Author Topic: What to do in America? (U.S.A)  (Read 2339 times)

Rimu05

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What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« on: June 04, 2019, 02:07:28 PM »
I've been trying to travel domestically as it's cheaper and so far, I am eh, underwhelmed by the U.S . I will admit, this is a vast land with a lot to see but so far getting a sameness about cities and a sense of really trying hard to find things to do. As I live in FL, I have traveled in state to ST. Augustine, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando. I also did the drive to Savannah, GA.

I've been to New York as I lived in NJ. I regret not appreciating New York more because it was so accessible, now I wish I had gone constantly.

Savannah and St. Augustine represented things I like (history) but I was underwhelmed by the then telling of the actual history and the actual history itself. St. Augustine is super close by so I tend to go there to a specific Kenyan coffee shop because mandazi, Kenyan samosa and authentic Kenyan coffee and tea. I damn near cried when I tasted the tea in that shop.

It's important to note, I have not hated any of the places I've visited, I've just been underwhelmed.

Also, where's the nature? Should I be driving to the mid west? I am determined to be wowed by this country.

Kris

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2019, 02:31:05 PM »
Yeah, the thing about the US is we've become so corporatized that so much of our retail areas/restaurants/coffee shops, etc. are filled with nothing but chain stores. Most cities have a mind-numbing sameness about them that is off-putting and, to me, frankly depressing as hell.

I find the centers of eastern cities that have been around since colonial times to be the most interesting. Boston and Philadelphia come to mind.

Nature-wise, it depends what kind of nature you're interested in. But you should be leaving the cities, and probably going west toward the wide open spaces. I'll let others chime in on that, because I think there's an incredible geographical diversity in this country that is worth exploring, and each region has its own charms. I'd avoid the flatter states in the middle, as their landscapes do have a certain charm but are not very dramatic (and I personally find them pretty boring).

bacchi

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2019, 02:50:37 PM »
Florida cities are sprawling pieces of crap.

Go kayaking with the dolphins and manatees in Port St John or a nearby town.

Since you're close to Georgia, check out https://www.nps.gov/cuis/index.htm.

Villanelle

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2019, 03:00:33 PM »
You might enjoy checking out some of the many museums in DC.  Perhaps also things like Mount Vernon.  And if you like history, Gettysburg or other civil war sites as part of the same trip. 

For nature, what sort of nature do you want?  Forest, rock, desert?  Check out the various national parks and see what they have to offer, as a place to start. 

Indexer

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2019, 03:19:07 PM »
From Florida, if you want to see nature I would head up to the Appalachian mountains. There are lots of cool little towns like Asheville, NC and plenty of nature to be explored.

In terms of national parks there is plenty to do, the Rockies, Yellowstone, etc.

I have the opposite problem. There are so many things to see here it's going to be a long time before I start working on my international list.

nereo

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2019, 03:45:40 PM »

I have the opposite problem. There are so many things to see here it's going to be a long time before I start working on my international list.

My feelings as well.  We've got a list of places we want to visit, and at present we've got so many things on our 'regional' list that we could be busy for years.

OP - since you mentioned nature, definitely check out both National and State parks, and take care to go during non-peak times.  National recreation areas are another way of experiencing the great outdoors, but greatly depend on what you are into (for example, many national recreational areas cater to boaters or off-road vehicles; great if that's whta you are there for, not so much if you are wanting tranquility.

Florida isn't my cup of tea, but if I lived there I'd make a pilgrimage to the Great Smokey Mountains (a long day of driving, but doable for a few day vacation). 

For historical authenticity in a southern US city I'd visit Savannah and Charleston, as well as New Orleans.  Each is very distinct with a lot of its own character.

dougules

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2019, 04:12:38 PM »
If you're in Florida are you sure it's not just closer and cheaper to go to Latin America?  You're closer to the Yucatan than New York and closer to Bogota than Seattle.  If you can find a cheap flight, traveling in Latin America is much cheaper than in the US, too. 

As for the US, there is a ton of stuff to see, but so much of it is half a continent away from Florida. 

I think you accidentally hit on one of the strong points of being in the US being that you can get just about anything here.  You probably could have had Pad Thai for supper right after your Kenyan samosas then gotten some bubble tea to round it out.  Maybe take a look at different immigrant communities you could visit. 

OtherJen

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 04:37:05 PM »
You may appreciate the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Tons of nature and sparsely populated in small towns and cities with few national chain businesses. St. Ignace, just over the Mackinac Bridge, is a good home base. From there, Whitefish Point (gorgeous Lake Superior beach, interesting shipwreck museum), Seney National Wildlife Refuge, and Tahquamenon Falls State Park are within a 90-min drive. Mackinac Island is a short ferry ride away and is absolutely charming; I highly recommend bringing or renting a bike and exploring the 85% of island that is state park land.

