beauty, then the west is what you want to see. Zion has some impressive scenery-there are places you can see for over a hundred miles. Yellowstone park has a huge amount of wildlife that you can actually get close to-and some of it you would want to keep your distance. If you want to get a picture of yourself and a Bison-no problem. Trail rides are available, and fabulous sites are a short hike (about an hour) from parking. There is a loop highway (two lane and narrow at some points) so you can cover a good part of the park in a day. It should be a 2 day stay. Don't miss out on trying some buffalo burgers.

The south Oregon coast deserves some mention. The biggest sand dunes in America are located just north of Coos Bay. It is really great area for natural beauty (pine forest, lakes , sand dunes and the ocean all in one view. The whole Oregon coast is worth viewing (northern California too). Highway 101 is an interesting trip-beware; Eureka California and north to the Oregon border is spectacular, but slow going. There will likely be RV's putting along at 20 miles an hour-even without those in front of you, your speed might only be 30 MPH. The giant Redwoods are in that area. One drawback to Oregon is that the sea water is way too damn cold for a civil person. Too bad that the warm water is in the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia-I can't advise anyone to travel there-especially southern Kal.

If you are going to do the West, then you might as well do Las Vegas. The room rates have never been better. There are some rather fancy rooms that are going for 10% of the normal (pre depression) rates.
You can experience the fake New York skyline, a fake pyramid, a fake Eiffel tower, a fake lake Cuomo, a fake castle, and much more! Seriously though, there are some cool things in Vegas-that's why I live here.

Perhaps after you decide on an area of the country you will tour, you would get some more precise tips on good sites.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 8:14:41 AM   
doomtrader


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I'm really happy I've started this thread.It proves that idea of such kind of vacations was great and it's worth to empty my wallet. ;-)All opinions are valuable but it doesn't mean it makes the decision easier.If I would consider only myself, then probably I would pick NE, but thinking about the rest of the guys (my wife and a fellow couple) I'm for SW replay. I know New England only from the movies and it's indeed very beautyfull (at least there), but when I was travelling trough the west i really felt the Spirit of America.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 9:08:56 AM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: junk2drive
Eddy you know that June in the desert can be well over 100f?


That's why they invented airco

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 9:16:03 AM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hgilmer3
You're from Poland!  You should come live here, we need all the Polish people we can get!


Too late - we're already getting the best of them

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

(in reply to hgilmer3)
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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 3:01:12 PM   
jnier


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Feltan
Visit small towns. This is where America exists in my opinion. NYC and LA are OK to visit, but you get a warped sense of the US if that is all you see.


Sorry couldn't let this one go - the majority of americans live in large urbanized areas - this is where most Americans exist. I personally live a small town, which I love, but if you really want to get a feel for how the average American lives, don't go to a small town. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/census/cps2k.htm

quote:


All the big cities are all the same in some sense, very homoginized.


This is untrue of course. If you are going to cities and you feel like they are homogenous, you're going to the wrong parts of the city. Cities - especially large east coast cities like NYC - have tremendous diversity. Arguably, they are much less homogenous than small towns.

quote:

With few exceptions I have always found this rule-of-thumb useful (in the US and anywhere in the world I have visited): If you find tourists there, go somewhere else.


Well put


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Post #: 27
RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 7:42:22 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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San Diego is worth a few days, in fact I'd avoid LA completely and head South.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/16/2009 11:55:09 PM   
Doggie


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New York City sucks. I wouldn't go there if you gave me an expense account and an armored car.

If you're into miltary history, you can start with U.S.S. North Carolina in Wilmington head down south to see Yorktown and Laffney, swing through Florida and out to Mobile and see Alabama and other ships on the way to Houston, where we end up on Texas at Galveston bay.

The advantages to staying south of I-80 will show up in your pocketbook. Taxes, and prices, are lower in red states. And since guns are legal, your chances of being shot by some gangster are much lower. It is true that where guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns. Washington, D.C. being a prime example.

I-80 gets interesting west of Chicago. After you get to Omaha, I 80 is the old Oregon trail. You'll see landmarks like chimney rock exactly as they were in 1840. For a wilderness experience, there's Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. The area between Tucson and Gallop, New Mexico is all but uninhabited. There's not even a radio station to listen to. The four corners area near Cortez, New Mexico is where you want to be if you want to get away from it all. You can drive off into the dessert and never see another human.

Every state has it's own attractions. I've been to them all, and there's something for everybody. If you tell us just exactly what it is you're looking for, we can tell you where to find it.

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RE: What is worth to see in US for average European - 1/17/2009 2:45:36 AM   
Feltan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jnier


quote:

ORIGINAL: Feltan
Visit small towns. This is where America exists in my opinion. NYC and LA are OK to visit, but you get a warped sense of the US if that is all you see.


Sorry couldn't let this one go - the majority of americans live in large urbanized areas - this is where most Americans exist. I personally live a small town, which I love, but if you really want to get a feel for how the average American lives, don't go to a small town. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/census/cps2k.htm

quote:


All the big cities are all the same in some sense, very homoginized.


This is untrue of course. If you are going to cities and you feel like they are homogenous, you're going to the wrong parts of the city. Cities - especially large east coast cities like NYC - have tremendous diversity. Arguably, they are much less homogenous than small towns.

quote:

With few exceptions I have always found this rule-of-thumb useful (in the US and anywhere in the world I have visited): If you find tourists there, go somewhere else.


Well put




A matter of taste and perception.

With the exception of a few notable landmarks, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Lois Angeles, Boston, etc are -- to me -- generic, predictable and ultimately boring. Perhaps I am indeed visiting the wrong parts. My greatest feeling when visiting is to see them in the rear view mirror heading out of town.

I will agree that the urban experience cannot be ignored, nor can the population you rightly site. However, my point was that if one sticks to big cities, one will get a warped view of the States. Life in America is more than mere urban existance, and thankfully so.

Regards,
Feltan



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