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  1. #11

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    There is quite a lot of beautiful scenery between NYC and Buffalo, but there is a pretty good chance that upper New York State will be ass deep in snow in early March. I live just north of NYC and we are in the middle of a snow storm as I write this; this same storm is expected to drop two feet of snow upstate. Buffalo, by the way, is notorious for snow. I used to have a lot of business associates from S'pore;every time one came here in the winter, we had to take him/her out to buy a coat and gloves. That said, snow can be very pretty.

  2. #12

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    Where are you starting? My wife and I followed your route and more this past Sept/Oct so if i know where you will start I can pass on our favorite places and places to avoid.
    Arthur

  3. #13
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    Yeah PeterAM, I heard/read about the weather up there being extremely erratic. But will a simple coat, tee inside, jeans and shoes be enough?

    And FM2N, I'm heading to NY on the 12th, heading to Woodbury first. Then the family will be staying there for a few nights, visiting the Statue of Liberty/Brooklyn Bridge/Topoftherock. Then we will set off for Ithaca/Beach Bear Fall. After one night stay around that area, we're heading up to Niagara Falls and maybe skiing over at Buffalo (Not sure yet).

    Flying down to Vegas for 4 nights! Heading to the Grand Canyon and lots of gambling. (Winnings = New camera?) And flying up to San Fransisco for 2 nights while my brother in law heads to Chicago for his training. Heard Fisherman's Wharf is nice to visit there and Chinatown too?

    Lastly we're going down to Chicago but no plans there yet. Anything fun/interesting over there? The blues scene is quite good over there right?

  4. #14

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    Keep in mind that in March it will be fairly chilly at the Grand Canyon (at least at the top). It's absolutely spectacular.

    "(Winnings = New camera?)" Better buy anything you want before Las Vegas.

    Fisherman's Wharf is very touristy. But then again, lots of SF is. Still a great place to visit.

  5. #15
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    SO many things in San Francisco that are nicer than Fishermans' Wharf. Go there once, take your family photo in front of the sign, then leave. Well, actually, there's an interesting maritime museum in that area if you like such things. But otherwise, avoid it like the plague - it's a giant tourist trap of the worst order. Another fun thing to visit is the Sony Metreon (although I don't know if they still have all the interactive stuff they used to). They have an IMAX theater there, in addition to regular movies, and a nicer than average food court.

    Not sure if Gasser's Camera is still around, but they're worth poking your head in to see. Their prices are usually pretty ridiculous, but they're an old-line camera store that's been around for maybe 60+ years. Ansel Adams used to shop there. Treat it as a museum/pilgrimage, not a shopping opportunity.

    Food-wise - oh my god, where to start? San Francisco has some amazing food, and much of it reasonably priced. Cha Cha Cha is a fun Cuban restaurant - very noisy, but good food, prices are not insane. There's a couple of good Tapas restaurants within a block or two of each other in the Mission district, around 16th and Valencia. Ramblas is nice, and they have Flamenco shows sometimes.

    There are some really great places to eat in the Ferry Building at the foot of Market street. If you're feeling the need to be reminded of home, and not put so much pressure on the budget, there are good cheap Chinese places near the night market in Chinatown, and a terrific bakery with dan ta, pineapple buns, and the fluffy white barbecue pork buns (I forget the name!) for 3 for $4 or 4 for $2 and so on. You can get several meals out of them for two or three people for $10-15.

    Vivande Porta Via is a great little Italian place on Filmore. There's an interesting Pan-asian/Burmese place on Castro Street called Nirvana that's worth checking out. If that's not your speed, in that area there are a number of good little places along Market Street going downhill from Castro. Head out Geary Boulevard into the Richmond district for Russian food - Katia's Russian Tea Room and Cinderella Bakery & Cafe are next door to each other on Balboa.

    For sights to see, I assume you'll have a rental car. Drive out Geary Boulevard all the way to the very end of it. It will start to drop downhill rather steeply, not far past the fire station. You'll see the Pacific (if it's not too foggy). On the right is a parking lot, just before the road takes a sharp downhill left-hand turn past the Cliff House (if you pass Cliff House, you've gone too far). Park in the parking lot, and you can walk down to the ruins of the Sutro Baths. There's a trail leading along the clifftops from that parking lot that takes you through some beautiful scenery, and brings you out after a mile or two to a viewpoint of the Golden Gate Bridge.

    For another interesting view, drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and get off the first exit (I think it's marked Alexander Avenue). Go back under the highway and take Conzelman road up the hill which will give you an incredible view back over the Bridge toward the city. There are WW II vintage fortifications in the hilltops you can explore. Take a drive down Route 1 along the coast, all the way past Half Moon Bay to San Gregorio Beach. Get out and walk around for a bit, then turn left and take Route 84 up to La Honda, and keep going up over the mountains past Alice's Restaurant, then down the other side into Woodside and Palo Alto. You can get 280 back up to San Francisco to finish off the day. It's a gorgeous trek through coastal scenery, redwood forests, and mountains. Possible but not likely are sightings of deer, vultures and other birds of prey, and while almost impossible to spot given the time constraints, mountain lions are known to roam the forests.

  6. #16
    Rick A's Avatar
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    How about a day trip(or two day) up the Hudson to check out all the historic Revolutionary War areas. The east side of the Adirondac Mountains, Ausable Gorge (incredible photo op)if the ferrys are running, cross Lake Champlain to Burlington Vermont, then head west to Buffalo from there. While in Vermont, run to Ben and Jerrys for some ice cream. Its pretty easy to connect to the N.Y.Thruway from Albany. Hows that for family things to see and do.

    Rick

  7. #17

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    West Point Military Academy is also an interesting visit.

  8. #18
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    That's a lot to absorb..

    My family isn't the 'museum' kind. More to the 'food & experience' kind. So I doubt I'll be heading to the Maritime Museum nor the West Point Military Academy.. But food wise in SF there's a lot so it's good! Isn't the food at Fisherman's Wharf good? Also Market street sounds excellent! I'm sure my parents will miss food from home..

    Also, we don't have time to head to Hudson so I'm sorry. And renting a car in SF might be viable but I don't know whether they family will like it cause we're staying for 2 nights and time might be too tight. Anyhow, I'll suggest to them..

    Are there any shows/events to catch in Vegas? Or when I reach, I'll just be swamped? Haha.

    Thanks for the help guys! It's really helping out A LOT!

  9. #19
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    A lot of the food on Fisherman's Wharf is touristy, a step above fast food. I think there are one or two good seafood places, but being allergic to shellfish, I never tried them. You can get around in SF on public transportation pretty easily, but taxis are expensive. If you want to try and do anything other than ride the cable cars and shop at Union Square, you should get a rental car so you can have more control over your schedule. Two other very touristy things to do that are worthwhile are the Gray Line whole city tour (they load you on a big bus and drive you around for a half a day... it's good because it gives you an overview of the city, its geography, and history) and the boat trip to Alcatraz. If you think you want to do the Alcatraz tour, go online and book now, because the trips are often booked up sometimes two to three weeks in advance.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    check out Red Rock Canyon, and perhaps Zion, if you can make it that far from Vegas (maybe 150 miles or thereabout)!
    I'll second these recommendations. Zion is such a beautiful place.
    www.thephotoshop.ie
    www.monochromemeath.com

    "you get your mouth off of my finger" Les McLean

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