The United States are not just megalomaniac cities and concrete jungles, which we know from various films… There are also many beautiful national parks, deserts, small cozy villages and much more.
It may seem that America has become our place to be – in two years; we visited it for three times. However, this time was a bit different, we went on a 16-day American road trip: from San Francisco through Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Therefore, if you are one of those who enjoy being behind the wheel and drive on long, straight roads, then our itinerary through western part of North America will be perfect for you.
From national parks and beautiful nature back to »civilization«, into the vast cities of the West. First things first, after the Grand Canyon tour, we drove to Williams, a small town known for the legendary Route 66 – a road that connects the whole America, from Chicago to Los Angeles, with a length of almost 4000 km! However, the new motorway sections are wiping out history, leaving only a few more parts of the original road, which, however, is becoming more and more popular this days. Williams is just one of the cities that has been able to use all of its history very well. Rock’n’roll, old American classic cars, beer and greasy grilled dishes… all these are the things that attract more and more tourists. Just a dozen miles away, in Seligman, we were lucky that »Fun Run« was on the same day of our visit – an event where, hundreds of legendary American cars drive down the Route 66 each year. Just the wet dreams for everyone who love sounds of the engines and smell of the petrol!
After we spent two nights in Las Vegas, we continued our roadtrip across the United States. First we made, one quick turn. We drove to Hoover Dam, a 200-meter high dam that stands on the border between the two states, Nevada and Arizona. For over 100 years, this huge technological creation has attracted thousands, and recently more than a million visitors per year! There are relatively many parking spaces near the dam, but you will have to deduct $ 10 per day for one of those spots. You can save yourself some money and drive up the hill about 100 meters further, where you can park your car for free.
We rented a car for the first time in our travel career. We booked it in advance through the website billiger-mietwagen.de. Special thanks goes to Google translate for the translation from German language, because in other word we very likely would not have a clue what kind of car would we get and even less what insurance is included and many other things. However, let us leave the details for some other time.
We made the first kilometers on the Highway 1, a winding road from San Francisco to Los Angeles right by the sea and offers wonderful views of the cliffs and beaches. We made a detour to Santa Cruz and continue our trip to Bakersfield, where we made our first stop – the city is great spot for driving to Las Vegas through Death Valley.
It is better to sit 15 hours on a plane than 8 hours at work, behind your worktable… do you agree? Well, let us first provide you one quick and useful information for everyone who will soon be heading to the city of North California. From airport in San Francisco, you can take a BART train. For a ticket, you will deduct around $ 10 and after 30 minutes, you will find yourself in the city center. Simple!
Regardless of the first impression, public transport is quite bad, so prepare yourself for a few kilometers climbing in the hills. Almost all streets in San Francisco are hellish, long and almost vertical slopes. Of course, you can overcome those hills with few minutes driving with an attractive cable car, but you will pay $ 7 for a one-way ticket, which is not that cheap.
Every kid who enjoys playing basketball, dreams of becoming one of the greatest players of all time. Everyone wants to be like Jordan, Bryant or LeBron, but only a handful succeeded in stepping on the court of the famous halls and playing in the elite NBA league with the greatest stars of the basketball world. Unfortunately, we did not have this chance and happiness, but we can relive our children’s dreams by watching live matches. Better that than nothing 😛
We watched our first NBA game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where home team Nets played with their neighbors from Boston, with legendary Celtics. A modern, only a few year-old arena, which can accommodate over 18.000 spectators, was filled to the last seat. One of the important information before watching the NBA spectacle is definitely that it is forbidden to bring any camera or DSLR to the arenas, but those rules won’t stop Saša, so she, with a great deal of ingenuity, despite the strict rules brought all of our photo equipment inside. Believe us, without all of these photos, this post would be very boring.
We cannot really get past the capital cities on our travels, so we also succumbed to tradition in United States. We went to Washington, and of course took the opportunity to knock on front doors of the White House to greet president and the first lady. We probably do not need to emphasize that she is a Slovenian 😛
Washington is located about four hours by bus from New York. The return ticket, for which we subtracted $ 40 per person, we booked at company called Megabus. The carrier surprised us with comfortable two-story vehicle, which even has WC and Wi-Fi.
City of all cities, New York! We finally visited gigantic metropolis on the east coast of the United States… We landed at Newark Airport, in neighboring New Jersey. If you are skilled in the use of public transport, you need to take AirTrain to the Manhattan, which leads straight to Penn Station. From here, you can take metro which drive to every part of the city. Traveling with subway is definitely the fastest and by far most convenient mode of transport. One-way ticket costs $ 2,75, but if you are staying here for couple of days, or for a week as we did, we recommend the purchase of an unlimited weekly ticket for $ 33.
To America, second time this year? Why not! At the beginning of the year, we were on divine Cuba, but this time we are returning across the Atlantic slightly more north, to the United States, to a city that never sleeps. Town’s skyscrapers are a perfect scene for thousands of films and TV series… you’ve all certainly heard about four friends in the cult series Sex in the City, or laughing to the tears when you watch lost but ingenious boy in the comedy Home alone. Yeah, we will spend a week in the city of all cities, New York!