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Vacation Travel Plans, Suggestions, Advice

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Comments

  • john296john296 Posts: 4
    I suppose that it would not be a difficult task for getting the sources that you need for the accommodations and car rentals. My friend was recently there in Montreal and he too had hired some car rental service to tour the place. He was there with his family and so had some long rental ones hired for his tour. You can check out [url=http://www.globarent.com] Globaret.com [/url] for the care rentals that you need for your corporate trip.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    We have top ten lists all over the place here and the Chronic Car posters are debating the merits of Chicago vs Boston and LA. So why not a list of the best big NA cities to visit? No extra points for driving through them.

    My list of fun places to spend a few days would run something like:

    1. NYC (the performing arts, Central Park, delis)
    2. Mexico City (arts, food, pyramids)
    3. Montreal (cafes, more cosmopolitan than NYC)
    4. San Francisco (scenery, food)
    5. San Diego (weather, zoo)
    6. Anchorage (salmon bakes, mountains, outdoor stuff)
    7. Vancouver (food, the Fringe, scenic, not too far from Victoria and Buchart Gardens)
    8. Seattle (fish, gardens, ferrys)
    9. Chicago (pizza, architecture, American Gothic)
    10. DC (museums, monuments, plus crab cakes up the road in Baltimore)

    Also rans - LA for the beaches, Guadalajara for food and music, San Antonio for general ambiance, New Orleans for food, booze and music, Buffalo for Frank L. Wright and proximity to the Shaw Theatre and Niagara Falls.

    There's a city list at Mongabay to help jog your memory.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    Wow. Boston doesn't even get an honorable mention. If nothing else it whould win points as the most challenging city to drive in.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Second that. Skip San Diego and go to Boston. Lots of history, fun place to walk in good weather.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Harvard Square is ok. Maybe it's because of the parking ticket I got there in the 80's that cuts it off my list. That and the traffic (challenging is a good word for it).

    We hit a dock on the Charles River for some sunbathing one trip and that was fun hanging out on. Then my wife decided to cool off and jumped in the river and I thought the 20 other people on the dock were going to freak out. If cell phones had been common back then, I'm sure a few would have called 911. We didn't know that the Charles was about as safe to wade in as Love Canal at the time. :P

    We spent a few days there on another trip and stayed with an old college roommate of my wife. Her boyfriend almost got into a fight at a fern bar (the roomies old flame showed up and that didn't set well with the current flame).

    But those are the kinds of trips you remember.

    I need a San Diego fix - haven't eaten at the Hob Nob Hill for years.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well no argument for eating well, but I find San Diego a 2-day city at best.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,166
    I find San Diego a 2-day city at best

    I don't know, a couple of Corona's and lot of nice stuff to see lounging on the beach while soaking in the rays! I think I could last more than 2 days there!
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    SD must be great since over 55 retired Admirals live on Coronado Island.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Mexico City (I was there for a couple of days once) and Guadalajara sound interesting, but I imagine they're quite dangerous today, especially if you're a tourist.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That's because it's a navy town and they feel comfortable with the culture. It's like Old Boys network and all that. Like I said, two days. :P Okay, beach time, three days then. :shades:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    If I had time and money, I'd fly down in a NY minute. I'd be a bit reluctant to hit some of the border towns but even then, the stories are likely overblown to sell papers. I got pickpocketed trying to get on the subway in Mexico City one time, but I had a bigger hassle when my car was broken into in St. Louis at the Arch years ago.

    That trip wasn't a total loss though - I got to see Priscilla Presley at the Arch. Woo Hoo. :P She was too claustrophobic to go up in the tram. The museum in the base of the Arch is terrific btw.

    My wife is a native of San Diego, so I always got good tours there by locals. Then all her relatives moved away, darn it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It didn't score too well in Travel and Leisure's "America's Favorite Cities" Poll for 2008. Boston won last year.

    But there were LOTS of categories and SD did well for weather and cleanliness.

