American Tour

dancorderdancorder Major grinsRegistered Users Posts: 197 Major grins
edited October 20, 2006 in Location, Location, Location!
Hi Everyone,

My brother is getting married in California in September (I'm in the UK) so we thought we'd make a big trip out of it. Anyway as we'll be visiting quite a few places I was wondering whether anyone here has suggestions for any of:

New York
Staying in Manhatten for about 3 days. So far I reckon we should see:
- Statue of Liberty
- Empire State Building
- Central park?
- Battery Park?
- Brooklyn Bridge
Anything else?

Yosemite
Staying in the Wawona hotel just inside the south entrance for 4 days. We will have a car to get to the start of any trails and are not averse to a few hours walking :) in fact that's kind of the point I guess.

San Francisco area
Staying in Pleasonton (about 20 miles from the bay) again will have a car.
Obviously here there's San Francisco itself with its steep hills, trams, Alcatraz and bridge(s). Anything else I should consider?

We were also planning an afternoon/evening drive down the "Big Sur" coast as I've heard that it's pretty amazing.

Is it worth a (longish) day trip to Sequioa National Park or will there be enough huge trees in Yosemite?

Grand Canyon
Staying on the south rim for 3 days and planning on a day trip half way down on a mule :huh

We'll be driving past the hoover damn, any suggestions on a good vantage point for that?

Finally we'll have one night in Vegas so I've been reading the Vegas thread in here for suggestions, but if you only had one night what would you photograph and can you get away with using a tripod on the street for night shots of the lights or is it too busy?

Sorry for large number of questions but I thought it would be better to make one thread rather than 4 or 5!

Comments

  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited August 17, 2006
    I can only answer to a few of your questions.

    Hoover dam is uuuggggly! Tons of power lines, etc. Might have to work a bit to get a good vantage point.

    Tripod + Vegas at night shouldn't be a problem, as long as you can find a vantage point where the crowds don't obscure your shot.

    Yosemite does not have giant Redwood trees. I've never seen them, myself, so I can't tell you whether a long sidetrip is worthwhile or not. We really should have a Yosemite thread in this forum, there are so many classic shots.

    Don't forget to try sunrise and sunset shots at the Grand Canyon. Midday light isn't so great for taking piccies there.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • USAIRUSAIR Picking and Grinning Registered Users Posts: 2,646 Major grins
    edited August 17, 2006
    Yellowstone
    Blackhills
    Mt Rushmore
    Devils Tower
    Grand Tetons

    = Awesome trip

    Fred
  • dancorderdancorder Major grins Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins
    edited August 17, 2006
    Thanks wxwax I'm hoping that a few different people can cover my questions between them :D

    USAIR thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately we're flying between New York and San Francisco so we won't be passing through those areas. Maybe next time :D
  • patricktpatrickt Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 2 Beginner grinner
    edited August 17, 2006
    September or early October is my favorite time of year to visit national parks because school is back in session and they're not so crowded. It will be cool to chilly in the morning, quite warm in the afternoon, and cool to chilly in the evening. It should be dry most places.

    You might check and see if getting an annual pass is cheaper than paying at each park. I haven't been in the U.S. in a long time so I don't know.

    If you really like Hoover Dam you need to visit the former USSR. There really isn't a good vantage point that I remember and it's still just a huge concrete dam. You will actually get more photo ops of the desert approaching and leaving Hoover Dam. I think when you leave Hoover Dam you're in the area of Joshua trees and saguaro cactus. Both are photogenic.

    San Francisco: I would for sure try to get out on the water to shoot the city.
  • claudermilkclaudermilk Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,756 Major grins
    edited August 18, 2006
    Last time a I got an annual pass (2004) it was $50, so well worth it. Saved me a bunch on the tour-Utah's-National Parks vacation. thumb.gif I agree on the timing, the summer rush is just over & temps are getting a little better.
  • dancorderdancorder Major grins Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins
    edited August 19, 2006
    Thanks for the comments. Sounds like my brother picked a good time to get married then :D

    I won't get my hopes up for the hoover dam, and I'll keep an eye out for other bits en-route.
  • JusticeiroJusticeiro E clunibus tractum Registered Users Posts: 1,177 Major grins
    edited September 1, 2006
    I have to disagree about the Hoover dam. I think it's quite cool, although the dam itself is, well, just a dam, the intake towers and some other details are nice Art Deco. Also, aside from photographing, it has an excellent visitors center with a 25 minute film about the history of the dam that is fascinating. The dam is on the road between Las Vegas and monumnet valley/the grand canyon- the road literally runs on top of the dam (which acts as a bridge) so you might as well stop.

