US travel tips?

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Ohjay
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US travel tips?

Post by Ohjay » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:35 pm

Going on a couple of trips to the US this year and would love some suggestions/tips about what to do, where to stay, interesting things, good places for food/drinks, the usual you know :)

First trips is going to be to:
San Francisco - Which area is best to stay at? Union square? Mission disctrict? Good music venues?
Nashville - Going to see Titans - Vikings... Been to Nashville before but would love opinions on the Vanderbilt area and good spots to listen to original country music(i.e. not the covers you keep hearing on Broadway)
New Orleans - Where to stay? Music venues? Good restaurants/bars?
Minneapolis - Home opener, wohoo! The Butcher & Boar and The Happy Gnome are on my to do list.

Second trip will be:
Minneapolis - Watching the Giants game...
Portland - Where to stay? Interesting stuff to do?
Minneapolis - Watching the Houston game and celebrating my b'day.

Thanks in advance guys and girls. :D

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jackal
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Re: US travel tips?

Post by jackal » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:19 pm

SF stay out of Mission Distict, Tenderloin, and Castro District and south SF .. stick near the pier 39
area, Golden Gate park Giants stadium...Giardelli Square... there are some classic concert venues
there are some vary good museums in SF. Be careful walking around at night, especially in any of
those areas I mentioned. SF is a nice in the big tourist areas but has very aggresive homeless and
has some very violent areas and people. If you want to see Alcatraz you will need to book tickets
way in advance, or wait around all day to get on a tour. Basically if you see a lot of tourist around
and its clean, your okay.

Tenderloin is probably the worst, and South SF coming in a close second ...

DO NOT go to Oakland or Richmond at any time of the day ....within fifteen minutes north of SF

The mission district (mission street) is okay up to about tenth street

IMO if you want to see Northern Ca's best its Monterey, pebble beach area,
Tahoe, Redwoods, and such... You can easily do everything in SF that is worth doing in a day and
a half.
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Ohjay
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Re: US travel tips?

Post by Ohjay » Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:48 pm

Thanks for the info jackal, much appreciated!

Any specific bars/pubs/clubs/restaurants you could recommend in SF?

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Cliff
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Re: US travel tips?

Post by Cliff » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:05 am

My wife and I just visited San Fran so while we're not residents, I can tell you a few things we enjoyed. First, we stayed right next to Golden Gate park which I really enjoyed. Expect to pay a lot for a place to stay pretty much anywhere there. I think we used Air BnB and got a pretty good deal (comparatively). We rented bikes and cruised all around the park, it was pretty nice. We went to Chinatown for dinner one night, we had seafood too of course.

We actually go to Nashville every year for Valentine’s Day but funnily enough I can’t tell you much to do there. We go to Ellendales every year and if you’re there on a Sunday I very highly suggest their brunch buffet. It’s about $23 but it’s ridiculously good.
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S197
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Re: US travel tips?

Post by S197 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:30 pm

Ohjay wrote:Going on a couple of trips to the US this year and would love some suggestions/tips about what to do, where to stay, interesting things, good places for food/drinks, the usual you know :)

First trips is going to be to:
San Francisco - Which area is best to stay at? Union square? Mission disctrict? Good music venues?
Nashville - Going to see Titans - Vikings... Been to Nashville before but would love opinions on the Vanderbilt area and good spots to listen to original country music(i.e. not the covers you keep hearing on Broadway)
New Orleans - Where to stay? Music venues? Good restaurants/bars?
Minneapolis - Home opener, wohoo! The Butcher & Boar and The Happy Gnome are on my to do list.

Second trip will be:
Minneapolis - Watching the Giants game...
Portland - Where to stay? Interesting stuff to do?
Minneapolis - Watching the Houston game and celebrating my b'day.

Thanks in advance guys and girls. :D
I'll be there for the home opener too!

Butcher & Boar is good. Happy Gnome was suggested to me (maybe by you?) and it has a great selection of beers, just so you know it's in St. Paul if you weren't the one that suggested it. If you like a more "trendy" bar, Marvel bar is a speak easy in Minneapolis with a younger crowd. By the time we got there it was last call but it's more intimate with fancy cocktails. Not really my scene to be honest but if you're into those places you'd probably enjoy it.

Surly Brewing was another nice spot especially since it was walking distance from TCF. Lot of Viking fans after the game and there's a nice outdoor area. Not sure how it will be now that the Vikings have moved back to the old location but I'd imagine it will still have a good crowd.

I heard Hell's Kitchen is good for breakfast. We're going to try Manny's this time since that seems to be where the Wilf's take all the free agents and I'm a big steak eater.

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Re: US travel tips?

Post by Ohjay » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:34 pm

Thanks for the info Cliff. Anything particular in Chinatown that you'd recommend?
I was in Nashville a couple of years ago but am in the same boat as you, can't really recommend anything to anyone else. Going to try and find some authentic music and stay away from the tourist traps on Broadway this time. I'll be sure to look up Ellendals though.

S197 wrote: I'll be there for the home opener too!

Butcher & Boar is good. Happy Gnome was suggested to me (maybe by you?) and it has a great selection of beers, just so you know it's in St. Paul if you weren't the one that suggested it. If you like a more "trendy" bar, Marvel bar is a speak easy in Minneapolis with a younger crowd. By the time we got there it was last call but it's more intimate with fancy cocktails. Not really my scene to be honest but if you're into those places you'd probably enjoy it.

Surly Brewing was another nice spot especially since it was walking distance from TCF. Lot of Viking fans after the game and there's a nice outdoor area. Not sure how it will be now that the Vikings have moved back to the old location but I'd imagine it will still have a good crowd.

