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Thread: USA travel tips and discussion

  1. #41
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    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by icube View Post
    i'm going to travel in california later this month and putting a day to yosemite... any tips or advices or things to watch out for? will be renting a vehicle while i'm there... thanks
    Check the National Parks website (http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm) to find out which roads are closed and which roads will require snow chains. Snow chains, when needed, are enforced, so they simply won't let you through if you don't have them. They're not too expensive and can be bought in Walmart or other smaller supermarkets.

    If you only have 1 day, you really shouldn't plan to do very much. Tioga Pass, Badger Pass, Mariposa Grove are all out of the question. Just head straight to the main valley floor, and visit the sights there, like Yosemite Falls and Angel Falls. Walk around Cook's Meadow and take in the views of El Capitan and Half Dome. Drive to the scenic spots which are marked on the official map as "valley view" and "tunnel view", they give you the standard postcard views of Yosemite Valley. If you maximise your day by getting there very early, maybe you can squeeze in just one short hike (and you'd better walk fast, no time wasting), I'd recommend mirror lake. Do take note that it gets dark early in a valley.

    And you can check the ranger program schedule to see if you could join any of the guided walks if you'd like to learn more about Yosemite. Normally I'd strongly recommend them, but if you only have 1 day to rush around, it may not make sense.
    My photos - see just some or all of it =)

  2. #42

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Yosemite is best seen in a few days. The drive from SF or worse from LA is like rushing from Singapore to KL and back in a day... don't do the typical Singapore thing.

    Also for the uninitiated, driving in the snow is a bad idea.
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  3. #43

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Does anyone know how long does the ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorization last?
    I tried to apply, but it mentions I still have a valid one?
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  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by petetherock
    Does anyone know how long does the ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorization last?
    I tried to apply, but it mentions I still have a valid one?
    If I'm not wrong I think it's 2 years..

  5. #45

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by bitez View Post
    If I'm not wrong I think it's 2 years..
    Thanks, that should suffice
    Cheers.
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  6. #46

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by petetherock View Post
    Does anyone know how long does the ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorization last?
    I tried to apply, but it mentions I still have a valid one?
    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...%3D%3D/p/0/c/0

  7. #47
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    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    where/which part in yosemite do you guys recommend going? I only allocated 1 day there..... -_-"

  8. #48

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    The Valley itself can take 4-7 days. You can take side trips. Or do the Singapore Refugee trip...
    Go to the NPS website to help plan your trip.
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  9. #49
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    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by petetherock View Post
    The Valley itself can take 4-7 days. You can take side trips. Or do the Singapore Refugee trip...
    Go to the NPS website to help plan your trip.
    Sorry but what is the Singapore Refugee trip and can you provide the link to the NPS website you mention?

  10. #50
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    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by icube View Post
    where/which part in yosemite do you guys recommend going? I only allocated 1 day there..... -_-"
    I had already answered your question in my reply above, and the link to the nps website is there...
    My photos - see just some or all of it =)

  11. #51

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    40 free attractions in New York City

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/new-...articles/76493

    1. African Burial Ground

    One of Lower Manhattan’s most fascinating, and controversial, stories of recent years circulates around the new African Burial Ground National Monument site. It began when a construction project in 1991 uncovered a burial ground of slaves – more than 400 caskets were found – from an age when New York had more slaves than any American city outside Charleston, South Carolina. Outside you can see part of the site now enveloped by buildings, and the compact visitors center does a masterful job at retelling African-American history in the city. See our 76-Second Travel Show episode on the museum’s opening. 290 Broadway between Duane & Elk Sts, Lower Manhattan.
    2. Brooklyn Brewery tours

    Free Saturday tours of Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Brewery run half an hour from 1-4pm. 79 N 11th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
    3. Central Park

    It’s filled with free events, statues, people-watching and sites like Strawberry Fields, an ‘Imagine’ mosaic near the Dakota, where John Lennon was killed in 1980. Another site is ‘the Pond,’ at the southeastern corner, where Holden Caulfield kept turning to in ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’ wondering where those ducks go when it’s cold. (For the answer, watch this video.) Uptown.
    4. Chelsea galleries

    New York’s most concentrated area for a gallery crawl is in Chelsea, mostly in the 20s Streets between 10th and 11th Avenues. Check Gallery Guide or westchelseaarts.com for listings. All are free, no pressure to buy. And try timing for wine-and-cheese openings on Thursday evenings.
    5. City Hall

