Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Things to do in the US on my own

AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
edited January 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm thinking of going to PAX this year, but I don't know anyone else who likes PA or wants to go to America. Since the plane tickets there and back will cost around $1.5-2K, I'm thinking I shouldn't just go for a weekend, I should make it into a one or two week holiday, but if nobody else is interested I'm not sure what I'd do over there. I'd just sort of wander around aimlessly and maybe look at a few landmarks, get bored and wish I were home already. I'm not worried about going to PAX on my own, there'll be plenty of people around and stuff to do so I know I'd have fun there, but after that...

So, if I can't find any friends or family who want to go to the US, can anyone think of fun stuff to do on my own? Anywhere in the country; once I go to the effort of getting to Seattle, a plane ticket from there to NY or LA or anywhere else isn't such a big deal.

steam_sig.png

Posts

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Skip L.A., it's a sprawling shithole. I'd go to maybe SF or NYC. Definitely somewhere you can navigate with public transport. Also, I've noticed Europeans (after having lived in France) don't really understand the scale of the States. I'd do PAX, then choose one of those two cities and spend some time there. It's not like Europe where you can easily get from one large city to another in a couple hours on the train.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    Yeah, I'm not really interested in LA, but I know it's a fair distance from Seattle and NY so I figured it was a good "anywhere at all" example.

    I went to NYC for about 5 days I think, and really enjoyed it. If there were a bunch of stuff to do there on my own, I'd be happy to hear it.

    And I grew up in a town in Australia that was an hour from the nearest town, 3 hours from the nearest city. I went to school about a 10 hour drive from where my parents lived, and that was within the same state, so I understand the scale of the US and don't want to, say, spend a week driving down the west coast. When I went to the US we spent two weeks in three cities, and I was thinking something like that, but probably only two (Seattle and X).

    steam_sig.png
  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    NY City is a nice place to be, and the transportation system is quite good. The night life, which I didn't experience, can be expensive. Another place I really liked was Washington D.C.

    Traveling by train is quite boring after sometime and take many hours to move from one place to another.

    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    You know, Chicago is in between New York and Seattle. just sayin'...

    Yeah, I'd avoid LA. Seattle is cool, New York is big and awesome (and dirty), Austin, TX is cool, Memphis or Nashville, TN both have a lot going for them if you like the southern thing. Boston is one of our oldest cities - though not much compared to UK.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    You know, Chicago is in between New York and Seattle. just sayin'...

    Yeah, I'd avoid LA. Seattle is cool, New York is big and awesome (and dirty), Austin, TX is cool, Memphis or Nashville, TN both have a lot going for them if you like the southern thing. Boston is one of our oldest cities - though not much compared to elsewhere.

    MichaelLC on
    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Hell if your going to Pax might as well spend 4 or 5 days in Seattle. It's a pretty rad area. Maybe take the train down to San Fran for a few days. Then to New York. Then home. Maybe to DC if your into that sort of thing too.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    I'm thinking of going to PAX this year, but I don't know anyone else who likes PA or wants to go to America. Since the plane tickets there and back will cost around $1.5-2K, I'm thinking I shouldn't just go for a weekend, I should make it into a one or two week holiday, but if nobody else is interested I'm not sure what I'd do over there. I'd just sort of wander around aimlessly and maybe look at a few landmarks, get bored and wish I were home already. I'm not worried about going to PAX on my own, there'll be plenty of people around and stuff to do so I know I'd have fun there, but after that...
    So, if I can't find any friends or family who want to go to the US, can anyone think of fun stuff to do on my own? Anywhere in the country; once I go to the effort of getting to Seattle, a plane ticket from there to NY or LA or anywhere else isn't such a big deal.

    Tickets to New York from Seattle are coming up about 300 bucks round trip when I search for them, that could add some substantial cost, especially once you add in the cost of room and board. Worth it, I'm sure, maybe you could hook up with some NY based PA'ers to show you around.
    You might also consider hitting up Vegas. Assuming you're 21 or older you can get a plane ticket cheap, see some shows, throw some dice, eat at some world class restaurants, have a good time. Probably be able to hook up with some PA'ers there as well who can show you some of the less touristy points of interest. It's also considerably closer to Seattle then New York (only have to cross 4 states, instead of to the other side of the country).

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote:
    Hell if your going to Pax might as well spend 4 or 5 days in Seattle.

    I would also go with this. Not to downplay other areas, but there's loads to do in Seattle already. And Portland's just a short train ride away.

    PSN: allenquid
  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Quid wrote:
    zepherin wrote:
    Hell if your going to Pax might as well spend 4 or 5 days in Seattle.

