Planning a trip to the USA!

posted 3 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
5162 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

If I were you I would start in Vegas and get married, and then I would rent a car and drive down to San Diego, then up the coast all the way to San Fran.  From San Fran, fly to NY & DC.

The drive up the Cali Coast is really awesome.  There are so many great towns to see along the way and it’s incredibly scenic.

Post # 4
7940 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

@Brickette:  don’t waste so much of your trip driving from Vegas to NYC!! that is an insanely long drive and you guys will lose a lot of steam! That and I love nyc (I live here) but it’s not by any means relaxing and private. I agree with the PP- keep it west coast  then fly east for NYC then bus or train to DC. 

Post # 5
145 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Sounds like a fun trip! I have seen some beutiful weddings at The Mandalay Bay in Vegas if you prefer more a more classy scene than the typical Elvis and pink feather boa type of shindig. I myself am partial to Colorado as I have lived here my whole life. Will you be coming in summer or winter? Your options will be different depending on the season.

Post # 7
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@Brickette:  Don’t drive from Vegas to NYC. What a snorefest. 

I would highly suggest spending more time in San Fran and NYC than any of the other places. LA is a bit tiring to drive around and isn’t, to me, as glamorous as it seems. San Fran and other places more “north” like Monterey, Carmel, etc are sooooo gorgeous and also have some really fantastic sights and restaurants. 

NYC is my second favorite city. Don’t feel that you need to stick to Times Square. Honestly for me that place is exhausting. I spend most of my time in Soho and Greenwich Village and find it so much more enjoyable. 

Also, I went to a wedding at the Bellagio and it was pretty. It wasn’t anything super special but it was certainly fun. The Bellagio hotel was extremely nice (we stayed at Planet Hollywood which was really fun and had great views). I’m sure you’ve heard this but don’t underestimate the expanse of the Vegas strip! It takes a looooong time to walk from one end to the other. I think we went as far down as MGM and as far north as the Ventian on our trip and we felt like we walked A LOT! We were there for 7 days and I think we each lost like 10 lbs from walking so much. And we spend a lot of time in NYC! 

This was a bit rambling but I do hope you have a great time!

Post # 8
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@Brickette:  FI I went to the States in July last year for 3 weeks. Agree with the people who told you to not bother spending much time in LA, we did not rate it at all.  We looooved everywhere else though, San Diego was a surprise (awesome Mexican food in the Old Town and the Gas Lamp Quarter in the newer part of town is very hip!), Vegas was so much fun so make sure you have enough time there to fit shows and stuff in, Yosemite was beautiful and the Grand Canyon is well worth a visit. San Fran is definitely worth going too as well, we wish we had longer there – so many diverse  neighbourhoods and awesome food.


I also spent 6 months in NYC when I was at uni doing an internship. I loved it, you will never run out of things to do there.

Post # 9
1596 posts
Bumble bee

I’ll give an opposing view to those who feel that there isn’t much worth seeing in the middle and you should just see the coasts.  Many feel the middle of the country is “flyover” country and the best the country has to offer is on the coasts.  Some of us disagree. 


I do think it depends on how much time you have and what experience you want.  If you have time and want to see beautiful country drive.  If you want an urban museum theater experienc, then spend your time on the coasts.


You’ll get a better idea of the size of the country and diversity if you drive.  You could see the grand canyon, if you were taking a longer route, you could see Yellowstone (Wyoming), Glacier natl, park  (Montana), Badlands (South Dakota), colorado is a beautiful state and ski resorts are lovely even in the summer.   Many love Chicago.  The Smoky mountains are beautiful, as is New England in the fall.  Boston is rich in American History.  


  There are so many places to see, it really just depends on your time available and what kind of experience you’d like to have.


Also worth considering further east are seeing the Biltmore estate, and the greenbrier estate (which was at the time secretly a fallout shelter for congress if there was a nuclear war – not that’s not such a secret anymore). 


Post # 10
2114 posts
Buzzing bee

@Brickette:  I would spend a couple days in LA when your first arrive. Go to Disneyland (I would suggest at least 2 days for this as there is 2 parks) and Universal Studios/Hollywood Blvd can be done in a day. Maybe an extra day for shopping if you would like.

Then I would head up to san francisco and make sure to visit Alcatraz! I would spend a few days up there. If you have time to drive, please do! There are some great things to see along the way.

I would then fly to Las Vegas and spend a week there (because i love vegas!)

and finish up in NYC and fly home.

Post # 11
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Brickette:  Fly all the way to NYC then work your way back across to LA.  I highly recommend going this route so that your flight home is shorter than the flight over to the US.  You won’t mind the extra travel time on the way here because you’ll be excited about seeing the States.  But when you’re ready to go home, you’ll be ready to get home ASAP.

Spend a week in NYC, there is plenty to do and see there.  Then take the train (or fly) down to DC.  There is plenty in DC to take up another week if you want (most of the museums are free!) but make sure to spend at least 3 or 4 days.  Next up is Vegas, the decadent capital of sin and vice in the desert.  It will make a nice contrast to DC.  Vegas is great for any length of time but I recommend spending at least 3 days here. Even better is that Vegas pairs nicely with a week in San Francisco and the Wine Country.  I would spend the last week there rather than wasting time in LA but that’s a personal preference.  Then fly home from San Francisco.

