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America in October

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tobyw | 16:47 Sat 23rd Aug 2008 | Travel
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Hi, Im retiring soon and Im planning a trip to America in October. I have booked my airline tickets to New York. I am staying 2 nights at the Waldorf Astoria ( Once in a lifetime chance) Then I am flying to Las Vegas and staying for another 2 nights in the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Next I want to hire a car and travel around a bit. I was thinking of going north towards Salt Lake City and onwards to Yellowstone. Then maybe towards Dakota and south through Colorado and head over to the grand canyon and back to Vegas. I have 8-9 days to travel.
I am wondering if anyone has done anything like this in the same area and might point me in the right directions.
I would appreciate any tips on car hire, motels on my route, not to miss sights, traffic cops or anything else I should know.
I am then flying from Vegas to Richmond. I intend staying about a week in that area (or surrounding states). Any ideas?
Lastly I fly back to New York on Oct 20 and Im looking for an inexpensive hotel for that night. Any suggestions? I dont fancy shared bathrooms. I fly home the next day and myself and my wife will probably need a holiday after that holiday. I have been so involved with coaching childrens sports that Ive neglected my own family. Id like to treat my wife to something special.
Thanks in anticipation for any hints.

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Your going to need a vacation when you get home...
Firstly, I live in the western, intermountain region of the U.S. The trip you have considered from Vegas to Salt Lake (as the natives call the City) an onwards will cover immense distances with very little between the desired sights. Vegas to St. George is a couple of hours, most of which is in the bottom of a canyon on Interstate 15. While, initially it's quite beautiful, after a while it's quite boring. After emerging at St. George, it's high desert all the way to Provo, some 60 miles or so south of Salt Lake. If you were going to consider Yellowstone, the best route then, would be to go north from Salt Lake into Idaho and just north of Idaho Falls, turning east bound to come out at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It's on the south boundary of Yellowstone. if it hasn't snowed by that time, you can exit Yellowstone east bound and come out at Cody, Wyoming, where you'll need to spend at least a day going throught the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum and Whitney Gallery of Western Art (has the world's largest collection of original western art, including Remington and Charles Russell.)

Then its' about a 10 hour drive across the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming, across the Big Horn Mountains, across the Powder River Basin and through Sundance, Wyoming to Rapid City, Sount Dakota for the Mount Rushmore sculpture and Black Hills National Forest. I'd consider getting on the airlines in Rapid City to Denver, Colorado to make my way back to Vegas (you can rent cars one way for an additional fee. Otherwise you'll still be travelling this time 2010... Best of luck and welcome to the U.S.!
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Thanks Clanad.
Things on a map look a lot closer than they are.
I appreciate your advice.
Could you point me in the right direction as how best to spend my 9 days between Vegas and back to Vegas. I dont want to do any more flying. I hope to rent a car.
I definitely want to see Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.
I am open to any suggestions.
Many thanks.
It's really not that far from Los Angeles and all of the sights and sounds there. Once in L.A., it's only a couple of hours down to San Diego, personally, my favorite larger city in the U.S. Lots to do there and the weather is guaranteed to be typically San Diego fabulous. It would take a whole day just to go through Balboa Park and probably the world's finest zoo. The original Sea World is there, and... if you must, Tijuana is just a few miles away, but why anyone would want to is beyond me.

One could proceed north up the coast via the Highway 101 to San Francisco... it's about 400 miles, but one of the most scenic drives in the western U.S. October is a wonderful time in the wine country of Sonoma (here: http://www.sonoma.com/visitorsinfo/Sonoma_Coun ty_Winery_Map.pdf )( and here; http://www.inetours.com/PagesWT/Wine_Tours_Map .html ).. but on the way, be sure not to miss Carmel and Monterey... it would take a long time to give you a trafvlog for tha trip... but check here: http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/cacoast/ig/Lo s-Angeles-to-San-Francisco/San-Francisco-to-LA -in-One-Day.htm ...

Again, welcome to the U.S.!

If going to the winelands you could take an early morning ballon ride over the vineyards ... and take the trouble to pre book a meal or two here

http://www.bouchonbistro.com/
phew, yes, wise words from Clanad. For a trip like that I'd set aside 3-4 weeks and still be rushing. Do you need to be back so soon if you're retiring? I'm retiring myself this week and plan to take as long as I like on future holidays.

Anyway, whatever you do in the USA you'll have a wonderful time, I always have.
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Thank you all.
Sorry for the diversion, tobyw... but I must congratulate jno on his approaching retirement. Jno has always been one of those understated, calm and knowledgable contributors on this site, and one that I greatly appreciate. Go climb a mountain, jno or anyother thing you've always wanted to do... Sincere best wishes in your retirement!

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