    I would also go with this. Not to downplay other areas, but there's loads to do in Seattle already. And Portland's just a short train ride away.

    So is Vancouver, BC.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    Yeah that place too.

    I should get my pass port already.

    PSN: allenquid
  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Esh wrote:
    Quid wrote:
    zepherin wrote:
    Hell if your going to Pax might as well spend 4 or 5 days in Seattle.

    I would also go with this. Not to downplay other areas, but there's loads to do in Seattle already. And Portland's just a short train ride away.

    So is Vancouver, BC.

    Seattle and Portland seem pretty cool. Vancouver I thought was in Canada, so that shows you how much I know about that. Any specific places or things there that you'd recommend?

    Also, I just found out that I can fly direct from Sydney to Seattle, which is handy. When I flew to NY we stopped in New Zealand and LA, so a flight to Seattle is around 8 hours shorter.

    EDIT: Oh wait, they were lying to me, there's a stop in LA. Still a lot shorter though.

    AnteCantelope on
    steam_sig.png
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    I think they mean that Vancouver is geographically very close to Seattle...

  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    V1m wrote:
    I think they mean that Vancouver is geographically very close to Seattle...

    ... Huh, it is in Canada. You guys made me doubt my geography knowledge, you monsters!

    But seriously, I don't think I want to go to Canada, just because of the extra hassles crossing a border might bring about.

    steam_sig.png
  • EffingControllerEffingController Registered User new member
    It all depends on how much time you're willing to travel and what you'd like to get out of your trip. Speaking as a native Northwesterner to someone coming to the West Coast for the first time, I'd honestly recommend spending just a little bit of time in Seattle and then just going down to San Francisco. I like Seattle and Portland a lot, it's just that I think SF has a lot more to offer someone who's coming to the States from fairly far away. Most of the attraction in coming to the Northwest is doing things outdoors. As far as anything city-related, like good drinking, good food, good museums, etc., San Francisco generally has more and better.

    If you're the kind of person who likes a slower pace and enjoys nature, Seattle and Portland are better bets. A day going up the Columbia River Gorge from Portland is always an excellent idea, and the Olympic Peninsula west of Seattle is amazing.

    If you do want to go down to SF from Seattle, I'd recommend against the train since it often gets horribly delayed. A plane would honestly be worth the extra cost.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Are you an active type? If so, I'd recommend spending some time in Seattle and the area (hiking close to the city is pretty great), then fly to SF, see the city, and rent a car to go slightly north to Point Reyes or south to the Carmel area. Some beautiful landscapes to see. Also, September is basically the best time possible to hit up SF, as it will likely be sunny.

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    V1m wrote:
    As far as anything city-related, like good drinking, good food, good museums, etc., San Francisco generally has more and better.

    I'd vehemently disagree on the food and drink bit. Having lived in all three and having been in the industry for quite a while, Portland is hands down the best food and drink town of the three.

    Esh on
    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    Esh wrote:
    V1m wrote:
    As far as anything city-related, like good drinking, good food, good museums, etc., San Francisco generally has more and better.

    I'd vehemently disagree on the food and drink bit. Having lived in all three and having been in the industry for quite a while, Portland is hands down the best food and drink town of the three.

    I agree with Esh here. I've had fun in all three areas but there's a reason our next vacation is going to be in the northwest again and not SF. And we didn't spend time enjoying the outdoors at all.

    But like others have said, without knowing your interests it's hard to recommend what to go see and do. These are major cities. There's lots to do with everyone having their favorite attractions.

    PSN: allenquid
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    V1m wrote:
    I think they mean that Vancouver is geographically very close to Seattle...

    ... Huh, it is in Canada. You guys made me doubt my geography knowledge, you monsters!

    But seriously, I don't think I want to go to Canada, just because of the extra hassles crossing a border might bring about.

    To be honest, there isn't that much of a hassle. I mean, you could possibly be stopped and searched, but chances are fairly low. More than likely, you'll pull up to the window and tell the officer you're traveling from abroad, show your passport, and go right through. 45 seconds.



    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Figgy wrote:
    V1m wrote:
    I think they mean that Vancouver is geographically very close to Seattle...

    ... Huh, it is in Canada. You guys made me doubt my geography knowledge, you monsters!

    But seriously, I don't think I want to go to Canada, just because of the extra hassles crossing a border might bring about.

