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Thread: I'm going to the U.S.

  1. #46
    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupcake View Post
    Id skip Tiajuana seriously. Do not go over the border there, it is really not safe and if you get into any trouble it is not easy to get back
    i agree with this one million percent. i live in San diego county, and haven't been to Tijuana since forever. its filthy, they rob you, there's a crapload of killings going on right now. its never really been that safe, but now? please reconsider it.

    when you are in San Diego, check into getting Zoo and Wild Animal park passes. (they do a combined deal) we also have Sea World. But our museums are awesome!

    ETA: instead of TJ you can hit up Casinos here (but no drinking). we have a bunch of Indian Casino's which are just like Vegas ones)
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  2. #47
    Elite Member lalala's Avatar
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    You should have a travel guide that gives you informations on the safety of the neighborhoods you plan to visit, I've travelled the West Coast with no car as a teenager and have found myself in situations that became suddenly unsafe, like walking on a beach full of people that became increasingly less populated by 5 pm, and suddently found out I was alone next to rundown buildings and a guy with a knife....
    Or walked a few blocks out of my safe(ish) hostel/WMCA to find prostitutes asking the cops to drive me back because some girls had been murdered there....Just being on foot set you up as a target in place where not many people walk - I had cars stopping to pick me up in LA when I was waiting at bus stops.

    You'll propably pick up a lot of infos at the hostels you're staying at and people to carpool with but be very aware that as a foreigner your level of safety can radically change at the block corner and there's no sign to inform you of it

    If you have a whole day for Mexico I would have suggested to go to Ensenada (it's just a bit further than Tijuana) with a local bus a few years ago but with the soaring level of violence in Mexico now I don't know if it's doable

    For safety in NY there's just an article on homicides in the NYT today that list the most dangerous boroughs http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/19/ny....html?_r=1&hpw but once again your travel guide should tell you where to go.

    On the whole I must say it doesn't seem that you are really prepared for you trip, people don't usually tour all the cities like you intend to do because they are not that interesting to an outside visitor (which is not the same as interesting to live in) because of their lack of history, that's why road trips that include one or two cities and some wild space sightseeing are more popular

    There's a chance you will get into busy bars with a foreign ID if you are with a group of people from the hostels that are older than you

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by lalala View Post
    . . .
    On the whole I must say it doesn't seem that you are really prepared for you trip, people don't usually tour all the cities like you intend to do because they are not that interesting to an outside visitor (which is not the same as interesting to live in) because of their lack of history, that's why road trips that include one or two cities and some wild space sightseeing are more popular
    . . . .
    what makes you say that? i thought her list had some interesting cities, places i would want to see if i were non-US.

  4. #49
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    San Francisco: Lombard Hill, Fisherman's Wharf, go to Sausalito if you can (it reminds me of San Diego- like Del Mar). Take one of their bus tours, they will take you all over the city to cool sites. You can take the BART system (subway) and city buses everywhere, pay as you go. I never needed a car because I could walk across the whole city if I wanted to. Take a trolley, go to China Town! That place is fun and has so much culture. There are also lots of book stores and parks, Grace Cathedral is pretty too, it's where Marilyn Monroe had her wedding pictures taken (outside). Oh and I forgot to add Alcatraz, you can take the ferry to it and walk around. It's not SUPER exciting, but it's historical and has great views of the city and the GGB (when it's not overcast).

    Los Angeles: Catch some standup comedian acts, walk along the Santa Monica Pier, go to the wax museum, take a drive along Malibu to look at the beaches, drive around Hollywood and sight see. You can also go see the Hollywood walk of fame and stroll along the streets. Whenever I go there I just drive around and find things to do, there is tons of shopping and sight seeing. If you felt really adventurous you can head into Orange County (in between LA and San Diego) and go to Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm. You're going to really need a car rental in LA, there is not public transporation that can get you everywhere and things are too far to walk to.

    Las Vegas: You are kind of limited when you aren't 21 because you can't go into the clubs or casinos, but you can go to some strip clubs and restaurants/bars though. You can also walk along the strip and take a taxi if you want to travel outside the strip area. But all the casinos are on one main street so you can just walk everywhere if needed, just wear good shoes because you can walk for a long time! They are some cool tourist shops and you can watch comedian standups and see other shows (like Cirque Soleil). You can sky dive outside the city and you can visit the Hoover Dam because it's close by, but you will need to take a tour bus there (easy to find) or rent a vehicle. I would say it's pretty safe there because they are always people out, but I wouldn't stay out past 2-3am unless you have guys with you or are in a larger group. I've done it before and I got propositioned by hookers (and I am a chick) and the druggies/homeless come out and can be creepy. I saw this poor guy walking by himself at 5 am and some big tranny was trying to seduce him and he was scared as hell. Oh and everywhere you go there are idiots on the street flicking hooker calling cards in their hands and trying to pass them out to you. So annoying!

