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Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

London, United...
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Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

Dear Experts

My wife, 15 yr old daughter & 2 senior parents & I are planning a once in a lifetime 45 day (or more) tour of USA in May-June

Below is the route of jtbtours.com as a rough guide. We will be doing everything on our own. Just request a lot of help in planning,thanks!

American Grandeur 45 Nights ?

New York – 7 Nights ?: City tour of New York: Winter Gardens – views of Ground Zero, Theatre District, Chinatown, Wall Street, Central Park, scenic boat cruise to Liberty Island – Statue of Liberty (photograph the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, United Nations Global Headquarters and the Trump Tower, Empire State Building – New York Skyride, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Rockefeller Centre – Top of the Rock observation deck.

Niagara Falls – 2 Nights ?: Elevator ride into the Niagara Gorge (from the last week of May), visit the falls one of the natural wonders of the world – boat ride aboard the famous ‘Maid of the Mist’ and view the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Enroute from Niagara to Washington: Visit the Hershey’s Chocolate World and Corning Glass Centre.

Washington D.C. – 4 Nights ?: Capitol Gardens – Capitol Building (the United States Parliament), photo stop in front of the White House (residence of the President), Lincoln Memorial, Supreme Court Building, the WWII memorial, FBI Building and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

Miami – 3 Nights ?: Half day city tour of Miami – Port of Miami,Little Havana, Calle Ocho, Cocnut Grove, Key Biscayne, Brickell Avenue and stroll along the famous Miami Beach.

Orlando – 10 Nights ?: 6 Disney, 3 Universal & 3 Seaworld Theme parks.

9 Full day tours of 6 Disney parks, Half day tour of Kennedy Space Centre?. Cape Carnaveral?

Los Angeles – 3 Nights:? Half day city tour – “Hollywood Boulevard”– main street in Hollywood, Kodak Theatre, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, drive along the ‘Sunset Strip’ and ‘Rodeo Drive’. Full day tour of ‘Universal Studios’ – Studio Tram Tour, exciting roller coaster rides and other thrilling rides and 3 D movie magic.

Las Vegas – 3 Nights ?: ‘Gambling Capital of the World’ – Helicopter ride above the ‘City of Lights’, walk along the Las Vegas boulevard. Full day tour of the majestic ‘Grand Canyon’ – a scenic flight over the mighty canyon, ‘Hoover Dam’ and ‘Lake Mead’. Wander along the canyon rim.

SanFrancisco 5 N ?

San Diego 5 N ???

1) Which other cities or place are worth visiting? Chicago? St Louis? other? How to fit them in the routing?

2) How many nights are required in each city to cover the main attractions, things to see & do?

3) Is the routing ok?

NY 7N--train or bus?--Boston 3N--fly--Niagra 2N--fly--DC 4N--fly--Miami 3N--train or bus?--Orlando 10N--fly--L.Vegas 3N--fly--San Diego 5N--train--L.A 3N--train--San Fran 5N

4) Which is the Best inter-city transport--train, bus or low cost airline for EACH inter-city connection?

5) In which cities to use public transport for local sightseeing, & which type (bus,metro, train, or taxi?)

6) In which cities is rent a car or taxi the ONLY option?

7) Can U advise us about 14 day discounted or complimentary entry passes to 6 Disney, 3 Universal & 3 Seaworld theme parks at Orlando and California & San Diego?

8) Should we do Sea World at San Diego, Universal at L A and only Disney at Orlando?

Thanks a million for your valuable advice!!!

drsel

Washington State
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51. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

But if they don't have a car, they can't get to Wawona to take the (usually required) free shuttle up to Mariposa Grove. So it isn't really a shuttle option for them.