    This shot sucks, but it's all I've got of it.

    75761906-M.jpg

    I would skip Seqoiya and maybe go to Muir Woods near San Francisco if you want to see big redwoods. They don't have those types of trees in Yosemite- as far as I can recall.
    Cave ab homine unius libri
  • Dramatapix®Dramatapix® Major grins Registered Users Posts: 430 Major grins
    edited September 1, 2006
    I would recommend 17 mile drive between Carmel and Monterey. Some great scenery and photo ops there.

    San Francisco is filled with wonderful shots... the bridge, the wharf area, Alcatraz, Chinatown, Castro District, the list goes on and on...

    New York is a fantastic place to shoot, and if you like architecture and buildings, it's a wonderful trip... check out my NYC gallery at:

    http://brettmallard.smugmug.com/gallery/1749131
    My Gear: D200, D80, 50 f/1.4, 28-75 f/2.8, 55-200 f/4-5.6, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6, 70-200 f2.8, (4) White Lightning Ultra 1200's, SB600, (2) Lightspheres, 17" Macbook Pro, 24" Apple Imac, Thinkpad T42, Epson R-260, PSCS2, Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, PS Elements 4
  • dancorderdancorder Major grins Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins
    edited September 2, 2006
    Thanks for the ideas guys. Only one week to go, I'm getting quite excited :D
  • MikkoMikko Major grins Registered Users Posts: 451 Major grins
    edited September 2, 2006
    dancorder wrote:
    Hi Everyone,

    My brother is getting married in California in September (I'm in the UK) so we thought we'd make a big trip out of it. Anyway as we'll be visiting quite a few places I was wondering whether anyone here has suggestions for any of:

    New York
    Staying in Manhatten for about 3 days. So far I reckon we should see:
    - Statue of Liberty
    - Empire State Building
    - Central park?
    - Battery Park?
    - Brooklyn Bridge
    Anything else?

    Yosemite
    Staying in the Wawona hotel just inside the south entrance for 4 days. We will have a car to get to the start of any trails and are not averse to a few hours walking :) in fact that's kind of the point I guess.

    San Francisco area
    Staying in Pleasonton (about 20 miles from the bay) again will have a car.
    Obviously here there's San Francisco itself with its steep hills, trams, Alcatraz and bridge(s). Anything else I should consider?

    We were also planning an afternoon/evening drive down the "Big Sur" coast as I've heard that it's pretty amazing.

    Is it worth a (longish) day trip to Sequioa National Park or will there be enough huge trees in Yosemite?

    Grand Canyon
    Staying on the south rim for 3 days and planning on a day trip half way down on a mule eek7.gif

    We'll be driving past the hoover damn, any suggestions on a good vantage point for that?

    Finally we'll have one night in Vegas so I've been reading the Vegas thread in here for suggestions, but if you only had one night what would you photograph and can you get away with using a tripod on the street for night shots of the lights or is it too busy?

    Sorry for large number of questions but I thought it would be better to make one thread rather than 4 or 5!


    Yosemite is a great place.

    There are red woods. Right when you enter the park at the southern gate make a left towards Mariposa grove. Thare are no other big trees in Yosemite except this place.

    The waterfalls in the valley are now dry so dont expect to see much from them. The Merced River is also drying up. Oh yah watch out for mirror lake since it is dry right now. I would go to Glacier Point or up to Tuolumne Meadows/Tioga Pass. In the valley you should find some nice shots as well.

    Sequoia Natioal Park is about 4 to 5 hours from Yosemite Valley so if your not going that way, its way out of your way. However there are a lot more Giant Sequoias and a lot bigger ones. Remember there is more to see in Sequoia/Kings Canyon than just trees. It's a huge area much lager than Yosemite.

    Check out the Yosemite NP page
    http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/index.htm

    Hope this helps,
    Mikko
  • JusticeiroJusticeiro E clunibus tractum Registered Users Posts: 1,177 Major grins
    edited September 3, 2006
    If you are staying in New York, head down to the batter park and get on the ferry that goes tot he statue of liberty. But don't get off at the statue of liberty. the statues sucks to actually visit, lines are huge, and the view is not so great. You can't actually see the statue from inside it, and you'll waste half the day. continue on to the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration, which sounds like it ought to be lame but is actually one of the best museums in the United States.

    After returning, see if you can get to the NYC Police Museum, near battery park. It's a gem, and relatively unknown. All kinds of Gangster stuff, and a shooting simulator.