    I think it's a popular city for families traveling together, which is a form of vacation rather outside my lifestyle these days.

    New Orleans rated as the least clean city and one of the least attractive for a family vacation.

    Dallas scored pretty badly in just about all categories except "affordability".
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    I've taken the tram ride to the top of the St. Louis arch. Neat! Didn't get to see Priscilla, though.

    You may be right about the safety issue in Mexico, but the news reports, right or wrong, shape perceptions. I imagine many parts of Mexico are reasonably safe, while the border towns and Mexico City have elevated risk. I'd take a chance on Guadalajara, which I'd love to visit, and Cancun. I was in Cancun briefly several years ago, and Acapulco many years ago.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    I've been to Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City, and they''re all really nice, interesting cities to visit.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    For cities I've been to my tops in North America would be San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Vancouver. Might throw San Antonio in there as well.

    That said there's loads of probably great cities that I just haven't gotten to yet.

    New York is one of my "familiarity breeds contempt" cities.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    There is that "we have the best of everything" syndrome in NY which can get on your nerves. Like nobody else in the world can dance, play music, sing, make art or pull together in emergencies. It's as provincial as a small town in Iowa sometimes.

    Also, while it is great fun there, you do have to sharpen your elbows. There's always someone lookin' for that little edge.

    I was born and raised there, so I feel qualified to pontificate on this subject :P
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The La Jolla crowd is more of a Condé Nast Traveler reader. :P SD is #9 on their reader's poll of '08 best US cities. (link)

    Boston didn't make the cut. Toronta did, which suprised me a little. I'd rank it behind, oh, Edmonton or St. John's for a tourist to Canada.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well, # 9 out of 10 is better than last place! And SD had the same rank as Hanoi, so that's something. :P

    What am I missing about Charleston SC.? Aren't they a bunch of troublemakers?

    I'd put Rome over Florence anyday, but I agree with Cape Town being a fabulous city to visit.

    Not sure why Carmel made the list...pretty and all that but how many teddy bear stores can you bear?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Charleston? Dunno, I'm partial to Savannah. The Pirate's House, Johnny Harris BBQ, etc. Too bad Williams' burned down a few months before I got over to Tybee.

    I got a watch in Carmel. Still ticking although I may only wear a watch once every year or two. Found it on the beach. I don't remember any good food there. :shades:

    I'll have to add Hanoi and Cape Town to my list.

    I'm expecting road trip company next week - makes me jealous. We'll be a stopover for their PA to Fairbanks excursion.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,385
    When I went to the Arch, I didn't see Priscilla, either..

    I did see Kirstie, though! :)

    We have a family vacation, next month.. Thinking about going to Baltimore. (main reason: non-stop airfare for $100/ea. R/T).

    Any thoughts on Baltimore?

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    Edmunds Moderator

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,385
    We've done day trips to both Charleston and Savannah (while vacationing in Hilton Head). Of the two, I think Savannah is a little more interesting..

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    Edmunds Moderator

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    It's worth $100 just to get some crab cakes. :-)

    I wonder if the Food Network has a travel agency....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You can hang out at the Inner Harbor--there's also an aquarium and a science center and I think you can hire a water taxi to motor around, which is fun.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Most of the tourist attractions in Baltimore, such as the wonderful aquarium, are in and near the Inner Harbor. Of course, Baltimore is only one hour from either Washington or Annapolis, so there's plenty to see and do in the general area.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Sorry for the similarity between Shifty's suggestions and mine, but I hadn't read Shifty's message before writing mine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes but you did a better job :P I was only trying to redeem myself for having bashed San Diego.

