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  1. Default Coast to Coast Canada/USA Road trip

    I am looking into the idea of going on coast to coast road trip through both Canada and the USA for the fall of this year (September to October). My rough idea would be travelling from Vancouver to Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal, then heading down the east coast with stops in Boston, New York City, Wash DC and Florida. After this travelling back through the south to the grand canyon, Las Vegas and then spending some time in California before returning home.

    After some reading both online(Including this fourm) and in books I am still unsure about how much time, and how much money such an undertaking like this trip would take. In terms of money, I figure I could spend up to about 5500 CDN (4500 US) dollars on the trip (Would be travelling with another with similar funds). This would be for a combo of camping and cheap hotels as well as cooler food and some eating out. Oh and an acceptable amount of money left over for see/doing things. For time I would guess about 60 to 75 days to do it without feeling rushed. (BTW, car gets about 30 MPG)

    So, any help/advice in terms of budget for the trip and for amount of time would be greatly appreciated. Also, by traveling around the perimeter of the continent would I be missing out on many "must sees" in the US. If anyone knows as well, in terms of things to see, would it be better to go from Vancouver to Toronto through Canada via the trans Canada highway or through the US (in terms of things to see/do)


    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Once Around the Block

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Your general plan looks pretty realistic in terms of budgeting for both money and time. While it's great to have a travelling companion to help share the load, be sure on a trip of this magnitude to allow for some time off/alone every so often. Other than that, the one suggestion I'd make is to make your northern crossing of the continent on a mix of the Canadian/US sides. I've been particularly impressed with the mountains and roads in southern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta. But the two major mountain systems of North America form a large "V", getting farther and farther apart as one goes north. This makes for an incredibly long prarie crossing in Canada, so I think you'd be better served to head southeast from the Banff area and see Watertown-Glacier, Yellowstone, and Badlands National Parks, then head for northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan to cross back into Canada for Ottawa, the Thousand Islands region, Montréal and Québec before turning south through New England and onward.

    As far as other "musts" along the way, consider some of the scenic drives along the Appalachians in Virginia and Great Smoky Mountains National Park or the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This is one section of your trip where you may have to choose between the perimeter (some great coastline) of the interior (scenic mountains) but with 2+ months, you should be able to at least sample both. In the southwest, hit some of the caves, either Carlsbad Caverns for huge, or Kartchner Caverns for a more intimate scale, the Grand Canyon, of course, and some of the parks of southern Utah such as Arches, Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion. Then on to Las Vegas, Death Valley and the west coast, another place where choices will have to be made between the interior (Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Crater Lake and Mount Ranier) and the coast (Big Sur, Redwoods, Olympia), with a smattering of each again a possibility. Generally, though, I think you're in for a fun trip where you're only making choices between great and even better.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default A Grand Excursion!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gitbgff
    My rough idea would be travelling from Vancouver to Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal, then heading down the east coast with stops in Boston, New York City, Wash DC and Florida. After this travelling back through the south to the grand canyon, Las Vegas and then spending some time in California before returning home.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Sounds like quite an adventure!
    After some reading both online(Including this fourm) and in books I am still unsure about how much time,
    I don't think you can physically drive that many miles in less than five weeks and if you really spend some time checking out some of the scenic and "people wonders" along the way, this trip could easily take eleven weeks.
    and how much money such an undertaking like this trip would take.
    Judy has written an excellent post about such considerations here.
    as well as cooler food and some eating out.
    Some excellent tips about eating from a cooler are available here.
    Also, by traveling around the perimeter of the continent would I be missing out on many "must sees" in the US.
    Um yeah, you need to see the wonderful slick-rock country of Utah and the Rockies in Colorado and Wyoming. Northern California, Oregon and Washington should not be missed either.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Must sees SD, Ont and Que

    I agree with AZBuck, your time frame and budget both seem ok to me.

    would it be better to go from Vancouver to Toronto through Canada via the trans Canada highway or through the US (in terms of things to see/do)
    Once again, AZBuck's suggestion to go back and forth across the border is very interesting. Some stretches of the TransCan are only two-lane and can be very slow (ex. : western Ontario) and there are so many great things to see besides the prairies in places like South Dakota : Black Hills, Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands, Wind Cave NP, Wall Drug, Corn Palace, Oregon Trail sites and monuments, etc. Here's a road trip field report written about that area.

    You could get back on the TransCan at Sault Ste. Marie or use I-401 from Windsor. For scenery, you'll have to get off the interstate though, I-401 is not very captivating. Kingston, Gananoque and Brockville are neat cities and, to my knowledge are all a starting point for 1000 islands cruises on the St. Lawrence. Ivy Lea Provincial Park is a great place to camp overnight. Pick a spot on the waterfront and watch the lights glow on the islands at night. If you plan to go as far as Montreal, you have to make the 2½ trekk to Quebec City! Here's a post about things to do and see there. For Montreal and some east coast must sees, check out that thread. To get from Montreal to Boston, use I-10, I-55, I-91 and I-93, it'll take you through the beautiful White Mountains. If you're not in a hurry, spend some time browsing the Eastern Townships region (Knowlton, Bromont, Frelighsburg, North Hatley, Magog, etc.) and Vermont (routes 105, 118, 15, Lake Willoughby, Burlington, etc).

    Have a great trip!
    Gen

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