Parizade

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2019, 04:51:51 PM »
You may appreciate the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Tons of nature and sparsely populated in small towns and cities with few national chain businesses. St. Ignace, just over the Mackinac Bridge, is a good home base. From there, Whitefish Point (gorgeous Lake Superior beach, interesting shipwreck museum), Seney National Wildlife Refuge, and Tahquamenon Falls State Park are within a 90-min drive. Mackinac Island is a short ferry ride away and is absolutely charming; I highly recommend bringing or renting a bike and exploring the 85% of island that is state park land.

Michigan is wonderful, and if you want nature you can't beat Michigan's Isle Royale National Park. It is the least visited NP, but the most revisiited (not a lot of people go there, but those who do visit tend to go back again).

Have you been to the Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida?

Have you been to Las Vegas? There are many state and national parks within day trip distance, and you come back to whatever you want for night life.

wenchsenior

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2019, 08:00:52 PM »
From Florida, if you want to see nature I would head up to the Appalachian mountains. There are lots of cool little towns like Asheville, NC and plenty of nature to be explored.

In terms of national parks there is plenty to do, the Rockies, Yellowstone, etc.

I have the opposite problem. There are so many things to see here it's going to be a long time before I start working on my international list.

100% agree...there are so many beautiful places in the Southeast, though Florida is not as visually striking as a lot of places (some of the coastal areas excepted).  I adore Everglades NP, but I think you might need to be a total biology/bird geek to love it.  However,  I just visited Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Mammoth Cave National Park + some state parks (plus a jaunt to a racehorse retirement home to visit my favorite 'celeb') in Kentucky last year, and it was all new and all wonderful.  Lots of Virginia is really beautiful; I'd like to spend more time there, and in the Carolinas. 

I swear, the more stuff I see (here in the States, and internationally), the more torn I am  b/c I want to spend quality time in SO MANY PLACES.  Life is too short. Having said that, I live in one of the areas of the country that is most depauperate of nature, public land, and natural beauty.  So I am often frustrated wanting time to get away to all the amazing stuff.

Zamboni

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2019, 08:24:58 PM »
Florida. Meh.

If you have the means, then go west. The Rockies, the canyons. That's where the vastness is. Get off the beaten path. Go trout fishing. Camp. Lie down in a meadow in the middle of nowhere on a clear night and see what the milky way actually looks like.

Cause, yeah, you've probably seen enough rest stops and McDonald's for 5 lifetimes already.

PDXTabs

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2019, 08:53:39 PM »
If you have the means, then go west. The Rockies, the canyons. That's where the vastness is. Get off the beaten path. Go trout fishing. Camp. Lie down in a meadow in the middle of nowhere on a clear night and see what the milky way actually looks like.

I concur. I went to Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah, and I highly recommend it (and Arches). There's so much to see in that part of the country.

jinga nation

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 06:06:05 AM »
@Rimu05

where you you live in FL? I've lived in Tampa Bay for 20+ years and have never been bored.

Have you been to smaller beaches? Some of the Florida keys are awesome (outside of Key West). The Gulf Coast, Panhandle beaches...

What about tubing in Ocala region? Hiking in the state parks in cooler months? Everglades? Been to family farms for fruit picking? Wekiva Springs in Apopka (Orlando area) where you can canoe/kayak and a light hike through FL bush?

Did you visit the Tampa Bay History Center to get a taste of the region's history? Visit the cigar factories and shops, go to Ybor (day and night have different vibes), visit one of the many craft breweries (if you enjoy pombe)?

For my family and me, there's a lot of stuff still to do before we get bored. Around here, many events are seasonal, so we go with the flow.

I've lived in SoCal, lived in Boston (6 mo -1 year each). I didn't like SoCal with the endless constant traffic. I didn't like Boston due to freezing cold, not for me. But for history, it is awesome. It's a cool city to visit, not live in.

Mandazo na mbaazi, tunawapika nyumbani. Ketepa chai na kahawa ya Kenya ni bora... which is why I go nyumbani every 1-2 years to restock. KQ!
Sahau pumbavu hawa wanaosema mambo mabaya kuhusu Florida.


Go hiking in North Georgia, TN, the Carolinas. Great rafting places too. Ocoee, Nantahala, etc. There's beauty everywhere, even in your small quiet neighborhood parks.

Aelias

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2019, 01:59:19 PM »
Obviously, it all depends on what you like to do.  But if you like outdoors stuff and you're looking to be "wowed", I second all recommendations that you get out west.  Being from places that range from totally flat to mildly hilly, I found Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming astonishing.  Just . . . so many mountains.  So much space.  I was just a slack jawed gawker with a camera the whole time.  I think even flying over Colorado and looking down at the mountains is cool.

But, don't discount the South.  It's so culturally and historically rich.  And there must be cool places to snorkel or scuba dive in FL.

wenchsenior

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2019, 02:12:03 PM »
Yes, if you are willing to cross the Mississippi, the following states are extremely dense in spectacular natural features and should be prioritized: Oregon, Arizona, Utah, California, and the Rocky Mt portions of Colorado/Wyoming/Montana.  But most of the states have at least some amazing features.

