Help me plan a vacation, away from the East Coast, maybe Utah?

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gotsmack

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I'm planning a vacation in early-mid October. I live in NJ and want to vacation away from the East Coast, but stay in the 48 states.

I want to hear all ideas for unusual and cool vacations for uncultured guys (no museums or sports) in their late 20s. I also hate snow and would perfer to get by with no jacket or a lite jacket.

Cost: under $1k each for 2 people (not including airfare) for 5 days.
These ideas that came to mind:

1. Utah to see the Salt Flats and try out racing a wind buggy. Anyone know where I can rent one and how much it cost? I found an ATV/dune buggy rental place but thats it. What else is there to do iaround Salt Lake City?

2. Seattle to see the Flying Fish market and original Starbux

3. Portland to check out the microbrewers adn stripclubs?

4. Texas, no idea what to do here.

5. South Dakota, see the Bad lands and Mt Rushmore.


 

ElFenix

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Mar 20, 2000
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texas - drink beer, eat bbq. the state fair will be in dallas the first couple weeks of october. great time and you can make fun of sooners.
 

Gothgar

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Sep 1, 2004
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Originally posted by: ElFenix
texas - drink beer, eat bbq. the state fair will be in dallas the first couple weeks of october. great time and you can make fun of sooners.

you had me at those
 

Bignate603

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Sep 5, 2000
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Colorado. Rocky mountain national park is awesome. Steamboat springs which isn't that far away has some nice hot springs to soak in too.
 

gotsmack

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Hot springs sounds fun.

I can;t go anywhere in September. I have to go to a wedding and that's also when work gets really busy.
 

ProfJohn

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Jul 28, 2006
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5 days is a really short vacation, especially if you are flying that far.

Do you like to hike and spend time in nature?

Fly into Vegas in the morning. Get a rental car and drive over to the Hoover Damn.
Spend one night on the strip.

Next morning drive to the Grand Canyon (about 5 hours) and spend a night near Grand Canyon National Park

Next day drive to Zion National park (another 5 hour drive) spend at least 2 days at the park.

Then drive to Bryce Canyon National Par (only a couple of hour drive) spend a day there.

Then drive back to Vegas (5 hours) and catch a late flight home.

If you have never been out west you will be amazed at the scenery. Zion is home to some of the best hiking in the country and Bryce is amazing, especially at sun rise.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
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Originally posted by: gotsmack
I'm planning a vacation in early-mid October. I live in NJ and want to vacation away from the East Coast, but stay in the 48 states.

I want to hear all ideas for unusual and cool vacations for uncultured guys (no museums or sports) in their late 20s. I also hate snow and would perfer to get by with no jacket or a lite jacket.

Cost: under $1k each for 2 people (not including airfare) for 5 days.
These ideas that came to mind:

1. Utah to see the Salt Flats and try out racing a wind buggy. Anyone know where I can rent one and how much it cost? I found an ATV/dune buggy rental place but thats it. What else is there to do iaround Salt Lake City?

2. Seattle to see the Flying Fish market and original Starbux

3. Portland to check out the microbrewers adn stripclubs?

4. Texas, no idea what to do here.

5. South Dakota, see the Bad lands and Mt Rushmore.

For #5, I'd substitute Glacier National Park for SD. Going-to-the-Sun Road over the badlands anyday for me.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
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Oct 28, 1999
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Badlands/Blackhills is more of a family vacation than a "mancation".
 

IronWing

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Jul 20, 2001
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If you go to SD, plan more time at the Badlands and hike off trail. The place is spectacular. Since you'd be in the vicinity you might as well see Mt. Rushmore. Rushmore is good for about 15.8 seconds of looking at giant rock heads (they really do look just like the postcards), five minutes in cynical awe of the tackiness of the place, and a good solid hour of people watching. So give yourself 1h 5m 15.8 secs to do Rushmore right. Devil's Tower is like totally bitchin'. There is a KOA near the monument with a great view of the tower that rents tiny little cabins. Watching sunset and sunrise on the tower is worth the extra time and they feed you. The mining towns of Lead and Deadwood used to be cool. One has a casino, avoid that one as the casino killed the ambiance. Sylvan Lake is neat and getting there takes you through the heart of the Black Hills. The climb to Harney Peak is a good solid day of hiking with great views.

And don't forget Wall Drug to get your picture taken on a jackalope.
 

robphelan

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Aug 28, 2003
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Originally posted by: ElFenix
texas - drink beer, eat bbq. the state fair will be in dallas the first couple weeks of october. great time and you can make fun of sooners.

you can do this with style in just about any city in TX.....

would be cheaper to fly to Dallas since you'd prob get a direct flight, but there's not a lot of soul there.

NASA in Houston, but the same thing applies - Big City feel

if you're young enough, head to south padre island.. or Austin..

if you're a little older & appreciate good food & a more relaxed atmosphere - san antonio is the place to be in TX.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
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Originally posted by: ironwing
If you go to SD, plan more time at the Badlands and hike off trail. The place is spectacular. Since you'd be in the vicinity you might as well see Mt. Rushmore. Rushmore is good for about 15.8 seconds of looking at giant rock heads (they really do look just like the postcards), five minutes in cynical awe of the tackiness of the place, and a good solid hour of people watching. So give yourself 1h 5m 15.8 secs to do Rushmore right. Devil's Tower is like totally bitchin'. There is a KOA near the monument with a great view of the tower that rents tiny little cabins. Watching sunset and sunrise on the tower is worth the extra time and they feed you. The mining towns of Lead and Deadwood used to be cool. One has a casino, avoid that one as the casino killed the ambiance. Sylvan Lake is neat and getting there takes you through the heart of the Black Hills. The climb to Harney Peak is a good solid day of hiking with great views.

And don't forget Wall Drug to get your picture taken on a jackalope.

Other points of interest in the Black Hills are:

- Harney Peak (a fairly casual hike to the tallest point west of the rockies)
- Bear Butte (a very somber hike, stop and appreciate the native american displays that are set up along the entire trail)
- Wind Cave...if you time it right you can do the candle light and self discovery tours.
- Custer State park...tons of wildlife...buffalos, antelope, big horn sheep OH MY!

My wife grew up in Custer so I'm very familiar with the area. I'm still not sure that it's something that a 20 something dude or two would really enjoy doing solo. I'd go for something a little more "out there" that isn't as family friendly.
 

Cienja

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Aug 27, 2007
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www.inconsistentbabble.com
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
5 days is a really short vacation, especially if you are flying that far.

Do you like to hike and spend time in nature?

Fly into Vegas in the morning. Get a rental car and drive over to the Hoover Damn.
Spend one night on the strip.

Next morning drive to the Grand Canyon (about 5 hours) and spend a night near Grand Canyon National Park

Next day drive to Zion National park (another 5 hour drive) spend at least 2 days at the park.

Then drive to Bryce Canyon National Par (only a couple of hour drive) spend a day there.

Then drive back to Vegas (5 hours) and catch a late flight home.

If you have never been out west you will be amazed at the scenery. Zion is home to some of the best hiking in the country and Bryce is amazing, especially at sun rise.

Southern Utah is amazing. Fly into Salt Lake (or Vegas) and the drive time is about the same to Brice I think...

From the SLC airport, you can hit one of eight canyons within 40 minutes and stay at any number of resorts. This might be a bit cold in October, however...
 
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