Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Suggestions Needed: Where to Travel toand

  1. Jan 23, 2005 #1
    My youngest son and I are going on a thrill vacation this summer, and starting to plan ahead. Can you all give me some good places to visit in the USA with him? Also any site seeing places off the beaten road? I am also not up on the computer links like "expedia.com" and the such, so if you could help me save $$ along the way, I would appreciate it. Thank yas! ~Werdas
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Some background first :

    How long is the vacation ?

    Do you want to drive or fly ?

    How old is your son ?
  4. Jan 23, 2005 #3

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What do you mean by "thrill"? Also, how old is your son?

    In the Pacific NW you can see dramatic ocean cliffs and ocean settings of all kinds... snow capped mountains, an active volcano, old growth forests, countless rivers and streams, and waterfalls found next to winding mountain roads with rainbows at every curve... We also have with ocean, river, and lake fishing, hiking, skiing on water and snow, and camping galore. Most of these places and activities can be enjoyed at relatively low cost. Also, Vancouver BC is also a favorite stop for northwesterners - just across the border from Seattle.

    Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and many national parks are well worth a stop and relatively inexpensive to visit. Unfortunately, some places like Yosemite have long waiting lists go get in, so schedule early.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2005
  5. Jan 23, 2005 #4
    ....I would say, we will probably be driving on the road 3-4 weeks at the most. My son is 13, and isn't a spontaneous person. He is the type of person who likes to make maps, note areas of interest, set a destination, and note what is interesting in the areas he is making his choices. This year, I am letting him plan the total trip - I will only speak up if he plans on crossing the USA in three weeks! We made a three week trip a few years ago covering most of Arizona, and the lower northern part of California. Other than that, the only places we have been is (making 2-3 unplanned site stops along the way) to Michigan and the UP of Michigan. He enjoys "watching" how things are made to reach the final product - such as one outside trip to Kentucky where they made the wooden baseball bats. The production manager showed him from the beginning how they pick the "wood"....how the bat is formed, and the process that follows for the final product. He is the type of young person that enjoys a hands-on experience. But, not a risk taker at all. He thinks way too much of the probables consequences. ~Werdas
  6. Jan 23, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    You might want to get the latest copy of The Road Altas (Large Scale) by Rand McNally. Besides maps, it has a lot of information on points of interest in the US.
    Definitely Grand Canyon (GC) National Park (NP) and Yellstone/Tetons are possible in one trip. Starting from Texas, you could drive through New Mexico to Tuscon and Phoenix. Near Carlsbad is Carlsbad Caversn. Just outside of Tuscon in the Sugaro National Monument - those tall cacti that show up in the old westerns.

    Nearby GC is the metero crater, just east of Flagstaff near Winslow. Between GTC and Yellowstone are Four Corners and Mesa Verde in SW Colorado.

    Jumping back into UT one can find Bryce Canyon NP and Zion NP on the western side, north of GC, and Canyonland NP and Arches NP to the east not too far from Four Corners. Then one can travel north up to Salt Lake City/Odgen and on up to Yellowstone NP.

    The loop back south and see other sites.

    Or keep going north up through Montana past Missoula and Kalispell to Glacier NP.

    That's a long trip from Texas, especially if you want to see the sites.

    Or one could go east - over to the Atlantic Ocean and up the East Coast to through Carolinas, Virginia - see Washington, CD, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston - also a very long round trip from Texas (Houston to NYC is about 1650-1800 miles depending on route). In Tennessee and North Carolina, one can visit the Blue Ridge Mountains. The area around Chattanooga has many historic places (esp. Civil War). If one goes more westerly, i.e. through Kentucky, one can visit Abraham Lincoln's first two homes and Mammoth Cave.

    Interesting to see what you do, and take a journal and plenty of pictures.
  7. Jan 23, 2005 #6
    Tiajuana!!!! Kids love the donkey shows.
    When I was little my parents asked if I wanted to go to Disneyland and I said no I wanted to go to a different country. So we went to Mexico. And see how I've turned out?

