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Where would be the best place to go for a first time trip to USA?

(29 Posts)
BertieBotts Sat 11-May-19 10:58:22

Just vaguely musing maybe (probably) fantasy planning grin

DH and I plus two children, 11 and nearly 2. None of us have ever left the EU before. DH reckons east coast probably best for shorter flight reasons, probably New York? I don't really know what we'd do there, just a vague idea that I'd like to visit the US as have always wanted to go there. Plus no vaccines required (am wimp blush) and no scary spiders, generally not considered dangerous, etc. Am interested to try food, experience new things etc, but not especially interested in fashion, sport, theatre. DS1 would be ecstatic as it's the land of youtube etc. We are quite into technology stuff as a family.

What would you suggest?

OP’s posts: |
Chanel05 Sat 11-May-19 11:21:04

New York is amazing, lots to do and see but I wouldn't spend more than a week there really. The weather can be a bit hit and miss too. I'd say you have to plan your time carefully too as everything is fairly spaced out in NY and it is quite pricey.

If you are open to travelling further, California is amazing. Beautiful weather, beaches, lots of landmarks and things to do and see. If you're open to driving then you can travel up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco or Arizona and go to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas is only a few hours drive too. Lots of things to do there as a family, contrary to popular belief and without spending any money you don't want to gambling.

BertieBotts Sat 11-May-19 11:48:22

Only DH has a driving licence so while we could/would drive, we wouldn't be able to split it so I don't think a road trip type thing would work too well. OK good points about NY - thanks smile I like the idea of California.

OP’s posts: |
Justmuddlingalong Sat 11-May-19 11:49:30


purplecorkheart Sat 11-May-19 12:10:35

Try Boston for a few days and then you could always take a bus and do a few days in Cape Cod if you like. New York is fab but very fast paced

LonelyTiredandLow Sat 11-May-19 12:20:07

Yes NY is fast paced - I keep wondering whether to take dd but think 10+. I've been to Chicago and loved it (great museum) and that was for the Thanksgiving parade which was awesome. Very windy though - obviously! Maybe not great for 2yo.
Florida I only remember vaguely as was 7 but did the resorts and remember the heat vividly.
I'd love to try California and San Francisco with DD personally. There's a beach (Glass Beach) along there with coloured glass "sand" I read about years and years ago. I remember wondering if it was environmentally safe to take kids to.

LonelyTiredandLow Sat 11-May-19 12:20:41

Oh and Miami has lovely beaches!

BertieBotts Sat 11-May-19 12:35:27

Those sound interesting. Hmm yes maybe NY not great with the age gap. We actually have friends in Boston which might be worth doing though I think DH might want to do a "proper holiday" for once as we always go visiting people we know.

OP’s posts: |
Swiftier Sat 11-May-19 12:47:57

I would second California. You could visit San Fran for a few days, it’s a lovely city and not too big (you can walk or get trams everywhere), not too busy for smaller kids. Would choose that over NYC for smaller kids. From San Fran you could visit a couple of coastal towns, lots to choose from. I would recommend whale watching from there, depending on the time of year it can be an amazing spot.

F1zzB1zz Sat 11-May-19 18:45:57

I’d do East Coast for the first time. I hate the San Francisco flight.

BoogleMcGroogle Mon 13-May-19 06:43:46

Boston for me too. Easy to get to, small enough to walk around, lots for kids to do.

whereonearth Mon 13-May-19 06:52:11

California, Arizona, Nevada etc. The most beautiful driving. New York is insanely busy and not that different anymore to most other big cities in the world, but the nature in those states is just wow! Grand Canyon, etc...

eurochick Mon 13-May-19 07:07:24

Washington DC is an interesting city. Similar length flights to NY. Lots of museums and iconic sights (White House, Capitol) - once you've been you will spend lots of tv shows shouting "I've been there". Great restaurants.

jay55 Mon 13-May-19 07:18:46

Agree with DC or Chicago, both have loads of good museums and attractions for rainy days and are easy to get around.