    To be honest, there isn't that much of a hassle. I mean, you could possibly be stopped and searched, but chances are fairly low. More than likely, you'll pull up to the window and tell the officer you're traveling from abroad, show your passport, and go right through. 45 seconds.
    We crossed the border twice only a year or two after 9/11 and all we got was a chubby officer with a bitchin' moustache talking about what beers we could recommend. It's literally just "where ya from sir?" <respond with any place not closeby> "oh wooooow" *stamp* *stamp* have a nice day sir.

    I mean, assuming you have a passport and don't appear to be smuggling contraband, narcotics or tactical missiles.

    I think Seattle/Vancouver/Portland would keep you occupied quite well, especially with PAX thrown in the mix. If you want to see some nature drastically different from your country there's a lot of national forests and lakes to enjoy. This would be a whirlwind tour if you're only going for two weeks, anyway. Seattle with PAX would give you enough to do for a week. Keep in mind a big event like PAX can be quite draining, dunno about sightseeing after days of marching up and down a big expo.

    Aldo on
    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    Where are you coming from?

    fwKS7.png?1
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Figgy wrote:
    V1m wrote:
    I think they mean that Vancouver is geographically very close to Seattle...

    ... Huh, it is in Canada. You guys made me doubt my geography knowledge, you monsters!

    But seriously, I don't think I want to go to Canada, just because of the extra hassles crossing a border might bring about.

    To be honest, there isn't that much of a hassle. I mean, you could possibly be stopped and searched, but chances are fairly low. More than likely, you'll pull up to the window and tell the officer you're traveling from abroad, show your passport, and go right through. 45 seconds.




    Unless you cross the "Wait here until the car in front of you is clear" line. Then you will be stopped and searched 100% of the time.

  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    Aldo wrote:
    Keep in mind a big event like PAX can be quite draining, dunno about sightseeing after days of marching up and down a big expo.

    I'm thinking, because people keep saying that the area's good for outdoorsey stuff, that I might spend some time doing that before PAX, and then come home immediately after (since I'll probably want to stay very still for a while).
    Esh wrote:
    I'd vehemently disagree on the food and drink bit. Having lived in all three and having been in the industry for quite a while, Portland is hands down the best food and drink town of the three.

    Portland is meant to be good for beer, right? I'm a bit of a beer snob, but haven't tried much American beer (mostly because they get taxed to hell on import, Sierra Nevada for instance is $70-80).
    see317 wrote:
    You might also consider hitting up Vegas. Assuming you're 21 or older you can get a plane ticket cheap, see some shows, throw some dice, eat at some world class restaurants, have a good time. Probably be able to hook up with some PA'ers there as well who can show you some of the less touristy points of interest. It's also considerably closer to Seattle then New York (only have to cross 4 states, instead of to the other side of the country).

    I've got to say that Vegas is probably the least appealing part of the US to me. Touristy, in a desert, gambling (I'm not morally opposed, just uninterested). No thanks.
    Esh wrote:
    V1m wrote:
    As far as anything city-related, like good drinking, good food, good museums, etc., San Francisco generally has more and better.

    I'd vehemently disagree on the food and drink bit. Having lived in all three and having been in the industry for quite a while, Portland is hands down the best food and drink town of the three.

    Nobody disagrees on the museums? I had a great time going to the Smithsonian in DC, and since my flight out will be from LA, I could spend a little time in San Francisco without adding much to the budget. Science and not-modern art museums especially.
    kaliyama wrote:
    Where are you coming from?

    Sydney.

    steam_sig.png
  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Well, I'd say SF is marginally better than Seattle for museums, but not by much. That, and it's really not that out of this world. California Academy Of Arts And Sciences is cool, but I wouldn't make a trip to SF just to see it.

    Portland is very well known for beer, but we also have quite a few distilleries and our craft cocktail scene has to be seen to be believed. I'd say it's only rivaled by NYC and not by much. The food is incredible as well. Beyond the normal restaurants, the food carts here are ridiculous. Every cuisine you could ever imagine. There are pods of them all over the city. In fact, Portland was recently voted best street food in the world.

    Esh on
    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    Portland is fantastic for beer. Some of the best America has to offer is going to be found there with many of the breweries located inside the city.

    I still like Seattle more for food with Pike's Place being my favorite area. But if you're not going to be cooking for yourself it's a less appealing draw.

    Both are excellent places to find amazing food and drink.

    PSN: allenquid
  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    Esh wrote:
    Well, I'd say SF is marginally better than Seattle for museums, but not by much. That, and it's really not that out of this world. California Academy Of Arts And Sciences is cool, but I wouldn't make a trip to SF just to see it.