BicycleB

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2019, 02:32:11 PM »
I find that most national parks have interesting or lovely features. Many state parks do too. This type of place has hundreds of varied examples all by itself.

"Wow" is internal, of course, but many options are available. You could explore parks by geography type, physical location, convenient route, Top 10 lists, user recommendations, friend recommendations, or seasonal themes, for example.

Another possibility is to bike or hike across America. Or to choose and use popular scenic hiking trails. Obviously hiking the Appalachian Trail is a thing. Some people find it to be spectacular, others a grind that convinces them they've done enough walking through woods.

If you don't have specific things you're interested in, maybe go with people. Make friends and go to places they're enthusiastic about. Maybe join park groups and see what people like, then find companions to go there. I personally find that traveling with a companion enriches the experience.

Just some thoughts.

jrhampt

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2019, 03:02:59 PM »
I’m a big believer in being a local tourist; I’ve lived in several states, and there are *always* unique things to see and experience.  Every place will have its own local specialties, but if you’re bored...there’s really no excuse for it.  I live in a small state (Connecticut) in New England, and I have so many things to do in CT alone, and New England in general, that I will never be bored.  Ever.  Unless I suffer a complete failure of the imagination.  And New England is only a small portion of the country. You can always find cool stuff —you just have to look for it.

big_owl

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2019, 05:54:17 PM »
Cascades national park in August?  Monongahela national forest or the White Mountains in January?  Chesapeake bay in June?  Monument valley any time of year?  A.L.A.S.K.A.?  If you can't find epic spaces and nature in the USA then you aren't really trying.  Orlando and Tampa!?  Is this a this some kind of troll?

marble_faun

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2019, 06:32:49 PM »
Is this a serious question? 

The U.S. has everything from deserts to tropical islands to frozen tundra to bayous to mountain forests.  There are huge skyscraper cities, quaint old-west towns, teeny coastal beach communities, rural county seats with cornfields stretching from horizon to horizon... And so many regional differences with their own nuances of culture and architecture, if you care to notice them. 

I've always lived here and have traveled extensively, and I still feel like I've barely seen any of it.  There are much more than a lifetime's worth of experiences to be had.  And no feeling of claustrophobia, just the open road and big skies from coast to coast.

Perhaps you can shift your mindset to appreciate what you are seeing more, and to be open to what is here, rather than wishing it were something else.

jinga nation

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2019, 07:14:31 AM »
I don't think OP is a troll.

I think part of  the issue may be that, if OP didn't grow up in the US, then OP thinks of the US from what was seen in international news/TV/movies. That's how I felt when I emigrated, it took me a few years to become a local mentally.

OP may need to step outside of the typical cities and big towns and tourist traps and go to some of the rural areas. For example, there's a lot of springs in FL where one can dive, snorkel, kayak, canoe. There's small towns with their charm. Sometimes the wow is in the slow-time stuff, instead of the big visuals.

One suggestion is to do slow-travel. Like pick Yosemite and Kings Canyon/Sequoia National parks. Spend a week there, explore different parts of the parks each day. Don't just flutter from one viewpoint to the next. See stuff from the ground like wildflowers and wildlife, then hike up to enjoy a nice view. Do something off the tourist trail.

One thing I enjoy is talking to locals at the national parks and getting ideas on what they do for fun. You might get some valuable insights.

One-day trips from my home area: https://www.florida-backroads-travel.com/tampa-florida-day-trips.html

One-tank trips in FL: https://www.florida-backroads-travel.com/one-tank-trips-florida.html

SheWhoWalksAtLunch

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2019, 08:07:36 AM »
Travel in the US is endlessly entertaining.  Others have posted natural beauty and historical significant sites above.  I tend to take side trips to sites more like this...

https://www.roadsideamerica.com/location/

Rimu05

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2019, 09:01:03 AM »
@Rimu05

where you you live in FL? I've lived in Tampa Bay for 20+ years and have never been bored.

Have you been to smaller beaches? Some of the Florida keys are awesome (outside of Key West). The Gulf Coast, Panhandle beaches...

What about tubing in Ocala region? Hiking in the state parks in cooler months? Everglades? Been to family farms for fruit picking? Wekiva Springs in Apopka (Orlando area) where you can canoe/kayak and a light hike through FL bush?

Did you visit the Tampa Bay History Center to get a taste of the region's history? Visit the cigar factories and shops, go to Ybor (day and night have different vibes), visit one of the many craft breweries (if you enjoy pombe)?

For my family and me, there's a lot of stuff still to do before we get bored. Around here, many events are seasonal, so we go with the flow.

I've lived in SoCal, lived in Boston (6 mo -1 year each). I didn't like SoCal with the endless constant traffic. I didn't like Boston due to freezing cold, not for me. But for history, it is awesome. It's a cool city to visit, not live in.

