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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,

Apologies if this is off the topic of Ducatis, but I appreciate the mature opinions aired in this section of the forum so I thought I may try to pick your collective brains.

Mrs H & I will celebrate our silver wedding next summer & the lady is talking of taking a holiday in the USA. Venues of the Florida Keys & Southern California have been mentioned. We prefer self catering accommodation & may well need 3 bedrooms if our daughters accompany us. We all like the sunshine & prefer not to risk bad weather if possible on holiday (we have enough rain over here!).

We enjoyed a holiday in Palm Desert a few years ago, although Mrs H did struggle at times with the heat. She is quite open minded to either location but does have concerns regarding the possibility of rain/humidity in the Florida Keys in July/August.

The ladies also enjoy the occasional shopping trip and for my part I am happy to drop them at a mall.

Any guidance/suggestions would be much appreciated. I guess we're looking for an honest report of weather/humidity in the Keys & any recommendations for accommodation with access to decent beaches within 1-2 hours drive of a major airport (Miami - Florida, LA - SOCal). Oh yes, I'd prefer to be able to drive for no more than 1 hour to drop the ladies at a mall with the branded clothes names ladies seem to look for.

I'd quite like to rent a Ducati whilst in the US, but bringing riding gear may be an issue due to luggage restrictions.

Thanks
 

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San Diego comes to mind. You can rent a Ducati there and rent the riding gear too. Lots of other things to do for the entire family too.

I don't know about Florida in the summer. I've never been there but it seems to me the heat and humidity would be pretty bad.

Another alternative is Colorado. You can rent a Ducati and gear in Denver as well, and there's plenty of shopping and entertainment here too. Less traffic then Cali also...

Debby
 

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Marina Del Rey Calif. is right on the beach and 2 places to rent ducatis in LA. Also great canyon riding through the Mailbu mountains.
 

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fla is hell in the summer !now if your in a new york state of mind the mountains of upstate ny are the place for summer in ny.got a nice log cabin in the woods we could help you out with.
 

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Come to Puerto Rico! I can rent you a nice Multistrada :) Awsome beaches, good food, good shopping and the heat is not so bad!
 

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Grand Canyon, Arizona, the North Rim. It's 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim, has tall pines, and is cool in the Summer. Some of the most spectacular scenery on the face of the planet, and other national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon) are nearby. Only gets 10% the number of visitors that the South Rim does. Start working on accomodations now, as they fill up fast. The mule ride to the bottom of the Canyon at Roaring Springs is never to be forgotten, but is not for the faint of heart!

Fly to Phoenix, and rent a car. Drive north through Sedona and Flagstaff, then through the Navajo Indian reservation, crossing the Colorado River, up through Jacob Lake, and then south to the Canyon. You're gaining elevation the whole time, going from 1,100 ft. MSL to over a mile. You'll have the most jaw-dropping scenery in the American West the whole way. Magic!

The only scenery in Florida not man-made is the water. Everything else is designed to seperate tourists from their money in the shortest possible period of time. It's purgatory in the Summer time, but cheap and easy to get to from Europe. There's a reason for that.
 

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The South West is definitely the way to go...

FLA is miserably hot, although the keys are definitely more enjoyable than mainland because they're islands and more exposed, but still humid as hell.

SoCal is hot but dry and very pleasant.

Like Debby, I'd say San Diego would be a good destination. and you are close enough if you want to pick up a car and venture around, LA, Big Sur, or even AZ / grand Canyon etc... (a long day's drive away, or 2 days with a pit stop in Vegas... ). The beaches in SD are very nice.. I can also recommend LA, but and maybe it's because I live here, I wouldn't pick the place for a beach vacation...

You can rent a duc and enjoy some of the best roads on earth...
 

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I would definitely not go to Florida in the summer. I’ve lived here all my life and I’m still not use to it. I went to Denver, Co last August and it was beautiful.
 

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I would echo everyone and say to stay away from Florida in the summer, stiflingly hot and humid. As a previous poster had mentioned, the southwest, specifically northern Arizona and New Mexico is absolutely spectacular. If you're set on the beach there's also Cape Cod and the Maine coast. Not much great riding on or near The Cape but plenty of great roads in Maine and inland New England. Might be tough to rent a Ducati if that is an important factor.
 

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All of the west coast and the northern part of the east coast is nice in summer. If it's hot, you just head up in elevation. California is great for that, but so is Oregon and Washington State. I'm sure New York and further northeast also has many get-aways into the mountains for escaping heat, but they just don't have anywhere near the elevation the West has, so the cooling is more limited.

Yellowstone is pretty spectacular too, and doesn't get too hot. That's more in the center of the country. California has Yosemite, the Giant Sequoias, Tahoe, and the greatest collection of different climates within close proximity to each other.

Much, though certainly not all, of Southern California is similar to that Palm Desert climate: wonderful in the winter, but not where you want to be in the summer. If you want to just hang out in one spot, then, yes, somewhere like San Diego (or just about anywhere on the Southern California beaches) is really nice, but if you want to travel around and see lots of different stuff, I think Northern California, Washington State, and parts of Oregon are better in the summer and Southern California is best in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input folks, very much appreciated.

