Weekend to spend somewhere in the middle(ish) of USA...where? | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Weekend to spend somewhere in the middle(ish) of USA...where?

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Febs

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Hi all,

In April I'll be heading back to Kansas City, Missouri (right smack bang in the middle of America) for work, and I'll have a weekend to kill.

Ordinarily, I'd be happy to spend it in Kansas City, but I've "been there done that" (last year), and there's only so many baseball games and outlet malls a person can handle. :D

I'd like to fly to a different state and spend 2 days/nights there, just for something a bit different. The thing is...surrounding Missouri are fascinating states like Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Tennessee, and so on... :D Not the most interesting-sounding places.

NY and Las Vegas are out (airfares are too expensive, and I may stop in Vegas on the way home anyway). I could get to LA or SF quite cheaply, but I've been there before, and I'll be doing a US holiday later this year taking in NY, Las Vegas, LA, SF and others. Ideally, I'd like to go somewhere interesting, not too far from Kansas City (MCI), and somewhere that costs under $300AUD in return flights (preferably on American Airlines).

At the moment I'm considering Chicago (around $200AUD) or Detroit (around $300AUD). Or maybe even Dallas. Chicago because it's a big city, and I'm sure there'd be something interesting there. Detroit because I'm a big car nut (and I'm assuming there's a lot of car memorabilia/museums/sights there). Dallas, because I think it'd be a pretty interesting place to be in. :D

I'm going to do a bit of research on each, but if anyone has any recommendations or advice, I'm all ears (FWIW, I'm 23, male, and will be travelling alone :)).

Thanks in advance. :)

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

dajop

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Hi Feb,

Can't say I've been to Kansas City, let alone stuck there for a weekend, but I have on several occassions had to deal with a weekend in St Louis (which actually wasn't too bad the first time when I actually stayed there and went to the Budweiser Brewery, the Arch, , Botanic Gardens and nearby wineries).

But since, I have spent several weekends in Chicago, and would recommend it (it almost felt like home being Melbourne). Great city, good nightlife, some great views (Sears Tower & John Hancock building), fascinating architecture (can even do an "architecture" tour on the El - the elevated railway which is quite interesting), and pleasant walks (or hire a bicycle) along the lake. Museums are quite good, if that's your thing. Also found some great areas to have breakfast and good nightlife.

The only catch I found was the price of accommodation, first times I went there in '03 was quite affordable, but I was back there in Oct, and found that $350 USD/night was bit beyond my budget, so instead picked up a room near the Airport (and 2 mins walk from an El station) for <$100 and commuted using a multi day pass (about 30-40mins from centre). Bit of a pain, but at least made it affordable.
 

Febs

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Thanks for the quick reply. I'm not that big on museums (unless they're of a theme that interests me, such as an automotive museum :D), but it does sound like there'd be enough to keep me busy for two nights.

dajop said:
and found that $350 USD/night was bit beyond my budget
Yes, that is a little excessive! Work will pay for accommodation (they'd be paying for accomm if I'd stayed in KC anyway), but $350USD is a little excessive! Time to do some Googling. :)

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

kelpie

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Another vote for Chicago here. Agree on all points - architecture, nightlife, walks around the city and the lake.

Just a really interesting city, well worth the trip.
 

simongr

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WIth ORD just be careful of weather and the impact on flights.
 

serfty

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... I'm going to do a bit of research on each, but if anyone has any recommendations or advice, I'm all ears (FWIW, I'm 23, male, and will be travelling alone ).
The midwest is your oyster with that profile. :p

Seems like a good chance for a little MR; a YUP return fare from MCI could net quite a few SC's / $ (and catering is complimentary in the First Class cabin).

e.g. Dallas @USD330 return for 120SC's, Chicago @USD515 return earning 120SC's (or USD820 / 240SC's) and Detroit (via ORD) return for USD985 and 240SC's
 

GDSman

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As someone who goes to Dallas regularly I blame JR and the rest of the Ewing clan for creating an expectation that was brutally dashed once I got there....
As an alternative, why not try Nashville. I'm no country music fan but I put away my bias for an excellent weekend there recently - really amazing music scene. Dreadful food though....unless deep-fried everything appeals
 

NM

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Hmm, April is an interesting time and you need to be aware of the weather conditions at various places. I would probably not be heading to Niagara Falls in April, but save that for a warmer time of the year. So unless you like cool/cold, head towards places like Florida, California or Texas.

