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10 Places you should see in the USA .. (BUCKET LIST)

sglmom 2012/09/24 20:29:56
Here's some Places I've enjoyed on a BUDGET
My Thoughts on this Article (And sites listed) ..
OTHER Thoughts ..
You!
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There's many a place ..
far in excess of ten ..
which .. for a very frugal traveler ..
we can visit .. spend time in .. enjoy ..
at a very economical Price ..
(some can be relatively close to home as well)


I came across the Yahoo Budget Travel Article ..
(YES .. misnomer for sure .. since some of the SITES they listed add up quickly to an EXPENSIVE outing .. a budget-buster)
listing their choice for 10 places AMERICANS should 'see'
(Link to the Article .. )
http://travel.yahoo.com/ideas/10-places-every-american-should...



Here's the places that the Article Highlights ..
(I'm including also here .. any LINKS to on-line websites/info too)


1. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (Wyoming)
Now this is a true TREASURE indeed ..
between the Geysers, Hot Springs, the waterfalls, the rivers .. the wildlife
(and very WILD lands)
there's a lot to be said about the Beauty of the YELLOWSTONE park ..
and the Cauldera .. (realize this is what the park is ...)
(don't forget to STOP for OLD Faithful -- which has a website of its own!)
http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm
http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia/yellowstonelive.htm
http://www.nps.gov/features/yell/live/live4.htm

NOTE That there IS A cost to enter the park
http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm
but Locals might want to pay for an annual pass ..


2. FRENCH QUARTER (New Orleans, LA)
Now this was something to 'see' (err .. experience) as a SINGLE person ..
Not something I'd recommend for Family friendly at all ..
(seriously .. the daytime was .. OK (sort of) .. when I was there as a SINGLE)
at NIGHT .. I do NOT Recommend this for any Children at all ..
The Mardi Gras Parades ..
(hmm .. how to say politely) RISQUE ..
and be prepared .. the place was quite dirty .. somewhat dangerous too ..
(I found this to be NOT "Budget Friendly" either .. )
http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/fq/


3. HIGHWAY 1 (California Coastline)
(between Monterey and San Luis Obispo)
NOW let's be real here ..
the cost of everything is HIGH in California ..
(especially cost of FUEL to cruise the roads, as well as renting a vehicle)
There's also some areas where I'd say .. YIKES ..
not what I'd want to 'see' ..
(and I'm never thrilled to drive through cities either .. )
but to experience this once ..
is what is the key here ..
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g28926-d147161-R...
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/san-francisco/travel-tips-and...


4. TIMES SQUARE (New York City, NY)
IF you like loud, noisy, crowded ..
lights everywhere ..
VERY EXPENSIVE to get there ..
expensive to visit ..
and having to pay high fees to0
(plus now having limits on your sodas and other nutty 'laws')
An Experience that I recommend for singles ..
just once in a lifetime ..
(IF only to say .. been there, done that .. )
http://www.timessquarenyc.org/index.aspx


5. GRAND CANYON (Arizona)
Now this is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING indeed ..
A sight to behold ..
(and one that .. )
although you do need to watch your children carefully ..
this is a NATURAL Site .. your CHILDREN can enjoy
(and remember for years to come)
Just note that it can get expensive too ..
when you start including the guided tours ..
http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm
(here's the list of fees .. )
http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm


6. TAOS PUEBLO (New Mexico)
This is a LIVING, Breathing .. still active community ..
STILL Occupied (by families!)
It is a World Heritage Site ..
a Historic Landmark ..
and you can definitely enjoy the daytime (limited hours)
of a guided tour ..
http://www.taospueblo.com/
(NOTE That there is a PER PERSON Fee to enter the Village Site .. )
AND .. sadly enough ..

THERE is also a PER CAMERA FEE Too ..
($6 per CAMERA .. and THIS Fee is charged for SMARTPHONEs and Cell Phone Cameras too!)

(SIGH .. a definite Budget-buster possibility here)
For if there's one thing I cultivated in my children ..
is the ENJOYMENT of Photography
(this is a harsh added cost .. especially when your children have their own cameras and cell phones!)