    Honestly though, I think the greatest place to visit in America has to be Seaworld. I love that place, so would your son I'm sure. Educational, but tons of fun. The shows are amazing and really, really funny.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2005
  8. Jan 23, 2005 #7
    From Werdas kid:
    I am taking notes and adding them to my destination travel journal. What do you suggest seeing in the cities you are speaking about? Signed The Big K
  9. Jan 23, 2005 #8

    Werdas kid: I would like to run with the bulls. SIGNED "THE BIG K"
    What does one see at the donkey shows? Donkeys?
  10. Jan 23, 2005 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I can make a variety of recommendations for the East Coast cities listed.

    In NYC, definitely include the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art if you like museums. Or the Intrepid is cool to visit. Whatever you enjoy doing, you'll find something to interest you in NYC. If you like theater, see a Broadway play (or off-Broadway play).

    Philadelphia of course has the Liberty Bell if you're into old broken bells :biggrin: and Constitution Hall.

    Washington, DC has the Smithsonian (if you visit that, either focus on just one or two museums, or plan to spend a few days seeing them all), and all the assorted monuments and memorials (Washington Monument isn't worth doing, just see it from the outside, the others don't come with long lines to wander around and see).

    Baltimore, MD has a really good aquarium, and the Inner Harbor (where the aquarium is located) is nice to walk around. You can also visit Fort McHenry while there.

    Surprisingly perhaps, I haven't visited Boston, so can't make specific recommendations. But, if you're traveling along the East Coast into MA, you can stop along the way in Groton, CT to tour the Nautilus (a sub) and small museum associated with it. I can't recall...it was either free or very low fee tours, and didn't take long, so good for a break to get out and walk but nothing else there to make it worth staying in the area.

    In Virginia, there's the old governor's mansion in Williamsburg, or Monticello, both are cool to tour. Actually, Williamsburg in general is pretty cool...there's a whole historic section of town there that's like stepping back into Colonial days, complete with reenactments and craftspeople giving demonstrations of their crafts. (Of course, I haven't been there since I was a kid, so I hope it's still like that.)

    That's what comes to mind off the top of my head.
  11. Jan 24, 2005 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Great suggestions Moonbear. Boston has an acquarium, science center, and natural science/history museum. If you check the Rand McNally Road Atlas, it might have few points of interest.
  12. Jan 24, 2005 #11
    lol, you serious?
    Donkey shows have donkeys yes and um. Mexican ladies of ill repute. and they seem to get along very very well
  13. Jan 24, 2005 #12


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    To add to Moonbear's post ...

    Baltimore : (If you choose not to go all the way up to Groton, CT) At the Inner Harbor, you can do a tour of the WWII submarine, the USS Torsk.
    And if you enjoy that and want more, then...

    Norfolk, VA : There's a fabulous tour of the battleship, USS Wisconsin.

    If you choose to do no more than 2 museums, I'd recommend the Met in NY City, and The Natural History Museum in DC (which is much nicer than its website). If you're into airplanes and spacecraft, the National Air and Space Museum (in the Smithsonian area, not the new one at Dulles) is very good (though I personally prefer the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio).

    If you like the West Coast better, San Diego is a great spot where you can have a lot of fun. Seaworld is a blast (though you've probably been to the one in San Antonio), the Wild Animal Park is fabulous, and Old Town, the Gaslight District and the harbor area are nice for walking around.

    Never been to LA, so can't make recommendations there (other than the obvious).

    The San Francisco - Bay Area is another enjoyable place. The http://www.mbayaq.org/.

    Okay, I've got work to do...I'm off
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  14. Jan 25, 2005 #13

    Don't listen to tribdog. He's never serious.

    Oh, and if you do pick san diego, i believe triple espresso is still playing at the horton grand theater. its a great comedy play, you will be laughing to the point of falling out of your chair. I've seen it three times (partly because a relative was playing the elad role there for a while, though i think he's back in minneapolis now), and its still funny.

    Actually it will be showing through july 31st at least (thats as far forward as ticket master goes right now)


    Seriously if you're there it would be criminal to miss it. Its jsut that good.

    edit: I just realized the show has been running five years. That ought to tell you how popular it is that after five years they are still filling the theater up on a nightly basis.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook