(Topic ID: 339995)

Travelling to United States Dec/Jan.

By Freddykaboodle

12 months ago


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  • 25 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 12 months ago by Methos
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    #1 12 months ago

    Hi, the wife and I are travelling throughout the U.S. This December and January. Landing in LA. Then to San Diego, Dallas, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Walt Disney World, Miami and Hawaii.
    We are hoping some of you locals could give us some tips on places to see and things to do while we are in your great country.

    Thanks in advance.

    #2 12 months ago

    I'm no where near your destinations.

    I do hope you have a safe journey and a lot of fun !

    LTG : )

    #3 12 months ago

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    Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

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    Travel through the mists of time to a forgotten age and a tale of devotion, courage and love—at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Imagine the pageantry and excitement that would have been …
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    #4 12 months ago

    The food is great

    #5 12 months ago

    You should be able to Google any of the below for further information:

    Assuming you're going to be in Dallas proper...
    6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza & the Grassy Knoll
    Bishop Arts District
    Deep Ellum
    Six Flags Over Texas Holiday in the Park (Arlington, TX)
    Reunion Tower Observation Deck
    Other art museums in and around the city
    Medieval Times Dallas
    Ice Skating at the Galleria (Mall) (Giant Christmas Tree on the rink)

    In Fort Worth:
    The Fort Worth Stockyards
    Sundance Square in Downtown Fort Worth
    Broadway show at Bass Performance Hall
    Live Music at Billy Bob's Texas
    Fort Worth Museum of Science & History (Unfortunately, the OMNI Theater renovations won't be complete.)

    Food highlights:
    Hutchins BBQ (Eat in for banana pudding and peach cobbler a la mode!)
    Terry Black's BBQ
    Cattleack BBQ
    Hard Eight BBQ
    La Hacienda Ranch (Tex-Mex)
    Mexican Inn (Tex-Mex)
    Perry's Steakhouse for the Friday pork chop lunch special (Multiple national locations)
    Babe's Chicken Dinner House (southern comfort food - multiple locations) Get the chicken-fried steak or fried chicken.
    Whataburger of course
    Waffle House (Be sure to get an order of "scattered, smothered, covered, chunked" hash browns to go with your waffle.
    Check out any other local restaurants. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

    Pinball:
    Cidercade Dallas, Fort Worth
    Free Play Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, Richardson, Denton
    Retrocade
    Pinstack
    Electric Starship Arcade
    Tornado Terry's
    Corky's Gaming Bistro

    Plus I wouldn't be surprised if some individuals would let you enjoy their collections. Depending on when you're in town, there might be a tournament you could join.

    #6 12 months ago

    Sounds like a great trip! All great cities. New Orleans is one of our favorite cities. We typically stay in Midtwon instead of the French Quarter. It’s an easy streetcar ride down Canal street into the FQ and you don’t have all the crowds. Lots of cute little spots to eat too. We have a B&B that we’ve stayed at and really enjoyed with a courtyard pool, a cat named Deck Cat and the owner is a lady named Deanie who owns a place that makes New Orleans sausages from meats like gator and crawdad. If you are still looking for a place to stay, let me know and I’ll track it down.

    Here are few of our most enjoyed spots:

    -Cafe Du Monde. Beignets... mmm. If you take the Canal Streetcar up to the City Park location, you usually have much shorter lines and the Park is beautiful and huge.
    -City Park: Art museum, sculpture garden, old oaks, mini golf... so many things. https://neworleanscitypark.org/
    -Mardi Gras World to tour the factory where they make Mardi Gras floats.
    -I usually scope out TripAdvisor to pick ghost/city/architecture/carriage tours that are getting good reviews.I believe the only way to tour the cemeteries is with a tour.
    -Brennans is the restaurant that created the bananas foster dessert and a brunch stop that we always make. They flambe bananas foster table side which is fun.
    -French Market in the French Quarter is an open air market and fun place to grab souvenirs.
    -French Quarter - Easy, beautiful way to burn hours just walking, people watching and exploring.
    -Preservation Hall is a great place to catch live jazz.
    -The Music Box Village - It's hard to describe. It's an outdoor space of music instrument "houses" where everything is playable. Very cool space. https://musicboxvillage.com/
    -Aquarium of the Americas - The kids still talk about the parakeet room. They fly around freely and land on everybody.
    -WWII Museum
    -Charles St. Streetcar - Just ride the streetcar and enjoy the beautiful garden district. We usually get snowcones or something snacky and kick up our feet.
    -Banksy - His art is around the city from after Hurricane Katrina.
    -Food- Muffaletas and Po Boys.
    -Snow Cones! - It's a whole thing down there. Like 50 different flavors. https://nola.eater.com/maps/best-new-orleans-sno-ball-stands

    #7 12 months ago

    How much time are you planning to spend in each city?

    Also, just in case you're not aware, many of those places are further apart than you might think, so don't forget to account for travel time to get to each place. San Diego to Dallas is over 18 hours by car, and Dallas to Memphis is over 6 hours.

    #8 12 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    How much time are you planning to spend in each city?
    Also, just in case you're not aware, many of those places are further apart than you might think, so don't forget to account for travel time to get to each place. San Diego to Dallas is over 18 hours by car, and Dallas to Memphis is over 6 hours.

    We are flying the big distances, driving the smaller ones.
    Because we are flying Hawaiian Airlines we have a 5 hour stop over in Hawaii, don’t get into LA till late evening on the 16th Dec. spend a night at Sheraton Gateway then driving down to San Diego. (3 nights).

    Then flying to Dallas/Fort Worth. 3 nights.
    Flying to Memphis, 3 nights. Of course the wife has to see Graceland.
    Flying to Nashville, couple of nights.
    Fly to New Orleans, 3 nights.
    Fly to Orlando for 6 nights at Disney World.
    Fly to Miami, you guessed it, 3 nights.
    Fly Miami back to LA.
    Then a relax in Hawaii for 6 nights on the way home.
    I’m a musician hence my visits to Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans.

    #9 12 months ago

    It sounds like LA is just a stop overnight for you. You won’t have any time for pinball ‍.

    B

    #10 12 months ago

    I'll have some more thoughts for you later and mine will be different than what others suggest.

    1. The zoo in San Diego is world class.
    West coast America (which I'm not as familiar with) is different than East Coast America. At Dallas or further east go do the following if you have a car.
    1. Stop at Waffle House for breakfast one day and order an "All star special". Sit where you can hear/watch the waitresses and cooks talk to one another. You are statistically likely to be served by ex-convicts and the food is wonderful. It's open 24 hours so go at breakfast time. It's full of drunks late at night. 10/10 would recommend.
    2. If you want real "American Food" my number one recommendation (aside from a small mom and pop shop) is "Cracker Barrel". Avoid it on the weekend as it gets busy, but the food is amazing and it is kind of themed to be old timey.
    3. Stop and visit the American cultural phenomenon of the "Walmart Super Center". Its a giant store and grocery chain that many Americans do their daily shopping in. Most are 20,000 ish square meters.
    4. Disney is amazing, but there are a gazillion things to do in and around Orlando. If you have a day outside of the parks check out any of the local small mom and pop amusement parks. Look up "mini golf" in the area, and pick out a cool themed place that you like.
    5. America is full of not only great national parks, put smaller state and community parks. Get out and walk around a few different places. Our trees are filled with squirrels foreigners all marvel at, and our birds are beautiful. The trees and forests around Nashville and Memphis are what most of the United States East of the Mississippi looks like. I live in Maryland, and going around the corner outside of Nashville Tennessee I feel like I could be popping out in Maryland. It's an 11 hour drive for me to Nashville, but the trees are just as lush and green here.
    6. Having been to Australia for a month on a military exercise, our Libraries are better than yours to the point that its interesting. Stop by a few random ones. There are 188 libraries in Maryland, and each one probably has 100,000 books. This is in one of the smallest states.

    #11 12 months ago
    Quoted from Freddykaboodle:

    We are flying the big distances, driving the smaller ones.
    Because we are flying Hawaiian Airlines we have a 5 hour stop over in Hawaii, don’t get into LA till late evening on the 16th Dec. spend a night at Sheraton Gateway then driving down to San Diego. (3 nights).
    Then flying to Dallas/Fort Worth. 3 nights.
    Flying to Memphis, 3 nights. Of course the wife has to see Graceland.
    Flying to Nashville, couple of nights.
    Fly to New Orleans, 3 nights.
    Fly to Orlando for 6 nights at Disney World.
    Fly to Miami, you guessed it, 3 nights.
    Fly Miami back to LA.
    Then a relax in Hawaii for 6 nights on the way home.
    I’m a musician hence my visits to Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans.

    Please don’t take this the wrong way - you’ve made the classic mistake of trying to do too much in one trip.

    I always put this out there because everyone does it.

    The USA is so vast, you could easily spend all those days just in Florida and you **still** wouldn’t see half of it.

    We spent a month just driving around Texas a few years ago. And still didn’t see the top right hand corner of it.

    Also, you need to take into account the chaotic state of air travel in the states at the moment. Listen to any comedian/musician podcast and they’re all bitching about all the cancelled flights, overbooked flights, missed connections, and sky high prices.

    You’d be better to break the trip into (at least) two separate ones. Fly straight to Memphis, grab a car, drive to Nashville, then down to Florida, do all that, then fly out to Hawaii.

    Then next year, do California.

    Driving is SOOOO MUCH better than flying. USA is built for driving. Flying with all the TSA etc etc is a nightmare.

    I tell you all that from experience - I’ve been there like 20 times and the wife says we have been to 42 of the states or something. She keeps track.

    If you have a spare few hours, go back through my travel threads, most of the places you’ve mentioned are in them.

