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1poorlady has an idea, but I'm not sure how well it will work here in the US. Europe, yes. But here?

She's thinking it would be good to do weekend getaways. Get a cheap ticket, one bag (for both of us), and a hotel. Explore the place and fly home. I mentioned we'd have to rent a car, but she said "no". Just use transit.

Which seems a problem to me. The US mostly has dreadful transit. NYC and SF are two of the only exceptions I can think of. She's thinking fly to Denver, fly to KC, fly to Albuquerque, etc.

Does this seem feasible to anyone here? Where would you suggest? Her first thought is New Orleans. Fly in, poke around, fly home. Do they have any sort of transit?

Wish we lived in Europe...just about everywhere has buses and trains.
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Denver has a shuttle system in the downtown area.

New Orleans you can do well in the French Quarter. Most stuff is in walking distance. Cabs are available. There are two streetcar lines.
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1pg: Does this seem feasible to anyone here? Where would you suggest? Her first thought is New Orleans. Fly in, poke around, fly home. Do they have any sort of transit?

I can echo Paul's endorsements. Washington, DC has service. San Diego has a good trolly system in the central area, with access to the airport. Chicago is good. Atlanta has some lines.

CNC
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Which seems a problem to me. The US mostly has dreadful transit. NYC and SF are two of the only exceptions I can think of. She's thinking fly to Denver, fly to KC, fly to Albuquerque, etc.

Does this seem feasible to anyone here? Where would you suggest? Her first thought is New Orleans. Fly in, poke around, fly home. Do they have any sort of transit?


I suspect you could do it in several cities if you add Uber/taxis to the mix. DH and I did something similar in San Diego a few months ago. We stayed in the Gaslamp area and between walking and the light rail, I think you can go a lot of places you want to go.

I don't think it would be feasible in Denver or Alberquerque. I also don't think there's much to see/do in ABQ either. It's doable in NO though.

-Steph
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I also don't think there's much to see/do in ABQ either.

It's been a while, but I have done a business trip to Albuquerque.

First, recall that Albuquerque is the home of the personal computer industry. Microsoft was founded there. The hotel where Bill Gates and his buddies from school wrote their first code is still there. They are also famous for their pizza, coding all night, and then visits to the local xxx movie houses and red light district.

The first computer kit, featured on a magazine cover (is it the Altair) sold as a kit was headquartered in Albequerque. So Microsoft created the first basic language operating system for it.

Albuquerque is also the home of Kirkland Air Force Base and Sandia National Labs. Sandia is well known for its recent security breaches, but it is home to much military related nuclear warfare research.

When I was there the Kirkland museum was open to the public. (Traffic sped through the gates without slowing down but visitors had to stop, sign in, and show id and agree to being searched when they left.)

The museum has a broad array of atomic weapons made over the years on display including full sized replicas of the first atomic bombs (Fat Man and Little Boy). And they showed an old movie from the '50s about the wonders of atomic power. Proposing atomic bombs to build a new canal across Central America. This museum is a one of a kind. I do not think there is another one like it anywhere in the US (but most military bases do have museums that can be remarkably informative.)

Santa Fe is the place most people visit, but Los Alamos is nearby. The site of the first atomic test (Almagardo) is open to the public one day per year. (Its still radioactive.)

From the days when the Spanish ruled the Southwest, Santa Fe was the northern most capital. The Santa Fe Trail was the first of the western trails from the Kansas City area. For decades it was the active trading link between the US and Mexico. It is still an ornate old city.

Many people like the New Mexico area for its scenery. Its time share condo country. It is a fun place to visit, but most will want to rent a car.
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Considering weekend getaways:

Most cities do have good train, bus or shuttle transportation to their downtown.

1. We just did Denver kast month and had a wonderful three days downtown. Good eating, baseball, football, museums, walk along the river and more all within easy walking. I frankly was surprised at how easy it was.

2. Albuquerque (did you spell that without looking it up) is a little more difficult but we enjoyed the Indian museums, SW food, and the University of New Mexico. I remember taxi's as being pretty reasonable compared to big cities. I wouldn't consider it in June, July or August.

3. New Orleans is a breeze. Lots of fun on the inexpensive trolley for areas beyond the French Quarter (which is a whole weekend itself). Cultural tours, Ghost tours, great eating, a downtown casino, lots of walking trails, and the trolley to colleges and great craft fairs (we have several pieces we've purchased). You'll miss some of the plantations, but you can always buy a tour.

4. You left out Las Vegas for a reason [laugh]. Great entertainment.

5. Portland has GREAT public transportation, biking and hiking from downtown. Seattle has a lot for the weekend PLUS ferries to a lot of neat places from the downtown port.

6. San Diego is super-neat, but some of the best things, like the Zoo, will take a taxi or some digging IMO. I LOVE the area, but it is pretty spread out.

7. Unless Kansas City has changed, it's downtown about closes on weekends IMO. I'd find KC the hardest without transportation/a car.

Hope that helps,

Repurposed
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Chicago! Absolutely, Chicago. You can get right into the Loop via the "el" from either O'Hare or Midway. Public transit is excellent. Tons to see and do. Great food.

San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland are equally terrific options. Great, fast transit directly from/to SFO, PDX, SEA and also around town. Also, lots to see, do, eat. Same for Boston (BOS) and Washington, DC (fly into DCA, not IAD).

We do this all the time. It works great. I don't rent cars in these cities even if someone else is picking up the tab. More hassle than it's worth.
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Unless Kansas City has changed, it's downtown about closes on weekends IMO.

KC is a great place for a steak, and they are very proud of their unique style of barbeque.

Its the home of Hallmark, which has a nifty tour. I hear good things about the Federal Reserve Bank Tour.

The Truman presidential library and home are nearby.

They have recovered a sunken steamship from the Missouri River that was preserved by layers of mud before the river routed around it. It proved to be a huge time capsule from abt 1856. Checkout the Arabia Steamboat museum. http://1856.com/

They also have a World War I memorial.

Yes, you'll probably need a rental car.
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Minneapolis has a great light rail!
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I would add Boston to the list of cities with decent transportation. Plus there's a lot to do and see.
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I would not include Albuquerque - not that easy to get around, too spread out,

But Santa Fe is a shoo-in. Small and walkable, with plenty to see (and eat.) Many hotels are within walking distance of the central plaza. Most others have shuttles.

CNC
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