7. SOUTH BEACH IN MIAMI (Florida)
This is more for ADULTS .. Couples and SINGLES ..
interested in a more 'tropical hued' CITY vacation ..
lots of Hotels, Shops, Restaurants ..
people .. bars ..
Crowds .. SHOP until you drop ..
This can be a quite EXPENSIVE Vacation stay ..
(hotel costs can run quite high .. )
But .. this is yet another of the once in a lifetimes ..
IF one has a desire to go 'citified' ..
http://www.visitsouthbeachonline.com/


8. GETTYSBURG NATIONAL BATTLESITE (Gettysburg, PA)
This Civil War Battlesite ..
you can FEEL The HISTORY (As soon as you approach ..)
http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/gettysburg.html
a 3 day BATTLE Raged here ..
memorialized in an 1884 Cyclorama
(rounded wrap-around oil painting .. )
just stuns you when you realize just how many MEN died here those three days ..
http://www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm

NOTE The fees ..
http://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm
(NOTE here that the National Parks Annual Passes and Disabled/Elder passes are NOT accepted at this site's MUSEUM or the Visitor Center)
SO .. in other words .. the PER PERSON Fee can become quite a burden for a family ..


9. PEARL HARBOR (Oahu, Hawaii)
THIS HALLOWED site ..
the home of the USS Arizona Memorial ..
(7 Dec 1941 .. a Day that will live in INFAMY)
is another of those ONCE in a LIFETIME ..
this memorial ..
is a striking reminder of WHY we fight .. what we fight FOR ..
and the HONOR of the Service ..
http://www.pearlharboroahu.com/
(LOOK At the tour FEES .. THIS is mightly expensive per person for sure .. )
(that is before you consider the hotel and airfare to get to the islands)

NOTE especially the Pearl Harbor “No Bags” Policy
"all purses, handbags, backpacks, fanny packs, camera bags, diaper bags, luggage and/or any other type of bag that can conceal an object are not permitted inside Pearl Harbor, the Visitor's Center, or to any of the attractions"
(YIKES! obviously .. this is NOT Friendly for Young Children at all .. )

KEEP this all in mind .. before you plan your trip ..
(for although you can use your camera .. you can't even have a camera bag .. much less a place to carry your wallet other than in your hands .. and if YOU have medical needs .. there's still no exceptions here)


10. NATIONAL MALL (Washington, DC)
This is another ..
which IF you are in the DC Area ..
do take the time to VISIT some of the treasure here ..
(as much as you can .. as much as you can afford .. )
be aware of the ages of your children ..
and if the children are even able to comfortably tour or walk that far ..
(I'd not recommend being in this area at night with children)
http://www.nps.gov/nacc/index.htm
NOTE This information on FEES ..
(MOST ARE FREE .. but limited tickets)
http://www.nps.gov/wamo/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm
(some have NO Stroller Policies in place )
I'd say take the time ..
enjoy the museums, the buildings .. the tours as much as you can ..
(NOTE That Hotels in the DC area are pricey .. so be aware of that when planning the trip .. )





DO you have an favorites that you'd like to recommend to OTHERS ..
a GEM in your Community .. (or where you've got friends/relatives)
a place you've visited (just for fun)

That is ECONOMICAL .. a Treat .. fun for adults, families, children?
Something that is KITSCHY or just interesting?


(NOTE .. ANY Place that has a PER CAMERA Fee .. added on top of the Admission Fee .. is a budget-buster)
For most of us are very much attached to our Cell Phones and Cameras ..
we like to keep our MEMORIES ..
so this ADDED FEE .. is very punishing indeed to the BUDGET for the Trip.

ANY Place that has RESTRICTIONS on your carrying a purse or container for your camera, phone, medicines or supplies/things for your children is also LIMITING your ability to visit too ..