I heard Hell's Kitchen is good for breakfast. We're going to try Manny's this time since that seems to be where the Wilf's take all the free agents and I'm a big steak eater.
I'm sure there'll be lots of VMB members there. Hopefully we all can get together at some point and share a beer.
Yeah I'm the one that suggested Happy Gnome. It's been on my bucket list since my first visit to Minneapolis, but have never been able to go.
I'll check out Marvel Bar, might not be my type of place but it might be worth a visit anyway. Thanks for the Surly Brewing suggestion as well.. I presume it's a beer oriented bar?

Hell's kitchen is supposed to have an awesome breakfast/brunch, never been able to go though.
Manny's is great. Been there twice and haven't been disappointed(even when they screwed up my reservation). Great food with plenty of selections and awesome staff.

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S197
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Re: US travel tips?

Post by S197 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:07 pm

Yeah Surly is highly beer oriented. They have a large indoor space but I prefer the vibe outside, which is of good size too. If you decide to go outside, they have places out there to order beer and food and the lines were shorter. I went last Sept and the weather was great. Should be great again unless it rains.

Although we had a car, we also used Uber a lot in Minneapolis since we were drinking. There were plenty of cars even late at night with pickup times taking maybe a few minutes max. Minneapolis and Chicago were two cities where I found the Uber service to be really good. Washington DC not so much.

I've never been to New Orleans but have family from there. One restaurant I recall them recommending is Jacques-Imo's.

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jackal
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Re: US travel tips?

Post by jackal » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:04 am

I am not sure what you guys are looking for but the two most beautiful places I have seen in the United States are Alaskan
cruise out of Seattle and Kauai .....Kauai is like paradise .. didn't hear a siren all week and people are so happy there
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S197
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Re: US travel tips?

Post by S197 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:03 pm

Kauai fits what I assume most people think of when they think Hawaii. It's very green, laid back, small towns. Oahu is much more busy and commercialized. Maui is probably the best due to its diversity. Beautiful beaches, some tourist towns but also some very nice remote areas if you want to get away from everything. Big Island if you want to see an active volcano otherwise you're probably better off with one of the other islands.

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Re: US travel tips?

Post by dinolord05 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:22 pm

GB and Texans weekends all the way from Sweden? Crazy, those will be the same 2 weekends we come up from TX.

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jackal
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Re: US travel tips?

Post by jackal » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:41 am

Kauai fits what I assume most people think of when they think Hawaii. It's very green, laid back, small towns. Oahu is much more busy and commercialized. Maui is probably the best due to its diversity. Beautiful beaches, some tourist towns but also some very nice remote areas if you want to get away from everything. Big Island if you want to see an active volcano otherwise you're probably better off with one of the other islands.
Yeah if you want just scenery Kauai is the place.. If you want Beauty and more things to Maui would be the island for you...

Unless your interested in Volcanic or diving experience I would avoid the Hawaii itself...

the island with the big hotels is too much like a big city for me .. like SF surrounded by the ocean
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Re: US travel tips?

Post by Ohjay » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:05 pm

Thanks for the suggestions S197, both for Minneapolis and New Orleans.
jackal wrote:I am not sure what you guys are looking for but the two most beautiful places I have seen in the United States are Alaskan
cruise out of Seattle and Kauai .....Kauai is like paradise .. didn't hear a siren all week and people are so happy there
Hawaii is on my bucket list but won't make it there this year at least. Good thing to keep in mind for the future though!

dinolord05 wrote:GB and Texans weekends all the way from Sweden? Crazy, those will be the same 2 weekends we come up from TX.
Yeah I gotta support my team you know. ;)
Hopefully we can get a VMB gathering going for the GB game at least so we all can say hi to each other.
Was sort of a spur of the moment thing but I ended up buying season tickets this year. Gonna try and make it to ~4 games a year, if not more.

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Re: US travel tips?

Post by Texas Vike » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:31 am

OhJay,

Surly is a brewery that has had a lot of success in the last 7 or so years. When I was in Sweden I recall that the beer was on the light side (lots of pils and lagers), so I"m not sure if it's your thing, but they have some top notch craft beers that I think are out of this world. Furious is among the best IPAs I've ever had. Something that might be closer to what you're used to is Cynic (a saison/ farmhouse ale). The 30 million dollar Surly brewery/ restaurant is very worth a visit both for the beer and the food. I was very impressed when I visited this summer.

Other things to do in MPLS: Minnehaha Park is fun. I like walking over the stone arch bridge (over the Mississippi right next to downtown) and checking out the view from the Guthrie theater. There's a great restaurant in NE MPLS called Brasa that is worth a stop after doing these two.

Further south, the chain of lakes are quintessential MPLS. Rent a bike and go for a ride.

Hope you enjoy my hometown. I miss it!

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Re: US travel tips?

Post by Ohjay » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:52 am

Thanks a lot Texas. I'll keep your suggestions in mind since I travel a lot to Mpls for Vikings games :govikes: :govikes:
Didn't manage to visit Surly when I was there for the GB game but aim to go there sometime during the next two home games :beerock:

Regarding beer, I don't know how long ago you visited Sweden but the craft beer scene exploded about 8 years ago and we now have a lot of micro-breweries that brew all kinds of beer. IPA, APA, Stouts, Porters, Saison, etc.
There is also a whole lot of importing going on and it usually ends up out of stock just a few days after arriving at the liquor store(yay for liquor monopoly :wallbang: )
Personally I'm a huge fan of APA and stouts.

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Re: US travel tips?

Post by S197 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:16 pm

Just came back from MN and we toured Summit Brewery in St. Paul. It's a free tour (although they ask for a can food donation for their food drive). The tour is nothing special to be honest, but there's a lot of good brew to try.

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