    Portland is very well known for beer, but we also have quite a few distilleries and our craft cocktail scene has to be seen to be believed. I'd say it's only rivaled by NYC and not by much. The food is incredible as well. Beyond the normal restaurants, the food carts here are ridiculous. Every cuisine you could ever imagine. There are pods of them all over the city. In fact, Portland was recently voted best street food in the world.

    I've never really gotten into spirits or cocktails, maybe Portland can remedy that. The fact that booze is so much cheaper over there than here would help (when I was working in a bottleshop, the manager said that just over half of the shelf price was tax).

    steam_sig.png
  • EffingControllerEffingController Registered User new member
    Heh, I guess I just have a hard time accepting that my little city is some kind of destination. Or maybe I'm trying to keep it all to myself...

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Heh, I guess I just have a hard time accepting that my little city is some kind of destination. Or maybe I'm trying to keep it all to myself...

    SF is a very nice city. My wife and I always enjoyed our time there. But given the OP's limited time, the unique sights of the that particular city wouldn't really be worth it when he's already by/in three other major cities.

    Quid on
    PSN: allenquid
  • RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Seattle has a very strong microbrewery presence, and Black Raven Brewery over in Redmond makes a great porter. You'll not want for good local beers here.

    If you're looking for exploring and seeing the outdoors, I recommend renting a car and traveling around the Seattle area. Catch a ferry to any of the San Juan islands - vashon is a 30 minute ferry from Seattle and has a coffee roaster that makes my absolute favorite blends on site. Whales and other sea life are common in the north sound region.

    There are tons of interesting small towns and beautiful locations in the region if you're willing to explore. Going across the pass to Leavenworth for the day or going north to explore the upper cascade pass, for example, is absolutely gorgeous and full of neat little stops to get food or look around.

  • KurneaKurnea Registered User
    I've got to say that Vegas is probably the least appealing part of the US to me. Touristy, in a desert, gambling (I'm not morally opposed, just uninterested). No thanks.

    There's a bit more than gambling, as there are often some great shows and events, lots of places to eat and drink, and the prices are usually pretty good(especially if you're not gambling). Plus there's a reasonable gaming presence in Vegas.

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited January 2012
    Yeah, I'd second (third?) the idea of splitting your vacation time between seattle and portland or vancouver. Either city would be a good choice, but portland is more laidback. Would you have access to a car? That makes a huge difference in trying to see the US

    dojango on
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Unless you have your heart set on going to New York City or Washington DC, you will have more than enough different and interesting things to do in both Seattle and Portland.

    In Seattle (Seattle Area): Mt. Rainier National Park, Olympic Rainforest National Park, the San Juan Islands, canoe Lake Washington, walk around Seattle, enjoy the Pike Place Market, the Science Fiction Museum, the Experience Music Project, the downtown Seattle Library, enjoy the great food and beer.

    Between Seattle and Portland: Mt. St. Helens National Monument, Ape Cave.

    Portland (Portland Area): Better food and beer than Seattle's, the food carts, the beer (worth mentioning twice), Powell's city-block sized bookstore, the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Coast (either Cannon Beach, Manzanita, or Astoria).

    Rent a car, and you will be set. You can even save money by camping. Heck, put up a note and a lot of people might house/cook for you (I may be in Portland myself this summer).

    DoctorArch on
    steam_sig.png
  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    A stop at Ground Kontrol while you're in Portland is a must as well. Maybe ride the aerial tram. Visit the Church Of Elvis. Have some doughnuts (touristy, but still fun), see a show (so many venues), have the best coffee you've ever had (I recommend either Barista or Spella), Japanese gardens, etc. etc. etc.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • dojangodojango Registered User
    24 hour church of elvis closed years ago

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    dojango wrote:
    24 hour church of elvis closed years ago

    And it reopened.

    http://www.24hourchurchofelvis.com/

    I do live here ya know. ; )

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • MelinoeMelinoe Registered User regular
    I just took a trip to that area last summer, and went to Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver. The Olympic peninsula was probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen; it's so unbelievably lush and green. Vancouver's kinda nifty but it's damned expensive, at least compared to the prices I'm used to in the US (I'm from San Francisco); $60 got us a teeny little hotel room in Vancouver in a not so nice part of town, and in Portland it got us a huge room with a full kitchen.

    If you go to Portland then I'm seconding Ground Kontrol, Voodoo Donuts and Powell's (all that we really had time for).

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    Esh wrote:
    dojango wrote:
    24 hour church of elvis closed years ago

    And it reopened.

    http://www.24hourchurchofelvis.com/

    I do live here ya know. ; )

    well, i'll be damned. better head down for some absolution. explains why it wasn't downtown last time I checked.

Sign In or Register to comment.