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Thread: Epic RoadTrip

  1. Default The start of an epic journey

    Ok, I'm from the UK and the U.S is the first port of call for me and my friend on our world trip. I plan to travel from NYC - L.A with a friend starting at the end of August when we fly in from the UK. We would like to end up in L.A. about 2 months later.

    The places we want to visit in between are Washington, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, Austin, Denver, All the national parks(Bryce etc), Las Vegas, Yosemite & San Fran.

    We will fly between Miami & New Orleans and Austin & Denver.

    Please could people help with the following questions:-

    What are must see's that I have missed?
    Which parts will be boring/difficult overland routes?
    Is 2 months enough?
    Is it easier to see Yosemite between Vegas and San Fran or San Fran and L.A.

    We may fly Vegas to San Fran, would this be a mistake?

    I would be eternally grateful if someone has the patience to give me a rough idea how long each segment would take if we were to take our time and spend a night or 2 at most major towns/cities.

    Sorry forgot to mention also we are uncertain about which is the best/cheapest ways to get around the U.S.

    We will be travelling on public transport from NYC to Denver but we have the option of buying/renting a car for the rest of the journey.

    What I really need advice on is how to get about.
    We really want to see all the national parks(bryce, arches yosemite, grand canyon) but I am struggling to find any information to tell me how accessible these places are by public transport, e.g. Greyhound.

    We are open to buying/renting a car. If the greyhound is going to restrict us which i fear it is we may have to bite the bullet and buy a car. i thought there may be an option of renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another. Is this possible? If it is could you please tell me which companies do this.

    Also, if someone could tell me a rough timescale of how long it will take to complete the journey I would be very grateful.

    The trip will be:-

    NYC - Miami
    Miami - New Orleans
    New Orleans - Austin
    Austin - flight to Denver
    Denver - Las Vegas(via all the national parks in Colorado)
    Vegas - San Fran
    San Fran - L.A

    We want to stop at all interesting places in between and not be rushed.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-20-2006 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Edited for clarification

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default Quite the adventure

    Welcome to the RTA Forum.

    First, you won't be able to see all the national parks. There's about 60 of them, spread out throughout the country, including Alaska and Hawaii. Many of them are difficult to get to with public transportation, however the National Park Service does say what transportation options are available on each park's website. Start at www.nps.gov and then pick the parks you want to visit.

    As far as getting place to place, the U.S. simply doesn't have a very good mass transit system. Greyhound will take you to a lot of places, but they also stop at every small town along the way, making a cross country trip a very lengthy adventure. Amtrak isn't a bad option, in some ways. They can get you across the country in a more reasonable amount of time, and I believe you can buy a ticket from them that will give you unlimited rides over 30 days. However, with Amtrak you are significantly limited in where you can go. Many parts of the country are hundreds of miles from the nearest Amtrak line.

    Car is the best choice for freedom, but its also the most expensive. Most major rental companies do offer one way rentals, but there is almost always a significant surcharge for doing this. If you take this option, it will almost certainly be cheaper to rent a car in NYC and driving it all the way to California.
    You could also try to purchase a car, but then you also have to deal with buying insurance, as well as taxes and licensing, which can be difficult without a U.S. address.

  3. Default NYC to Miami

    I am planning on travelling from New York to Miami later this year(Aug/Sep). From previous threads I have posted I have decided that driving is the way to go.

    I have discovered a company called auto driveaway who ask for people to transport cars to various parts of the country. All I have to do is pay for the gas. Obviously they will want this done in a certain time frame(400 miles a day) and I need to make sure that I won't be rushing. If I am rushing I will just rent a car.

    I am planning to stop at quite a few places along the way for at least one night. Is there any places which will require more than that to see it all?

    As I am from the UK I have no concept of how far places are from each other in the U.S. Is it feasible to have a relaxed road trip, see all the interesting places between NYC and Miami and cover 400 miles a day? If not, what is realistic? By the way i am going with a friend who can share the driving.

    Many Thanks
    The Bear

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default There are several of these companies

    Quote Originally Posted by the bear
    I have discovered a company called auto driveaway who ask for people to transport cars to various parts of the country. All I have to do is pay for the gas. Obviously they will want this done in a certain time frame(400 miles a day) and I need to make sure that I won't be rushing. If I am rushing I will just rent a car.
    Auto Driveaway and the other types of firms who offer this service have a downside -- namely your time is not your own. They are not really interested in having you pursue a tourist lifestyle. You are expected to drive non-stop every day between points A & B. If you are seeking an interesting job -- and also a chance to travel -- it can be a viable option, but it really isn't a good option if you want to stop and see places and attractions along the way. More information about these services is available on our International visitor's pages.
    As I am from the UK I have no concept of how far places are from each other in the U.S. Is it feasible to have a relaxed road trip, see all the interesting places between NYC and Miami and cover 400 miles a day? If not, what is realistic? By the way i am going with a friend who can share the driving.
    Not really. Well, it really depends upon what you mean by "relaxed" -- To cover 400 miles, you have to allow about seven hours of driving per day (even if you are traveling at or near the legal speed limits). So, if you also want to do some hiking, exploring, shopping, clubbing, etc. during those days, you will need to be traveling 9-10 hours per day. Doable, but not "relaxing".