    San Diego: You can go to Sea World, Legoland, Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo. I'd check out La Jolla, the Gaslamp district, Old Town and take a trolley. Definitely check out Balboa Park, the museums (history, art) and Ruben H. Fleet Science Center (all in Balboa Park). They always have something going on in Balboa Park, sometimes you even see cool street performers. You can find tourist passes that will drive you around on buses. You can also take a cruise ship out of the harbor and it will take you around to look at seals, Coronado and other sites. Again, San Diego really requires a vehicle. You can attempt to take buses, the trolley or taxis, but they only get you so far (especially if you want to go to Legoland or the Wild Animal park which are north of San Diego).

    Tijuana: Not TONS to see there. Make sure you carry your money in your pocket and avoid taking a purse filled with valuables. I always kept my money/id in my front pocket and had a backpack to carry water and stuff I bought (if backpack was stolen I would be okay). Never leave anything out of your reach. It sucks when you go there because they have little kids begging you for money and selling you gum to make a living. It's pretty sad because it's poor as hell there. They always have weird shit like donkeys that they paint like zebras and they are on like every freaking street corner (they want to take your picture with the "zebra"). You can find cool stuff though for cheap. Don't drink the water anywhere unless it's bottled though. I like the food there because the tacos are like real street tacos and you can get a margarita with your lunch for cheap. I wouldn't get drunk there if you know what I mean, not a place you want to be drunk. Just don't do anything stupid, keep your mouth shut and don't bring attention to yourself. Stay on the main streets and keep your friend with you at all times.

    I know people that have been robbed there (most of the time by the federales), but they were also being STUPID, drinking and acting like assholes. I have been there several times with my girl friend (with no guys with us) and we never had any trouble. We also only went there during the day. Oh and you can park along the border and take a bus over into Mexico, then take a taxi to the major shopping area. You can stay in that one place all day if you wanted to. Do not take your rental over into Mexico!

    And this goes for all the places you are visiting: always bring food/water/snacks with you when you can. Most amusement parks and tourist areas rape you for food and water. Bring a backpack and store all of it in there if you need to and like I said, keep your money/id in your pocket and bring only what you need. You can find drugstores, walmarts, big lots, 99 cent stores and grocery stores where you can buy stuff for cheap. Avoid buying any things like water, food, grooming stuff, traveling supplies, etc. in tourist shops or you will be paying way too much.
    Last edited by DeadDwarf; June 20th, 2009 at 02:35 AM.

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    Elite Member MoodyJenny86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    and, as most people here are from the USA
    ^Is this really true? O.o

    Hehehe...as for that, most of the time I find myself wishing I weren't an American citizen. :/

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  6. #51
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    Las Vegas:

    -You can totally wander around any of the casinos just don't sit down at a slot machine--that's when they ask for ID. (I'm almost 24 but am always the 1st carded so I know the limits )

    -There are double decker buses that can take you anywhere on the strip but you may as well just walk--places like Treasure Island and the Bellagio have interesting stuff going on outside (a pirate show and water show, respectively)

    -This week it will start breaking triple digits here--even in the nighttime dress for hot, hot weather!!!

    ...I THINK there is a club on the strip that is 18&up--I'll get back to you if I can figure it out...
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  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaGatorGirl View Post
    my advice is to ditch your deposit and switch your hostel. the park is absolutely dangerous after dark, especially if you don't know where you are going.

    how are you travelling between cities? flying/buses/driving?

    sounds like an awesome trip - have fun!
    thank you. what exactly does "absolutely dangerous" mean?
    we travel between most cities by bus (greyhound), but we fly from new orleans to san francisco and from san diego to chicago.


    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    stop scaring the poor girl! lots of people go to harlem and tijuana, as long as you are careful and don't do anything stupid (flashing your cash, standing around with a camera around your neck looking at a map like a lost tourist, or trying to score pot in tijuana) you will be fine.
    my advice for the hostel - explore the area during the day so you know where the subway is and all that. and if you're coming home late at night, take a cab. they're pretty affordable in new york and that way you avoid walking around on your own at night.
    thank you, i was pretty terrified after reading all that.
    exploring the area is a MUST, i always do that, i don't wanna get lost.


    Quote Originally Posted by lalala View Post
    ...On the whole I must say it doesn't seem that you are really prepared for you trip, people don't usually tour all the cities like you intend to do because they are not that interesting to an outside visitor (which is not the same as interesting to live in) because of their lack of history, that's why road trips that include one or two cities and some wild space sightseeing are more popular...
    thank you for the article.

    i'm sorry, but your comment really offends me. we are prepared!
    we've planned this for months and we went through every single major city and checked everything that's worth visiting beforehand. just because a city doesn't have much history it doesn't mean it's not worth visiting.

    i've never been to the U.S. and a travel guide doesn't tell you everything, that's why i started this thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by MoodyJenny86 View Post
    ^Is this really true? O.o

    Hehehe...as for that, most of the time I find myself wishing I weren't an American citizen. :/
    i don't know if it's true, i just assumed it.


    deaddwarf, now that's lots of information, thank you!
    and thanks everyone else!
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  8. #53
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    Hey Stef! In NYC, dont go into Central Park at night. It's fine during the day. Anywhere on the Upper East Side or Upper West side is safe to walk at night. If you have never been to NY, take the trip in the Circle Line, which is a boat that goes around manhattan...great views and a lot of information. Just about every restaurant in NYC has a bar. With the restaurants hurting because of the economy, I would bet there are quite a few that would not card you, so as to be able to charge you for the alcohol (big profit margin) if you order with a meal.

