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    Chapman Ave sign, Orange, CA
    by marinarena
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    Ronald Reagan Park, Anaheim, California
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Most Viewed Favorites in North America

  • Orchid's Profile Photo

    The search for decent coffee.....

    by Orchid Updated May 25, 2014

    Favorite thing: Definitely NOT a favourite thing .......

    North Americans seem congenitally unable to make a decent cup of coffee. The United States is the team leader in this regard, though Canadians are also amongst the caffeine challenged.

    It is a mystery to me why this is the case - after all, the if US could put a man on the moon, and given that the 'cup of joe' is a ubiquitous element of American popular culture, you would think that an acceptable latte, cappuccino or long black would not be beyond the capability of the leaders of the Free World! Then I remembered that Americans think Starbucks makes coffee. Even if the beans smell good, the staff seem to be adept at excluding any flavour from their product.

    Anyhow, on our 2013 trip to Canada and US, I found the coffee weak, over-milky, even if the purveyors had real authentic espresso machines. I found two acceptable coffees in 3 weeks, one at 'Aroma' in Toronto, and another at Kaffee-Klatch at LAX (in the case of the latter I may have been affected by jetlag, United Airlines 'service' or withdrawal symptoms).

    Fondest memory: Nevertheless, hope is at hand for Australians (and any other civilised persons) in the form of the beanhunter app (for Apple and Android, but no Windows phones) will point you to coffee shops based on reviews of actual Australians!

    Searching for your daily dose of caffeine will no longer be a case of hope against experience!

    Nice cafe, shame about the coffee
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Answer to Forum Question - May, 2012

    by riorich55 Written May 19, 2012

    Favorite thing: I've been to New Orleans several times for conventions and business trips with the last time back in 2009 and have never encountered any problems in the areas you mentioned. There are plenty of tourist and business people in the main areas and as long as you don't venture too far from the main stream you will be fine.

    I am not familiar enough with the Superdome area only having passed by it on the Interstate, but I don't believe there is much else around there and it is not far from some less then savory areas from what I remember. But again, you say you will be there in the afternoon so you should be fine.

    With 3 teenage daughters I would steer clear of the Bourbon Street area of the French Quarter, but you can walk along other streets to get a flavor of the area. If you drive to that area there is public parking that is well marked near the river that I have used several times. Stop by for lunch in the French Quarter and have a Shrimp Po Boy or Mufalatta Sandwich for your New Orleans experience.

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  • rkearns's Profile Photo

    tipping in the states

    by rkearns Written Aug 16, 2011

    Favorite thing: if a cab fare is $35, i would tip $6-7
    no over-the-counter tipping necessary but as stated above, they may have a jar at the counter. don't feel like you have to tip. this jar is usually at coffee shops, sandwich shops, places that sell burritos, etc.
    in bars, $1 per drink is the least you can give
    at restaurants, just double the tax and add a few bucks. (make it at LEAST 20%)
    for a $65 haircut, tip $10

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  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Wonderful Memories of My Stay

    by hunterV Updated Feb 5, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: It was great to be invited to dinner at a Mexican restaurant;
    - to go to the Dome Theater in Chicago;
    - to go shopping in Michigan Avenue in Chicago;
    - to travel by the Metrorail System in Washington D.C.;
    - to walk along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. ;
    - to have dinner at a Ponderossa.

    Fondest memory: - Stay at my first hotel in the United States:
    "The Governor's House" in Rhode Island Avenue, Washington D.C.;
    - staying with my host family in Green Bay, WI, for a month.

    Greetings from Milwaukee! Greetings from Chicago! Greetings from De Pere, WI! Greetings from Washington D.C.! Greetings from NDA, Green Bay, WI!
    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Budget Travel

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  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Time to Pay a Visit

    by hunterV Updated Feb 5, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: It was great we could allow some time to visit Chicago, Milwaukee and Green Bay, WI, during our stay there.

    Fondest memory: - dining at a Mexican restaurant,
    - a month's stay in my host family in Green Bay, WI,
    - meeting American students and colleagues,
    - visiting the main sites of several towns and cities.

