North America Recommendations and Raves
Girl Travels World
Some great travel links:
Smarter Living - they have a travel newsletters focused on different areas of travel: International, student, domestic. They also work directly with:
Booking Buddy - a flight search engine with all the big guys on it like
Orbitz and my fav:
Song - Delta's budget buddy
Ted - United Airline's budget guy
Spirit - mainly east coast
Air Tran Airways
Alaska Air - heaps of service to Mexico too!
Frontier - partners with Alaska Air
America West - hub in Phoenix so almost every flight will go through here
Independence Air - has anyone flown this yet?
TMA - Trans Meridian eh?
Mexicana - they have some great low fares in Mexico, US and Central to South America!
Aeromexico - Mexico's international airline has some great cheap fares
Greyhound - the link to the Mexico site is there too
BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit (San Fran)
MBTA - Massachussetts Bay Transit Authority (The "T")
Craigslist - rideshare anyone?
Green Tortoise - Adventure travel bus/hostel tours to Grand Canyon, into Mexico and all over. They have hostels in San Fran and Seattle.
National Park Service
America's Scenic Drives
Bunac - Work Abroad for Americans too!
Craigslist - pick your city and post away. Great resource for jobs, rideshares, apartment hunting, buying and selling!
That's all for now. I'll be back with more later.
~Pearl Harbor...free of charge...no purses or bags of ANY sort, just you and your camera. There are lockers available. Bus #20, 40, 40A, 42, 62.
~USS Missouri...see the signed surrender (& Japan's copy as well, where Canada signed in New Zealand's spot). Same buses as Pearl Harbor.
~Avoid the hassles of traffic and driving and take the Bus...there's a visitor's pass all-you-can-ride for 4 days for $20. There's also the monthly pass for $40. One of the main depots is at Ala Moana Shopping Center where you can take just about any bus including the #52, 55 Circle Isle bus which is about 4 hours in length and will take you pretty much around the whole island.
~This Week Oahu visitor's guide with coupons
~Spotlight Oahu Gold visitor's guide with coupons
~Hawaii's Hostels...Island Hostel's the only Oahu hostel with AC. HI and Hokondo are definitely backpacker's hostels. Pacific Ohana & Island Hostel are more for locals and are owned by the same corporation.
~For some Latin music & Salsa dancing, check out this band. They perform a couple times a week all over Oahu.
~Hiking in Oahu...84 different trails...free...don't slip on the guava. You will get muddy on the inland hikes, and watch out for hunting dogs and/or wild boar.
~You'll run into the ABC convenient store monopoly, for sure.
~Or if you prefer a more cultural shopping experience, stop into a local Daiei, which are soon to be a thing of the past.
~Every night at 6:30, there's the free Kuhio Beach Torch Lighting & Hula Show
~On Saturday nights, there is a free event called Sunset on the Beach where a free movie is projected on a screen on Waikiki. Bus #8, 19, 20, among others.
~Take the free, green Hilo Hattie shuttle if you want to hitch a ride to either the store or the nearby Kmart which has a Little Caesar's.
~Dole Plantation...complete with a pineapple garden maze to make you feel dumb.
~Snorkel at Hanauma Bay...free for me, $5 for you.
~If you choose to drive up towards Kaena Point, you can currently see the plane wreckage from the set of ABC's Lost, which is filming in Oahu.
~Sea Life Park where '50 First Dates' was filmed.
~Free ukelele, lei making, hula lessons at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.
~$1 movies ($.50 on Tues and before 3) at the movie theater on Restaurant Row
~In the winter months from about December to April, you can go whale watching.
~Also in the winter months, the surf is it's highest on the North Shore.
~Our local newspapers are the Honolulu Advertiser & the Star Bulletin & free weekly entertainment paper.
~Rainbows...free everyday. Aloha!
the Great Sand Dunes national park.
There are miles and miles of 800 foot tall sand dunes at the edge of this huge desert vally, surrounded by the snowy-peaked Sangre de Chriso mountains in all directions. I can't even describe the place; it's simply amazing. Very surreal and sort of magical (as well as very physically daunting!) I visit almost every year and am continually blown away (I just got home from there about an hour ago in fact). Go there in early spring, when the runoff from the mountains creats this stream at the base of the dunes that actually flows in waves (it's weird).