I recommend something like flying into Fresno (FAT) or even San Jose (SJC) and drive up to Yosemite National Park. The snow melt on the Siera Nevadas will have the falls gushing and the streams flowing. You will only be able to enter from the south or west as the Tioga Pass in the east will be closed. Reasonable accommodation can be found at Oakhurst.

In Taxes, try San Antonio. Or head further east to New Orleans, much of which has well recovered from the flooding last year.

Miami has some interesting things to do, especially around South Beach. Or justy be a big kid for the weekend at Orlando :cool: .

If you don't mind the cooler weather, then DC has some interesting things to do, including the National Air and Space Museum (in the Mall area and near Dulles airport).
 

Flying Fox

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Yes I would probably vote for Washington DC. You can stay at the Capitol Hilton for < $200 AUD/night (book online). Lots of museums to see (all free unlike NY) and the National Air and Space Museum is worth the visit.

There is also lots of sightseeing to do in the area!

Have a great time whatever you chooose.
 

Febs

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serfty said:
Seems like a good chance for a little MR; a YUP return fare from MCI could net quite a few SC's / $ (and catering is complimentary in the First Class cabin).

e.g. Dallas @USD330 return for 120SC's, Chicago @USD515 return earning 120SC's (or USD820 / 240SC's) and Detroit (via ORD) return for USD985 and 240SC's
Would definitely be worth doing if I was just short of a status milestone, but as of today my SC count has been reset, and if my maths is up to scratch, I'll re-qualify for Gold by the end of this trip...meaning a hefty 800 SCs to Platinum.

No, this year I think I'll just hope for the best (another flight like this one ought to do it), and if I don't reach Platinum, be happy with Gold for another year. :)

NM said:
I recommend something like flying into Fresno (FAT) or even San Jose (SJC) and drive up to Yosemite National Park. The snow melt on the Siera Nevadas will have the falls gushing and the streams flowing.
Sound very picturesque, but I'll be spending a night in Yosemite on a holiday in Sept-Oct, so I'd prefer to visit somewhere I won't be visiting then (the same goes for LA, SF, NY, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon etc.. too).

NM said:
Miami has some interesting things to do, especially around South Beach. Or justy be a big kid for the weekend at Orlando.
Orlando..that's one I didn't consider. Will look into it. :)

NM said:
If you don't mind the cooler weather, then DC has some interesting things to do, including the National Air and Space Museum (in the Mall area and near Dulles airport).
Flying Fox said:
Yes I would probably vote for Washington DC. You can stay at the Capitol Hilton for < $200 AUD/night (book online). Lots of museums to see (all free unlike NY) and the National Air and Space Museum is worth the visit.
DC..didn't think of that either - so many choices now! :D

GDSman said:
Dreadful food though....unless deep-fried everything appeals
Sounds like most of America! (It definitely sounds like Kansas City.)

Flying Fox said:
Have a great time whatever you chooose.
Thanks! I'm sure I will. :)
 

NM

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Febs said:
Sound very picturesque, but I'll be spending a night in Yosemite on a holiday in Sept-Oct, so I'd prefer to visit somewhere I won't be visiting then (the same goes for LA, SF, NY, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon etc.. too).
Its a shame it will be September/October. The snow will be long melted and readying for a new layering, resulting in the falls being reduced to a trickle.

This is what Yosemite Falls looks like in May in peak flow.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Nice pic.

If I click on any of the other pics I get the following error message.