    De Pere, WI, St.Norbert College campus Our group at Meeting teachers and students in Green Bay, WI We enjoyed our White House tour! The houses and lawns are superb!
    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Study Abroad

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  • prepaid SIM card for USA + Canada

    by kelhan Updated Nov 1, 2010

    Favorite thing: We're travelling from Aus for 5 weeks in Nth America and don't want a global roaming bill
    I've done a bit of research and found what i think is the best value option
    a pre-paid simcard which can be used in USA + Canada, the ekit USA SIM card

    they can be between $30-$60 online at various place, but found a guy on an aussie frequent flyers forum who works for ekit and said the company also sells the cards on ebay...cheaper

    have just purchased and will report back on our return so others looking for similar might be more informed

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • rkearns's Profile Photo

    tipping in america

    by rkearns Updated Sep 18, 2010

    Favorite thing: you DO NOT have to tip when you get a coffee poured or a burrito made. i'm american, so i'm not being racist, but it seems that because of the low wages, people expect a tip for doing their normal job! it's insane! i ALWAYS tip bartenders a dollar per drink. with meals, i tip over 20%.. it's easy to do. all you have to do is double the tax and add a few dollars.

    i rarely tip at a deli or anywhere that serves take out unless i really liked the person at the counter. IT'S THEIR JOB. see, i have very strong opinions about this. cab drivers, i give them a few dollars if it's a ten dollar ride.

    other than that, no one EXPECTS tips. it's nice for people who work at coffee shops and deli's and that sort of thing cause they're probably getting paid minimum wage. but it's never expected, unless at a sit-down restaurant or at a bar. the bartender will think you are a total douche if you don't tip but like i said, a dollar per drink is plenty.

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  • cochinjew's Profile Photo

    Car Rental in the USA

    by cochinjew Written Feb 1, 2009

    Favorite thing: Because you are coming from a foreign country, and using a foreign licence or an international licence, they might insist on Daily Insurance etc which tends to add to the total. Weekly rentals tend to be cheaper than daily rentals. look into your credit cards covering insurance on car rentals in the USA. Cars have to be brought back to the original sites of rental, since many of the agencies are not branches but independently owned. there will be a charge if you wish to leave cars in another destination than the one rented.
    AVIS is the company I rent from and I cannot tell you how friendly and helpful they are when you have problems (such as vandals breaking into the Car in Nebraska, a pheasant hitting the rear view mirror in South Dakota, a deer bumping into the passenger seat and destroying it etc..). I will not be renting from cheaper companies or local companies rather than a national company. I will not rent from Enterprise for example. AVIS has given me over the many times EXCELLENT service. I have made sure that the credit card company would cover some of the expenses if there is a claim. By the way, you have to have a credit card, and they charge your credit card for the full length of your rental, so that that amount is not available as part of your total credit in the card. then when you return it, the actual amount is charged to the card and the original lien lifted. unless you can get navigational aides such as GPS for a reasonable price, it might be even cheaper to buy a GPS for about 99 usd which you can use throughout your stay in USA and Canada. when you return the car always bring it back FULL and dont buy Petrol before hand. All the Best.

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  • travel packages

    by beebay Written Sep 29, 2008

    Favorite thing: Hey Johnny,

    I went to London last summer and traveled with the travel company Contiki which targets 18-35 year olds. It was a really great experience and I'm so happy I decided to go with them because you travel with a group of people and make so many friends. They have trips throughout the United States too which tend to hit all the hot spots like the one you mentioned. If I were you I'd check them out, you get to see more than you would if you were just going on your own and prices are pretty good.


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  • travel packages

    by beebay Written Sep 29, 2008

    Favorite thing: Hey Johnny,

    I went to London last summer and traveled with the travel company Contiki which targets 18-35 year olds. It was a really great experience and I'm so happy I decided to go with them because you travel with a group of people and make so many friends. They have trips throughout the United States too which tend to hit all the hot spots like the one you mentioned. If I were you I'd check them out, you get to see more than you would if you were just going on your own and prices are pretty good.


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  • Richmond's Profile Photo

    leave your preconceptions...

    by Richmond Updated Aug 20, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: leave your preconceptions behind

    Fondest memory: realizing that freedom is a state of mind - - -The Cadillac Ranch is situated west of Amarillo along I-40 and may be difficult to find since there are no signs indicating its location. I visited it in January and the mud was so thick and sticky that it made your
    feet feel like lead weights! Its removal required a knife of sharp stick.

    Quoting from Route 66 - A Guidebook to the Mother Road by Bob Moore & Patrick Grauwels '... make the pilgrimage to the Cadillac Ranch constructed in 1974 by the billionaire Stanley Marsh 3 in homage to the
    American route. A group of architectural designers from San Francisco planted ten Cadillac's (models
    dating from 1948 to 1964) in the ground at the same angle as the Great Pyramid. They are regularly re-sprayed and their bodywork is left to the imagination (or the desire to leave their mark) of all those who stop and cross the field to admire this masterpiece. Possibly (but to each his own) the most
    appealing place on the route.'