Please go, it's amazing. It's about a 4-5 hour (3.5if you're me!) drive from Denver; but the drive is part of the fun too, because you're going through the rocky mountains and the views are breathtaking.
Camp in the back country if you want to avoid the tourists. Don't forget bugspray, and remember that there are a lot of bears in the area!
I think anyone that has the opportunity should most definitely visit Zion National Park in southern Utah. I believe it is often overlooked when people talk about national parks in the US. I have been to many of the bigger names, and Zion remains my favorite for its unearthly landscape and rich biodiversity. It may be the most beautiful place I've ever seen, with the possible exception of...
Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine. There's just something about this place that is unique in my mind... I highly recommend going here by any means necessary! Bar Harbor does get crazy in the summer, though, so be warned.
I remember reading an article a long time ago about how unusual rock formations generate unique electromagnetic signatures that can actually impact a human's nervous system, in ways not entirely understood. I would say both of these places had a great impact on me that has lasted my life so far.
Finally hitting the road! Check out my blog, it will enlighten you to no end im sure.
I don't know much about hostels in Cali, because I was traveling with my mom so I we stayed in hotels. But I have some friends from England who traveled around America and had a hard time finding hostels. They mostly stayed in cheap motels and economy hotels.
From my travels, I found that a lot of European and Australian students were fascinated with the idea of the American "Spring Break". So if you are looking for a really busy party scene, this may be something you enjoy. During the month of March is when American college students go on spring break. Many students head south to warm tropical areas, for a week without school, filled with drinking, clubbing, meeting members of the opposite sex, etc. You will find this in (but not limited to)Panama City Beach, Miami, Daytona, and the Florida Keys-all in Florida. South Padre Island in Southern Texas on the Mexican border is another popular spot. Panama City Beach is home to the biggest club in America-Club La Vela. Cancun and Acapulco in Mexico are some other popular destinations for Spring Breakers. The week before and after easter is when the highschoolers will invade these towns, so you may want to avoid these spots during these two weeks. I've been to Cancun, Panama City Beach and South Padre Island, and I had a great time in all of these places.
On the other hand, if you are looking to relax and if you are not looking for a crazy busy, binge drinking atmosphere- you will want to avoid many of these places, especially February-April :-)
Calle 3 Sur (between 5 Avenida and the beach)-near the ferry station-
15 minutes of internet free!! on the tourist information office =)
Their observation: "Everything in the USA runs on quarters."
("quarters", for those just learning the Yank vernacular, are 25 cent coins)
They whinged that all vending machines, pay telephones and parking meters in the work on quarters, and that all other coins are useless.
Their suggestion: when you are at the bank get a "roll" (or $10.00 worth) of quarters for all your needs, otherwise you will never have enough on hand.
Most people skip Kentucky on their US visits, because it's out-of-the-way, not near any of the big cities (although Louisville, Lexington and Covington/Newport are pretty decent medium-sized cities). But if you're looking for some wonderful (and cheap) getaways to nature, you have GOT to check out the Kentucky State Parks. Especially in the southeast and south-central parts of the state, there are fantastic views, great hiking, canoeing, swimming, horseback-riding, rock climbing, whatever. In fact, Red River Gorge (next to Natural Bridge State Park) is a HUGE hotspot for climbers- they come from all over the country. (And if you're in the Gorge, you MUST eat at Miguel's Pizza.)
A lot of the State Parks have cultural events, especially in the summer, where you can see traditional crafts and dance, historic life in the area, etc. I think all the cabins in the state resort parks have been recently renovated and are VERY nice, and cheap! A cabin that sleeps four with a full kitchen and a deck (with a grill) runs at about $100-$150 on a weekend in high season. The resort parks also have the Best. Buffets. Ever. All-you-can-eat fried chicken, shrimp, chicken-fried steak, derby pie, etc. for $10-$12.
During the summer weekends, the parks can be crowded (especially the very popular ones like Natural Bridge and Cumberland Falls), but with Kentuckians, so you'll get to meet some of us friendly locals (don't believe the stereotypes of Kentuckians, we're not all barefoot tobacco-chewers)!
And if you make it over here (which I hope you do), try an Ale-8-One, a locally-brewed ginger ale. Yum!
Hmm... anyone know how one gets to write a guidebook? I think I could easily write one for the Kentucky State Parks!
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