Boston to Northern CA in five days?
After living in Boston for two years I am moving back to California in July. My brother will be flying out and then we will be making the trek cross country in my car. I had originally wanted to try and take Route 66- however I would rather the trip not take longer than 5 or 6 days and everything I've read recomends around 2 weeks for that trip. If anyone has recomendations on what route/s I should take given my desired trip duration I would apreciate them. Especially if anyone can recomend a way to take route 66 partially, but spend more time on the freeways, cutting down on total travel time. Or perhaps take a more direct route but catch part of Route 66? Any suggestions, opinions and relevent anecdotes are welcome. Also we're planning on camping the whole time so any tips on that would be great as well.
Not enough time
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
Boston to California is a solid 5 to 6 day drive with the most direct route, which involves I-90 to I-80. You will have to drive 500-600 miles a day as it is to make it across country in that time frame, which is certanly do-able, but it is generally on the top end of what most people consider enjoyable.
Also keep in mind, that if you are camping, that does add a couple of things to remember. Generally, campsites are farther away from an interstate than hotels, so you need to plan a little extra travel time in there, and while a campsite can certainly be set up in the dark, it generally is easier when there is at least a little bit of light.
Having said all that, I don't see a way to add any stretch of route 66 to this trip in this timeframe. The strech from Chicago to St. Louis is really the only part that is even potentially feasable, but under your time frame, the only thing you could really do is take the interstate (I-55) that follows its general path and maybe stop at one of the roadside diners that still exists, but even that is adding sigificant mileage to a trip that's already pushing daylight.
If your trip is going faster than expected, one detour that would be possible is to take I-70 through Colorado and Utah. That stretch gets my vote as the most scenic interstate in america. Cutting down via I-76 and back via US6, would add a few miles, but might be worth considering if everything goes as well as you hope in the first half of the trip.
Good luck and happy planning.
The (Grand)Mother Roads
I agree with Michael that you're going to be pressed to make the journey from Boston to California in the time you have available, and that Route 66, the "Mother Road", is a bit far off your course to include. You do, however, have a couple of options for historic routes to follow, roads that were heavily used in the building of America and were here long before US-66 was even thought of. In the East, you can follow portions of the old National Road, (check this post). In the West, you'll be following the route of the old Oregon Tail on I-80 along the North Platte River, so make some stops that let you get to know it, such as mentioned in these posts (Post_1, (Post_2).
You could pick up portions of the Lincoln Highway -- here is a little more info about this first transcontinental highway!
Originally Posted by Homeward Bound Molly
Molly -- where in California are you heading?
Like everyone else, I think you're going to be majorly pressed for time to do a cross country in the time you have allocated, let alone push to get along old Route 66.
Having said that.. if you're heading for northern California your best bet to hit any of R-66 is perhaps in the mid west, as someone pointed out along I-55. I have no experience on this part of the country, so other folks' advice is much more accurate than mine.
If you're heading for So Cal, the an option might be to swing down and hit I-40, perhaps at Oklahoma City, and head west. This is going to depend upon your traveling time, but I-40 travels pretty much along old R-66 from Albuquerque to LA, so you'll be able to hit some of the R-66 points of interest in places like Gallup NM, Holbrook NM (the Wigwam Hotel), Winslow AZ, Flagstaff, Williams, Needles, and etc. I've seen R-66 celebrated in towns along I-40 from Holbrook west, but have little/ no experience east of ABQ.
What to do on I-80?...and Wi Fi
Thanks to everyone who responded to my last question. Big help! It now looks like me and my brother are definitely going to take I-80 from Boston to CA so I was hoping people could give me some "must sees" along the way (like cool streches of highway that run fairly parallel to 80, national parks, crazy Jane in middleofnowhereville who will tell you a story for a nickle and a hug, etc). Also has anyone used the Wi Fi through Flying J truckstops? My brother needs to be able to email in some papers for an internet summer class and thus far that looked like the best way to assure we would have hotspots along the way (plus we have to stop somewhere for gas anyway... two birds?).
Starbucks! Like 99% of Starbucks have WiFi...
Also check out the hotels you're staying in. Most of the medium size hotels have it now, at least in the "business center" and some chains now make it a selling point.
I- 90 to 71 to 70 to 44 to 40 to 5- What to see along the way
I am driving cross country from Boston to California in about a week and a half. I've decided on this route (I-90 to 71 to 70 to 44 to 40 to 5) because we can hit both Niagara Falls as well as the Grand Canyon. Can anyone advise some other "must see"'s along the way?
Still a 5-6 day trip?
In changing your route have you added some time to your trip? Right now, you've got a trip that's nearly 3500 miles long. Even over 6 days, you'd have to average nearly 11 hours a day on the road - not including time for stops. Even if you spend just a half day at each Niagra Falls and Grand Canyon, you'd have to average 700 miles a day for the rest of your trip. Again to put that in perspective, that's nearly 13 hours of driving at a minimum. More extended stops to log-on to Wi-Fi or other roadside attractions will drive those times up even farther.
As far as other must sees along the route, obviously the St. Louis Arch is right along your path, not to mention, most of your trip from the Mississippi River to California follows RT-66, so you'll have plenty of options for things to do. But unless you've added a significant amount of time to your trip, I really don't think you'll have a chance to do any of them.