Sosayi Mon 13-May-19 22:19:33

I would do San Diego and then on to LA

SD is lovely for kids very easy to get around without a car and the downtown bit is very flat
you have the trolley and buses and you can buy a pass for however many days you need and the transportation system is very good
Beach wise You have La Jolla and the wild sea lions & Mission beach which has a a tradinal funfair on the beach and SD Zoo which is amazing
Coronado island is beautiful with lovely beach
Seaport Village is a Disney designed shopping /restaurant village overlooking the bay and it’s really nice and quirky

LA well it’s LA You could do Hollywood Santa Monica Beach Disney universal studios
If you don’t fancy driving the The Amtrak Pacific Coast liner train goes all the way from SD to LA passing by Anaheim for Disney so you could stop off there and it’s a beautiful train ride and unlike our trains it civilised and you are guaranteed a seat it’s cheap as well I think I paid £35 dollars for a 3 hr journey

In SD I stayed at the Dana Bay hotel on mission bay which is fantastic for family and the Lowes hotel in Santa Monica you can walk to Venice Beach

Hollywood I stayed at the lowes hotel which is right where they do the oscars

You could fly into SD and fly out of LA
Also don’t forget a lot of hotels have a resort fee which can massively up the price by 30 -50 dollars a day and it’s in the small print so not always obvious
If you did this trip you really wouldn’t need a car
I didn’t when I went and I found I saw loads of stuff that I would have missed

Whatisgoingonwithmylife Mon 13-May-19 22:22:34

With kids.. I’d say Florida or LA! Both have Disney and Universal, beaches, interesting places to visit..

Without kids I’d say Vegas every single time grin

stucknoue Mon 13-May-19 22:28:43

CA, NV etc is a great trip. Did it on a single driver, a tiny kids so quite doable. Disneyland is great, but we also did Hollywood, Vegas, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Phoenix, San Diago. 2 weeks it took, roads are straight and empty most of the time

babyno5 Mon 13-May-19 22:57:34

Florida is great for kids-so much to see and do. Fab beaches on gulf coast side too

chemenger Mon 13-May-19 23:14:18

Las Vegas is marmite, I loathed it, many people love it. I do like the southwest national parks but my experience is that children are less impressed. Lots of driving, but it’s very easy.

I would say that Boston, followed by either Cape Cod (you can get a ferry from Boston to Provincetown) or a drive up the coast to Maine would be great. I like New York but don’t really rate it above other big cities. In summer it is very hot and packed with people walking very slowly.

Seattle and out to Olympic National Park would also be high on my list. Not too much driving and not too hot.

I though I would not like Orlando, but we spent new year there and it was a great holiday, I don’t think I would enjoy it in summer; too hot, too crowded.

blue25 Mon 13-May-19 23:18:20

Agree with Boston and Cape Cod. Cape Ann also has some interesting places to visit. Whale watching is fun.

Leftielefterson Tue 14-May-19 00:17:45

Arizona is beautiful - and the food is amazing, South Carolina similarly beautiful.

Washington DC is my fave; the sights, the architecture and the politics.

Vegas is meh. Worth going to but not for a long break. Short stay is fine.

Orlando - really lovely but not a relaxing holiday if you’re going to theme park it.

Miami - v. Expensive but I really loved the history and the Cuban influence. Beautiful beaches and food is wonderful. I segway’d my way around South Beach, it was a blast.

Next on my list is Chicago and West Coast

SeaToSki Tue 14-May-19 00:29:28


Museum of Science
Harvard and MIT
Freedom Trail
Duck Boat Tours
Train to Salem and Witch Museums
Childrens Museum
Lobster at Legal Seafoods
Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall
Airpot is 15 mins from city center (without traffic)
There is an underground system and uber
The weather is nice or wintery and fun almost all of the year
They love Brits
They love little kids

SplashPad Tue 14-May-19 19:20:45

Boston, then Cape Cod then drive up and explore New Hampshire and Vermont.

BritWifeinUSA Fri 17-May-19 13:06:48

I would start with New England due to the shorter flight time, especially with young children and none of you has flown that far before. But it depends what you are wanting to see, I suppose. The US is so big and diverse. I live in the west coast and it’s like a different country than the easy coast. It’s completely different in terms of landscape, weather, mentality, lifestyle, everything.

pilates Fri 17-May-19 13:12:12

West coast, long flight but totally worth it

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