Where in America or Canada should I travel on a US Airways hub?
April 12, 2013 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I have a companion fare for US Airways. In order to use it, I have to buy a ticket by April 30 and travel by July 31. Where should I go?

I'd like to find a great place to go in the U.S. or Canada for vacation. Ideally, it would be a site of awesome natural beauty, but would not have to be. Like I said, I have this US Airways voucher that I need to use or lose.

The trouble is, a lot of the places I need to go this year for work & weddings (places like SF and Denver) are not on US Airways hubs, so it doesn't make economic sense to use the voucher for them. I am looking for ideas about where to travel for a quick getaway. The limitations:

* Must be in the lower 48 US states or Canada
* Must travel before 07/31/13
* Should probably be around the US Airways travel hubs of Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (but I'm open to other places as long as it's reasonably inexpensive)
* I'd like to go to an awesome outdoor destination like a national park, but would also consider cool sites of all purposes.

Any ideas? Thanks!
posted by jeffmshaw to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Into Vancouver then then fly out of Calgary (or return to Vancouver if you have to), visiting Banff and/or Jasper parks on the way will satisfy your requirements nicely. It's as good as it gets in Canada for natural beauty.
posted by hylaride at 11:17 AM on April 12, 2013

Best answer: I think since the acquisition of AirWest (you know which one I mean) you can also add Las Vegas to the list.

You could do worse than Phoenix. You can do a car trip from there that's really fun!

Start in Phoenix.

Go to Ponchos on Central Ave, just north of Baseline. Requst to sit at the table under the mural commemorating President Clinton's visit there. This is the joint in the 'hood where I grew up and it's cheap and outstanding.

Head out to Cosanti in Scottsdale, check out the cool architecture, buy a wind bell. Philosophize about the nature of buildings and ecosystems.

Check out the ruins at Casa Grande (just south of Phoenix). It's America's Stonehenge!

Take a tour of The Wedding Cake House! We couldn't do this when I was a kid, but now you can! It was said that the site was protected by rattlesnakes and gila monsters.

Visit the Heard Indian Museum. Have an ice cream at Mary Coyle.

The Phoenix Zoo is an excellent zoo, very involved in conservation work. I did summer camp there and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.

After a couple of days, head north to Sedona. On the way, stop at Montezuma's Castle. These are cliff dwellings of the Sinagua tribe. I loved these as a kid and the park rangers are super cool.

Go to Sedona. Go to the Red Rock State Park. When I took a friend of mine from Florida she was stunned by the beauty of it, reduced to ecstatic utterances of "DIOS MIO! DIOS MIO!" Seriously, it's that great. They have neat hikes and they have Slide Rock. Bring an old pair of sneakers and a pair of cut offs you don't care to see again and have a ball!

Hang out in Sedona, do whiffy, new age stuff. Then head up to the Grand Canyon! It's about 2.5 hours away.

You can drive through the Grand Canyon, to Las Vegas. It's about 4.5 hours (bring water!)

Once in Vegas, you can do Vegas stuff until it's time to fly home.

You're hitting two national parks and a state park, plus you can do as much or as little roughing it versus luxury at pretty much any stop.

It's pretty cheap in the summer but it is HOT! Be aware. It will get chilly at the Grand Canyon at night.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:31 AM on April 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Ha, I was going to say fly into Charlotte and drive to Asheville, but I see you live in Durham so that's a waste.
posted by greta simone at 12:19 PM on April 12, 2013

Response by poster: Yeah, I probably should have mentioned that. :-)
posted by jeffmshaw at 12:24 PM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Have a great time!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:45 PM on April 12, 2013

Pittsburgh! The city is beautiful, there's tons of arts and culture and great restaurants. You can also rent a car and drive a bit east for lots of beautiful parks and scenery, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and historical sites like Fort Necessity. You would also have to go to a ballgame at PNC Park, the most beautiful ballpark in the country (no, seriously).
posted by anotheraccount at 12:54 PM on April 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

This isn't exactly answering your question, but it answers the question of "how do I use this voucher": Charlotte is a US hub, so you might consider driving to Charlotte and flying from there. In particular if you have to go to San Francisco, there are quite a few SFO-CLT flights daily. (I know this because I'm in San Francisco and I seem to end up connecting through Charlotte whenever I go anywhere in the east.)

This sounds silly, but I'm guessing based on your location you were originally looking to fly out of RDU, and US would route you through CLT on pretty much any trip you wanted to take anyway. You might prefer a drive and a flight to two flights.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:17 PM on April 12, 2013

I have a pretty extensive itinerary for Pittsburgh too, although it's a pretty easy drive from NC to be honest.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:29 PM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Key West? Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket?
posted by mdonley at 8:19 AM on April 13, 2013

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