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03-13-2014, 07:37 AM   #1
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First time USA - any tips?

Hi Everybody,

i will visit the western USA (Starting LA - Sedona - Grand Canyon - Lake Powell - Bryce Canyon - Las Vegas - Death Valley - Sequoia - Yosemite - San Francisco - Highway 1 - LA) in April and would love some tips where to go and where not to go.
We will stay about two nights at each place. Good to get an impression, but not enough time to learn the place for good spots.
This is my first time traveling with my own lovely camera. So i donīt want to take only snapshots (of course there will be more than enough of them) anymore.

Every help is very much appreciated. Perhaps someone wants to meet some new german pentaxian and show me his/her favourite place.

Greeting from Germany

Arne

03-13-2014, 08:10 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Arne you are visiting some great places. Great photo ops will almost hit you in the head. There are many good guide books to your sites (with more info than web sites). You are going to have a great trip.
03-13-2014, 08:24 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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Check the National Parks (you've already have a few). If you're into Mountains and Canyons, you're in for a treat this area is beautiful I did two photo trips in that area.
First trip was: Death Valley, Yosemite, King's Valley, Lake Tahoe, Sequoia and the general area.
Second trip was: Bryce, Grand Canyon, Zion (you have to go to Zion), Arches (very nice too).
I'm planning a third one in the southwest this fall to try and see whatever I have missed.

By the way, get a National Park Annual Pass (~$80) this will give you access to ALL national parks. It is worth it if you're planning on visiting more than 2 or 3.
03-13-2014, 08:37 AM - 1 Like   #4
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When are you going and how much time do you have? I live a bit north of San Francisco and if the timing was right could show you around San Francisco a bit.

03-13-2014, 08:39 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Two nights each stop probably not enough! but depends on how deep you want to enjoy each place.

In recent trip we spent 5 days in Death Valley and .... is not enough (we like to do hikes)! here is our trip: Collection: Trip to West | 2013.
For us Vegas is not really attractive (didn't even go to the strip!) even this is our first time there... Valley of Fire and Red Rocks Canyon are two nearby LV places that are really worth visiting.

here is a good info about hiking around Las Vegas: Bird and Hike . com
(I would advise to save the hike you want to do in PDF and put in your smart phone, many lesser known hike are not easy to find, and not everyone heard about them)

If you are into starwars.... check out their shooting locations in DV (star trek as well, in the area).
If you are into UFOs, check out the Extraterrestrial Hwy and the black mailbox (the road trip in the movie "Paul")... and.... Area 51!.
If you are into ghost cities/wacky stuff, plenty to explore in that area (crappy Flintstones park?).
If you are into road trip.... you can plan your trip around remaining portions of Route 66, and see those road trip stuff like neon lights, motel...
03-13-2014, 08:45 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Arne,

As an American who has many times enjoyed the hospitality of HH--a terrific city--I hope you have as splendid a time travelling in the US as I have in Hamburg. I can't think of a more beautiful place anywhere in the world than the Big Sur country (much photographed by Edward and Brett Weston among other people.)

---------- Post added 03-13-14 at 12:20 PM ----------


---------- Post added 03-13-14 at 12:21 PM ----------

Ich wunsche Ihnen viel Spass und eine gute Reise!

Last edited by jva59; 03-13-2014 at 09:21 AM.
03-13-2014, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #7
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That is a beautiful area for your first trip. I doubt you will lack for photo ops. The Vegas strip and downtown in the evening are always fun to shoot because of all the neon.

Do be very careful regarding your personal hydration; drink plenty of water. The lack of humidity can fool you and you can get into trouble quickly.
03-13-2014, 12:19 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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Hwy 1 all the way from SF to LA - no 101. Between Carmel and San Louis Obispo is the best stretch. Pigeon Point lighthouse is nice (check limited opening hours online beforehand). Monterey is nice and aquarium is famous (but Long Beach aquarium is even better). Carmel has nice art and photo galleries. Carmel and Santa Barbara have missions. Point Lobos is picturesque (near Carmel). Go to Hearst Castle (choose 2 of the tours). A beach in the area has tons of sea lions. Captain Nitt Witt's stone house in Cambria. Madonna Inn near SLO (even if you don't stay there).

In LA visit Griffith Observatory and the Getty Museum (partly for their locations). Visit the Annenberg Space for Photography. The beaches are nice north of Santa Monica and South of Costa Mesa. Take hwy 1 from Newport Beach to San Clemente, and then from Oceanside to San Diego. Visit the SD zoo and possibly the "evil" Sea World. I can show you parts of So. Cal. If the timing is right.

I prefer the much less crowded North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and the road into there to/from Las Vegas is the best part - especially if there's a summer storm. One of my favorite stretches in the country.


