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shineysideup 04-27-2013 07:45 AM

Top ten things to see in the U.S.A. west of Memphis?
If anyone has suggestions for unforgettable places or things to do, I'm all ears!:thumbsup:

I should add that I have a 10 year old daughter, an 8 year old son and a lovely wife.:). We took our kids to the museum of play in Rochester last year and they still talk about it, as much as Disney!


KyDan 04-27-2013 08:00 AM

I still remember my first visit -as a youngster- to the
Shedd Aquarium,
The Museum of Science and Industry and the
Field Museum of Natural History.
The view off the top of the Sears tower ain't bad either ;)
Oh, yeah, these are all in Chicago on Lakeshore drive.

OldCoot 04-27-2013 08:24 AM

Branson, MO has to be on the top 10, the whole area is strictly family oriented and Silver Dollar City is a blast for all ages as is Shepard of the Hills. If you go to Silver Dollar City, make sure you take the cave tour and eat in the Old Silver Mine, the kids will have a blast panning for silver (really solder) but they really have fun eating off old tin pie pans and drinking out of fruit jars.

Dovetail 04-27-2013 08:25 AM

Ride up into the Arch in St Louis, take in a ball game there.
Pick a National Park, Grand Canyon a sure bet.

dwaynerz 04-27-2013 08:32 AM

any of the floatable rivers in mo (black, jacks fork, current river, meremac) are generally family freindly during the week and less crowded too. on the weekends, the young beer drinkers come out to play. missouri is beginning to clamp down on some of it as i witnessed last year when a group of young folks were caught with their beer and weed. sucked to be them.

as mentioned, branson and silver dollar city are very family freindly.

Poppy94 04-27-2013 08:56 AM

caverns, whether mammoth cave or carlsbad caverns or any others. that's a trip. the kids will love it. my kids are 18 & 23 and they still talk about the carlsbad trip we took when they were younger. probably because once at the bottom, the lights were shut off! that brings a whole new meaning to the term "pitch black". some folks screamed, most kids grabbed their parents' hands, some giggled. but the mind did wonder. yeah, i'll admit i know enough about electrical breakers to be dangerous, but sometimes they don't reset....i just prayed that they would so i wouldn't have to sit at the bottom in the dark!;)

Twisty 04-27-2013 10:02 AM

Pendleton Roundup
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Crater Lake
Oregon Coast
Wallowa Lake
Historic trains in Colorado
Mt St Helens
Steens Mountain
Grand Tetons
The Great Plains
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum
You can't see it all in one lifetime.

Dennis and Julie 04-27-2013 10:58 AM

Mt Rushmore and surrounding area plenty to do for everyone and if your feel adventurous come north to Medora ND for the musical.

OldCoot 04-27-2013 11:03 AM


Originally Posted by Dennis and Julie (Post 361694)
Mt Rushmore and surrounding area plenty to do for everyone and if your feel adventurous come north to Medora ND for the musical.

Don't forget Lake Tahoe!

raytronx 04-27-2013 11:43 AM

Black Hills area in South Dakota is stuff full of things to see and do, just avoid it during the Sturgis Bike rally time, unless your into motorcycles.

bikendan 04-27-2013 02:52 PM

Yellowstone NP, Yosemite NP , Sequoia NP, Crater Lake NP, Grand Canyon NP are some i have been to and recommend for anyone.

whj77372 04-29-2013 11:45 AM

IMHO, Yellowstone NP is a must see, the others above would be on my short list, but there is nothing like Yellowstone. Have a good trip.

bakken 04-29-2013 11:51 AM

"west of Memphis" covers a pretty big area.
Do you mean everything west of there, or do you have a distance in mind?

Oakman 04-29-2013 12:04 PM

Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, Grand Canyon NP, Sequoia NP, Pikes Peak in CO, Arches NP, Glacier NP, Olympic NP, Monument Valley in the Navajo Indian Reservation, Rocky Mountain NP in that order.

shineysideup 04-29-2013 06:25 PM


Originally Posted by bakken (Post 363332)
"west of Memphis" covers a pretty big area.
Do you mean everything west of there, or do you have a distance in mind?

West to California (San Fran area) and then north on the west coast as far as Seattle?. Staying state side, back to eastern Ontario.:). I estimate approx. 6-7000 miles total...

shineysideup 04-29-2013 06:29 PM

Thanks for all the great ideas everyone. I think I may have to whittle my stops down, 35 days isn't enough!:crying:

If it's anything like our previous trips, the first time you go somewhere is to figure out what you want to see when you return!:trink39:

coupevillefish 04-29-2013 07:24 PM

If you have time, take 101/1 up the Oregon coast. Lots of things to see and do - Newport Aquarium, Dunes, beaches, lighthouses, Tillamook Cheese Factory tour (and ice cream), Tillamook museum (well worth a couple of hours), Astoria tower, and lots more.

If you continue north, some potential WA stops have already been mentioned but Olympic NP, Hoh Rain Forest, Hurricane Ridge, Pt Townsend, Whibey Island and Coupeville are other great options.

Bodean614 04-29-2013 07:36 PM

I was a spoiled kid and traveled the country a lot. I will say some of my most unforgettable places.
Mt. Rushmore. Washington DC. The redwoods.
New Orleans. Grand Canyon. And Yosemite. 40 yrs later and I still think of them often. Lotsa miles in the back dash of a Oldsmobile. Lol.