Please feel free to add your thoughts below ..
Add a comment above

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Opinions

  • kevjon 2012/09/25 00:39:44
    Here's some Places I've enjoyed on a BUDGET
    kevjon
    +2
    The only place I haven't been is 7 and truly have very little desire to go there.
    Big Bend national park is unbelievable in the spring after rains, if and when ever it rains.
    Adirondack mountains are stunning in the winter.
    Vermont's wooden covered bridges are a must before they are dismantled.
    Niagara falls is a must see.
    Mains shore line is on my list to see.
    This country has the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world
  • Dee 2012/09/24 23:54:57
    OTHER Thoughts ..
    Dee
    +1
    I would have to add Colorado and the Rocky Mountains
  • rknothead 2012/09/24 22:14:20
    Here's some Places I've enjoyed on a BUDGET
    rknothead
    +1
    Sleeping Bear National Park, Empire to Leland, Michigan. National Park fee but that's it. Take your kids and climb the dunes. Then drive south on M22 and enjoy the scenic drive that has many picnic sites before you get to the Lake Michigan overlook. Then drive north on M22 and enjoy the quaint towns of Glen Arbor then Leland, where you can buy smoked Lake Michigan whitefish in the fish town area as well as many other treasures. If you have time continue driving north on M22 and pass through Northport, Omena, Suttons Bay and Traverse City. Whether you like wine tasting beaches or great views n restaurants you find plenty of spots on this route.
  • dekecds 2012/09/24 21:25:06
    Here's some Places I've enjoyed on a BUDGET
    dekecds
    +1
    Here are some more that require little to no money (other than means of travel and/or parking or staying overnight if desired)

    1. Cherry Blossom Gift from Japan to the US, in 1912, can regularly be enjoyed in March and April in Washington DC. It is gorgeous and requires only a couple bucks to either park or ride a train to the area.

    2. Along with Taos Pueblo, Mesa Verde should be added as a double dose of sightseeing that is not far apart.

    3.Cajun/Mexican/ BBQ tour of Texas (if you enjoy cultured cuisine) is really only limited by gas money and hotel stays, but can be reasonably sampled in a one day winding trip between San Antonio and Houston such that Breakfast is had at one location and dinner/late night had in the other.(stay off of I-10 or you will miss the greatest BBQ pits, cajun buffets, and taco stands) For a "best bang for the buck" experience, catch a cheap $100-$200 standby or buddy flight (assuming you don't live here) deal that lands in one but leaves from the other a day later. This will open up the late night opportunities and possibly allow one more breakfast/brunch/lunch.

    4.Leavenworth Bavarian Village in Washington State. A lot of money can be spent here, but if you budget smartly and sample the wares in moderation you should still have a fun experience ...



    Here are some more that require little to no money (other than means of travel and/or parking or staying overnight if desired)

    1. Cherry Blossom Gift from Japan to the US, in 1912, can regularly be enjoyed in March and April in Washington DC. It is gorgeous and requires only a couple bucks to either park or ride a train to the area.

    2. Along with Taos Pueblo, Mesa Verde should be added as a double dose of sightseeing that is not far apart.

    3.Cajun/Mexican/ BBQ tour of Texas (if you enjoy cultured cuisine) is really only limited by gas money and hotel stays, but can be reasonably sampled in a one day winding trip between San Antonio and Houston such that Breakfast is had at one location and dinner/late night had in the other.(stay off of I-10 or you will miss the greatest BBQ pits, cajun buffets, and taco stands) For a "best bang for the buck" experience, catch a cheap $100-$200 standby or buddy flight (assuming you don't live here) deal that lands in one but leaves from the other a day later. This will open up the late night opportunities and possibly allow one more breakfast/brunch/lunch.

    4.Leavenworth Bavarian Village in Washington State. A lot of money can be spent here, but if you budget smartly and sample the wares in moderation you should still have a fun experience for the whole family.

    5.The South Carolina State Fair in Columbia is one of the best in the nation with the added bonus of cheap NCAA football tickets for the corresponding home game and a very family friendly tailgate experience on the fairgrounds where tailgate gourmets are more than willing to satiate your appetite for free in exchange for praise of their dishes.

    6. Submarine Force Museum and Mystic Seaport in Connecticut are a fantastic budget outing since the Submarine Force Museum has more than 15,000 artifacts, 20,000 documents, 5,000 volumes of references and 25,000 photographs but...NO ADMISSION FEE!!! The Seaport contains 40 acres of preserved vessels that celebrate both military and non-military maritime activity, including an actual uniform worn by the famous Horatio Nelson!
    (more)
  • kevjon dekecds 2012/09/25 01:42:20
    kevjon
    +2
    I drive to Houston from San Antonio but if you don't take I-10 what road do you suggest, this sound like a road trip.
  • dekecds kevjon 2012/09/25 16:22:29
    dekecds
    +2
    You have to swerve a little! Lol! Basically an S-pattern that runs parallel to I-10 would work (sort of). To make up time you might hit I-10 for short stretches, but for the most part, stay off of it. My recommended route from Houston to SA would be this:

