Help me find someplace cool to go with der girlfriend

We’ve been planning to go on a vacation for quite some time. As she has some vacation time saved up and I have a dearth of free time, we figured that maybe now would be a good time.

We need something that is a) relativley inexpensive b) relatively fun c) something that will make us the envy of all our friends d) something that we could do over a long weekend or, at most, a week off of work and the weekend days.

I refuse to go to New York, which is causing no small amount of consernation and me being attacked in my sleep.

We’ve already been to New Orleans and Montreal (cool places both. I tried talking her into going for the Dopefest up there, but no dice),* so those are off-limits (although I’d like to go to the Bayou again).

Possibilities include:


OK, that’s about. We need help. I am the sort of person to whom vacation is a forced march through everything the city has to offer and she likes to relax. Go figure. We like a) history b) weird-ass food.

Oh, we also live in Chicago, so that’s no good either.

  • To be sure, she’s looking over my shoulder as I type this and noted that I only mentioned this to her as I was typing it. As she is an investigative reporter on the verge of breaking a big story, I had to figure a way out of bending the truth. She was in journalism school that had ethics. Even before the Jayson Blair thing.

Well, what do your friends envy? And what’s inexpecnsive?

There’s Boston - fairly interesting, historic city. Don’t come the last week in July, though, when the city will be pretty much shut down for the DNC.fuckers

Niagra Falls - a nice place, a number of casinos on the Canadian side (I’m all about casinos), historic Old Fort Niagra. Lots of people talk about going there, so friends might envy you that. Not much to do on the US side other than look at the falls, though.

Washington DC - seat of The People, lots of monuments & museums, a hot tourist spot. Kind of expensive, but if you stayed somewhere out along the Metro you’d be OK.

You could always stay in for a week, sleep late and generally have hot monkey-lovin morning noon and night. Most of the people I know would be envious of such a vacation, anyway. :smiley:

Boston is fun for a long weekend. There’s a lot of historical stuff (the freedom trail), museums (especially the Boston Musuem of Science and the New England Aquarium), good food, a symphony orchestra, and college areas that are fun to walk around in. Public transportation is very good, and will get you most places worth going.

I really want to visit Chicago soon. If you tell me some good stuff to visit there, I’ll tell you about good stuff in Boston :smiley:

Und schouldn’t that be die girlfriend, hah? Ich just ben saying…

Are you nature-lovers at all? How long is your trip for? Will you be flying or driving?

If it were me, I’d love to hit something like the Grand Canyon, or Yosemite. Or maybe an “activity” trip–like snorkling or hiking.

History and food? Philly. With Southeast Airlines now flying out of here, you might be able to find a cheap flight. If you decide to come, start a thread – I’ll be glad to chime in with specific ideas, as will the many, many other Philly Dopers.

Some recent long weekend vacation destinations in our household were:

Salem, MA: lots of history, although a bit of it is touristy type history. I think we got in a good deal of wacky touristy attractions as well as some more stuffy, dry type historic sites (we like both wacky and stuffy & dry when it comes to history). It’s small enough that one can walk to most things around the town itself. You can drive out to the shore, which is also pleasant, and relaxing. We stayed in a nice little inn called, oddly enough, the Salem Inn, and found some decent if not especially memorable restaurants. One of my favorite places to eat was at the oldest candy shop in the United States (right across the street from the House of Seven Gables), which I guess in a way was relaxing, because I consumed such a variety of candy that I became somewhat bilious (through my own piggishness, not the quality of the candy) and had to go retire to the chaise in our hotel room for the afternoon.

Key West, FL: I think this would be workable from Chicago for a long weekend, if by long weekend you mean four days where you fly out the evening prior. The food, first of all, is great and you can eat high brow or low brow and it’s all good, obviously especially the seafood. You can eat conch prepared in a variety of ways, and the pie is famous for a reason. There’s a bit more history than you would expect from an island that small, and you really wouldn’t need to rent a car (the airport does require a taxi to get to and from). If you did want to rent a car, it’s works out about the same money-wise to fly to Miami, and rent your car there and drive to the Keys, which is very scenic and interesting provided you are only making the drive once. Going to the beach is an option, and they have both kinds – the kind where tons of people are prancing about in skimpy bathing suits as well as the more isolated type where you can loaf around and feel more like you are getting in touch with nature. Going to Key West in the summer actually works quite well, because you get that Florida heat during the day, but it’s mitigated by the island breezes so it’s not unbearable. And smaller crowds and off-season rates.

As I look at this, I realize the highlight of both places was the visit to their respective cemetaries, so maybe I shouldn’t be giving out a lot of vacation advice.

Personally, there is no more beautiful place than Sedona Arizona! From Sedona you can go to the Grand Canyon - a must see for anyone - and a plethora of other places. I am slightly biased to Sedona as that is where I got engaged :slight_smile:

What about Quebec City? It’s not like Montreal at all… a very different feel there. There’s a BUNCH of history, some great restaurants, and you feel like you’re in Europe.

