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USA - east coast or west coast

(6 Posts)
bitofabelly Fri 10-Mar-17 16:36:06

Hi lovely mumsnetters, hope you can help me plan a holiday. I have dipped in an out of long haul board.
We are 2 adults and 3 kids who next year 2018 will be 14,11 and 9. We have visited a few countries in Europe, but the bits are mad to go to USA. We can afford the flights, so could do east coast or west coast.

Here are our likes and dislikes:

I love the idea of California and feel we could tick the Universal box in LA, p,an would be San Fran, maybe Yosemite, drive down coast, LA, do all the tacky things there...fly to New York, 3 nights, fly home.
This would be a summer trip..maybe 2-3 weeks.

East coast would entail Orlando and New YOrk, unless someone can advise an amazing alternative. This would be an October trip...easier weather and a chance to see an NBA game.

Cons- I HATE rollercoaster....should I suck it up for my kids and Hubble...the 11 year old isn't mad on them either...is it worth it...I have been to universal l.a as a kid....so much money.....and I hate flying...but won't let it stop me....how do people cope with really bad turbulence?

We like alternative holidays, and I'm keen to show them as much culture as possible. On holidays we generally move locations 3/4 times to try new areas/towns etc and the kids love that style of holiday.

This will be a big spend for us...but I think holidays are important..and can bring great memories.

What would you do??

I can't see us being able to go lonhyn haul for a while.

Help!

RusholmeRuffian Fri 10-Mar-17 19:05:35

I do love California but I prefer the East coast. As well as Florida and New York the East coast has New England, North Carolina's stunning Outer Banks and great cities like Charleston and Savannah going for it.

SpecialFlowSnake Sat 11-Mar-17 23:07:07

Another vote for east coast. For culture I suggest you think about adding a stop in Washington DC. Check out the Smithsonian museums.
www.si.edu/?showFull=1

Remember to factor in the time difference - west coast is 8 hours behind UK.

bojorojo Mon 13-Mar-17 17:42:17

Why do the tacky things in Calforrnia??? What a waste of time and energy, not to mention money.

California is great if you bother to research it. Santa Monica and Santa Barbara are great. Highway 1 is great. Big Sur especially and the beach as Carmel is lovely. Whale watching is superb and there are great museums and even more beaches. The Getty Centre and the Getty Villa are great at LA and driving Mulholland Drive is wonderful. There is the Huntignton Library and Art collection in Pasadena as well as great gardens there. If you bother to look, you will find plenty of culture from San Francisco all the way down to LA.

bitofabelly Mon 13-Mar-17 20:59:42

I'm not sure why there is an insinuation they I have not bothered to look at cultural activities in California. I mentioned that part of what we wanted to do was what is deemed to be the tackier side of la...walk of fame, celebrity house spotting, Beverly Hills etc...I am fairly informed as to what California can offer, in just trying to weigh up what it offers as against a potential trip to east coast. I'm trying to put together a trip to remember for my family,but I'm slightly in the dark about the east coast. Thanks

Flutterby11 Fri 17-Mar-17 19:26:32

Both are great options as pp have said. We've done LA - SF - Big Sur/Carmel - LA - Vegas/Grand Canyon - LA (we have family in LA so used it as a base). The only reason we went to Vegas (we have no interest in the 'typical' Vegas activities) was to get to the Grand Canyon. We stayed in Vegas one night having driven from LA. Took a coach trip to GC, stopping at Hoover Dam en route. GC will be great for your kids but I recommend a trip to west rim if travelling from Vegas as the south rim is much further and less commercial so might not have as much to excite the kids e.g. they have the glass walkway at west rim and more exhibitions and information on American Indian tribes that lived in the area, etc. We wanted to go to Yosemite but due to time constraints settled for the Muir Woods on the other side of the Golden Gate bridge in SF. Had a fantastic tour guide there (we didnt pre book, just turned up) who explained loads about the giant redwoods. Also agree with Getty Museum in LA and other recommendations from pp.

East coast, Florida has all the parks obvs but a trip to Kennedy Space Center is completely unique and really unforgettable (who knew they could set up a rocket museum that brings people to tears??). Also a trip to the Everglades or even just Wild Florida if you are short on time where they have a crocodile sanctuary and you can walk through elevated platforms through swamps (much better than it sounds!) and ride an airboat across the glades. Orlando also has amazing designer outlet malls in the centre (i.e. easily accessible, not miles out in the middle of nowhere).

From NY you could venture put to see niagara falls or travel across to Hamptons or over to Boston/Cape Cod. New England is beautiful in Autumn.

Either side of US has a lot to offer, with a mix of 'tacky'/commercial things with historical/natural wonders/wildlife. Time difference is key in deciding btwn two if you have limited holiday time as travel will be longer and jet lag probably worse for west coast. Otherwise, weigh up what you think your kids will enjoy more based on their interests. Btw, there's plenty to do in parks whether universal or disney if you dont like roller coasters and you can sit out while your kids ride.

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