Mandazo na mbaazi, tunawapika nyumbani. Ketepa chai na kahawa ya Kenya ni bora... which is why I go nyumbani every 1-2 years to restock. KQ!
Sahau pumbavu hawa wanaosema mambo mabaya kuhusu Florida.


Go hiking in North Georgia, TN, the Carolinas. Great rafting places too. Ocoee, Nantahala, etc. There's beauty everywhere, even in your small quiet neighborhood parks.

For some odd reason I haven't been kayaking but I've tried other water stuff like surfing. In Tampa, I visited St Petersburg, went sky diving, snorkeling, Butsch Gardens, etc and went downtown constantly. I liked their downtown because I'm in North Florida (Jacksonville) and the place is an armpit. Our downtown is a downtrodden place because frankly, the church owns too much land here making it a dull place to live.

However, this place is actually too green yet has 0 wild life making it super attractive to me yet also unattractive. I love how green FL is but it's not karura forest, I'll tell you that.

My travel style: While I lean towards nature of any kind, I will hike, I will try paddle boarding if it presents a new experience. I don't snub museums though I'm iffy about the ones filled with stolen art. I'll still see them because they have history not view-able in the places that art comes from.

I will say, in terms of nature I do favor the vastness of places. Places that make you feel so small yet you get that strange tranquility. For instance, the Mara to me felt so incredibly vast and so indifferent. Standing in the more hilly regions overlooking that vastness as Wildebeests march on in the distance. I am not big on photo taking so I just enjoyed that moment while others felt they had to capture every aspect. It's also why I often go on boat tours or just about anything involving the ocean.

wenchsenior

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2019, 09:34:22 AM »
@Rimu05

where you you live in FL? I've lived in Tampa Bay for 20+ years and have never been bored.

Have you been to smaller beaches? Some of the Florida keys are awesome (outside of Key West). The Gulf Coast, Panhandle beaches...

What about tubing in Ocala region? Hiking in the state parks in cooler months? Everglades? Been to family farms for fruit picking? Wekiva Springs in Apopka (Orlando area) where you can canoe/kayak and a light hike through FL bush?

Did you visit the Tampa Bay History Center to get a taste of the region's history? Visit the cigar factories and shops, go to Ybor (day and night have different vibes), visit one of the many craft breweries (if you enjoy pombe)?

For my family and me, there's a lot of stuff still to do before we get bored. Around here, many events are seasonal, so we go with the flow.

I've lived in SoCal, lived in Boston (6 mo -1 year each). I didn't like SoCal with the endless constant traffic. I didn't like Boston due to freezing cold, not for me. But for history, it is awesome. It's a cool city to visit, not live in.

Mandazo na mbaazi, tunawapika nyumbani. Ketepa chai na kahawa ya Kenya ni bora... which is why I go nyumbani every 1-2 years to restock. KQ!
Sahau pumbavu hawa wanaosema mambo mabaya kuhusu Florida.


Go hiking in North Georgia, TN, the Carolinas. Great rafting places too. Ocoee, Nantahala, etc. There's beauty everywhere, even in your small quiet neighborhood parks.

For some odd reason I haven't been kayaking but I've tried other water stuff like surfing. In Tampa, I visited St Petersburg, went sky diving, snorkeling, Butsch Gardens, etc and went downtown constantly. I liked their downtown because I'm in North Florida (Jacksonville) and the place is an armpit. Our downtown is a downtrodden place because frankly, the church owns too much land here making it a dull place to live.

However, this place is actually too green yet has 0 wild life making it super attractive to me yet also unattractive. I love how green FL is but it's not karura forest, I'll tell you that.

My travel style: While I lean towards nature of any kind, I will hike, I will try paddle boarding if it presents a new experience. I don't snub museums though I'm iffy about the ones filled with stolen art. I'll still see them because they have history not view-able in the places that art comes from.

I will say, in terms of nature I do favor the vastness of places. Places that make you feel so small yet you get that strange tranquility.
For instance, the Mara to me felt so incredibly vast and so indifferent. Standing in the more hilly regions overlooking that vastness as Wildebeests march on in the distance. I am not big on photo taking so I just enjoyed that moment while others felt they had to capture every aspect. It's also why I often go on boat tours or just about anything involving the ocean.

You really need to go west.

nereo

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2019, 10:54:14 AM »
@Rimu05

where you you live in FL? I've lived in Tampa Bay for 20+ years and have never been bored.

Have you been to smaller beaches? Some of the Florida keys are awesome (outside of Key West). The Gulf Coast, Panhandle beaches...

What about tubing in Ocala region? Hiking in the state parks in cooler months? Everglades? Been to family farms for fruit picking? Wekiva Springs in Apopka (Orlando area) where you can canoe/kayak and a light hike through FL bush?

Did you visit the Tampa Bay History Center to get a taste of the region's history? Visit the cigar factories and shops, go to Ybor (day and night have different vibes), visit one of the many craft breweries (if you enjoy pombe)?

For my family and me, there's a lot of stuff still to do before we get bored. Around here, many events are seasonal, so we go with the flow.