If you’ve never been southwest, I can heartily recommend that although it’s gonna be HOT this time of year. Santa Fe and Taos are wonderful. There’s history there, and real southwest food is hard to find in Chicago.

For long weekend-y type expeditions, have you driven north of Chicago up into Wisconsin? Door county is nice this time of year. Up the Michigan side, Traverse City and Mackinac Island are within a day’s drive of you. Maybe it’s not as glamorous as the other suggestions, but it’s inexpensive, and if you haven’t been, you should go.

Or you could come visit me in da UP. Do pasties count as “weird-ass food”? :smiley:

Taos, NM

A very funky place, with lots of interesting folks, beautiful scenery, and great food.

San Francisco and surrounding areas.

You can find good deals on hotels, rent a car and hike in the redwoods either north or south of SF. It’s a beautiful city with a lot going on all the time. Drive an hour and a half north on highway 101 and go wine tasting in Sonoma county (I’m partial to the Healdsburg/Geyserville/Forestville areas, myself, but that’s because I grew up there). Driving south, you can visit Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Big Sur. Driving east up into the mountains, you can visit gold country and go hiking all over.

Or just stay in the City and explore.

If you’re outdoorsy, Yellowstone is my favorite. The geothermal stuff, the scenery, and the wildlife are just magnificent. There’s a lot of people, but they’re easy to get away from, since most tourists don’t go any more than 50 feet from the road.

Maine is really nice, and much cheaper than the rest of New England. On the west coast, I’d go for Seattle, and be sure to visit Mt. Ranier. Everyone I know who’s been there raves about Vancouver, but I’ve never been. And then there’s Alaska, another place I’ve never been to, but it’s very good for generating envy.

If you’re indoorsy, I second the votes for Boston and D.C.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Re: San Fran: she just got back from there. No dice.

Boston: interesting that the first two posts were about this. I tried talking her into this, but she didn’t necessarily want to go. I wouldn’t mind checking out a Red Sox game. Will continue to work.

Grand Canyon/Yellowstone/National Parks: We’re trying to organize a camping trip somewhere. This might be doable if there are cheap flights, but I think tourist season to these places is in effect and prices are high. Her family also goes there a lot.

Arizona: Interesting idea. I like hot and desert. A friend wanted me to come visit him while he was in grad college there. Now that he’s left I might finally get around to going.

Philly: I never thought of that. Lots of history, although the cheese steaks that I’ve had around here tend to taste like vomit dipped in jus. Maybe I can finally see what the truth is with those. I wonder what sort of witty shirts they make for tourists that play on “grinders.”

DC: been there, kinda sucked.

Niagra: have no desire to go back.

Quebec City: Would like to head out there, but it’s “too soon.”

Florida: One of the things I most wanted to do in NO was to go to the bayou, but that never happened. Perhaps in Florida…

Mithril: There is no end of good stuff to visit in Chicago. I briefly considered putting together a list of cool places to go, but then I realized that I didn’t want to let anyone else know (I likes me my secret places). There have been quite a few recent threads about visiting Chicago, so you’d do well to start searching for those.

Regarding my German: All the German I know is from our high school theater version of Diary of Ann Frank and Laibach CDs. My apologies to the Alemans.

Boston seems pretty well represented and I like the idea of hiking around in the desert, will see how it goes.

If only flights to those Bahamanian islands with the pirate caves and etc. were cheaper…

Nope…“girlfriend” is female dative (it follows “with”), so the article is “der.” Pow was right.

Too bad you are nixing New York…it is impossible to be bored there.

But…how about here, in Las Vegas? There are some majorly cheap flights this time of year. Wimps hate heat, and it does get a tad toasty here in July and August, so hotels are empty and lower their prices, and thus the flights are cheaper as well. You could then rent a car and do the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Just had some German visitors do that trip and they had a great time.

And who knows, while you are here you might win some major bucks and that would certainly make the friends back home envious!

Vegas is an idea that keeps coming up but getting knocked down for some reason. The ability to drive to those other locations may swing the vote…will have to see how cheap is cheap though.

Usually, flights to Seattle are cheap and you can rent a car and do the Olympic Pennisula, Mt. Ranier, San Juan Islands and and Vancouver Island & Victoria…Not that hot there, but pretty. Big City, beautiful wilderness surrounding it…gots’ everthin’.

I was going to suggest Seattle or Portland, as it’s easy to get to the other quickly. Plus, there’s an easy trip up to Vancouver.

sigh. I can’t wait to get my trip to Oregon organized.

Memphis, Tennessee has Mississippi River Cruises.

On paddlewheelers.

As in Mark Twain. Those paddlewheelers.

Hotel-style accomidations, live entertainment, great food, dynamite scenery, and nobody you know will be able to (truthfully) say “We did that last year”.

Prices available online.

I’ve been informed that they do and she’s got family up there (we’re headed there for Thanksgiving) so we’ll get there eventually.