North American Cities to visit...

RSTurbo50

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Im looking to do some solo travel in September this year. I have been looking at cities in the USA and Canada to spend a couple of days. So far Im thinking, Seattle, Vancouver, Chicago or Toronto. I have been to NYC and it was just a brilliant place to spend a few days. But im really torn between the other cities mentioned above. Can anybody give me any ideas as to which would is the nicest to visit and why? I like pubs, bars and a music scene would be even better.
 

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Of those listed I would say Toronto & Vancouver.
For a few days you wouldn't have to "work too hard" to have fun, and enjoy the experience.
Toronta has great lake based boat tours to the 1000 islands ,and the night life & bars are plentiful.
Vancouver has the combination of all of it.
A lively night life night scene in the converted dock area, Burrell Sound & the park land areas with whale watching boat tours tours, short seaplane flights to Victoria, beaches all over the place ,Cannuct chicks (if you like SHAPELY female watching--Cholitas mas guapas ) and hideaways on the north shore accessed by frequent bus like ferry services.
I worked there during Expo 86 and even drove a car from Toronto (working in Buffalo NY) to Vancouver) .Gave three Cannuct nurses a lift to Banff in my wilder years ,all against my better judgement & an experience not to be forgotten!
Turecas viejas
 

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Memphis. Never been to a place where music is so prevalent. And you just have to do Gracelands!
 

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Vancouver was a great place when I was there a few years ago and would go back at the drop of a hat.
 
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RSTurbo50

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I appreciate it's not listed by I've been to DC a couple of times and love it. Plenty to do and see.
I was thinking of going there but other than the White House does it offer more than the other cities listed? Toronto is quite well priced to get there. The issue with Vancouver is its such a long old flight....is it worth the extra flight time say over Toronto or Chicago?
 

Dryce

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I was thinking of going there but other than the White House does it offer more than the other cities listed? Toronto is quite well priced to get there. The issue with Vancouver is its such a long old flight....is it worth the extra flight time say over Toronto or Chicago?

Depends on your taste.

DC has the Smithsonian Air and Space (both the one on the National Mall and out by Dulles airport).​
There are old towns outside DC like Alexandria.​
There are civil war sites - various battlefields and forts.​
And you're not so far from Pennsylvania and the likes of Baltimore.​

If spending time in that area I would spend a few days in DC and then get a car and travel out a bit.
 

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I was thinking of going there but other than the White House does it offer more than the other cities listed?
I haven't been there for a while, but I used to fly in to DC and spend a day or two there en-route to Richmond, VA for work. As @Dryce mentions, the Air & Space Museum(s) are brilliant to spend many hours in if that floats your boat, there are also lots of monuments and some great bars and restaurants, and if you rent a car then some of the Civil War sites are pretty interesting too. The view over the city from Arlington Cemetery is worth the trip. One tip is that flight prices dropped dramatically if your stay includes a Saturday night, and I always used to get a great deal on a room for a Saturday night in the Sofitel Lafayette Square which is in a brilliant location.

Toronto is a lovely city and well worth a visit, imo. Lots to see and do and again it's worth renting a car - even if just for a day or two - to explore further afield. Niagara Falls is spectacular and just a couple of hours drive away on the QEW, then loop back along the lakeshore, taking in Niagara on the Lake and the multitude of wineries.
 

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If you go to DC, as already mentioned there are some great museums - plus Capitol Building , Lincoln Memorial etc. etc.
But the cemetery at Arlington is well worth a visit to, some great monuments and famous names to spot.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is very worth while seeing, and the general area around Constitution Gardens / National Mall.
Nice place to spend a few days.
 

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Seattle is great. We stayed at the Doubletree by the airport (easy ride in to the city) and ate/drank at Sharps Roast House. Underground Seattle tour was fascinating, also DUKW tour and space needle.
 

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If you are really into music there are two cities that really spring to mind in the USA.

1. New Orleans.

Bourbon St is loud, raucous, and a bit touristy/trashy (but does have some great bars with brilliant house bands.

Avoid the neon coloured cheap ‘shots’ waitresses sell from bandanas, it’s cheap vile and guaranteed to give you a banging headache.

If you head over to ’The French Quarter‘ it’s a lot more laid back, less frenetic but some great places like BB Kings House of Blues.

lots of other stuff to see, art (lots of painters) Architecture, Riverboat Cruises on the misissippi, civil war battlefields, plantations (one is a slavery museum - amazingly interesting & moving) The ‘Garden Quarter’ you can do a walking tour and see old homes with lovely gardens.