    In Las Vegas, the hotels are all constructed so that you have to go through the casino to get to the elevator. Also, even if you are not gambling, there are tons of shows there with headline performers (you just missed Celine Dion). Go see the Grand Canyon while you're there.

    In New Orleans, be sure to try the oyster po' boy sandwich and crayfish etuffee, which are both sold everywhere and are a delicious and inexpensive meal.

    Enjoy your trip!

  9. #54
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    if this is la jolla, we'll definitely go there. so beautiful. but is it different from the other beaches in san diego?

    The difference I found was the cliffs - La Jolla's are great, on the beach & make spectacular wave displays; further south (to Mission Beach, Imperial, etc) its more sloping & "typical" beach.... but its still fun to watch the surfers, etc.

    Coronado has so great architecture, I always liked it there....

    Quote Originally Posted by FierceKiten View Post
    Last time I checked, car rental services offer automatic or sticks, available depending on your choice of car. Buses run on schedules, not every five minutes or demand. "Americans love their cars", If one can afford a car, any american or european for that matter would use it. I fail to understand "social divde", comment. There are people who depend on public transport and could care regaurdless who uses them.
    I've seen Barristers & Senior members of companies using the tube in London... Its not limited by income or social status.
    However when I first moved to the US I didn't drive - I'd had no need to due to great public transport - and everyone was amazed.... & wouldn't let me use the buses. Just perception I think.


    Anyhow - LA HAS got a transit system - it has a tube-thingy in the very centre and buses through out. This will help metro.net | Trip planning, transit services and project information for Los Angeles County
    If you need it there is a shuttle bus from LAX to Van Nuys in the valley - but I don't know if that will be at all helpful to you... (I can't imagine why you'd want to go to Van Nuys...)
    Once you get to Santa Monica/Venice/Malibu - people do walk & walk a lot. There isn't much to see in Malibu - most of the houses in PCH face the sea so you only see tha back of them, The only way to see the front is to walk on the beach, below high tide mark - if you want to do this let me know & I'll tell you where the accesses are. I'd really recommend the Getty Villa and the main Getty Museum. They're free but you have to book tickets in advance. Have lunch there too, its cheap & healthy with lots of good choices. All you need to know is here The Getty
    The museums in downtown LA are great Natural History, etc. Here are some sites to help you plan if you want to go there...
    Welcome to the Natural History Museum
    LACMA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
    MOCA | The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles Museum Of The Holocaust

    For shopping Rodeo Drive is fun just to have walked down it & back but the Beverly Centre is better to actually "shop" plus there is a food court there.
    But maybe some of those that live in LA can fill this in? I usually go downtown, then to the PRS but I didn't have time to go to Melrose, etc after that....
    Free Charmed.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    i agree with Novice, go to Coronado beach. the historic Hotel Del Coronado is there. Just make sure you obey the speed limit there, AND dont have your radio up loud. Snobby people live there, but without a doubt it is THE most beautiful beach!

    there's also tons of stores to shop at too, and great restaurants.
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  11. #56
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Oooh! I can't beleive that I forgot Hotel Del!

    & the Hotel Del Coronardo aka the Hotel Del (Hotel del Coronado €“ San Diego Resorts & Hotels, California Beach Resort & Spa) was where the classic "Some like it hot" was made.... Some Like It Hot (1959) - Trivia


    (Plus see number 2 on this list.... Top Ten Haunted Hotels in the United States Of America)
    Last edited by Novice; June 21st, 2009 at 12:16 PM.
    Free Charmed.

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    what exactly does "absolutely dangerous" mean
    Usually-ignore it & prepare to die.
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    Your trip sounds like so much fun! San Francisco is a blast. This link: San Francisco Neighborhoods — Bay Area Travel — SFGate

    is a great guide to all the neighborhoods in San Francisco. It will give you a better idea in planning your SF part of the trip.
    "If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me." --RW Emerson

  14. #59
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    chicago has pretty fantastic public transportation also. most of the train lines run until 2am or later, the red line is 24 hrs. although after 2am it's only every 30 mins... cabs always, buses are pretty reliable too. just get a map and study where you're going! have fun, i'd love to travel around the US as a tourist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    Oooh! I can't beleive that I forgot Hotel Del!

    & the Hotel Del Coronardo aka the Hotel Del (Hotel del Coronado – San Diego Resorts & Hotels, California Beach Resort & Spa) was where the classic "Some like it hot" was made.... Some Like It Hot (1959) - Trivia


    (Plus see number 2 on this list.... Top Ten Haunted Hotels in the United States Of America)
    It's a beautiful historic building, but the rooms are closet sized and prohibitively expensive. And it's out on a point far from town...this could be good or bad....

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