    Speaking of Carmel----if you want to stay at one of the best camping spots in the world, try Kirk Creek in Big Sur. There's also the Henry Miller Museum nearby, a most eccentric little shack filled with Miller memorabilia, and if you're tired of camping you can book the Director's House at the Asilomar Conference Center---sleeps six, right near the beach for $300 a night, with kitchen, fireplace and nearby recreation center--and you can walk along a boardwalk all the way to Spanish Bay and even beyond--miles and miles and miles. Or rent a bike there and do it that way.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    My wife and I will visit Chicago for ten days next October, mixing work with diversion. Which places should we don't miss? — Inclusive of restaurants, bars, jazz-clubs, theaters, museums, streets/buildings, sightseer spots, whichever. :shades:

    As well, to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary, we've planned touring through South Africa next August. Most of the urban time there will be spent in Cape Town. Mr. Shiftright, you mentioned Cape Town recently. Any special advice for us to follow?

    Regards,
    Jose

    PS: In NYC there is an interesting but not well known museum in the premises of the Hispanic Society of America:
    hispanicsociety
    wikipedia
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I haven't been to Capetown since year 2000, so I can't say too much. You can consult here:

    Southafrica.net

    I think due to recent currency drops, the place is actually affordable once again (used to be very $$$). There's a botanical garden that's quite something, and hiking on Table Mountain. You can go horsebacking riding at Noordhoek Beach and get a fabulous lunch at Noordhoek's Food Barn. There's also a wine route you can tour. It's really beautiful there if you are a nature lover. As they say "Part Alaska, part Big Sur".
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    Has anyone been to the Schlumpf museum before, and if so, could a basic overview be done in 3 hours? I am afraid I might not be able to spare much more time than that, or my tight itinerary will be messed up :sick:

    Also, any tricks for being able to get a specific car from a rental agency? Maybe call a few days ahead and arrange for one to be there?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Off to the Sierra and the beach. Pismo. :shades:
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    Nice, enjoy!

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    We beat the rush and went to Yellowstone and the Tetons last weekend for 3 days. Hit a great stretch of weather which made for good camping. Saw a lot of critters and the geyser basins are always fun. Coming back on a long forest service road near Shoup Idaho was the highlight though. Great country over that way.

    So what road trips do you have planned for this summer?
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    Since we're limited with how long we can be on the road because of our 7 month old son, we'll take a drive down south to Mt St Helens which is about 3 hours drive from us. I've never been there and this year is the mountain's eruption 30 year anniversary so I thought it might be an interesting day trip.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I've never been there and this year is the mountain's eruption 30 year anniversary so I thought it might be an interesting day trip.

    The 30 year anniversary was actually yesterday (18 May).

    No road trips planned for us this year, though the wife has to travel to south central Colorado for a week towards the end of June.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    edited May 2010
    Have a trip planned for Panama City Beach this coming July. Nobody seems to know where this oil slick will be moving. The ruptured well continues to spew thousands of gallons a day with no end in sight. This ain't good on so many different levels. :sick:
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    From Vancouver to Mt. St Helens is longer than 6 hours. From Mile Marker 49 on I-5 to the Observation Center is one hour. Castle Rock is 2 plus hours from Seattle and you know how long it takes for you to get there.

    Hope you can make the trip on a very clear day because the mountain doesn't come out frequently. 98649 is the nearest ZIP code for getting the latest weather report.

    Enjoy your trip,
    Euphonium
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Re: Mt. St. Helens - you might find this website of help to you. :)

    http://www.tdn.com/app/helens/
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Have a trip planned for Panama City

    Always liked that part of Florida, although I usually stayed over in Destin. Besides the tar balls, it'd be a major bummer is more of the fishing gets shut down and you can't get fresh seafood down there. Hopefully the mud they're injecting will plug the well soon.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    That's such a beautiful area. I used to go over to St. George Island. I can't imagine what that would be like if the oil hits there.

    Ironic thing - they are now worried about our oil hitting Cuba. I'd just always assumed it would be the other way around.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    Thanks for the link and the tips. I google mapped it and it said it should take 5 hours to get there. We'll try to get out there sometime this spring or summer.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    edited May 2010
    My brother use to live in Fort Walton. When visiting we would always take his boat over to Destin and go fishing, boating and swimming. I really liked that area.. beautiful beach, a lot calmer and more family oriented than some other places.