I used to work for a company based in Long Island, I spent a few weeks in that area & upstate of New York some years ago. Great area & super people, I do plan to go back but probably in the future just with Mrs H.

Beaches will be useful for next year's trip as our daughters will be with us & I enjoy swimming in the ocean. Looks like I need to focus my accommodation search between LA & San Diego, especially if I can hire a Ducati + riding gear in the area.
 

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I have two penthouse units in Key West at the Galleon Resort. Christmas week and New Years week. They sleep 6, 4 privately. PM me if you want to rent them.
 

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A Floridian viewpoint...

I am going to Lobby for Florida. Sure Central Florida is a humid, rainy mess in the summer, but once you get near the coast it is much better. The Florida Keys have some of the world's best beaches, and are a short drive to the world-class malls and upscale boutiques in Miami. Sure you get "Liquid Sunshine" (When it rains with sunshine) around 3p.m., but by 4p.m. it is dry and you have the rest of the evening.

The gulf stream is very active during the summer, so you get rather cool winds in the evening. I don't know any other place that rents Ducati in South Florida except for Pure Cycles.
http://www.pure-ducati.com/t-rental.aspx

Aside from that, California is a great location as well, but the only downside I see is all the traffic. And you can't beat a northeast summer but the lack of beaches could be a problem.

Temps for the northern Keys, and Miami average 32C high, and 26C low during the peak of summer. The constant cooling breeze from the Gulf Stream ensures that days are comfortable, and keeps the waters surrounding the Keys cool, and refreshing. Hurricane season starts June 1st through November 30th, with the highest potential for storms being August 30th through October 30th (This year we have not had any storms, either tropical or hurricanes). Average rainfall is 10.9 cm. (Months used for all averages were May, June, July, and August). Average water temperature during these months is 30C, which makes it perfect for snorkling, and other water activities.

Here's a site that might help planning your trip.

http://www.fla-keys.com/

And for Miami...

http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/Index.asp

By the way, if you need a riding buddy when you cross the pond, let me know and I'll load up and head down there. Hope this was helpful.

-Alex
 

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SD all the way!

Ride
http://www.rentaducati.com/english/San-DiegoCA.aspx

Stay
http://www.hoteldel.com/
http://manchestergrand.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp

Shop
http://westfield.com/hortonplaza/

Try
http://www.cafe222.com/
http://www.oldtownsandiegoguide.com/
http://www.seaworld.com/sandiego/default.aspx
http://www.balboapark.org/

My wife and I honeymooned at the Del Coronado Hotel, the absolute best experience. We just celebrated our fifth anniversary there near down town too. I recently rented a Lotus Elise and carved up Mt.Palomar, plenty of Dukes up there on the weekends if you stop at the top head here...

http://www.motherskitchenpalomar.com/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks again people. I'm working silly hours at the moment, so I'll check out all your suggestions & recommendations as soon as I can.

Your help is much appreciated.
 

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Bring sunscreen!:p
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks again to all for the kind guidance. After much deliberation we've decided to head for Key Largo. We're renting a condo owned by a couple in the UK & will be flying to Miami towards the end of July 2010.

We'll probably spend a day or two in Miami in order that the ladies can have some retail therapy before we head to the Keys. We're looking forward to aquatic pursuits (swimming with dolphins/manatees, snorkling around the coral & I may try fishing) as well as trips to the Everglades etc.

Anyone recommend a reasonably priced hotel in the Miami area?

Our holiday/vacation is some time off yet, but I'll be happy to meet up with any of the great folk on this site.

This doesn't mean the rest of you get off scot free, we do plan to visit other parts of the US during the coming years:

SoCal
Connecticut/Boston/Cape Cod etc.
New York

Watch out, none of you are safe from the Harts!
 

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Ah, the Florida Keys, good choice. Just remember, there are 2 seasons in Florida, Summer and construction...
 

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If you travel to southern California, bring weapons. You may have to defend yourself. You never know when a drive by shooting may happen there... so, make that a semi-automatic. :rolleyes:
 

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Great choice with the Florida Keys! Nice watersports opportunities, great beaches, plenty of things to do. In the Miami area, make sure you get a hotel on Miami Beach, since shopping, beach, and restaurants are right outside your door. Your ladies will like the Bal Harbour shops and the shopping along Collins Ave and Lincoln Rd (yes, I have done the same with my girls a few times).

I've stayed at the Loews on Miami Beach a few times, which is nice but a bit generic compared with some of the other hotels in the area. There are many other good and interesting choices as well. Lots of standalone or "boutique" hotels, some very pricey but a few are reasonable. There are even a few chain hotels like Best Western and Holiday Inn that have rehabbed older art deco places into nice, basic lodging. Check out Trip Advisor, lots of options and opinions.

It will be a bit of a ride, but a good destination for an overnight would be Key West. A bit of a honky-tonk town, but plenty to do and worth a visit. Maybe not the best place to knock a few back before riding back to Key Largo, though, since the "shoulder" of the road is the ocean.

Have a great time planning your trip.
 
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