    Mark

  5. Default Epic RoadTrip

    Hi all,
    As promised this is the proposed leg 2 of my journey across America.

    I have approximately 3 weeks to get from New Orleans to Las Vegas which will take me through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arzona.

    I have the second part of this journey just about sorted, my highest point being Moab in Utah and taking a South Westerley direction through all the natural wonders that cross our path (which amounts to quite a few).

    The first part however is a bit up in the air. We plan to spend a couple of nights in Austin and possibly Houston (is Houston worth a couple of days and is New Orleans to Austin a realistic distance to drive in one day?).
    From Austin however I am torn between going north to Fort Worth or West to Big Bend national park. Either path hopefully will end up at Carlasbad to see the caverns.

    From there it will hopefully be up to Sante Fe and then on to Durango, Colorado.

    Please can someone give me any advice as to which is the most interesting path to take and any other possible routes up to Moab.

    Many Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Leg 2

    Just to answer a couple of your questions...

    New Orleans to Austin is a shade over 500 miles, so that is completely within the realm of possibility for a one day drive, especially as most of it is on interstate. I've spent a fair amount of time in Houston, but all of it was work related and when I got the odd free day, I was always driving the backroads out of town rather than looking for stuff to do there, so I can't be of much help on that score. If I had my druthers, I'd get from Austin to Carlsbad by way of San Antonio and Big Bend. You could even see two different versions of the Alamo on this route, the real one in San Antonio and the movie version mentioned in this post. Finally, the drive up US-84 and US-160 between Santa Fe and Durango is gorgeous. Take just a minute and wander into Abiquiu.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default alternative itinerary

    Hi there!

    Please can someone give me any advice as to which is the most interesting path to take and any other possible routes
    Usually when I plan a trip I don't have any precise itinerary and I don't pick out a particular route in advance unless the route IS the attraction in itself. I usually take out a map, put dots where the must see attractions are and try to draw the most direct and natural route between them. Even when I do so, my itinerary changes continuously while on the road because I tend to ask local people about other attractions, what are the most scenic roads. Chances are I'll find incredible treasures in the most unexpexted areas. Unfortunately, when you only have a couple of weeks you sometimes have to make tough choices.

    The first part however is a bit up in the air.
    Here's a post that might help you for the deep south portion of your trip.

    From Austin however I am torn between going north to Fort Worth or West to Big Bend national park. Either path hopefully will end up at Carlasbad to see the caverns.
    Personally, I'd definitely opt for Big Bend NP but it depends on what type of attractions you prefer. Big Bend is a rugged piece of land of pristine beauty in a very remote area of Texas. Not much tourists out there, it is perfect if you like peaceful environments. To learn more check out this article by one of our contributors.

    Please can someone give me any advice as to which is the most interesting path to take and any other possible routes up to Moab.
    I believe all routes to Moab must be very scenic. An alternative to your Santa Fe to Durango route could be cutting through north eastern Arizona to Petrified Forest NP, Canyon De Chelly (stay and arrange a tour at the Thunderbird Lodge in Chinle), Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado or Vermillion cliffs, Grand Canyon North rim and Bryce Canyon in AZ. Near Moab don't miss Arches and Canyonlands NP and drive the Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (route 128). For more suggestions check out this post.

    Have a fun trip!
    Gen

  8. #8

    Default

    Be sure not to miss Death Valley between Las Vegas and LA. It is one of the most incredible places you will ever be. Also, I noticed that the northeast was left out of your adventure! Being a native Mainer, I must say that New England is something you won't want to miss, particularly for the early American history and it's ties to Britain. Here's a thought: often it is much cheaper to buy a car and drive it around for a while than to rent one-way. It is also quite easy to get a post office box in most major cities. You could purchase a car and insurance, it would probably only take a few days for the paperwork to get to you in the mail. While you wait, you could take a train or bus from NYC to Boston and spend a few days seeing the sights. Boston is a beautiful city with a good transportation system, so it's easy to get around without a car. For the car, check out www.craigslist.org navigate to different cities on the right hand side of the page. A lot of people sell used cars cheaply on there, just watch out for scam artists!

  9. #9

    Default Images of Parks

    An interesting website for panoramic images of many US & Canadian parks is Virtual parks

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