    Home to New York City’s government since 1812, City Hall tours take in its cupola-topped marble hall, the governor’s room as well as the spot where Abraham Lincoln’s coffin lay in state briefly in 1865. Tours must be reserved in advance. City Hall Park, facing the Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan.
    6. Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum

    It’s always Fashion Week in the FIT Museum, which features rotating exhibits by students and a surprisingly interesting and detailed collection of the country’s first gallery of fashion, picked from a collection of 50,000 garments dating from the 18th century to present. Seventh Ave & 27th St, Garment District, Midtown West.
    7. Federal Hall

    Two presidents were inaugurated in New York City, beginning with the first ‘Dubya’, George Washington, who took the oath in Federal Hall in 1789, back when New York was the first capital. (Chester A Arthur was the second.) There’s a nice statue outside, overlooking the New York Stock Exchange across Wall Street, and a small, recently renovated museum on post-colonial New York inside. 26 Wall St, Lower Manhattan.
    8. Federal Reserve Bank of New York

    Reserve at least a week ahead (sometimes a month!) to visit the Federal Reserve Bank, most rewarding just to ogle the facility’s high-security vault – useful considering more than 10,000 tons of gold reserves reside here, 80ft below ground. There’s also exhibits on counterfeit currency as well as a serious coin collection of the American Numismatic Society. A tour’s the only way to get in. 33 Liberty St, Lower Manhattan.
    9. Forbes Collection

    The lobby galleries of Forbes magazine have some various curios from the late Malcolm Forbes’ collection, most notably early versions of Monopoly boards. (Or watch our tour of Monopoly sites around the properties’ namesakes at Atlantic City, New Jersey.) 62 Fifth Ave at 12th St, Greenwich Village.
    10. General Ulysses S Grant National Memorial (aka ‘Grant’s Tomb’)

    Also called ‘Grant’s Tomb’, the $600,000 granite structure that holds the remains of the Civil War hero and 18th president (and his wife Julia) is the largest mausoleum in the US, and is patterned after Mausolus’ tomb at Halicarnassus, making it a plagiarized version of one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Riverside Dr at 122nd St, Morningside Heights.
    11. Governor’s Island

    The ferry to Governor’s Island is free, as is access to the 172-acre island which opened to the public only in 2003. There’s a 2.2-mile bike path, mini golf, a picnic area, plus military sites such as Admiral’s House and a ‘ghost town’ of sorts at Nolan Park. Ferries leave from Battery Maritime Bldg, Slip 7, Lower Manhattan.
    12. Grand Central Partnership Walking Tours

    Two historians lead free 90-minute walking tours at 12:30pm every Friday, hitting places like Grand Central Terminal’s ‘whispering gallery’ and the Chrysler Building. 120 Park Ave, at 42nd St, Midtown East.
    13. Green-Wood Cemetery

    Once the nation’s most visited tourist attraction outside Niagara Falls, the gorgeous Green-Wood Cemetery was founded in 1838 and is the eternal home to some 600,000 people (or about 530 miles of bodies, head to toe). It’s leafy and lovely, features Brooklyn’s highest point at Battle Hill, a site from the Revolutionary War, now marked with a seven-foot statue of the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva. Watch for the squawking green parakeets at the cemetery’s Gothic entry — these are runaways from a JFK mishap in 1980 and have lived here since. 500 25th St, Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
    14. Hamilton Grange

    You know you’re important when you get a grange. This one, Hamilton Grange, to reopen in 2011 after renovation, is the Federal-style country retreat where Alexander Hamilton spent quieter, pre-death-by-duel New York days. St Nicholas Park at 141st St, Hamilton Heights.
    15. High Line

    It’s a park, so it should be free, but the expanding High Line project has the impact and feel of an real-live attraction, complete with its own opening hours. Created from an abandoned stretch of elevated railroad track, the native-inspired landscaping of this park 30 feet in the air connects the Meatpacking District with Chelsea’s galleries (another great free institution). There’s wonderful Hudson River views, or of pedestrians on the sidewalks below. Watch for public-art installations and events. Gansevoort Street to 20th St (currently), between 9th & 11th Aves, Chelsea.
    16. Hispanic Society of America Museum & Library

    The largest collection of Spanish art outside Spain fills the ornate Beaux Arts space of the Hispanic Society of America Museum & Library on the serene Audobon Terrace in far north Manhattan. Broadway & 155th St, Washington Heights.
    17. Japan Society

