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America. What's good about it?

By neilb@uk ·
My old Mum is 81 (she'll be 82 by October). She's expressed a wish to visit the USA again "one more time" and I'm up for it if she can get some reasonably priced Travel Medical Insurance. She's OK for walks of a mile or so on the flat but hiking is out. Anything else goes. One site holiday, two sites or serious driving are all acceptable. I've driven in Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, Rome, SF, LA and New York and I still have nightmares about Delhi... 500 miles in a day doesn't worry me.

Now, we've done Florida (Disney, Venice, Sarasota, Cocoa Beach, Miami and Key West) so we'll probably not go there. Twenty years ago she and my Dad had a "retirement vacation", driving the West Coast and then inland to the Grand Canyon, etc and repeating some of that is an option (she'd like to see Death Valley).

But, my TR chums, where could we go instead? What is worth seeing? Any tips, gotchas, local knowledge?

I'm looking a three weeks in October after our big Summer project is completed. We don't want it too cold all of the time. Beach is OK but not every day.


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by tryten In reply to Whatever

I have given DFW several chances to redeem itself in my eye. But everything that I can find there has been just...blah. The food is blah, the tourist areas are blah, and WOW what a cheesy looking skyline. I spent 6 months in San Antonio and the filth of the River Walk was just appauling, nothing like eating outside next to a man made river of green dye filled water filled with cigarette butts and moldy paper cups. The Alamo was cool, but they built the downtown area all around it and it makes it seem like a hollywood set. Goliad, TX has an old mission that is still standing and is in good shape, a much better tourist location and it gives you more of a feel of what it might have been like there, unlike looking out a window of the alamo and seeing those "Golden Arches". The smaller towns is Texas are where you can find all the good history. For itstance, the electric chair museum in Huntsville, I almost lost control of my bowels when I heard that Texas has an electric chair museum.

I use to live in the clean air but now since moving to houston its always nice to see that green horizon line when driving towards H-Town *cough*hack* (spits up little pieces of lung).

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by rkuhn In reply to 10 Good Places to Go

Jmgarvin is a Linux freak :) but the Napa/Sonoma Valley or San Antonio area is good advice. I have to strongly agree.

Man, he's not all that bad afterall.

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Woodstock, Vermont and Durango, Colorado

by maxwell edison In reply to America. What's good abou ...

In October, I might suggest a weeks stay (or maybe 10 days) in Woodstock, Vermont. It's one of my favorite places in the United States. From there, you can drive all around Vermont and New Hampshire at a very leisurely pace to take-in the fall colors and beautiful countryside. Go hunting for the covered bridges, historic old buildings, and the church steeples that poke up over the horizon whenever you approach another small New England town. Be advised, however, it will be the "touristy" place to be at that time of year, as a lot of folks visit New England in the fall. Vermont and New Hampshire, however, are the most beautiful of the New England states, at least in my opinion.

Woodstock is probably the "picture perfect Norman Rockwell American town. You could definitely find an absolutely adorable, and very hospitable, bed and breakfast for your stay. And I might even suggest that the locals will cozy-up to Brits better than they do their own southern countrymen! (Southern to them might be Ohio or Missouri!)

Do a Web search and/or Google image search for Woodstock, Vermont; Woodstock, Vermont bed and breakfast; etc.

Another area I'm very partial to are the Rocky Mountain states -- especially Colorado, of course. If it was within your budget, after week or so stay in New England, fly southwest about 2500 miles directly into Durango, Colorado. (You'll probably have to change planes in Denver for a connecting flight into Durango.) Rent a car or take a cab to the Strater Hotel in downtown Durango for a stay of a couple of more days.

The Strater Hotel was built in the late 1800s in the midst of the Colorado silver and gold boom. It will give you a feel of the old west, for sure, but in a beautiful Colorado mountain setting. The primary thing to do while in Durango is to take the 1 day trip on the Durango to Silverton narrow gauge railroad. It's an absolutely stunning ride through some of the most breathtaking views in all the United States.

If the train ride might prove to bumpy for your mum, driving a rental car over a similar route via the Million Dollar Highway is just as enjoyable. That train, after all, is a real, 100+ year old, coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive, pulling several cars (some of which are open air) into the rugged Colorado mountains. And at that time of year, depending on how fast the climate changes, the aspen trees will be shining their vibrant bright gold colors.

Do a Web search and/or Google image search for Durango, Durango Silverton narrow gauge railroad, etc.

So there ya' go. New England and southwest Colorado.

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Ooooh! Don't they jack up the room rates

by neilb@uk In reply to Woodstock, Vermont and Du ...

for the fall colours?! Nice option, though. It is one of the main alternatives that we've been discussing.


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Durango, Colorado Springs

by jdclyde In reply to Woodstock, Vermont and Du ...

My Aunt had a Bed And Breakfast there. Will have to check if they still do. Last I heard they did.

colorado is a wonderful place to go.

Colorado Springs has a place called the "Garden of the Gods".
Of course there is always Pikes Peak.

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Why not Canada?

by WingedMonkey In reply to America. What's good abou ...

Three weeks in the States?
Do you want sightseeing or relaxation?
I live near D.C. myself, but if I had my druthers. I would rather go on a Canadian, beer tasting, rode trip. My second choice would be Mexico. I here their Peyote Buttons are good this time of year.
Las Vegas, wow, the entertainment value alone for Vegas is more then I can use a word that I can spell to describe it.
Just don't gamble, seriously. Take in the 5 dollar All You Can Eat buffets and countless shows offered at the many hotels. We are talking Bigtime talent and incredible food, cheap.

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by neilb@uk In reply to Why not Canada?

I have my 82-year old mum with me so the beer-tasting is not really on. Canada is a thought, though. We've both been to Vegas but would do it again except that I am so crap at blackjack (I get it mixed up with the UK version, Pontoon).

Definitely, sightseeing is the name of the game. I can relax at work. :)

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Canada and the US

by jdclyde In reply to Vegas

If your in Michigan, it is about a four hour drive to Toronto.

Because we are right on the border, there are a few places where you can skip back and fourth between the two!

Did I mention Michigan is a nice place to visit?

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Couple of thoughts of Canada

by JamesRL In reply to Canada and the US

If you want to experience scenic beauty and the fall colours, two suggestions.

1) Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Most of it is driving accessable, your can drive the trail and stop at particularly scenic points. Fall is the right time to go. You can easily fly into Halifax, drive to Cape Breton(260 miles).

In October they have a Celtic Colours event with music (ceilighs!), tours, and special events.

2) Agawa Canyon, about 400 miles north of Toronto
My parents highly recommend this - the train ride through the canyon is unforgettable. And then you could catch a show in Toronto, if your mum is into that sort of thing.


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My Opinion

by rkuhn In reply to America. What's good abou ...

There's nothing more beautiful here than the whole Tennesse Valley area.

Kentucky, Tennesse, the Carolinas are beautiful in the fall.

There are lots of very sparsely populated areas that are cheap and while not all that thrilling like Vegas or New York, the calm and quiet is perfect.

The rolling hills, the trees and lakes, nothing better. Lots of caves, small town folk, I love it.

Lake Cumberland, Lake Norris, Dale Hollow. Been there many a times. Houseboating is a blast and very relaxing.

Get a cabin or RV and just explore.

There's nothing better than enjoying just the trees, the deer, the fishing, eating pancakes in some some town mom and pop restaurant, and just chilling.

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