    6th Street has good indian food, and there is an excellent Russian Turkish bath on 268 East 10th Street. A lot of people hear "bath house" and think "hook up place for man-love" but this is an actual bath house frequented entirely by russian and turkish men and women (and other slavs). They take it seriosuly, and its very cool and relaxing. You can get a mud scrub, a salt treatment, sit in a steam room with eucalyptus vapors, or get beaten with witch hazel branches by a huge guy named sasha (OK, perhaps it is a bit kinky).

    If you can ditch the kids, or don't have them ,and want a NYC experience to shock the bejeesus out of your friends at home, check out the restaurant La Nouvelle Justine for a spanking good time.

    The met you must see, Goign up the Empire state is good, and don't be afraid to stop by Jersey City for Dinner. I live there, 6 minutes fromt he WTC by PATH, and my wife and I would love to take you out for some drinks. PM me for contact info.
    Cave ab homine unius libri
  • dancorderdancorder Major grins Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins
    edited October 8, 2006
    Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions, we've been back for a week a now and I have started to make some in-roads into all the pictures I took! Here's a gallery of selected highlights for anyone interested.

    http://dancorder.smugmug.com/gallery/1966744
  • claudermilkclaudermilk Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,756 Major grins
    edited October 10, 2006
    Wow. You've got a great eye. thumb.gif Looks like you had a lot of fun.
  • dancorderdancorder Major grins Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins
    edited October 11, 2006
    Thanks claudermilk, we did have a great time. Hopefully we can go back in a few years :D
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USARegistered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited October 11, 2006
    dancorder wrote:
    Hi Everyone,



    San Francisco area
    Staying in Pleasonton (about 20 miles from the bay) again will have a car.
    Obviously here there's San Francisco itself with its steep hills, trams, Alcatraz and bridge(s). Anything else I should consider?

    I would recommend Pier 39 fishermans Wharf....not in the main toursity part....go down the lonely looking alleys towards the docks....there should be fisherman repairing nets, cool old boats and a great view towards the Ghiradahldi (spelling incorrect I know) of course the main part of the wharf is full of street performaers usually...this time of year unknown

    Oh yeah the Palace of Art.......

    on the Sausildo side is a grea view of the bridge where the old armaments were....

    That Is all I know to offer.

    Good luck
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • dancorderdancorder Major grins Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins
    edited October 12, 2006
    Thanks Art, however, I've been and come back now :D.

    My brother is living out there so I'm sure I'll be back at some point and I'll bear your suggestions in mind.
  • savannahgasavannahga Major grins Registered Users Posts: 225 Major grins
    edited October 20, 2006
    In the south I recommend Savannah, Ga or Charleston, SC.
  • SeefutlungSeefutlung Unsharp at any Speed Registered Users Posts: 2,781 Major grins
    edited October 20, 2006
    Yosemite
    Wawona is wonderful …
    Yosemite is considered to be the most beautiful stop on earth. The best way to get around Yosemite is on a bike.

    San Francisco area
    Highway 1 along the
    California Central Coast, Big Sur, is (once again) considered the most spectacular highway in the world. Do not miss it. Cliffs 100’+ high with Redwoods on top … seals and sea lions rolling in the secluded coves below … spectacular … the Pacific foaming up amongst rocky outcroppings …

    Is it worth a (longish) day trip to Sequioa National Park or will there be enough huge trees in Yosemite?


    Yes! Yes! Yes! Just down the street from Yosemite is Valley of the Kings. Usually, in the early morning, the valley is shrouded in a thick, misty fog … then suddenly the largest living trees in the world loom above you … dwarfing all else … the quiet of the fog combined with the majesty of the Sequoias … well … it is a Godlike/religious experience.

    Grand Canyon
    Staying on the south rim for 3 days and planning on a day trip half way down on a mule


    The canyon is … Grand. The North side is much much better than the South.


    Vegas light at night is equal to any city during daytime. No need for a tripod unless it’s for special effects. ISO 800 should be enough for the tourist parts. If you use a tripod … don’t think anybody will care.

    What … no Hollywood???? Or Disneyland or San Diego or Monterey or sand dunes of Anza-Borrego or Mt. Whitney the highest mountain in the continental US or Death Valley the lowest spot in North America, Hollywood Bowl, Lake Tahoe, Bristle Cone Pines (oldest living things on earth), whale watching out of San Pedro, golf at Pebble Beach or Palm Springs, a train ride and gourmet dinner through the wine country ???? You’re missing a big hunk of California. :<)

    Gary
    My snaps can be found here:
    Unsharp at any Speed
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