    The films and lectures usually involve a ticket, but the gallery exhibits at the Japan Society (focusing on Japanese art) are always free. 333 E 47 St, between First & Second Aves, Midtown East.
    18. National Museum of the American Indian

    This Smithsonian ex-pat, just off the historic Bowling Green and Battery Park, is neighbors to frenetic commuters and tourists heading to the Statue of Liberty but often gets missed. Situation in the spectacular former US Customs House (1907), the National Museum of the American Indian is actually one of the country’s finest collections of Native American art. The focus is on culture, not history, and does so with many of its million-plus items. There’s also many programs. 1 Bowling Green, Lower Manhattan.
    19. New York Earth Room

    Now for something completely different: the Earth Room, Walter De Maria’s 1977 art installation, a single room filled with 280,000 pounds of dirt, combines the framework of an ordinary office with the scent of a wet forest. 141 Wooster St, SoHo
    20. New York Public Library

    Remember the Dewey Decimal System? The New York Public Library, New York’s most famous library (aka the Stephen A Schwarzman Building), which turns 100 in 2011, is situated in a grand Beaux Arts icon east of Times Square. It’s fronted by marble lions named ‘Patience’ and ‘Fortitude,’ and is just a jaw-dropper to walk through, particularly the reading room fit for 500 patrons reading with the aid of the library’s original Carre-and-Hastings lamps. There’s exhibits too, including a copy of the original Declaration of Independence, a Gutenburg Bible, plus 431,000 old maps. There are free tours at 11am and 2pm Monday to Saturday, 2pm Sunday. Fifth Ave at 42nd St, Midtown East.
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  12. #52

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    21. Old Stone House

    A Breuckelen legacy from Brooklyn’s Dutch origins, and a survivor from the ill-fated Battle of Brooklyn, this Old Stone House features a small exhibit on the battle. Its upstairs is sometimes rented out for the likes of sample sales. Fifth Ave, btwn 3th & 4th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn.
    22. Public boathouse kayaking

    Kayak for free from public boathouses such as the Downtown Boathouse and Long Island Community Boathouse in Queens.
    23. Rockefeller Center Public Art

    Built in the 1930s Great Depression, the 22-acre Rockefeller Center is more than the setting for NBC’s Today Shows (lines appear by 6am often) and a giant Christmas tree in December (not to mention to $19 NBC tours or $21 trips to the observatory deck!). But do pop by to see the slew of art commissioned under the theme of ‘Man at the Crossroads Looks Uncertainly But Hopefully at the Future.’ A bit wordy, but the pieces pack a big punch, such as the statue of Promethus overlooking the skating rink, or Atlas holding the world at 630 Fifth Ave. Jose Maria Sert’s murals in the (main) GE Building used the likes of Abe Lincoln to replace the original ‘communist imagery’ (eg Vladimir Lenin) by a snubbed, outraged Diego Rivera. Between Fifth & Sixth Aves, around 49th & 50th Sts, Midtown.
    24. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

    Part of the city’s library system, the country’s largest collection of documents, books, recordings and photographs related to the African-American experience, the Schomburg Center also hosts free exhibits. 515 Malcolm X Blvd at 135th St, Harlem.
    25. Socrates Sculpture Park

    On the East River, overlooking Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side, the Socrates Sculpture Park, a former dump site, now has interesting art installations, light shows and movies on Wednesdays in summer. Broadway at Vernon Blvd, Astoria, Queens.

    26. Staten Island Ferry

    Everyone wants to see the Statue of Liberty. Ferry tours there start at $12. But the Staten Island Ferry for commuters, cutting across the New York Harbor, is absolutely free and has long held the distinction as the single greatest free attraction on the Eastern Seaboard. Around since 1905, the ferry carries 19 million across the harbor each year. Technically for transport in between Staten Island and Manhattan, most visitors simply hop back on to get back to New York. It never gets old.
    Last edited by petetherock; 19th April 2011 at 12:47 PM.
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  13. #53

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    FREE ATTRACTIONS AT SCHEDULED TIMES:

    27. American Museum of Natural History
    Free its last hour (4:45-5:45pm). Central Park West & 79th St, Upper West Side.