I've lived in SoCal, lived in Boston (6 mo -1 year each). I didn't like SoCal with the endless constant traffic. I didn't like Boston due to freezing cold, not for me. But for history, it is awesome. It's a cool city to visit, not live in.

Mandazo na mbaazi, tunawapika nyumbani. Ketepa chai na kahawa ya Kenya ni bora... which is why I go nyumbani every 1-2 years to restock. KQ!
Sahau pumbavu hawa wanaosema mambo mabaya kuhusu Florida.


Go hiking in North Georgia, TN, the Carolinas. Great rafting places too. Ocoee, Nantahala, etc. There's beauty everywhere, even in your small quiet neighborhood parks.

For some odd reason I haven't been kayaking but I've tried other water stuff like surfing. In Tampa, I visited St Petersburg, went sky diving, snorkeling, Butsch Gardens, etc and went downtown constantly. I liked their downtown because I'm in North Florida (Jacksonville) and the place is an armpit. Our downtown is a downtrodden place because frankly, the church owns too much land here making it a dull place to live.

However, this place is actually too green yet has 0 wild life making it super attractive to me yet also unattractive. I love how green FL is but it's not karura forest, I'll tell you that.

My travel style: While I lean towards nature of any kind, I will hike, I will try paddle boarding if it presents a new experience. I don't snub museums though I'm iffy about the ones filled with stolen art. I'll still see them because they have history not view-able in the places that art comes from.

I will say, in terms of nature I do favor the vastness of places. Places that make you feel so small yet you get that strange tranquility.
For instance, the Mara to me felt so incredibly vast and so indifferent. Standing in the more hilly regions overlooking that vastness as Wildebeests march on in the distance. I am not big on photo taking so I just enjoyed that moment while others felt they had to capture every aspect. It's also why I often go on boat tours or just about anything involving the ocean.

You really need to go west.
+1.  Grand Tetons in Wyoming.  Bryce and Zion in Utah. Kings Canyon in California. Mt. Rainier in Washignton. Just about anywhere in SE Alaska. These have a vastness you describe, as do many, many other locations in the US.

ysette9

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2019, 11:00:46 AM »
Crater Lake is the most beautiful place I have ever seen on this planet.

My heart and soul belong to the west coast, from about central California (big sur) all the way up to Canada. I find that stretch the most beautiful and peaceful areas to be. In good times and tough times I keep going back to sit on the sand and listen to the waves. It is magical.

marble_faun

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2019, 01:52:48 PM »
You're a day's drive from the Everglades -- two million acres of subtropical wetlands wilderness.  You can paddle around the sandy islands, see the roots of the mangrove trees, maybe meet a hermit, a gator, or a rare orchid... It's a very special place.  And while you're in the area, maybe check out Miami.

This is just the low-hanging fruit for you as a Florida resident.

jinga nation

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2019, 02:35:55 PM »
@Rimu05

where you you live in FL? I've lived in Tampa Bay for 20+ years and have never been bored.

Have you been to smaller beaches? Some of the Florida keys are awesome (outside of Key West). The Gulf Coast, Panhandle beaches...

What about tubing in Ocala region? Hiking in the state parks in cooler months? Everglades? Been to family farms for fruit picking? Wekiva Springs in Apopka (Orlando area) where you can canoe/kayak and a light hike through FL bush?

Did you visit the Tampa Bay History Center to get a taste of the region's history? Visit the cigar factories and shops, go to Ybor (day and night have different vibes), visit one of the many craft breweries (if you enjoy pombe)?

For my family and me, there's a lot of stuff still to do before we get bored. Around here, many events are seasonal, so we go with the flow.

I've lived in SoCal, lived in Boston (6 mo -1 year each). I didn't like SoCal with the endless constant traffic. I didn't like Boston due to freezing cold, not for me. But for history, it is awesome. It's a cool city to visit, not live in.

Mandazo na mbaazi, tunawapika nyumbani. Ketepa chai na kahawa ya Kenya ni bora... which is why I go nyumbani every 1-2 years to restock. KQ!
Sahau pumbavu hawa wanaosema mambo mabaya kuhusu Florida.


Go hiking in North Georgia, TN, the Carolinas. Great rafting places too. Ocoee, Nantahala, etc. There's beauty everywhere, even in your small quiet neighborhood parks.

For some odd reason I haven't been kayaking but I've tried other water stuff like surfing. In Tampa, I visited St Petersburg, went sky diving, snorkeling, Butsch Gardens, etc and went downtown constantly. I liked their downtown because I'm in North Florida (Jacksonville) and the place is an armpit. Our downtown is a downtrodden place because frankly, the church owns too much land here making it a dull place to live.

However, this place is actually too green yet has 0 wild life making it super attractive to me yet also unattractive. I love how green FL is but it's not karura forest, I'll tell you that.

My travel style: While I lean towards nature of any kind, I will hike, I will try paddle boarding if it presents a new experience. I don't snub museums though I'm iffy about the ones filled with stolen art. I'll still see them because they have history not view-able in the places that art comes from.