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NM

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Nice pic.

If I click on any of the other pics I get the following error message.
The other pics all load ok for me.
 

kamchatsky

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Chicago is thumbs up for me! I lived there for half a year and had to say I enjoyed it, even though it is still cold there right now. It is actually quite beautiful big city with great architecture.

What about Memphis/Nashville combo? U can drive there and visit Elvis!

Another great option is Mount Rushmore in South Datoka (Mount Rushmore National Memorial - Mount Rushmore National Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)) to see the presidents. You need to fly to Rapid City and then hire a car to go there. There are plenty of state parks around there as well in particular:

- the Badlands National Park: Star Wars type rock formations: Badlands National Park - Badlands National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
- Custer State Park: Lot of lovely Buffalos, and other wild animals (and feed them live!) Custer State Park index

Also it is very close to Deadwood where the whole town is very historic
- Historic Deadwood in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Had to say I had a wonderful time touring around South Dakota, when most people would have no idea where South Dakota is. It has quite a lot of hidden treasures, and not many people would have been there. And yes, the hotel is not too expensive over there (Holiday Inn/Express from about 50 bucks upwards).
 
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Febs

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys - definitely gives me something to think about for the next trip.

This time though, I've decided on Mexico City. :D
Flying into Mexico city around midday on the Saturday, leaving around 3pm on the Sunday. Not a whole lot of time, but meh...I'm sure I can make the most of it. :D I'll be meeting up with a colleague so it should be a good weekend.

Ended up costing me around $330AUD all up - $255AUD for the flights from Kansas City to Dallas, $75 in taxes for the Dallas-Mexico City award flights. Accomm/food/etc.. will be paid for (found a W Hotel in an apparently trendy part of Mexico City :)).

Thanks again guys, much appreciated.

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

QF WP

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Well don't forget to tell us how it went.

Here I was all ready to suggest DEN (without checking flight schedules)....:shock:
 

dajop

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys - definitely gives me something to think about for the next trip.

This time though, I've decided on Mexico City. :D
Flying into Mexico city around midday on the Saturday, leaving around 3pm on the Sunday. Not a whole lot of time, but meh...I'm sure I can make the most of it. :D I'll be meeting up with a colleague so it should be a good weekend.
Sorry to drag up an old thread, but Febs, how was your weekend.

I'm in a similar situation, working out what to do with a weekend ex-St Louis, with a few spare DONEX flights, I was thinking either NYC or Montreal (which I have both spent tine in before and loved ) or for something completely different - Mexico City, where I've never been to before [I think I can do this, provided I get back after 18:50 Sunday, so I have <24 hrs in STL]
 

Febs

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Sorry to drag up an old thread, but Febs, how was your weekend.
Whoops!
I wrote up a mini-TR in this thread:
http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/community/trip-reports-and-trip-photos/whirlwind-trip-reports-long-10676.html

(But forgot to update this one!)

Mexico City - ~20 hours
Bit of a crazy one this one. Flew in on a Saturday afternoon (MCI-DFW-MEX), met up with a colleague, took a cab to the Pyramides del Sol at Teotihuacan (an interesting trip itself), climbed to the top, looked around, got hailed on, jumped back in the cab and got back to the hotel (W) at about 6pm. Had a bit of a snooze (in the in-room hammock - very cool touch), then dinner + drinks at the W bar (apparently a popular nightspot for MEX's rich and famous), then hit the local night clubs and got back at about 3am. Up at 8am for a quick look around the city, a tour of the free zoo, then back to the airport for the flight back to DFW (including possibly one of the quickest transits ever - from sitting on the MEX-DFW flight, to the gate awaiting my DFW-MCI flight, in approx 16 minutes), then onto Kansas City. A great trip, and it only cost me ~$220 for the MCI-DFW-MCI flights (DFW-MEX-DFW was 24,000 QFF points...not bad considering it's a $600 fare!)
Cheers,
- Febs.
 
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