Vancouver, Washington is basically a suburb of Portland Oregon. A lot of people live in Vancouver and commute to Portland. (Which can suck because there are only 2 bridges into Portland). It is a very uninteresting town. Very suburban. The houses tend to all look the same, only really have chain restaurants and big box stores and strip malls. They don't have a ot to do because Portland is just across the river. Good thing you are going to Vancouver Canada. Sounds more interesting.
In Seattle I recommend the space needle of course, the sci-fi museum, the rock and roll museum and the butterfly garden.
In Portland, the farmer's markets are awesome and Oregon Pinot Noir is the best in the world.
*sings* "I am slowly going crazy 188.8.131.52.5.6. switch. Slowly crazy am I going 184.108.40.206.2.1. switch"
Sorry, didn't realize. Some old-timers are documenting the changes. Have you seen this or this or this? I am sure you will recognize some of the (lost) old places...
Best hurry, things are changing fast. Let's put it this way, the Bowery is now where it costs a million bucks for an apartment.
The amount of tear-downs and construction and the ever increasing rents has really done a number on the city.
A victim of it's own success I suppose.
We moved up-river 3 years ago, not too far away, so we still come down 3-6 times a year.
Some things are just mind-boggling. We took a walk on the high line (which I recommend) and walked it down to Ganzevoort / Washington st. We were a little stunned to see that area is now pretty much just a generic shopping mall-albeit out of doors. Once one big pride of NYC was the number of independent retailers --now everything is pretty much just a chain. It's really no different from a wealthy area's shoppng plaza as far as businesses go.
I'm definitely not one to lament the loss of the "gritty" NYC of the 70's and early 80s (which REALLY sucked no matter what anyone says), but now the city is close to losing just about everything authentic.
Bleeker street has no remnant of the bohemian past at all. The bars along the way seem no different from manufactured "theme bars" you'd finds in White Plains.
ok Seattle points of interest not to be missed:
1. Ride a ferry - personally I suggest trying to take the passenger ferry over to blake island and see the deer and have some amazing smoked salmon and watch an authentic american indian bake.
2. Spaceneedle - cool - but pricey
3. Pike Place Market - be sure to watch your pockets with this one, but definitely not to be missed. Get some hot fresh mini donuts, fresh roasted nuts, watch some fish fly and and be bombarded with some pretty full fruit, veggie stalls from all over.
4. Underground tour - pioneer square.
5. Seattle Art Museum
6. Woodland Park Zoo
7. If you have the dough for it - take a tour with a sea plane or an argosy cruise. The argosy cruises run about $60 or so.
8. Teatro ZinZani - very good show
9. Visit microsoft (ok i know someone said that was silly - but they have the house of the future, and why not? it's there!)
10. Experience Music Project - if you're into music - you'll not want to miss this
11. Agua Verde & the Paddle Club - imagine, you rent a kayak, you go do a little exploring on lake washington, and then when you're ready for a nibble and a drink you paddle into the restaurant and enjoy it all there!
Note - there is so much more to do here - but I don't know your particular interests. There are some great pubs and eateries - if you're a foodie. If you're an outdoorsy person - there's tons of that, shopping etc.
"You cannot soar with eagles if you surround yourself with turkeys"
Thanks for the suggestions. Definetly writing down some of the stuff that has been mentioned here. We're probably not going to use much time in museums or zoos, but I'm a big fan of architechture - so we'll probably check out the exterior of some of these buildings.
I'm also a big fan of beer, so if you have any recommendations regarding local brews/brewpubs worth checking out, it would be appreciated (we're going to Brooklyn Brewery in NY if it's not fully booked, but unfortunately we can't visit Anchor Brewing Co. in SF because of the tours being on weekdays only).
Vegas is going to be HOTTER than hell anytime between June and October. Just so ya know. Besides all the usual adult entertainment, you should rent a car and drive to Hoover Dam, and go visit Red Rock Canyon towards Pahrump. Death Valley is just a couple hour drive from Vegas.
We're going to be touring in June, so I guess we'll jump between air conditioned zones when in Vegas (which I suspect is half the point of the city's location). We are going to rent a car in SF, driving it to LA, and then dropping it off in Vegas after driving around the area. Red Rock Canyon is on the list for a short tour in some sports cars. We considered visiting Grand Canyon while in the area-ish, but due to the long drive we opted for Zion National Park in Utah, which seemed a bit cool as well.
We considered visiting Grand Canyon while in the area-ish, but due to the long drive we opted for Zion National Park in Utah, which seemed a bit cool as well.
I was at Zion NP just two days ago and have been there several times hiking and backpacking. While at Zion, be sure to hike up to Angel's Landing (if you're not afraid of heights). If you're lucky and know where to find them, you'll see some California Condors — the largest and rarest birds in North America.
Zion Park is very different from the Grand Canyon, but very impressive — especially if you take the time to hike a ways into the back country to gain some altitude and look down into the canyon. The water in the river might be too high in June, but wading up the Virgin River into Zion's Virgin River Narrows is an excellent hike into a deep and narrow slot canyon.
It will be hot in Zion Park during June, though. Not as hot as Las Vegas, but still hot.
Since you'll be driving from Las Vegas to Zion, you'll be passing through St. George, Utah. Just to the northwest of St. George, near a town called Ivins, there's a state park called Snow Canyon. It's a beautiful red rock desert canyon that you can drive through and where many western movies were once filmed. It's well worth the short detour.
I'm also a big fan of beer, so if you have any recommendations regarding local brews/brewpubs worth checking out, it would be appreciated (we're going to Brooklyn Brewery in NY if it's not fully booked, ).
Ah, cool, I used to live not far from there. We used to go to their Friday Night Happy hour--at one time it was child friendly.
IMHO, Brooklyn is by far the best brewer in the city--well, best in the whole region. There are other breweries in the city, (Heartland, Chelsea), but not in the same class.
They don't have food, but you can bring in pizza, etc.
Not far from there is Mug's Ale House, a bar with an outstanding selection.
Also around there is a bar called Spuyten Duyvil, which I haven't been to, but is highly recommended. Their tap selection isn't huge, but the selection quality is very nice.
In Long Island City/ Astoria there is a fairly new beer garden called Studio Square. I have only been here once and was highly impressed. I was there for an afternoon--no clue what the night crowd is like.
It is much more modern and well appointed than http://www.bohemianhall.com/en/Index.php--one of NYC's oldest beer gardens (100 years) and a place I frequented often. It is owned and operated by a Czech/Bohemian benevolent society. We used to send our son here for gymnastics. The beer selection here used to just be Czech and bavarian varieties, but they run quite a few styles these days.
There are plenty of beer bars in Manhattan as well. d.b.a. (in the east village) has a great selection, but gets very, very crowded.
Same goes for Bling Tiger in Greenwich Village.
In the upper east side is David Copperfield's which has 30 taps. I've only been there once.
Funny, nowadays it isn't very hard to find decent beer in the city.
I remember back in the early 90's when there were really only a handfull of places.
but I'm a big fan of architechture - so we'll probably check out the exterior of some of these buildings.
It's a real shame you won't see Yosemite or Lake Tahoe. If all you do is SF and LA, you've missed California, but I understand the constraints of time. In SF check out the Transamerica Building (The big pyramid thing), and go to Alamo Park. Amazing homes surrounding it.