Post # 12
43 posts

I’d highly advise against a cross-country road trip.

I live in NYC now, but my BF and I used to live on the West Coast and did a cross-country road trip when we moved.

The trip was amazing, and the scenery in some areas was abosolutely incredible.

However, a cross country road trip isn’t something to take lightly, and I’d forgo it. It was eight days of driving 7+ hours a day. Unless you have a month to leisurely make your way across the country, every day will be filled with trying to hit a certain number of hours driven a day. It’s a stressful trip. My BF and I aren’t fighters, but we had a couple good arguments along the way because it’s stressful to be in a car with someone for so long.

So I’d fly to NYC.

Good luck! I think you’ll have an amazing trip!

Post # 13
3519 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

You don’t really need more than 3-4 days for DC.  There are so many ways to see the monuments, and the museums all start to get jumbled together if you go to too many at once.  The trip to/from DC is a quick 3-hr bus drive for about $30, so don’t plan on needing a car.  DC is very metro and walker friendly.

Post # 14
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@Brickette:  The USA is a huge country.  It’s possible to do cities on both coasts, but it will cost a good chunk of money and will require more time. Plus, you’ll have to adjust to the time difference as well.

If you don’t have a lot of time for the trip, then I would recommend choosing one coast and just doing that. If you have a good amount of time, then doing both coasts could be possibile. Driving cross-country would be really cool to do, but that would take a good amount of time (my Grandparents have done it twice recently – their trips were about a month long, with one week spent with my Uncles on the other coast).

As for cities, I would suggest:


Washington DC

San Fran


I’ve never been to Vegas, but you mentioned you wanted to get married there so I put it on.

I’ve been to NYC a good amount. I highly recommend Central Park – it’s beautiful, allows you space to slow down in a fast paced area, and gives a splash of nature. You could also look into the Discovery Museum at Times Square, they can have some cool exhibits. There are a ton of different Museums to choose from and there is always Broadway (if you have the time and the money).

You can take a train from Grand Central down to Washington DC. It’s a beautiful city filled with a lot of history.

As for the West Coast, San Fran is gorgeous. It has a lot of variety when it comes to restaurants and cuisine. The Bay is beautiful too, as are the parks.


Post # 15
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

LA has disappointed everyone I’ve ever taken there. You won’t want more than 2-3 days in Vegas, and I definitely wouldn’t drive there from the east coast. It will take up the majority of your trip.

Post # 16
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Wahoo!  Sounds like fun!  Just remember that the US is freaking HUGE.  It takes 4-5 hours to get from LA to DC (depending on your direction of travel).  And it takes several long days to drive from coast to coast

I’d probably fly to Vegas and get married first, mostly because I’d be impatient to get it done!

After that, I’d either fly or drive to DC.  Driving can be a lot of fun or terribly boring and exhausting depending on how you do it.  I’d recommend it because it’s a great way to see the country.  The US is very diverse and the cities will give you only a very small idea of what it’s like!  But I’d budget like 1.5 – 2 weeks to do it.

Here’s what I’d recommend:

Days 1-4: Fly to Vegas, get married, indulge yourself, recover from a looong day of flying.

Days 5-7: Drive to the Grand Canyon (go south so you can see the Painted Desert)

Option 1:

Day 9-19: Drive north and hit up Salt Lake City, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  From Yellowstone, you can either drive or fly to the east coast Driving will give you a great feel for small town America, but it can also get boring.  If you drive, you have tons of options though.  There are the Bad Lands and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.  If you stay farther north, you can hit up Chicago, spend some time on a beach on Lake Michigan, and hit up Cedar Point in Ohio (an AMAZING amusement park).  Or you can stay south and visit St. Louis and swing through Kentucky (for bourboun and Mamoth Caves!).  Personally, I recommend going north though Chicago.  Either way, I’d plan 4-5 days to get from Yellowstone to NYC.  You can probably knock if off in 2.5 very long ones, but you don’t want to burn yourselves out.


Option 2:

Day 9-16: Head northeast towards Denver, Colorado.  If you head west first, than north, you can visit Mesa Verde (cliff dwellings), Durango (spend a day and take the train from Durang to Silverton), Pikes Peak, Mt. Evans (highest paved road).  Denver has a ton of good breweries, so you can hang out there for a day or drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park for hiking.  From Denver, you can drive, fly, or take a train to NYC.  It’ll depend on how my time you want to spend in the other cities and how much you like driving.  The trains are fun because they allow you to see the countryside without the hassle of driving.  If you take a train, you can still make a pit stop in Chicago for a day or two.


Day 17-20: NYC!

Day 21-24: Train, fly, bus to DC and hang out there!  

Day 25-28: Fly to San Fran and spend some time there!


Anyway, I’ve done a ton of travelling all over the States, so feel to PM me if you need any more suggestions!


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