I will say, in terms of nature I do favor the vastness of places. Places that make you feel so small yet you get that strange tranquility. For instance, the Mara to me felt so incredibly vast and so indifferent. Standing in the more hilly regions overlooking that vastness as Wildebeests march on in the distance. I am not big on photo taking so I just enjoyed that moment while others felt they had to capture every aspect. It's also why I often go on boat tours or just about anything involving the ocean.

kwani wewe ni mtu wa escarpment huko Rift Valley?

I understand your predicament. In Kenya, in the wild open, there's a heck ton of wildlife. Just taking the train/driving on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway you see wildlife. You won't see that in FL, except the ultra-rare deer or super-rare panther. Driving on the outskirts of any Kenyan city/town there's wanyama wa porini (wild animals).

There's more stolen art in British Musuems than your museums down here. The purpose of artifacts is to educate and open minds.

You want vastness? Take a hike in the Florida back country. If you're in the Orlando area, go to Wekiwa Springs State Park. Heck of stuff to do, including 9 miles of off-road biking and get away from people. https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/wekiwa-springs-state-park/experiences-amenities

If you did birding in Kenya, you can do the same in FL.

Rimu05

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2019, 03:20:57 PM »
@Rimu05

where you you live in FL? I've lived in Tampa Bay for 20+ years and have never been bored.

Have you been to smaller beaches? Some of the Florida keys are awesome (outside of Key West). The Gulf Coast, Panhandle beaches...

What about tubing in Ocala region? Hiking in the state parks in cooler months? Everglades? Been to family farms for fruit picking? Wekiva Springs in Apopka (Orlando area) where you can canoe/kayak and a light hike through FL bush?

Did you visit the Tampa Bay History Center to get a taste of the region's history? Visit the cigar factories and shops, go to Ybor (day and night have different vibes), visit one of the many craft breweries (if you enjoy pombe)?

For my family and me, there's a lot of stuff still to do before we get bored. Around here, many events are seasonal, so we go with the flow.

I've lived in SoCal, lived in Boston (6 mo -1 year each). I didn't like SoCal with the endless constant traffic. I didn't like Boston due to freezing cold, not for me. But for history, it is awesome. It's a cool city to visit, not live in.

Mandazo na mbaazi, tunawapika nyumbani. Ketepa chai na kahawa ya Kenya ni bora... which is why I go nyumbani every 1-2 years to restock. KQ!
Sahau pumbavu hawa wanaosema mambo mabaya kuhusu Florida.


Go hiking in North Georgia, TN, the Carolinas. Great rafting places too. Ocoee, Nantahala, etc. There's beauty everywhere, even in your small quiet neighborhood parks.

For some odd reason I haven't been kayaking but I've tried other water stuff like surfing. In Tampa, I visited St Petersburg, went sky diving, snorkeling, Butsch Gardens, etc and went downtown constantly. I liked their downtown because I'm in North Florida (Jacksonville) and the place is an armpit. Our downtown is a downtrodden place because frankly, the church owns too much land here making it a dull place to live.

However, this place is actually too green yet has 0 wild life making it super attractive to me yet also unattractive. I love how green FL is but it's not karura forest, I'll tell you that.

My travel style: While I lean towards nature of any kind, I will hike, I will try paddle boarding if it presents a new experience. I don't snub museums though I'm iffy about the ones filled with stolen art. I'll still see them because they have history not view-able in the places that art comes from.

I will say, in terms of nature I do favor the vastness of places. Places that make you feel so small yet you get that strange tranquility. For instance, the Mara to me felt so incredibly vast and so indifferent. Standing in the more hilly regions overlooking that vastness as Wildebeests march on in the distance. I am not big on photo taking so I just enjoyed that moment while others felt they had to capture every aspect. It's also why I often go on boat tours or just about anything involving the ocean.

kwani wewe ni mtu wa escarpment huko Rift Valley?

I understand your predicament. In Kenya, in the wild open, there's a heck ton of wildlife. Just taking the train/driving on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway you see wildlife. You won't see that in FL, except the ultra-rare deer or super-rare panther. Driving on the outskirts of any Kenyan city/town there's wanyama wa porini (wild animals).

There's more stolen art in British Musuems than your museums down here. The purpose of artifacts is to educate and open minds.

You want vastness? Take a hike in the Florida back country. If you're in the Orlando area, go to Wekiwa Springs State Park. Heck of stuff to do, including 9 miles of off-road biking and get away from people. https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/wekiwa-springs-state-park/experiences-amenities

If you did birding in Kenya, you can do the same in FL.

When I'm back home my family rarely knows where I am because I go off grid. There's actually a million things I haven't done but chances are you will find me in one of our national parks. I do interact with the Maasai and Samburu though.

Let me check that out. Sounds like my idea of fun. I'll carry my kindle and go solo biking. Might add camping in there. To be honest, I started exploring Florida and local places because it's cheap and I have regrets about not exploring countries enough especially that Kenya yetu.