    I got an email today from our hotel in Panama City. They wrote that we could cancel up to the day of our arrival, due to the uncertainty of oil getting on their beaches. Prior to that you had to give a 30 day notice to get your $200 deposit back. That takes some pressure off... as I couldn't decide whether to cancel or not. If oil hits the beach, maybe we'll go to Disney World. We've been talking about that trip for a year or two. :shades:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    They must be having cancellations left and right. :sick:

    My guide friend says bookings up in Alaska are still way down. Good deals can be had on Denali hotel and bus tour packages into the park - those things never have been on sale before. One rafting business over in Valdez is shutting down and selling all their rafting gear.

    Tough biz....
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    oh no! Just read in the paper, oil and tar balls arriving in Panama City Beach within the next 36 hours. What a horrible disaster. Once that oil gets in that white sand, I can see it hanging around for a couple decades, don't know how they could clean something like that up. :sick:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited June 2010
    They have no idea how to clean it up. Drilling technology has far surpassed clean-up technology, the latter still being Stone Age stuff. Someone's been asleep in DC for the last 30+ years.

    I think people will adapt over time but if vacationers keep coming out of the surf with black feet, the word will definitely spread.

    Commercial fishing is another problem. But vacation economies can flourish in areas that have no commercial fishing.

    The real scary part is if this oil starts creeping up the East Coast.

    Or come to my home town, Santa Cruz. Our beaches are beautiful, even if you'll suffer hypothermia if you try to swim :P

    Oddly enough, little kids jump right in there. And surfers, of course, who are probably crazy anyway. We have some of the *best* surf in the world here.

    I wear a shorty wetsuit to boogie-board, so if you come, rent one of those and you're good to go.

    We also have one of the best freak collections on the west coast.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,166
    My concern is that BP is not telling the whole story. I'm wondering whether despite recapturing some oil after the capping, there isn't even more oil escaping since they had to cut the piping at the ocean bottom to fit it? The company sure seems incompetent. I wonder if they would be working better if this happened by their home country, the UK?

    There is a resort a little north of Oxnard, CA that has a beautiful Pacific beach, however you occasionally get a tar ball on your foot. They said at the Embassy Suites it was because of an old oil incident years ago. The gulf beach at Destin, FL someone just mentioned is fantastic. It is just horrible to see how it may be ruined for years. From what I've read it appears BP may have been rushing, or short cutting the project which may have led to the platform and well explosion. I hope that isn't true.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    A WSJ special report indicates that many shortcuts were taken by BP, and many safety procedures skirted or ignored. It's a pretty condemning report. BP had a lot of trouble with that well and were over-spending on the project prior to the disaster.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    Right now they are talking tar balls all the way to port St Joe in the panhandle. That's right where the panhandle beach comes to that point. Just to the east side of that point is St. George Island - a bit better than 20 miles of the prettiest beach in the world. It was my weekend escape in grad school at Florida State. It's way beyond sad.

    I remember as a kid at the Jersey shore that there was some oil in the sand. Hasn't been there for decades. Sure as heck hoping not to see it again.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    There is a resort a little north of Oxnard, CA that has a beautiful Pacific beach, however you occasionally get a tar ball on your foot. They said at the Embassy Suites it was because of an old oil incident years ago.

    Having grown up in Oxnard, I know what you're talking about. I was never much of a beach person to begin with, and every excursion seemed to end with someone having tar stuck to the bottom of their foot. Not fun!

    As this was during the 70's, I suspect the issue was the oil spill in the Santa Barbara channel in 1969. It, too, was an offshore well that went bad. It was the cause of much of the drilling legislation that was enacted by California in the 70's - some of the toughest in the nation.

    A quick article on the '69 spill
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    I remember that spill. Yeah, that's why there's no drilling off California, Florida and a load of other states.

    Of course Florida has learned the hard way that you can't control what neighboring states do to screw up your environment.

    I'm trying to remember what my mother used to use to get the tar off our feet. Alcohol maybe?
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
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