    Here’s the one with Nashville and Memphis:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/another-rotordave-usa-travel-odyssey-thread

    I think there are 5-6 travel threads in total.

    Safe travels!

    rd

    #12 12 months ago

    Be prepared to start sweating your butts off with the heat wave we've been having. Especially, in the southern parts of the US.

    #13 12 months ago

    Make sure you know what areas to stay away from....mostly in the cities.

    #14 12 months ago

    id stay away from memphis, it's pretty rough. beale st. is a good time to get out and see some good music, or catch a cardinals AAA game. People love seeing the ducks at the peabody hotel downtown. Of course graceland, if you dig elvis. But after dark the area gets a little scary, there is a reason half of the episodes of "The FIRST 48" is always filmed there.

    #15 12 months ago
    Quoted from ccbiggsoo7:

    id stay away from memphis

    Memphis does have Gus’ Fried Chicken though…

    Hard to get too excited about most US food, to be totally honest ... but Gus’ is definitely worth checking out.

    Blurb:

    Gus's is the current reigning champion of the National Fried Chicken Festival, Travel Channel ranked Gus's as the 12th Tastiest Restaurant in America to Chow Down, and GQ Magazine believes Gus's is one of the top 10 restaurants in the world worth flying to for a meal.

    rd

    #16 12 months ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    Memphis does have Gus’ Fried Chicken though…
    Hard to get too excited about most US food, to be totally honest ... but Gus’ is definitely worth checking out.
    Blurb:
    Gus's is the current reigning champion of the National Fried Chicken Festival, Travel Channel ranked Gus's as the 12th Tastiest Restaurant in America to Chow Down, and GQ Magazine believes Gus's is one of the top 10 restaurants in the world worth flying to for a meal.
    rd

    Been reading your blog from the link you sent me, only up to page 10. Bloody good read rd. Fairly impressed by old mate in the Cock sock and feather in his clacker…..

    #17 12 months ago
    Quoted from Freddykaboodle:

    Been reading your blog from the link you sent me, only up to page 10. Bloody good read rd. Fairly impressed by old mate in the Cock sock and feather in his clacker…..

    Yeah, plenty of highlights.

    The Route 66 thread is the best one. IMHO.

    You just see so much more driving around. As you see in the threads. Half the stuff is just random stuff we see on the way somewhere.

    Looking at the inside of airports and TSA ass inspections ain’t my idea of a good time ….

    rd

    #18 12 months ago

    Good luck,I would pass on Disney World,and do the L.A.Disney instead!

    #19 12 months ago
    Quoted from hawkmoon:

    Good luck,I would pass on Disney World,and do the L.A.Disney instead!

    Why? Disney World is much bigger than Disney Land. Universal Studios FL is bigger, too - but Universal CA has Super Nintendo World!

    #20 12 months ago
    Quoted from hawkmoon:

    Good luck,I would pass on Disney World,and do the L.A.Disney instead!

    DL is only two parks. For a once in a lifetime thing - Walt Disney World is the way to go, but it's expensive as hell.

    #21 12 months ago
    Quoted from Methos:

    DL is only two parks. For a once in a lifetime thing - Walt Disney World is the way to go, but it's expensive as hell.

    Also, you briefly mentioned you were going in Dec/Jan. I you go to Disney around Christmas it will be MOBBED. Like, a couple hours to ride the "Its a small world" mobbed. Look at the attached crowd schedule https://wdwprepschool.com/wp-content/uploads/disney-world-2022-2023-crowd-calendar-best-times-to-go.pdf . If you go in January after the first few days you will have a much better time.

    #22 12 months ago
    Quoted from Methos:

    DL is only two parks. For a once in a lifetime thing - Walt Disney World is the way to go, but it's expensive as hell.

    Hot as hell too! Edit: you're going Dec/Jan, should be good weatherwise.

    #23 12 months ago
    Quoted from Freddykaboodle:

    I’m a musician hence my visits to Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans.

    As both a musician and pinball enthusiast, I will say it is a shame you can't make it to Chicago this trip. Next time.

    #24 12 months ago

    Old Town Kissimmee has live music and collector car shows all the time.
    Machine Gun America if you want to shoot some guns.
    Downtown Disney
    Orlando Water Sports, had a cheap Groupon. Fun but hard to wakeboard even as a life-long skateboarder
    Dezerland has Pinball + Auto Museum. People hate the pinball area because of maintenance but the auto museum is pretty cool, Groupon that for discount.
    If you want to drive 50 mins, Pinball Lounge is the place for Orlando pinball. Good upkeep. Takes quarters or Fri $10 all night. Pinballmap to see machine list

    #25 12 months ago
    Quoted from poppapin:

    Hot as hell too! Edit: you're going Dec/Jan, should be good weatherwise.

    That time is great to to. Santa is right though - you don't want to go between Dec 20 and Jan 2.

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