I've been to Yosemite tons of times. There are plenty of great hikes there to do. Half Dome is a must if you are up for an all day hike. We typically leave right before sunrise and take the John Muir trail up to Nevada falls. Vernal falls is a great scenic easier hike that goes right next to the falls. Make sure you check out El Capitan and watch a lot of the rock climbers scaling up the rocks to the top. Yosemite falls is another great thing to see. It will be mighty crowded there in July.
I've also been to Hawaii, Kauai specifically. Going to Maui in a few months. Kauai is awesome if you like the outdoors.
A few years ago, I went to yellowstone. Simply the best five days of my life.
If Yosemite has any of that expansive feel, then I know it will be perfect for me. Really looking forward to hiking there. Given that I'm going from england - and here the outdoors are far quainter - I better get fit for the longer hikes. I'll keep your tips in mind.
As for Hawaii, I'm totally lost. Did Kauai have a few relaxing beaches when you were over there? I'm not really into a hectic nightlife. Just want to relax by the beach for a day or two, and on the other days I want to hike, ride a bike, dive, etc.
Its a nightmare organising things from over here in england. Trying to figure out campsites, hiring cars, co-ordinating all this shit is stressful hah!
I lived on Maui for a while. It's a nice medium between the big city on Oahu and the beutiful desolation of the other islands. things to see there:
Sunrise at Haleakala Crater Hiking into the Crater Drive to Hana Secret Beach in Hana (PM me) Diving on Molokini Lahaina whaling village (Touristy though) Big Beach and of course,, Little Beach (Nude) Whale viewing (Right Time of Year)
If just chilling out and running around outdoors is your thing, definitely go to Kauaii or Maui. If you are looking for a tough hike, head up to Ke'e beach on the north side of the Kauaii. It's the head of a very difficult, but very rewarding hiking trail (Kalalu trail) along the Napali coastline. Ke'e also has nice snorkeling. Nice beaches on the island are the beach in Hanalei and Lumahai Beach. If you get a chance, take the zodiac rafting trip around the Napali coast.
Maui is also really nice. Haleakela crater is pretty cool, but biking down the volcano is even better. You go up early in the day, and coast down the mountain. There are some pretty amazing views on the way down.
fishdog and axel - many thanks on hawaii. all noted.
jasmincar - i was taken to a series of vids. different each time i clicked. i don't understand lol. ended up watching a couple, they were cool though.
anyone else, any tips on SF or LA or yosemite. your experiences, do and donts, neighbourhoods to avoid, things not to say (i tried to joke with a customs official on my way to the US once before in a lengthy interview. NOT a good idea)
Golden Gate Bridge TransAmerica Building Coit Tower Russian Hill Presidio of San Francisco (now a park) Seven Sisters (landmark row houses) Ride a trolley Alcatraz the Pacific Ocean take Highway 1 north to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais take Highway 1 south to Halfmoon Bay
Also, in SF look up a restaurant called Goat Hill Pizza. Don't forget about the Haight, Golden Gate Park, the Marina and this really nice neighborhood just south of Market near 18th Street.
For Hawaii, I recommend the Kona Coast on the big island. Rugged terrain, active lava flow, much more "local" than touristy. You can cruise over to Hilo, which is kind of a shithole in and of itself, but it's also kind of the "real" Hawaii and there's some spectacular surfing spots. I also recommend kayaking to Captain Cook's monument and snorkeling out there.
Nice. Cpt Cook was born in my hometown so if its about the same Cook, I'll look it up. So now my main problem is deciding between the big island and maui. Will have to think on this. Though the lava flow is a MASSIVE pull for me. Shit, dilemmas.
Thanks for the tips on SF. I was totally confused before you guys made the suggestions. I don't think you guys can imagine the kind of pull the US has for a lot of people over here, given that we basically grow up on a diet of US scenery and cinematography, and generally just your films etc. So turning up to these places makes it all the more cool.
Basically, I wish I lived there. SO much cool outdoor shit to do.