View Full Version : Help ! Where should I go ?
Just obtained free flight vouchers - and want to go with the wife for a weekend photography blitz. Babysitter arranged for Dec 3 to 5 - now where to go ?
Criteria - fun, landscapes, outdoor activities - and within a 2 hour flight from Dallas, Texas. Art galleries and good restaurants also important...don't want to spend too much time in the car - rather hike/bike.
Please send me someplace nice - tell me where !!!!
Beleive it or not Atlanta Georgia. It has beautiful waterfalls in the north of the city just outside Atlanta, and the city is great for restaurants and hotels.
Within 2 hours of Dallas? How fast is the plane?
To Dan Smith - not fast enough...
Albuquerque, New Mexico then rent a car and explore Santa Fe, Taos and in between.
It may take slightly longer than two hours to get there by air from DFW, but Las Vegas is the place to go for a fun weekend. If you want to spend your time photographing, take a small camera along. Good restaurants, entertainment, nite life, etc. Nice art exhibits at the Bellagio, Luxor, and the Venician. For outdoor activities, you can hike/bike along the Strip to places like the Bellagio fountain, New York, New York, and Paris. Be sure to see the Pirate ship being sunk at Treasure Island. Great mountain scenery surrounding the Vegas area.
You said "send me someplace nice". Vegas is ideal when you are limited to only a weekend. Oh yes, take a lot of cash with you.
definately santa fe/taos. wonderful galleries. incredible scenery. super nice people. and inexpensive this time of year.
Belize. Reefs, cays, rainforest, ruins etc., etc.
Las Vegas - New Mexico
Vegas, Baby- Valley of Fire.
"...and want to go with the wife for a weekend photography blitz."
Where'd you find your wife?
I'm no prude, but the conspicous spending by a bunch of meat heads in Vegas turned my stomach. Leaving Vegas the TAS supervisor insisted on hand checking my sheet film or sending it thru the machine (he would let the 35mm go thru 'cause he could see the "tails"). I'd also suggest Santa Fe , Moab areas.
Sedona, Arizona. Great landscapes with tons of excellent hiking trails. Many art galleries and good food. The Grand Canyon is little more than 2 hours away.
Check to see when they start having the luminarias going on in Santa Fe. Have lunch at Tomasita's in the old AT&Sf depot. Take the tram to the top of Sandia Peak and visit nearby Taos. I've been told that there are some pretty neat holiday markets featuring work by native american artists that time of year.
Other places: Sedona, Bizbee, or the South Rim of The Grand Canyon in Arizona. New Orleans in the other direction.
If its snow you want, Steamboat Springs, Colorado is always fun---great restaurants, art galleries and activities. Park City, Utah where you can enjoy the left over Olympic infrastructure. Lake Tahoe is always nice early in December(before UC lets out) though the weather can be a bit dicey(even if theres a blizzard going on its romantic as all get out!---theres a tunnel under HWY 50 so you won't be snowed in at only one casino---you'll have two to spend your money at.) Fly into Reno. Nice view of the lake from the top of the tram. If you can ski get thee to the top of Sky lift, wobble up to the rocky summit of Monument Peak and you'll be treated to the entire Tahoe Basin plus the snowy Eastern spine of the Sierra Nevadas plus the Carson Valley with Minden and Gardnerville sparkling like diamonds in the desert(you packed a wide angle lens, right?)
I'm not sure if you can fly there in two hours, but December is a great time for visiting the central coast of California. Then there is always Disneyland all decked out for Christmas---I don't know what the tripod policy is though!
For a cosmopolitan location San Francisco is pretty nice. Dance to Big Band music at the Starlight Roof at night and shoot the marin headlands during the day. The Tadich grill on California Street or the Fort Mason Officer's Club for dinner(it's open to the public last time I checked---no Fort anymore). The big Christmas Tree in Union Square. Go caroling on a cable car. Touristy stuff but still fun.
Great Sand Dunes / Stations of the Cross - Alamosa, CO.
If you allow an European to put 0,02 euro in this discussion, I would also support Las Vegas (NV, there is a Las Vegas in NM as well ;-) as the best located airport for a short winter photographic tour around the 4-corner states.
OK you won't have to worry about finding the cheapest flight, but in winter in the West you won't find a more comfortable place for the first and last night provided that, like Ulysses resisting the mermaids' songs, you'll resist the addictive noise of US pennies falling in the receptacle of huge halls filled-up with one-armed bandits.
I like very much the contrast between the absolute serenity and majesty of the Wild West and the absolute craziness of humane life and business in LV.
I had the opportunity to visit Grand Canyon and Monument Valley just before Christmas in 1990.
We had a stop over in LV. Palm trees in front of "the Mirage" with their feet deeply frozen in ice is absolutely unique and deserves a LF shot ;-);-)
We went to Navajo National Monument. No tourist. Blue sky. White snow. Red rocks. Green junipers and the feeling of how the life of native Americans was. Probably the greatest memory of all my visits to the West.
And no contradiction with the glittering lights and all $$$$ in LV, NV. This contrast is unconcievable for a European. But Americans have to re-source themselves there as well.
Dec. 3-5 is an excellent period if you are lucky enough to get some clear whether. Climbing from LV (elev : 3000ft) to Williams (elev 4500 ft) on the Interstate, there were still some patches of ice in late December 1990 ; except for Golbal Warming effects, be careful then, even if the wheather is fine, nights are cold.
Outside temperature in Williams, AZ on Dec 20 was about -20°C / -4°F in the morning, be prepared to put warm clothes on any time you leave your vehicle for taking a picture.
I tried to obey this strict disciplin to take the clothes off in the car and put them on any time we went out. This allowed me to stay substantially longer outside than my student friends who insisted on keeping their jeans and light jacket unchanged inside the car and outside exposed to bitter cold ; but they were not interested in taking any picture, only in gambling in warm hotel halls, back to LV ;-);-)
Not kidding. That was a photographer's dream.
I hope it is legal here ;-);-) to point toward this Rolleiflex TLR 6x6 slide taken in Monument Valley (UT-AZ), this will give you an idea of how dreams can become reality.
Go somewhere you've photographed before and liked. It's difficult to make good photographs in a brand new place the first time there, it usually takes at least two visiits, often more, before you get past the newness and can really start seeing. Plus it helps a lot to know the mistakes you've made before so that you don't make them again.
Oooops ! sorry, I forgot major points in Jack's original post : "galleries... restaurants.. and not too much time in the car - rather hike/bike."
Ok this does not fit at all with LV-Grand-Canyon-Moument-Valley in 2 days by 0°F outside ;-);-)
The Big Easy (New Orleans).
How about the Big Bend area in Texas?
Another vote for Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe is is an hour's drive from Albuquerque, and then it's another hour and a half to Taos, or one hour to Las Vegas (NM not NV). (Las Vegas has an amazing number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Whatevers.) You can't beat the food, the light is beautiful, and there is plenty to photograph.
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