Where should the wife and I go?

Ok, here’s the deal. My mom flies around the country constantly. Doing this she has racked up a great deal of frequent flier miles, free trips, etc… She has given the wife and I two free round trip tickets to anywhere in the continental US. Now, the most I will be able to take off before these expire, which is the ned of the year, is a Friday and a Monday. So, we’re looking leaving at the earliest Thursday evening, returning late Monday. The wife and I have talked about it and would like to get the most out of these. We live in Missouri.

Vegas would be nice, but I can pick up a pair of round trip to Vegas cheap almost anytime, feel kinda wasteful to use these for it.

West coast is possible, but not Southern Cal.

East coast is where we’re leaning, would love to see New England, but wonder if three days is enough to enjoy it or if we’d just feel rushed and pissed that we didn’t do more.

So, where would you go, or where should we go?

What are your interests? Do you want a central location proximal to a bunch of places to visit or a single destination you can relax at?

Are you looking for scenic beauty or museums, shopping, plays, etc?

You could have a really great weekend in Las Vegas, particularly if she is in New England.

I’d have to say the scenic beauty is tops, we love museums, classical art, Bed & Breakfasts. Shopping is a possiblity, but I’m not loaded either, else I wouldn’t be using the free tickets, but traveling to Europe instead.

There are a vast amount of choices out there. New England is comprised of 6 states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) so you probably don’t want to hit them all in 3 days.

If you really want to see New England, you have to decide what your focus will be. You could fly to Boston and see the city and surrounding areas. That should take up all three days. Boston is very expensive however and a lot of people just plain hate it because it has a very strong and somewhat abrasive personality. Other people love its unique charms and quirks, seafood, and history.

You could spend time in Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont (probably not all three). Those states tend to look just like postcards that you have seen. They are very rural and gorgeous. Small hotels and bed & breakfasts are all around. Fall is high tourist season so book early. There are lots of things to do and see in these areas too.

I would pick the latter option if I wanted to experience real New England charm. Parts of those states still have true general stores and a rural New England charm that you can’t see anywhere else.

DC would be an interesting choice. You can stay in a small area and see/do a lot of history, museums, good food, etc. in a short period of time. Might also be interesting to be near Washington during the election. Plus you can get around quickly and effeciently with public transport/taxis, and most of the best museums are free.

Seattle’s always good. Great scenery, too.

Three days?

New Orleans

Definitely.

My SO and I try to do something like this every couple of years.

Two places that we have enjoyed for long weekends:

Savannah, Georgia - pretty town, lots of museum type stuff, you can spend all afternoon walking and looking at houses. Go and see the big graveyards. They are spectacular. Consider getting tickets on one of the trolley tours. They do a circle through town, telling you about the area. You can get off and on all day. You’ve to try the pralines here.

Key West, FL - With only 3 and a half days, I’d consider flying right into Key West (instead of flying into Miami and driving down). If you are going to stay near by, don’t even rent a car, get scooters and see the town that way. There is also a trolley service here, if you don’t want to ride scooters. Some museum, lots of people watching, also look at a short boat trip or 2. Eat real key lime pie.

For scenic beauty I don’t think you can beat Death Valley National Monument. It’s about the size of Delaware. The soil is red and blue and green and white and purple and yellow, sometimes all on the same hillside. The Devil’s Golf Course is by far the weirdest landscape I’ve seen. I spent two days there and have wanted to go back ever since.

New England is nice. In particular, Nantucket and Boston would both be very pleasant for a 3 day stay. Between them is the Plimoth Plantation, a very realistic reenactment of the original settlement as it was in 1627, complete with reenactors who stay in character very convincingly. In Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Washington, DC’s Smithsonian Institution is, I think, by far the best collection of museums in the US, and I bet in the world. The Museum of History and Technology is my favorite (for a while it was renamed the Museum of Man but I’m not sure that stuck). Next door, the Museum of Natural History is also fantastic.

Ocracoke Island, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, is by many accounts the nicest beach in the continental US. There’s a delightful little museum run by the historical society, and the Back Porch and the Atlantic Cafe are wonderful restaurants. But the airport probably couldn’t handle a 10-seater prop plane, much less a jet, so you’d probably want somebody like Pelican Airways to fly you in from Wilmington in their rusty little Cessna (if it still works - I paid $50 to try piloting it ten years ago and it felt pretty creaky then).

Lake Tahoe.

All the fun of Vegas, without the schmaltz and tackyness, and the most breathtaking scenery you can imagine. Fly into Reno and its only about an hour if you drive like you don’t know the area and want to look around. Or depending on where you stay, they will send the limo for ya!

Not many great museums*, but some nice artsy-fartsy stuff. Some shopping, but mostly touristy crap. Outdoor activity galore. You can hike, fish, bike, drive, walk, boat, ski- whatever you want. Mountains out the door, desert a short drive east. 24 hour entertainment/drinking/gambling/eating/debauchery. You could easily spend a day checking out the north/west shore and another day on the south shore. You also have that shit-hole Virginia City, if that kind of thing turns you on. (kinda like a junk-yard with paved road full of hat and home-made candy shoppes. Tourist trap hell)

Best place on earth if you ask me. The weather is good right now. Oh hell, the weather is always good in Tahoe.

  • The Nevada State museum in Carson would be great if they would * turn on the damn lights!!* Nothing will piss you off more than stumbling through the dark trying to make out shadowy displays.