Since my mom is stopping by in September, I will drag her somewhere.

Johnez

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2019, 05:24:15 AM »
Florida cities are sprawling pieces of crap.

Go kayaking with the dolphins and manatees in Port St John or a nearby town.

Since you're close to Georgia, check out https://www.nps.gov/cuis/index.htm.

PTF, for more stuff like this.

eljefe-speaks

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2019, 09:47:34 AM »
I am eh, underwhelmed by the U.S.

Wow. I haven't read the other responses here, but this amazes me. For all of our problems, the one thing I am most proud of in this country is how overwhelmingly beautiful it is. Go to Zion National Park, hike up to Angel's Landing, and I defy you not to be totally overwhelmed. Try any of these: Grand Canyon, Great Smokey Mountain National Park, Pacific Cost Highway, Blue Ridge Parkway, Yosemite, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Lake Tahoe, Park City, Breckenridge, Acadia National Park, Pisgah National Forest, Mount Washington. These are off the top of my head. There is not enough time in a day for me to list them all. The country offers an endless bounty of beauty.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2019, 10:03:34 AM »
I’m a big believer in being a local tourist; I’ve lived in several states, and there are *always* unique things to see and experience.  Every place will have its own local specialties, but if you’re bored...there’s really no excuse for it.  I live in a small state (Connecticut) in New England, and I have so many things to do in CT alone, and New England in general, that I will never be bored.  Ever.  Unless I suffer a complete failure of the imagination.  And New England is only a small portion of the country. You can always find cool stuff —you just have to look for it.
If you are into history and near a big city, take a day trip and do some walking tours. I live in Milwaukee and do this once a year where i learn about the history of the city and how it has transformed (and why). Makes you appreciate the random building next to the starbucks you would have never noticed.

Adam Zapple

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2019, 07:22:06 AM »
I’m a big believer in being a local tourist; I’ve lived in several states, and there are *always* unique things to see and experience.  Every place will have its own local specialties, but if you’re bored...there’s really no excuse for it.  I live in a small state (Connecticut) in New England, and I have so many things to do in CT alone, and New England in general, that I will never be bored.  Ever.  Unless I suffer a complete failure of the imagination.  And New England is only a small portion of the country. You can always find cool stuff —you just have to look for it.

Do you have any spots in Connecticut you particularly like? 

jrhampt

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2019, 12:56:46 PM »
I’m a big believer in being a local tourist; I’ve lived in several states, and there are *always* unique things to see and experience.  Every place will have its own local specialties, but if you’re bored...there’s really no excuse for it.  I live in a small state (Connecticut) in New England, and I have so many things to do in CT alone, and New England in general, that I will never be bored.  Ever.  Unless I suffer a complete failure of the imagination.  And New England is only a small portion of the country. You can always find cool stuff —you just have to look for it.

Do you have any spots in Connecticut you particularly like?


Yes, lots.  Is there anything specific you’re looking for?  I have favorite state parks, bike trails, dairy farms, river/shore/rural towns, bakeries, restaurants, wineries, beaches, happy hours, hikes, orchards,  events/festivals/concerts, rose gardens, museums...I have various itineraries for different seasons and parts of the state.

Today, for example, I went for a sunrise run on my favorite shore route in Old Saybrook, sampled local cheeses at the Chester Sunday market (in one of my favorite river towns), visited a lavender farm in Killingworth and sampled their lavender lemonade, and am now relaxing on the beach after having gone for a long walk at Hamonasset state park (free to state residents).  I still have several hours of daylight left and will probably head to Essex (another lovely ct river town) later for some yoga and a cocktail on the patio at the Griswold Inn.  Or Beaver Brook Farm in Lyme.  Or I could drive farther out to Noah’s in Stonington.  Lots of possibilities, and all nice places within a short driving distance. 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 01:09:58 PM by jrhampt »

Adam Zapple

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2019, 05:15:09 AM »
I’m a big believer in being a local tourist; I’ve lived in several states, and there are *always* unique things to see and experience.  Every place will have its own local specialties, but if you’re bored...there’s really no excuse for it.  I live in a small state (Connecticut) in New England, and I have so many things to do in CT alone, and New England in general, that I will never be bored.  Ever.  Unless I suffer a complete failure of the imagination.  And New England is only a small portion of the country. You can always find cool stuff —you just have to look for it.

Do you have any spots in Connecticut you particularly like?


Yes, lots.  Is there anything specific you’re looking for?  I have favorite state parks, bike trails, dairy farms, river/shore/rural towns, bakeries, restaurants, wineries, beaches, happy hours, hikes, orchards,  events/festivals/concerts, rose gardens, museums...I have various itineraries for different seasons and parts of the state.