    28. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
    Free Tuesday, and 10am to noon Saturday. Eastern Parkway at Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

    29. Brooklyn Museum
    Free first Saturday of the month, when there’s big wine-sipping, DJ parties that draw half the neighborhood. 200 Eastern Parkway, at Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

    30. Bronx Zoo
    Pay what you wish on Wednesday. 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx.

    31. El Museo del Barrio
    Free the third Saturday of the month. 1230 Fifth Ave between 104th & 105th Sts, Spanish Harlem.

    32. Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum
    Pay what you wish, first Friday of the month. 9-01 33rd Rd, Astoria, Queens.

    33. Museum of Modern Art
    Entry is free 4-8pm on Friday. Gets busy. 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth & Sixth Aves, Midtown West.

    34. Museum of the Moving Image
    Free 4-8pm Friday. 35th Ave, at 36th St, Astoria, Queens.

    35. Neue Galerie
    Free 6-8pm the first Friday of the month. 1048 Fifth Ave at 86th St, Upper East Side.

    36. New York Botanical Garden
    Free Wednesday, 10am to noon Saturday. Bronx River Pkwy & Fordham Rd, The Bronx.

    37. New York Historical Society
    Pay what you wish, 6-8pm Friday. 2 W 77th St at Central Park West, Upper West Side.

    38. South Street Seaport Museum
    Free the third Friday of every month. 207 Front St, Lower Manhattan.

    39. Studio Museum in Harlem
    Free on Sunday. 144 W 125th St at Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, Harlem.

    40. Wave Hill
    Free 9am to noon Tuesday and Saturday. W 249th St at Independence Ave, Riverdale, The Bronx.
    Last edited by petetherock; 19th April 2011 at 12:48 PM.
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  14. #54

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    NYC has more than just shopping, so take some time to walk. It is a friendly place to pedestrains, just a bit crowded.
    So go into the subway, and explore!
    Last edited by petetherock; 19th April 2011 at 12:50 PM.
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  15. #55
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    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Gengh View Post
    I had already answered your question in my reply above, and the link to the nps website is there...
    Opps sorry.. i overlooked your reply.... thanks so much... anyway i downloaded the Chimani Yosemite iPhone app.... it's 335MB and it's free.. will report back it's usefulness...

    here is the link for those interested... http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chima...389824229?mt=8

  16. #56
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    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Hi guys, is there anywhere interesting to go between Fresno and San Diego? Besides LA that is....

  17. #57

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Grand Canyon...
    Quote Originally Posted by icube View Post
    Hi guys, is there anywhere interesting to go between Fresno and San Diego? Besides LA that is....
    Hearst Castle: http://www.hearstcastle.org/
    Directions
    Getting to Hearst Castle

    Hearst Castle is located on the majestic Central Coast of California. Nestled in the hills at San Simeon, the Castle sits halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and is approximately a five hour drive from either of these metropolitan areas. Be sure to check local road conditions.
    Mileage

    Hearst Castle is located on California Highway 1, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Approximately 230 miles.
    From Los Angeles

    Take U.S. Highway 101 north to San Luis Obispo, then California Highway 1 north about 39 miles. (approximately 4.5 hours).
    From San Francisco

    Take U.S. 101 south to California Highway 46, then west on 46 to California Highway 1 and north about 13 miles (250 miles total, approximately 5 hours)
    From Monterey

    Take California Highway 1 South (about 93 miles) to Hearst Castle. Please allow extra time for Highway 1 which is windy and narrow. Or take Highway 68 East to Highway 101 South then Highway 46 West to California Highway 1 North to the Castle, about 130 miles total.
    Location

    750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon, CA 93452-9740
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  18. #58

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    For anyone visiting the capital, do remember to take out all your knives, torchlights etc. If you get stopped in Wash. DC, its troublesome to get them back and you may forget or hold up the tour.
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  19. #59

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    hi guys, i understand that the US customs will break the locks of the luggages that you check in if they want to conduct a check and if they do not have the means to open your lock?

    my luggage has a built in lock and opens with the catch. which means i can't secure it with a padlock cheap enough to lose. i'm quite concerned cause i'm flying quite a bit (SFO > NYC > LV > LA).

    any one has any bright ideas to share?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/tra...icle679671.ece
    Last edited by jreamer; 11th May 2011 at 10:51 PM.

  20. #60

    Default Re: USA travel tips and discussion

    Yes, they will break your lock.
    So avoid using the in-built ones or those suitcases IMO.
    No sense spoiling the whole bag.
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