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KateTheGreat's avatar

What are some good places to visit in the United States?

Asked by KateTheGreat (13635points) June 22nd, 2011

I live in South Carolina and I would like to visit a few places before I go back to the university in the fall.

What are some really great places to go and have fun?

I’m not traveling with anyone else though, so nowhere dangerous.

Edit: I have unlimited resources. I’ll be traveling for a month and I’ll be driving everywhere. Distance also doesn’t matter.

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26 Answers

syz's avatar

We need more details. What resources do you have? Unlimited time? Unlimited finances? Will you be driving? Flying? Taking the bus? What kinds of things do you like? Nature? Culture? Entertainment?

If you live in SC, then you’ve probably visited Charleston. Key West, Florida is one of my favorite places. Washington DC is a must. New York for shows, museums, and shopping. New Orleans is fabulous.

The west coast has tons of options. My favorites are San Francisco and San Diego. Or rent a car and drive north along Highway 1 for some of the most scenic drives in the country.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@syz Unlimited resources and about a month of time. Driving.

tom_g's avatar

Joshua Tree in southern Cali. It’s like a playground for adults. Plenty of rock climbing.

Big Sur California coast.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

>New York for shows, museums, and shopping.
You forgot pizza and bagels.

syz's avatar

@Michael_Huntington I don’t get the bagels thing – it’s boiled bread, for God’s sake!

tom_g's avatar

aaah, my Big Sur link screwed up. Now I can’t edit. Trust me, it’s beautiful.

marinelife's avatar

You could easily get to Florida. If you like a lively beach scene, go to Destin, Florida on the Florida panhandle.

Or Sarasota on the West Coast of Florida. Great beaches, great restaurants, The Ringling Bros. Museum. It is near Venice (about a 20-mile drive) where you can pick up fossilized megalodon teeth on the beach.

Then you could drive west, crossing the Great Smoky Mountains into eastern Tennessee, which is very pretty.

With a month, you could easily drive to the West Coast and back. That is a very fun trip.

mazingerz88's avatar

My dungeon. : )

KateTheGreat's avatar

@mazingerz88 I’d go gladly! Hahahaha.

TexasDude's avatar

My house in east Tennessee.

obvek's avatar

Totally go to South of the Border. It will change your life.

If I were you, I’d go places that were a) not hot and b) relatively expensive, because you’ll have plenty of opportunities to go to the hot places when it is cooler and the cheaper places whenever.

Otherwise, If you can make it that far, then I’d suggest the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest. Denver, Seattle, Portland and the Bay area are all going to be beautiful and there are plenty of amazing national parks. Downtown Chicago is also mighty impressive.

If you come to Albuquerque I
will hook you up, but don’t come to Albuquerque in the summer.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@marinelife About Venice, can you always find those teeth on the beach? I’d absolutely love to have some in my collection.

@obvek I’ve always wanted to go to Albuquerque. Sounds like a lot of fun. I do believe that Chicago is a bit dangerous for someone by themselves.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@KatetheGreat Will you tell us the places that you have already visited? Also, what interests you? Art, culture, history, scenic, amusement, nature, etc? This would help.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Already been to the major cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I am VERY interested in history, art, art history, and nature. I wouldn’t mind somewhere that I can go hiking.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Unlimited resources? You should come visit me.

I hear America’s Stonehenge is pretty neat. I’m also a fan of the Mashantucket Pequot museum in Connecticut, on the Pequot reservation (right near the Foxwoods Casino).

Oh yea, and if I get it off the ground you should attend my Zombie Apocalypse Survival Class.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you for the additional information. As someone with similar interests, a few of my favorite places that you haven’t already been to are Washington DC and the Boston area. Between your location and DC, you’ve got the Blue Ridge Parkway for a bit of hiking.

Once in DC, there are plenty of museums. Two of my personal favorites are The Phillips Collection, which is a little known art collection, as well as Hillwood, which is a mansion just outside of DC that houses a fascinating collection of art, including Russian pieces.

Boston has some good art collections, and it is chalk full of American history, particularly if you head a bit north to Salem, where scandalous witch trials were held.

New York City and Chicago are always good for a second visit. Both have excellent art museums and plenty of history. In Chicago, the Frank Lloyd Wright center is worth seeing. @Cruiser can take you on a nature hike. If you are in the North and heading west, Minneapolis/St. Paul is worth a stop. They have some decent art museums and plenty of lakes for a bit of nature and exercise.

I have never been to The Grand Canyon or Yosemite Park, but if I were to head in that direction, they would definitely be targeted for stops. Head south to Arizona where you can experience Native American culture, western history, a bit of art, and deserts before turning back east.

Stop at @obvek‘s while passing through Albuquerque, before heading towards Texas. That state should be a country that stands on its own. Veer southeast towards Hot Springs, Arkansas, for a well-deserved pampering at one of their spas. If you have time, there are some wineries in Arkansas, as well as an elephant sanctuary.

Shoot for New Orleans. I don’t know anything about their museums, but the culture, cuisine, and music compares to no other in the US. Then head due north through Mississippi to Memphis, where @JLeslie and I live. One of us will take you to Elvis Presley’s Graceland and out for a proper Southern meal of fried catfish, hush puppies, and green tomatoes.

Continue heading east, and you can stop off at @John65Pennington’s hometown of Nashville, where a visit to The Grand Ole’ Opry hotel is worth checking out, as well as a country music bar. Then continue heading east and crash at @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard‘s for a bit of adventure.