    1.) First hit up Baby Barnaby's for a 7-8am Breakfast, between I-10 and 59 inside the 610 loop off of fairview, where you can get southern, or cajun fare that is decidedly Texan in preparation (save the Tex-mex for SA) in a great atmosphere. $8 per person

    2.)Then head out on 59 to Rosenberg and see the Railroad museum there, since it is a strong part of Texas history from our cattle business to Tomatoes, US cavalry movement, and convict transports. Be sure to grab a light snack before you leave (candied nuts or other similar items) to tide you over til lunch. $6-10 per person, depending on snackage.

    3.) Head up 79 to Sealy and catch I-10/90 to Columbus, then exit on 71 to La Grange. Here you will experience some of the best central Texas BBQ at a joint with over 100 years of history at Prause's Meat Market. This is a small attraction in itself.

    4.) If you wish to sample the excellent variety of BBQ in Texas, you can eat light at La Grange and continue to sample everything from Pure Texan BBQ to Range Style and Czech/German smok...



    You have to swerve a little! Lol! Basically an S-pattern that runs parallel to I-10 would work (sort of). To make up time you might hit I-10 for short stretches, but for the most part, stay off of it. My recommended route from Houston to SA would be this:

    1.) First hit up Baby Barnaby's for a 7-8am Breakfast, between I-10 and 59 inside the 610 loop off of fairview, where you can get southern, or cajun fare that is decidedly Texan in preparation (save the Tex-mex for SA) in a great atmosphere. $8 per person

    2.)Then head out on 59 to Rosenberg and see the Railroad museum there, since it is a strong part of Texas history from our cattle business to Tomatoes, US cavalry movement, and convict transports. Be sure to grab a light snack before you leave (candied nuts or other similar items) to tide you over til lunch. $6-10 per person, depending on snackage.

    3.) Head up 79 to Sealy and catch I-10/90 to Columbus, then exit on 71 to La Grange. Here you will experience some of the best central Texas BBQ at a joint with over 100 years of history at Prause's Meat Market. This is a small attraction in itself.

    4.) If you wish to sample the excellent variety of BBQ in Texas, you can eat light at La Grange and continue to sample everything from Pure Texan BBQ to Range Style and Czech/German smokehouse fare as you loop up 71 to Bastrop and then back down 21 and 183 through Cedar Creek, Lockhart (which has several Top 20 contenders every year in Texas Monthly's BBQ cookoff), back to 21 through San Marcos, and New Braunfels (The Smokehouse here has excellent German-Texas food). $20 per person if you sample them all. I recommend a couple of ribs wrapped in home made bread for the road from Prause's followed by a toasted Texas Lamb Gyro from Cedar's Mediterranean Grill and an optional BBQ basket (if there is more than one of you) of Porkloin at Rudy's in San Marcos. Definitely save room for a Kolache or Streudel from the Smokehouse in New Braunfels.

    5.) Late afternoon head into San Antonio on I-35 and visit the Botanical Gardens or the Buckhorn/ Texas Ranger Museum.

