In the US of A, the cheapest, and probably most enjoyable, form of travel is
by road. Renting a car for that is the most common practice. However, we took
our own car, a Honda Accord EX-V6 , whenever we could.
Some of the places we visited in the US are...
Who needs Online Casinos? Las Vegas, the real Sin City, is located in Nevada.
About 10 hrs drive from the Bay Area, it's the city that never sleeps.
Sitting in the middle of Nevada Deserts, it attracts people (along with their
dollars) from all over US for its Shows, Rides, Entertainment and of-course,
Gambling. Major attractions are the Casinos, cheap hotel rooms, delicious
buffets and free shows. Don't miss the Bellagio Fountains, Conservatory at
Bellagio, Free Circus Show at CIRCUS CIRCUS, Sirens of TI at Treasure Island,
Free show at Ceaser's Palace and Gondola Ride at Venice. If you are visiting
on Christmas or New Years, make sure to reserve show tickets beforehand
before reaching Vegas. Parking can be painful on thosetimes too.
This is a huge mountain lake at the foothills of Sierra Nevada mountain
range, and at the border of California and Nevada. About three and Half hours
of drive from home, it's a major tourist spot for North Californians, for
hiking and watersports in the summer, and ski-ing and snowboarding in the
East of Yosemite National park, in the deserts of Nevada, sits Mono Lake. The
only outlet of water from Mono lake is evaporation, making the water
extremely salty, and almost lifeless. From Yosemite, a tremendously scenic
drive through Tioga Pass and INYO National Forest take you to Mono Lake, and
the Tufa formations in the middle of the lake. You must not miss the sunrise
at Mono Lake.
Lake Shasta is one of the man-made lakes. Building Shasta Dam created this
lake, spreading it's arms in the mountains at northern boarder of California.
We didn't find the lake to be as beautiful as Lake Tahoe or Crater Lake. But
the Caverns at Lake Shasta were interesting. Also, Lassen Volcanic park at
the east of Lake Shasta was nice. About an hour north of Lake Shasta is Mount
Shasta, a must visit. In the Winter, roads might be closed due to snow.
Yosemite National Park
One of the oldest National Parks in US, it is located on the eastern border
of California and Nevada. Lush green forests on Sierra Nevada, and gigantic
waterfalls make this one of the most visited tourist places in Northern
California. A must thing to do in Yosemite is camping overnight next to
Merced river deep into the valley.
Further north from Lake Shasta, into the greens of Oregon,is Crater Lake. One
of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, Crater Lake is breathtakingly
blue. If you are fit enough, you can hike down the crater to the waterfront.
Nearby city MedFord has a nice Indian restaurant run by an American lady and
her Indian husband.
LA, the ever bustling city of glitter, is the home to HollywooThe prime
attractions we visited are Universal Studios and Disneyland. For adults,
Universal Studios is better than Disneyland. But if you have kids in your
team, Disneyland is a must go. Also, Hollywood Blvd. and Walk of Fame are
must goes for a first time visitor.
One of the National Parks in US, Death Valley was first discovered by a bunch
of fortune seekers on their way to California in the days of Gold Rush. It
rains about 1.9" on average every year, and it rained 1" on the day we went
to visit it (call it luck!!). Small Canyons and Sand Dunes are the major
attractions of Death Valley. Also, do not miss visiting BadWater, the lowest
point on western hemisphere (298 ft. below sea level).
About four hours drive from Sunnyvale through the coast hugging scenic
Highway 1, near the city of San Simeon, is Hearst Castle. From bottom of the
hills, it looked like one of thosefairy tale castles. A bus ride takes you
through the estate to the entrance of the Castle, where a guide will take you
through the luxorious rooms, gigantic swimming pools and huge dinner setups
while telling you the saga of how Hearst built his dream castle. Do not miss
the introductory movie at the bottom of the hill before boarding the bus for
the tour. We found the Castle worth the visit, but nothing extremely
spectacular, specially compared to the drive through Highway 1 to the
castle.A significant part of the awe-inspiring elements of the castle are
actually bought from the 'Garage Sales' of European Castles.