    Unfortunately it was evident that some visitors felt free to remove souvenirs - there are always some who can not just simply appreciate the creation.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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  • acemj's Profile Photo


    by acemj Updated Jun 4, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: There are many, many beautiful, historic lighthouses throughout North America. I've seen many of them in the US, but I'd love to explore many more, especially the ones up in Nova Scotia. This one is in northern Minnesota.

    Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior

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  • mafootje's Profile Photo

    The view is free

    by mafootje Written Dec 28, 2004

    Favorite thing: Flying over the means the vacation has really started. The views from the airplane are worth a lot...

    Fondest memory: Having clear skies and see New York / New Jersey when flying to the Newark airport...

    Picture taken december 3, 2004

    Skyline of New York / New Jersey
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

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  • 100ACRE's Profile Photo

    Favorite Internet Travel Advice, Tips, and Reviews

    by 100ACRE Updated Oct 24, 2004

    Favorite thing: Hi there !

    Want to plan a trip like a Pro and save money?! Be sure to check out my "Before You Go..." travelogue. Just click here for: My List of Favorite Online Travel Resources. You will find a cheap deal & bargain to HERE or ANYWHERE in the world.

    Please "Leave A Comment" to let me know if I helped you out. Thanks!


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  • 100ACRE's Profile Photo

    Comparison Shopping with Online Discounters

    by 100ACRE Updated Oct 16, 2004

    Favorite thing: More and more you can get some fantastic deals for rooms on the Web, but you have to be careful or else you could find yourself out of a lot of money with little recourse.


    The Problem: Receiving a refund can be difficult. The deeper discount you get, the harder it is to get a refund.

    The Solution: Keep printouts of the confirmation number and all transactions, as well as familiarize themselves with the refund policies of the agency and hotel where you reserve. spokeman, Dunstan Ireland, says that travelers concerned about recouping their money should consider travel insurance. "It's important to be aware of the circumstances under which the insurance company will help you get a refund," he said. "But if you qualify, they will save you from a major headache."


    The Problem: The amenities of the room you booked online, and the hotel itself, are substandard.

    The Solution: If you don't like the room you're assigned, request another one. Pronto. And it never hurts to have a backup hotel in mind, particularly for long trips.

    Also, the rating systems used by most of the online agencies can be helpful. Travelocity uses AAA ratings and in-house inspectors for some properties.

    Secondary sources are usually more objective. Start with guidebooks; the AAA and Mobil guides, which inspect many properties and rate them, are good resources. Fodor's, Frommer's and Lonely Planet often have reliable hotel reviews, too. Check Web sites such as and, which offer independent reviews by former guests.


    The Problem: After booking, customers sometimes find they could have snagged a cheaper room at the same property from another Web site or directly from the hotel.

    The Solution: Always comparison shop before booking. Check directly with the hotel and ask for specials or the cheapest available room. If the hotel is a chain, use both its toll-free number and Web site.

    Fondest memory: Got chutzpah? Connect with a hotel manager or other person of authority and bargain. The site, in which travelers say how much they paid for rooms on Priceline, offers a rough guide of how low a hotel might go.

    List of Travel Discounters ...

    Service desk: 800-219-4606 (8 a.m.-1 a.m. daily),
    800-364-0291 (1 a.m.-8 a.m. daily)
    Mailing address: 10440 N. Central Expressway
    Suite 400, Dallas, Tex. 75231

    Service desk: 888-656-4546 (24/7)
    Mailing address: N/A

    Service desk: 866-437-8131 (24/7{rcub}
    Mailing address: N/A

    Service desk: 800-789-9887 (Monday-Friday 9 a.m-
    8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.)
    Mailing address: 381 Park Ave. S.
    New York, N.Y. 10016

    Service desk: 866-224-9765 (24/7)
    Mailing address: WorldRes Inc.
    1510 Fashion Island Blvd., Suite 100
    San Mateo, Calif. 94404

    Service desk: 888-563-4464 (daily 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m.)
    Mailing address: 4805 N. 30th St., Suite 103
    Colorado Springs, Colo. 80919

    HOTEL CHAINS: For links to the major chains, check, an online directory of hotel and other travel-related Web sites.

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