YoungKopernik 04-30-2013 08:31 AM

can't stop at ten, sorry, enjoy
You probably couldn’t go 200ml without being awe struck and creating memories for life.
I have an 8 and 10 year old and we do a big trip every year stopping as many places as we can. We try to never go and come home the same way so we can see more. The ones I hear them talking about the most:
Yellow Stone(3wks) (soaked in hot springs, geysers, feed stone flies to the wild salmon, wolves taking down an elk, bears and cubs, they got tired of bison……… Not to be a downer but Yellow Stone has become very touristy with lots of fenced walk ways and bleachers at OldFaithful; looks like an amusement park. But, find some smaller trails and within 25yds you’re in the wild again.)
Tetons(1wk)(walk behind a hot spring fed water fall and swimming out, mouse and calves, bear, beaver, so many spring flowers, hiking, weasels, kayaked lakes)
Jackson Hole(1 day)(rodeo and city fun)
Mt Rushmore(3 days)(night show, Jem Caverns National Park, Hwy16 vista drive pigtail bridges, there are many touristy amusement parks all around but we only did the cement sled run kids liked it. We were there until the day before Sturgis and it was great, every small town had Main St closed for motor cycles only. All the bikers we met were retired or lawyers, doctors, contractors. We never saw anything rowdy but we left the day it was really starting(week long), we just saw thousands of bikers enjoying the outdoors.)
WY, Craters of the Moon National(2 days)(lava tubes, just different and kids liked it, they say NASA used this area to test rovers)
Oregon Dunes(2days)(quads, dune buggies)
Canada/ Victoria Island/ Butchart Gardens(3 days) (kids were babies but I talk about it, put your rig on a ferry and go, gardens are dog friendly, July 1st is Canada’s independence day “4th of July”)
Washington Coast(2 days)(find a fireworks friendly beach, find a Indian reservation and let the kids pick some fun, then I get a few for the kid in me, my kids love the parachute ones and then chase them down.)
California, Organ and Washington Coast(never enough)(Tide Pools at a minus tide, finding agents, drift wood, clamming, crabbing, fishing, oyster farms, shells, sea glass, tons of wild life: whales, otters, elephant/harbor/lion seals, orca, dolphin……. )
California Santa Cruz late winter/very early spring: Monarch butterflies(1/2 day)(millions in one or two trees and when the temp reaches 64-67 they all take flight. There are other wintering sights too.)
Utah(2 wks)(Slot canyons in Escalante(kids wont stop talking about),the national park loop from NV-Col and back 5 National Parks and many State Parks, mountain bike, horseback, hike, rafting, closest encounter with a big RAM, spring time flowers, dinosaur tracks)
NewMexico Albuquerque(1wk)(October Hot Air Balloon Festival(200+ colorful balloons and 100+ shape balloons))
Carlsbad caverns(3 days)(the bat flight every night, caverns, stars)
Spring time in any of the desserts(3 days each)(Joshua Tree, Mohave, Death Valley……, spring time flowers, unique wild life, just neat..)
Grand Canyon(3days)(you’ll remember it forever)
Yosemite(3 days)(1 week+ for backpacking)(very beautiful, water falls, is also very touristy find a quiet trail)
Cal. Rose Parade(3 days Jan 1st)(see the floats being made, help build a float, sleep in the streets holding a front row space or just buy bleacher seats)
Cal RedWoods(2-4 days each)(Muir Woods costal, Calaveras Big Trees-Natural Bridges(cave to float through) these are the oldest and biggest trees ?in the world?
Water falls along the Columbia river(2days)(we enjoyed 10 in 4hrs but I think there are 70-ish, kids got tired after 4 or 5 but wife loved them all and would have seen more)
Burney Falls
Tahoe(the whole area is beautiful but it can be busy)
Cal. Lake Almanor and surrounding area(weeks)(I have been going here for 38yrs several weeks each year and now my kids are loving it too. Boating, motor cross, 4x4, snow(MtLasson), volcanic activity, lava tubes, fish hatcheries, great fishing(rivers, streams, creeks, lakes)Round lake is full of bluegill a great way to start young ones fishing catch 50/hr they’ll be hooked, horseback riding, golf, biking, fantastic 4thJuly FireWorks over the lake, minimal/no bugs, lots of wildlife, fantastic weather June-Oct cool at night warm during the day, lake will warm up to 75 surface temp in late July. This lake is far enough away from any big cities that it is still not destroyed; the water is clean, much of the environment is untouched, and only a little crowded Memorial/Labor/Fourth weekends.
This is definitely not the SHORT list, there are still many more places to see and enjoy. There is nothing as exciting as the first time but I want to go back again and again, to all of them. Have fun, go slow and enjoy. We just did 3wks+ in Florida and next year maybe Washington DC, would love to see the fall colors in the Smokey Mountains.
Should have put in some pics

lswartz 04-30-2013 09:02 AM

I prefer the woods in national, state, or local parks. Hookups (not those kind ;)) for the TT are not important but a water source is.

If you don't mind urban, you should consider some time in Washington DC visiting the Smithsonian. The Air & Space museum is a must. The Holocaust museum however, might be a bit much for an 8 year old. Limit you time as you can exhaust yourself just doing 1 museum & there are many. One or two days is enough for me.

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