One Yosemite visitor figured out a way to take the afternoon bus from Yosemite Valley to the Wawona Hotel, to take the free shuttle to Mariposa Grove, to walk 4 or 5 miles in Mariposa Grove, then to hike back to the Wawona Hotel (he would miss the last shuttle back down from Mariposa Grove) and finally walk on the road 1.5 miles to his reserved campsite at the Wawona Campground. Then he'd walk back to the Wawona Hotel in the morning to take the shuttle back to the Valley. Of course he was a backpacker and was carrying all of his stuff with him.

That was his plan. I don't know if it worked.

I haven't heard of any other public transportation visitor creating a better solution to visit Mariposa Grove without paying for a tour.

Tacoma, Washington
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52. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

My 2 cents on this......

As i told you there are some US cities that are very pedestrian friendly where you do not need a car. Because the USA is so much larger than europe and cars/gas are cheaper a car culture developed so trains only survive in high poulation areas.

There are train tours of western parks. From Seattle you can get to Glacier by train.Glacier has a bus route that will take you through the park.

I think you are spending way too much time in Orlando without a car. I would take 7 days and move that around.

You can take a train up to Satlle or fly rather cheap

from Seattle you could do the train from Seattle to Chicago through Glacier.

I would suggest doing 3 nights in Grand Canyon. You can take a bus to there, stay they 3 nights and then take a bus back to Vegas.

To do Yellowstone you could go through tour oporators but those are more expensive.

Cleveland
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53. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

PacificNW,

I didn't see any Mariposa Grove tours except the one linked that seemed to originate inside the Mariposa Grove.

I'm not certain what tour they could take from the valley to MG, but I only casually looked at the tours page.

Washington State
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54. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

It's called the Grand Tour and it's a fee bus. yosemitepark.com/grand-tour.aspx

"The full-day Yosemite Grand Tour combines the Valley Floor Tour, Big Trees Tram and Glacier Point Tours into one."

The Original Poster won't have time for this tour as he plans to have his family leave Yosemite Valley via YARTs bus, take Amtrak to an unknown destination, take another transportation (taxi? BART?) to the airport, check in, wait, fly to Denver, arrive at 11 pm or midnight, and check into a hotel there.

No time for tourism elsewhere in Yosemite. Sigh.

FYI ~ Tours in Yosemite: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c201637

Cleveland
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55. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

PNW, thanks.

Do you know if the Grand Tour would be OK for someone with mobility issues, especially someone with limited ability to hike elevations?

Washington State
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56. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

TranscendentalEye ~ sent you a PM

Is the Original Poster's trip planned for 2015? It can't begin later this month, can it?

Cleveland
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57. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

PNW, thanks for the PM!

Per post 5, this trip will take place in 2015.

London, United...
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58. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

Please give me links to the BEST videos and pics of ALL the US National parks & kindly rank them (top 10), so I can choose the BEST 3 or 4 to visit by coach tour.

Also recommend the best tour & tour company to the top 3--4 parks from the respective city.

Thx

Norwich, United...
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59. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

For the videos look under the YouTube channel/username 58NationalParks https:/…videos

That's only one source, but it is very convenient. There are numerous other videos of the parks on YouTube, mostly made by visitors.

I'd suggest looking at the videos for these parks - in most cases each video is only about five minutes long. They're in alphabetical order here because any attempt at ranking would not only be impossible, it would also IMHO be inappropriate and lead to a pointless debate - it's personal and somewhere that one person loves might not appeal so much to another person.

Arches, Utah

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado

Bryce Canyon, Utah

Canyonlands, Utah

Glacier, Montana

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Teton, Wyoming

Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/Tennessee

Rocky Mountain, Colorado

Mesa Verde, Colorado

Shenandoah, Virginia

Yellowstone, Wyoming

Yosemite, California

Zion, Colorado

BTW do you realise that all the people posting these responses to you are, like me, not being paid to do it, they're only doing it because they enjoy trying to help people plan their holidays?

London, United...
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60. Re: Once in a lifetime 45 day USA tour

Yes, of course,

Thanks!

Edited: 09 May 2014, 15:44