My fiancee and I are planning our honeymoon in February next year, and will be visiting Los Angeles and Las Vegas. We’ve got a spare week to do whatever we want with, but we’re having trouble working out what to do.
Can anyone offer suggestions of interesting places to spend a week than can be easily reached from either LA or Las Vegas, and actually have things to do there (as opposed to just admiring the scenery)?
I’ve been through every travel guidebook I can find, and whilst I find places I’d like to go (Dallas, for example), I just don’t know what I’d do there for a week.
We considered New York, but it’s too cold at that time of year… And I’m not interested in San Francisco; as far as I can tell the only things of interest there are Alcatraz and the Golden Gate bridge.
Anyone able to offer any suggestions? We’re thinking Southern US. if that helps…
First bit of advice: spend as little time as possible in LA. Really. If you’re flying in, just pick up your car and head out.
Keeping in mind 1) February, 2) “activity”, and 3) “easily reached” from Los Angeles or Las Vegas, have you thought about…skiing ? It may be a bit of a stretch for “easily reached”, but you can either drive to Mammoth (about 6 hours from LA) or fly up to Lake Tahoe (1.5 hour flight from LA, you may need to fly into Reno).
You can rent ski gear at whatever resort. And you can get by with ski clothes with just nylon shells and layering. Lake Tahoe is gorgeous in the winter, but the snow on the eastern Sierras (Mammoth) tends to be better.
If you’re not up for that much travel, how about visiting San Diego ? February can be the rainiest month, but if it isn’t raining, it can be very nice in SD (much nicer than San Francisco during the same month).
The only other thought would be to explore the southwest parks. If you’re in Las Vegas, you can drive up to Zion and Bryce (I think most of the roads will be open). Or to the Grand Canyon. Even from LA, it isn’t that bad of a drive. You might be able to get some hiking in, but it will be subject to the weather.
February is not the best time of year weather-wise to be visiting the west. It may be pretty rainy up and down California. And even in the desert areas, because of the elevation, it can be pretty cold (windy). Even Las Vegas could be pretty cool during that time of year.
If you had more specific “activities” in mind, that would be useful. Hope this helps.
Southern California has a ton of fun theme parks. It’s not just DisneyLand, there’s also Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, Legoland and Sea World (those last two are around San Diego, only a two-hour drive from LA if not during hour). San Diego has a whole museum district called Balboa Park which should have something that appeals to you; LA has museums as well, but I’m not as familiar with them myself.
Las Vegas not only has gambling, but many exciting shows to see.
If you like natural wonders, and you have a week to drive around the Southwestern US, you’re wihin driving distance (not necesarily in the same day) of Sequoia National Park (largest living things on the planet!), the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some. Arizona has some ghost towns which have been turned into cowboy-themed tourist attractions.
It’s a big region with plenty to do - welcome, and enjoy!
I know this sounds daft, but something Native American sounds interesting too… we saw the Medicine Lodge show at Knott’s Berry Farm and were really impressed by it, so we’d like to go and see some of the Pueblo Ruins etc in New Mexico if we can get there.
We kicked around the idea of going to Dallas, but after checking all the guidebooks, realised the only things to do there were visit the Third Floor Museum and Dealey Plaza (which I’d really love to do!), and… that was about it. Nothing worth flying halfway across the country for, in short.
Turns out we are having a few days in San Francisco after all- long enough to look at Alcratraz, see the bridge, and eat somewhere nice, in short.
We’ve both been to LA several times and rather like it there, and have pretty much got our time there planned out, along with our week in Vegas (We’re also going to drive to Rachel, NV and have lunch at the Little A’le’Inn. Yes, I know it’s a 3 hour drive. No, I don’t care. )
Palm Springs is supposed to be nice, I’ve heard. We looked at heading to New York, but we’re concerned about the weather… I’m OK with sub-zero conditions; she isn’t.
The thing we’re trying to aim for is “Stuff We Can’t Do Here”- there are beaches and Palm Trees aplenty here in Queensland, and I’ve seen enough trees in NZ to last me for quite some time. Similarly, desert is interesting, but we’ve got plenty of that here as well.
It goes without saying that we’re planning on going to the Grand Canyon, of course.
Well, the one I’ve been to is called Apache Junction, on the outskirts of Phoenix, AZ - it’s an old mining ghost town which I think was later used as a western movie set, and now they’re open for tourists.
I went to San Francisco for my honeymoon and I’m gobsmacked that you think there is nothing to do or see there. Stunned. Totally flabbergasted. There is SO much sightseeing there, and theater and restaurants and everything else. I could have stayed a month.
I wouldn’t intentionally visit LA unless I was visiting someone unfortunate enough to live there, so I can’t help you there. I have only been to Vegas once, but I couldn’t afford to do any of the things there, so I sat at my hotel for 4 days bored out of my mind. Lots of shows and attractions, but all of it is super expensive. Don’t let people fool you with that “the food is cheap” crap, either. It’s a lie.
Then you must go to Jerome, Arizona. They are a real live ghost town kinda. It’s hard to explain. The Mine Tour is incredible. It’s also a good central spot - it’s a day trip to the Grand Canyon (do the helicopter tour - it’s incredible), Prescott (a really cool town - and my mom might even meet ya for lunch! ;)), Sedona (you won’t believe the views - the red rocks are incredible), and a few other places. It’s on the webpage.
The Vulture Mine is also way cool - we brought my son on a tour there years ago - he still remembers it.
Check the weather forecasts regularly. They sometimes shut down the freeways between the California coast and places like the Grand Canyon in the winter, because there’s so much snow. Don’t try to go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon- that’s only open in the summer.
Southwest huh? There’s some stuff that should be fairly OK to go to even in the winter as long as you’re prepared (that is, be prepared for a lot of wind and for it to be really damn cold).
Canyon de Chelly (pronounced, “de shey”, not “de chelly” like it looks like) would probably be pretty accessible, if rather chilly, during February. I’d suggest Mesa Verde and Chaco canyon, but both are rather inaccessible during the winter.
In the same general area are Monument Valley on the Navajo reservation or go to Second Mesa on the Hopi* Reservation. I have not been to Second Mesa but it is planned for next year. If you go, don’t bring out a camera, as the Hopi are pretty sensitive about having their photo taken.
If you are going on the I-70 through Utah and have access to a robust vehicle, I can recommend a ghost town and multi-cultural rock painting all in one site that is quite off the beaten path. Actually you could probably forgo the vehicle and hike into it in very easily and see all there is to see inside a few hours.
*The Hopi are the generally recognized descendants of the pre-Puebloan peoples [formerly known as the Anasazi] that created Mesa Verde and others. They still live very traditionally in pueblos.
Sorry I realize my information is very road-trip centered - apologies if that is far from your plan. That said, roadtripping through the southwest US is great fun, lots to see and do, and a favorite pasttime of mine, obviously.