2. Austin Texas.

Amazingly bohemian city, loads of live music venues - very varied. They have some amazing music festivals.
Also lots to see not to far out the city -Wimberley, really cute town had a massive flood few years ago that left massive cypress trees wedged in the top of other trees 50/60ft up in the air.
There are lovely wineries near wimberly, stop off for a tasting and food.

The Alamo is 74 miles away -day trip!


(3. Nashville - quite fun but you have to love country & western)

(4. Chicago has some good jazz & blues places - nice as it’s on the lake, so you can go to the beach. used to be two streets called Elm & Oak that had some lively bars). Great pizzas.

(5. Vancouver - used to be a good music scene in the old part of town called “Gas Town” - but it has some rather unsavoury bits with a large homeless/drug problem close to the centre of town.
Beautiful city with the snow capped mountains as a backdrop.
30 mins from town centre you can walk/cycle/Ski on Grouse Mountain ( weather dependant).
Harbour Air operate from dock in the town centre, float planes to nearby towns - an amazing way to see stuff from the air at relatively low levels, and explore other towns for a few hours before flying back.
 
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Niagara Falls is spectacular and just a couple of hours drive away on the QEW, then loop back along the lakeshore, taking in Niagara on the Lake and the multitude of wineries.

Very well worth a visit. A tip if you go to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. The drive up as you approach the falls is very impressive as it's a protected national park. What ever you do, don't venture inland when you get to the falls as the protected area is quite narrow. If you do venture outside the protected area you will find yourself in "Blackpool" which rather spoils the effect.
 

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Im looking to do some solo travel in September this year. I have been looking at cities in the USA and Canada to spend a couple of days. So far Im thinking, Seattle, Vancouver, Chicago or Toronto. I have been to NYC and it was just a brilliant place to spend a few days. But im really torn between the other cities mentioned above. Can anybody give me any ideas as to which would is the nicest to visit and why? I like pubs, bars and a music scene would be even better.
What about San Francisco since you'll be on the W coast anyway? It's a great drive from Seattledown the pacific coast highway and the redwood forests.
 

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San Diego > Vancouver (Canada not Washington state). Drive from one to the other along the PCH and visit everything inbetween. We did it a couple of years ago and it is a great roadtrip. Fantastic cities like LA, SanFran, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, incredible scenery and easy detours to Vegas, Napa Valley etc etc .....
 

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I appreciate it's not listed by I've been to DC a couple of times and love it. Plenty to do and see.
Seconded. The Smithsonian museums are amazing - and free!
 

Gollom

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Very well worth a visit. A tip if you go to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. The drive up as you approach the falls is very impressive as it's a protected national park. What ever you do, don't venture inland when you get to the falls as the protected area is quite narrow. If you do venture outside the protected area you will find yourself in "Blackpool" which rather spoils the effect.
The hotel where I stayed (Canadian side). the bellhop showed us to our room. He waited until we were well inside and with a flourish, threw open the curtains to reveal a view right into the "throat" of the falls. Breathtaking! He got a larger tip than normal!
 
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RSTurbo50

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Thanks for all of the replies and taking the time to give feedback. I failed to mention im only going for 5-7 days so in theory I wont be hiring a car. Wherever I end up Ill be staying for that many days and seeing as much of the city as I can. So many options at the minute.....
 

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Thanks for all of the replies and taking the time to give feedback. I failed to mention im only going for 5-7 days so in theory I wont be hiring a car. Wherever I end up Ill be staying for that many days and seeing as much of the city as I can. So many options at the minute.....
In that case, DC would get my vote. Most stuff is pretty central/easy to get to. Just be sure to buy some VERY comfortable walking shoes!
 

st13phil

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In that case, DC would get my vote.
Concur - and the Metro is pretty efficient (and not too scary, either) to get you to the further flung places like Arlington Cemetery.

I'd suggest getting a copy of the Michelin City Guide which is a good way to research places of interest before you go. There are areas to avoid (there’s a 7/11 store near the baseball ground that had an unenviable reputation for the most armed holdups), but in the main I always felt safe walking around there.

One important thing is that the city is set out as four quadrants, with the same street ID's in each (numbered streets run north/south and letter streets run east/west) so it’s essential to know the quadrant too, NW, NE, SE or SW. For example, the intersection of 18th and E St. exists in both NE and NW. You wouldn’t be the first baffled tourist dropped off by taxi in the wrong quadrant...
 

jukie

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I'll add Austin too and the Alamo at San Antonio, where the river walk is also most enjoyable.

No need for me to add to the excellent comments above about DC other than to confirm the metro is fantastic. ☺️
 

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