On the way home, there is always The Biltmore Estate to check out. And if you haven’t been to Savannah, Georgia, that is one quirky town full of history and worth a detour.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Mt Rushmore, Oahe Dam with the flood gates open, Sturgis during bike week, Black hills. All in South Dakota. If you plan to be through here, PM me and I can list some more places.

If I am not displaced by the flooding.

mazingerz88's avatar

@KatetheGreat You can hike in my dungeon. : )

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Thank you sooo much for the suggestions! They sound great.

@incendiary_dan Haha, I’d love to visit you!

Dude, a little American tour of my favorite Jellies does sound like real fun.

Ivan's avatar

I have unlimited resources.

Holy shit cure AIDS and cancer!

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Ivan Hahaha, I don’t have that type of money!

Kardamom's avatar

Palm Springs for mid-century architecture, a really good art and natural history museum, hiking, multitudes of fabulous food, and one of the most awe inspiring 360 degree rotating tram ride from the desert to the mountains, plus hiking in both the desert and the mountains. and it is nearby to a couple of smaller towns that offer their own interesting amenities. Note: it will be very hot. Spring and Fall are the best times to visit.

Here’s some details:

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Self Guided Mid-Century Architecture Tour

Visit the house where Elvis and Priscilla Spent the First Night of their Honeymoon

Hike the Desert Canyons of Palm Springs

Palm Springs Art Museum

A short list of my favorite places to eat in Palm Springs (vegetarian friendly)

Nature’s Health Food and Cafe

Elmer’s (excellent breakfast, especially the hazelnut cream filled French toast with warm fruit compote)

El Mirasol

Tyler’s Hamburger’s

Matchbox Pizza

Palms Green Cafe

Native Foods

Palm Springs Fudge and Chocolates (for the best date shake in the desert!)

The next place is my favorite place to stay in Palm Springs: Caliente Tropics (because it’s a vintage, Hawaiian-style, 1960’s era motel with a great pool and a very cute tiki bar, and beautiful tropical grounds, and very reasonably priced.)

Nearby to Palm Springs is the town of Indio famous for it’s dates. If you go, you must visit Shield’s Date Garden and Store

Also nearby to Palm Springs is Joshua Tree National Park a great place to drive through or to camp. U2 named one of their albums after this place.

The nearby town of Desert Hot Springs, boasts a very nifty mid-century hotel called the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel

Another nearby town, Cabazon, has a really cool roadside attraction that features life sized dinosaur sculptures that house a museum and a gift shop. The dinosaurs are right by Hadley’s a wonderful store to purchase dried fruits (especially dates), nuts, candy and my very favorite date cake, and you can also get date shakes and food gifts to take home or send to friends. And just down the road from Hadley’s is the Morongo Casino and the Cabazon outlet stores.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Kardamom Holy crap, woman. That’s a lot of great information!

Kardamom's avatar

If you think it’s too warm to go to Palm Springs, you might also enjoy Solvang, CA.

Solvang is a town in central California, that was originally settled by immigrants from Denmark. It was just a little farming town, but then someone decided that it would be a good idea to develop the town as a destination, so sometime in the early part of the 1900’s the townsfolk started making the town look like a replica of a real Danish town. Even though, most of the residents were from Denmark, or other Scandinavian countries, when they emigrated to the U.S. and formed their little town, their buildings were typical of U.S. buildings (mostly barns and farm houses). But now, Solvang looks like a quaint old Danish town.

They’re famous, of course, for their Danish pastries, especially aebleskiver and butter cookies. There are lots of restaurants all over town specializing in Danish cuisine. They are not exactly a haven for vegetarians, but when I went there, I was able to find plenty to eat, including some magnificent red cabbage and an open faced sandwich with cucumber and Havarti cheese. We went to “The Little Mermaid”: restaurant.

If you like pancakes (and who doesn’t?), you’ll love Paula’s Pancake House

There are bakeries all over town including Olesen’s Danish Village Bakery.

There are lots of restaurants, and here are some (that I have not tried) that might be good:

The Greenhouse Cafe

The Solvang Restaurant has a nice selection of vegetarian sandwiches. This is THE place to go for aebleskivers!

Mirabelle Inn is an eleagant wine restaurant with a few lovely vegetarian offerings.

You might enjoy the Hans Christian Andersen Museum

Or the Elverhoy Museum of History and Art

Or Lake Cachuma Recreation Area

And of course there is lots of neat little stores for shopping for toys and clothes and Danish dishware etc. One of my favorite stores are the Solvang Shoe Store where you can buy clogs and have your picture taken with the biggest Red Clog in America. (It looks tiny in this photo, but it’s big enough to stick a little kid inside of it and people do all the time).

If you want to spend the night, there are plenty of little motels all over town, and Solvang boasts some of the niftiests windmills in the country. It’s kind of a touristy town, but a beautiful and fun one, with lots to do and eat and see. Getting there is half the fun, and this part of Califonia is absolutely gorgeous and looks nothing like Northern or Southern California.

If you like wine tasting, there are plenty of opportunities to do that right in the middle of downtown Solvang. And Solvang is right in the middle of the Santa Ynez Valley which is highly known for it’s wineries in Califonia.

Of course you can’t visit Solvang without first passing through the tiny town of Buellton (gateway to Solvang) and it’s Pea Soup Andersen’s Restaurant (this is a favorite destination of mine since I was a little tiny kid on my way to Grandma’s house).

Solvang is not too far from Solvang is the Mission Santa Ines

And Solvang is about half way between the wonderful towns of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. If you like visiting wineries, shopping, eating, learning about Califonia history and seeing beautiful central California scenery, this whole area is a great place to visit.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Driving through Death Valley (on my way to Vegas) was one of the most awesome experiences for me.

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