    6.) For night life, you can relax at Ninfa's for a solid Mexican flare or grab some Tex-mex from one of the eateries near the Tower of Americas. (booths are not always setup, nor are carts, but there are plenty of TexMex places nearby). Finish off with a walk down the Riverwalk.
    (more)
  • kevjon dekecds 2012/09/25 22:46:52
    kevjon
    +3
    Excellent. I have been to many of the places you suggested. Love Rudy's BBQ sauce but I can do up a much better brisket. I live in the hill country near Boerne and owned a house in College Station so we traveled 21 all the time to see the girls at A&M. There is a great meat market just out side of New Braunfels on 21 where you could get venison Jerky not sure why but the last few times we went through there they didn't have venison but all the same the rest is excellent. Every Christmas for thirty years we go see the lights at the river walk and love the Mexican restaurant above the Naked Iguana bar, great food and good prices. We always look for the perfect Margarita , my wife likes hers frozen I like mine hot and in a mini skirt, just kidding about that one, but we do look for a perfect margarita.
    Thanks for the info.
  • dekecds kevjon 2012/09/26 05:48:14
    dekecds
    +1
    Kudos to the Naked Iguana, I was beginning to think that I was the only one who had an enjoyable experience there. Several of my friends complained about the service and the Margaritas (I like mine a little tart, lime/orange juice/simple syrup instead of a mix, and on the rocks with the triple sec stirred /tequila floated . My friends all like the super sugary bottle-mix stuff)
    Personally I like the place.
  • kevjon dekecds 2012/09/26 15:05:22
    kevjon
    +2
    All right, we had a fantastic Margarita across the boarder in piedras negras years ago that was made from fresh squeezed limes sitting in an open court yard on a cool fall evening. Too bad we can't go to the boarder now, those were fun road trips.
    There was a little hole in the wall place on HI90 just out side of Uvalde that made the best empanadas I have had in a long time, except for when we lived in Colombia where they were wrapped in banana leaves.
    How about the Blue Bonnet Cafe up in the hill country Mable Falls, best cafe in Texas. The pies are to die for and the food is all home cooked just like they used to make food. It is also an incredible drive to make during the Christmas season as all those little towns adorn their court houses with Christmas lights, we make a road trip with friends and eat at the Blue Bonnet as part of our tour. This year we get to take our first Grand baby woohoo.
  • dekecds kevjon 2012/09/26 19:17:08
    dekecds
    +1
    I'll have to check that out since I drive through Uvalde on a regular basis. My family on my Dad's side is from Camp Wood and he moved back to the old homestead about ten years ago. I love the drives that are available all around that area, especially through Leakey back to Uvalde from Camp Wood.
  • kevjon dekecds 2012/09/26 19:49:39
    kevjon
    +2
    Hate to tell you but they closed the place down, not sure if they moved but it was road side potable small building and only served to go unless you wanted to sit on a picnic table under an Oak tree. We looked for it but were unable to find it. We have stayed at Fort Clark Springs a time or two, love that spring water that over flows in their huge pool, super cold on a summers day.
  • beachbum 2012/09/24 20:49:43
    OTHER Thoughts ..
    beachbum
    +2
    If you can't get to Gettysburg, go to Vicksburg, Miss for their battleground. Beautiful.

    Vicksburg battleground

    Another place to go for low cost is Mt. Pisgah in North Carolina in the fall - another beautiful place.

    Mt Pisgah in the fall

    For me, I'd by pass Times Sq. in a heartbeat - The Alamo and the Riverwalk in San Antonio are very nice. Alamo during the day, and lovely outdoor dining along the river in the evening.
    Alamo
    Riverwalk in San Antonio at night
  • Barefoot Peace and Love∞ijm... 2012/09/24 20:41:35
  • kevjon Barefoo... 2012/09/26 15:11:49
    kevjon
    +2
    There's a hot springs in Arkansas as well were all the gangsters hung out. My brother in law and I were walking up the hill behind a hotel where they had paths that lead to pools that got hotter as you went up. We decide that it was too irresistible not to get in so we stripped down and jumped in. We were high enough that we figured who would go up there when low and behold some blue hair group rounded the corner and saw us in the tub. You should have seen the looks on their faces, some were sheepishly smiling while others pretended not to like what they saw. I was much younger back then.
  • Barefoo... kevjon 2012/09/26 17:08:34
    Barefoot Peace and Love∞ijm♥☮♥∞
    +1
    thanks for sharing kevjon;)
    sounds like it was a blast!
  • bye 2012/09/24 20:39:39
    Here's some Places I've enjoyed on a BUDGET
    bye
    +1
    Disney world. Siesta Beach Florida, A cruise..most anywhere.
  • Xerxes,Phantom of PHAET 2012/09/24 20:36:56
    OTHER Thoughts ..
    Xerxes,Phantom of PHAET
    +2
    Been to all the places listed; here are my suggestions

    1. Christmas In London

    2. New Year's in Paris

    3. Beaches of Fiji

    4. Market places of Asia
  • sglmom Xerxes,... 2012/09/24 20:39:06
    sglmom
    +2
    AH ..
    (definitely good choices .. )
    that also can be somewhat pricey too ..

    ANY OTHER Suggestions for the USA?
  • Xerxes,... sglmom 2012/09/24 20:46:48
    Xerxes,Phantom of PHAET
    +1
    Not really,lived in Europe and Asia for over thirty years

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