Today, for example, I went for a sunrise run on my favorite shore route in Old Saybrook, sampled local cheeses at the Chester Sunday market (in one of my favorite river towns), visited a lavender farm in Killingworth and sampled their lavender lemonade, and am now relaxing on the beach after having gone for a long walk at Hamonasset state park (free to state residents).  I still have several hours of daylight left and will probably head to Essex (another lovely ct river town) later for some yoga and a cocktail on the patio at the Griswold Inn.  Or Beaver Brook Farm in Lyme.  Or I could drive farther out to Noah’s in Stonington.  Lots of possibilities, and all nice places within a short driving distance.

Of your list, I would say I'm interested in river towns, state parks, and hiking trails but feel free to list others.  I've wanted to check out Litchfield County during fall foliage as well but don't know where to go.  My part of the state is crowded and not overly scenic outside of the waterfront, but if you are ever in Fairfield County looking for something to do, I recommend picking up the Norwalk River Valley trail in Wilton or taking the Maritime Aquarium's boat cruise along the Norwalk Islands. 

« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 05:18:12 AM by Adam Zapple »

jrhampt

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Re: What to do in America? (U.S.A)
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2019, 08:23:55 AM »
I’m a big believer in being a local tourist; I’ve lived in several states, and there are *always* unique things to see and experience.  Every place will have its own local specialties, but if you’re bored...there’s really no excuse for it.  I live in a small state (Connecticut) in New England, and I have so many things to do in CT alone, and New England in general, that I will never be bored.  Ever.  Unless I suffer a complete failure of the imagination.  And New England is only a small portion of the country. You can always find cool stuff —you just have to look for it.

Do you have any spots in Connecticut you particularly like?


Yes, lots.  Is there anything specific you’re looking for?  I have favorite state parks, bike trails, dairy farms, river/shore/rural towns, bakeries, restaurants, wineries, beaches, happy hours, hikes, orchards,  events/festivals/concerts, rose gardens, museums...I have various itineraries for different seasons and parts of the state.

Today, for example, I went for a sunrise run on my favorite shore route in Old Saybrook, sampled local cheeses at the Chester Sunday market (in one of my favorite river towns), visited a lavender farm in Killingworth and sampled their lavender lemonade, and am now relaxing on the beach after having gone for a long walk at Hamonasset state park (free to state residents).  I still have several hours of daylight left and will probably head to Essex (another lovely ct river town) later for some yoga and a cocktail on the patio at the Griswold Inn.  Or Beaver Brook Farm in Lyme.  Or I could drive farther out to Noah’s in Stonington.  Lots of possibilities, and all nice places within a short driving distance.

Of your list, I would say I'm interested in river towns, state parks, and hiking trails but feel free to list others.  I've wanted to check out Litchfield County during fall foliage as well but don't know where to go.  My part of the state is crowded and not overly scenic outside of the waterfront, but if you are ever in Fairfield County looking for something to do, I recommend picking up the Norwalk River Valley trail in Wilton or taking the Maritime Aquarium's boat cruise along the Norwalk Islands.

For fall, I’d start by hiking the 52 miles of the Appalachian trail in western Connecticut.  Kent is a nice town to start with near the Appalachian trail, and you can drive up route 7 through Cornwall (covered bridge), Kent Falls state park, Sharon and East Canaan. 

Here’s what I posted in response to a similar question:

Litchfield itself has a nice little downtown and Arethusa ice cream (dairy farm with a farm to table restaurant and very good cheese and ice cream). It also has a few good restaurants and you should take the free tasting tour of the Litchfield Distillery. I don't care that much for bourbon, but they give you a taste of maple syrup aged in bourbon barrels and it is delicious. There are a couple of blue signs directing you to nearby wineries that you'll see in downtown Litchfield. Topsmead State Forest is nearby, too, which is a pretty place to walk. After Litchfield, the CT wine trail is a great place to start/continue. I would start with Hopkins Inn (patio seating which looks over Lake Waramaug) and have dessert on the patio - it is an Austrian restaurant which is not my favorite food, but the view is gorgeous and the desserts are good. Then go across the road to the winery (Hopkins Vineyard). White Horse Tavern in New Preston is also close by and has really good food and nice patio seating by the river. I would drive West to Kent as another poster suggested - nice downtown with a very good cheese shop, Fife & Drum is also good. There's Kent Falls Park nearby, covered bridge in Cornwall (both very scenic drives north from Kent up Route 7), and 52 miles of the Appalachian trail, mostly easy hiking. If you want to go all the way up Route 7 into the northwest corner of CT (not very far, actually), you'll get to East Canaan and Land of Nod winery, which is probably the most off the beaten trail winery and my personal favorite. CT doesn't have great wines, but if you like dessert wines, they make several delicious pear, peach, blueberry, and raspberry wines. The G.W. Tavern in Washington Depot is very good and not far from Watertown. If you're a Gilmore Girls fan, Washington CT is the rural town that inspired the setting of the show. CT is full of beautiful small towns, and there's a whole cluster of them in Litchfield county.

Also, check out this guy’s blog for ideas:

http://www.ctmuseumquest.com/