Last edited by DSims; 03-13-2014 at 12:27 PM.
03-13-2014, 01:05 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and the road into there to/from Las Vegas is the best part
+1 ... I mean +100
03-13-2014, 02:07 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the tips. What a helpful community.
Now i have to check what we can reach within our tour. Iīm very thankful for the tips for Las Vegas and its surroundings.

QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
When are you going and how much time do you have? I live a bit north of San Francisco and if the timing was right could show you around San Francisco a bit.
We will stay 3 nights in San Francisco from the 26th to the 29th of april. Would be nice to meet some fellow Pentaxians.
03-13-2014, 02:20 PM   #11
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Downtown Los Angeles has a variety of interesting architecture from a range of periods, though not quite as broad a range as European cities. On the north-west edge of downtown is Union Station (our train station featured in so many Hollywood films) with plenty of unique scenes. Olvera Street is across Alameda Street from Union Station and offers an all-out assault of imagery and color in a gauntlet of shops surrounding the original Pueblo of Los Angeles. China Town is only a few blocks from there. Here, imagery is more "authentic", since these are normal business that just happen to be all owned and operated by Asian families who have brought their traditions and comfort to Los Angeles. Griffith Park has the Observatory with recently restored architecture and its idillic setting with amazing views overlooking Hollywood. The Hollywood sign is near the observatory. Griffith park is also home to the Los Angeles Zoo and the Gene Autry Museum of the West (cowboys and indians stuff). Hiking trails in Griffith Park lead to the old, abandoned zoo. Eerie empty cages and enclosures, all alone in the wilderness. The Bat-Cave from the original BatMan television series with Adam West & Bruce Ward is back in that area too. The Bronson gate of Paramount Pictures (on Melrose ave at Bronson) is one of those Hollywood scenes that not everyone knows about. My favorite tiny gem next to downtown is Echo Park. Completely refurbished only a year ago, this is a tropical paradise with a view of the downtown skyline through the palm trees. At sunrise, the sun silhouettes, then illuminates this skyline for you. Anywhere in Los Angeles on a sunny day you are likely to encounter a Hollywood film crew going about their business. You will know a film crew by the row of amazingly clean, brand-new, all-white trucks parked along the street. They are used to nosey tourists. The Hollywood "Walk of Fame" is where the stars are in the sidewalk. Just a few highlights of my neighborhood.

Last edited by AquaDome; 03-13-2014 at 02:22 PM. Reason: correct typo
03-13-2014, 03:45 PM   #12
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The Palm Springs Photo Festival is probably my favorite event of the year. It's worth it just for the evening presentations where two great photographers show and explain I their work. It's April 27-May 2 (the last evening is May 1). THE PALM SPRINGS PHOTO FESTIVAL: CONNECT 2014

The Annenberg Space for Photography will be open when you arrive in LA, but closed when you get back (to set up their next exhibit). They're finishing what I believe is their longest running exhibit so far, featuring National Geographic photographers. The Thursday night lectures feature a great photographer - if you're here on a Thursday and need any free tickets let me know - they normally sell out within a minute of release.

The exhibit takes about 2 hours, so it doesn't have to consume your whole day.

Exhibition | AnnenbergSpaceForPhotography.org
03-25-2014, 09:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arne Bo Quote
Hi Everybody,

i will visit the western USA (Starting LA - Sedona - Grand Canyon - Lake Powell - Bryce Canyon - Las Vegas - Death Valley - Sequoia - Yosemite - San Francisco - Highway 1 - LA) in April and would love some tips where to go and where not to go.
We will stay about two nights at each place. Good to get an impression, but not enough time to learn the place for good spots.
This is my first time traveling with my own lovely camera. So i donīt want to take only snapshots (of course there will be more than enough of them) anymore.

Every help is very much appreciated. Perhaps someone wants to meet some new german pentaxian and show me his/her favourite place.

Greeting from Germany

Arne
Sausalito - just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, see the houseboats and/or take the Wooden Boat Tour. Fort Baker - beautiful views of GG Bridge and San Francisco.
03-25-2014, 12:21 PM   #14
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A few miles south of Big Sur on the Cailfornia coast is Julia Pfeiffer State Park - with a waterfall onto the beach.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP

Death Valley is a large place so I would say Badwater, Dante's View for the mountaintop view, and Zabriskie Point. Shoshone is an interestling little town to the southeast.

In San Francisco is Sutro Baths on the cliff at the west side, the Legion of Honor (inside and out) and the Palace of Fine Arts. Parking at Coit Tower is a mess but the view is nice.

Valley of Fire about 1 hour north of Las Vegas or Red Rock Canyon about 30 minutes west of Las Vegas. Bring water :-)
03-26-2014, 09:44 PM   #15
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Your trip will take you quite close to Pipe Springs National Monument; I recommend that if at all possible you take the short detour and visit it. It's a small National Park Service site, but IMO well worth an hour or two. And when you get home you will be one of a very small percentage of European visitors to have visited this site.
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