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  1. Default Road Trip from NY

    I'm considering taking a 4-6 day long road trip with my gf in late august from NYC.

    Which direction should we head in? (North, West, South) (she votes north to canada and i vote south to get some BBQ and to drive deals gap)

    We don't really have a destination in mind, but wanted to just take the scenic/back roads and stop wherever seemed interesting. (ie: roadside diners, any nearby attractions, parks, kinda just soak up the environment)

    I've never done a trip like this before so I dont know how far to estimate we can drive a day (seeing that there is no destination, it makes it hard to estimate.. is there some kind of 'timeSpentAtattraction per mile' ratio or something? I was thinking of possibly camping every other day to save $$.. but i'm not sure if my gf would be into that (plus we'll be in a miata, so space will be at a premium).

    North, I was thinking hitting cape cod for a day, maybe freeport then maybe into quebec?

    West, not sure whats out there..

    South, i'd like to head into the deep south b/c ive never been there and the south has always held a mystique for me. but i'm not sure if NC/SC is too far.. (im also a big fan of bbq)..

    btw. i'm also a grad student who has VERY little money.. so any ideas to save money would be helpful too. (this idea resulted because i figure that it would be more adventurous/cheaper to just drive for a few days arather than fly to some touristy place, rent a car, rent a hotel etc..)

    We'll also be travelling in a mazda miata.. so we wont have very much space (was considering camping a few days.. but this is probably out). and while i have little $$, i actually have a decent # of hilton honors points accumulated when i worked.. so this is another option for housing.. but i dont anticpate finding many hilton family hotels in out of the way towns.

    So any helpful ideas of what to do, places to see?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    1,703

    Default Almost a week

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America forum!

    For more ideas on how to save $$$ on your trip, check out this section of the forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonez
    West, not sure whats out there..
    West from you is the Chatauqua region of NY - it is a very beautiful area, and not overly crowded. The Finger Lakes and the vineyards throughout the region. US-6 through PA is another option - a great road for a car like your, too. Through the Allegheny region, down into Pittsburgh, across Maryland, and back up to home. This can be accomplished within a reasonable timeframe.

    Some other rapid-fire thoughts in no particular order: Taconic State Parkway. Up through the Adirondacks. PA Amish country. The backwoods of Maine. The Poconos in PA. The Catskills, Berkshires (MA), Green Mountains (VT), White Mountains (NH), Shenandoah Valley (VA). All of these are well within reason for you to really explore (though not all on the same trip, of course).

    New York has a lot of interesting diners along its state routes, as well as mom & pop motels. It has the look of the bygone era of motor travel, and fortunately these places are still largely operational. You could do all that you wanted within even leaving your home state.

    There really are limitless options in any direction you travel. You really need to decide just how long you are willing to spend each day driving vs. sightseeing. And be willing to compromise - since there is a vote for North and a vote for South, how about East or West?

  3. Default

    I didnt really consider west all that much.. I went to college in pittsburgh (usually took the turnpike) so PA to me doesnt seem that interesting.. (but i could be wrong.. ive never really done the PA drive as a 'leisurely' drive) the only places ive really stopped at are the outlets along the turnpike. As for upstate NY i hadn't really considered it since staying in the same state doesnt seem all that adventurous and in line with the spirit of a 'road trip'.. but thanks for the idea.. i'll look into it and throw it up as an idea to the gf.

    East.. as in long island? nah.. i lived there for way too long and have been up to orient point a few times (never to the hamptons, but summer crowds are enough to make me want to stay away).

    I think the northern route could be done at a leisurely pace, but we've already done the connecticut coast, RI, area. I've also been up to maine etc, but not my GF. If we do that, I figure we could go up the coast, then take the country roads up north back down to NY... though this is a trip id like to save for the fall sometime should I ever have the time so we can enjoy the amazing foliage.

    What interests me most is the southern route due to having never been anywhere south of Fairfax VA, the historical perspective, architecture, and cuisine, and driving on deals gap all appeal to me greatly.. i just wonder how many days of driving it will take to get to all these places. I wouldnt mind doing 5 of 6 hours of driving on 2 or 3 days just to get there.. but im wondering if thatll be enough to get down to tennesee, and possibly NC/SC. i'd like to take it easy on atleast 3 days just to enjoy the area and not drive as much (But if we have to drive a few hours i guess thats fine).

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

    Default North vs South

    Hi Bonez,

    I really can't help you with the dilemma, north, south and west all seem attractive to me. Since you seem to be less interested in what lies west, here are a couple of ideas to help you choose between north and south :

    North :

    Cape Cod National Seashore, MA;
    Provincetown, Cape Cod MA;
    Witch Museum, Salem
    Freedom Trail, Boston;
    Harvard University Campus, Cambridge
    Charlestown, MA;
    Legal Sea Foods, Boston;
    Dinner on Newberry St. (ex. : Stephanie's, Tapeo, etc), Boston;
    Fire & Ice Restaurant, Boston;
    New England and Quebec;
    Montreal attractions;
    Quebec City attractions;
    Eastern Townships, Quebec;
    --campgrounds are easy to find virtually everywhere in New England and Quebec except in bigger cities

    South :

    Cape May, NJ-Lewes, DE Ferry;
    Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to VA;
    Elvis Week (Aug) & Graceland, Memphis;
    D.C. attractions;
    Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville;
    Beale Street, Memphis;
    BB King's Blues Club, Memphis;
    Blue Ridge Parkway;
    Illegal Drugs Exhibition, DEA Museum, Arlington, VA;
    Cypress Grill, Jamesville, NC;
    Route 12 and the Outer Banks of NC;
    Wright Bros National Memorial (US 158);
    Cape Hatteras National Seashore
    Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, Charleston, SC;
    Charleston Museum, SC;
    Bull Island, SC;

    Good luck!

    Gen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default A common myth

    As for upstate NY i hadn't really considered it since staying in the same state doesnt seem all that adventurous and in line with the spirit of a 'road trip'.. but thanks for the idea.. i'll look into it and throw it up as an idea to the gf.
    This is probably one of the biggest traps people fall into when roadtrip planning. They get so excited to see "what's out there," that they fail to look right below their own nose.

    Some of the best roadtrip adventures you can ever take are within just a few hours of where you live. Yet, It's funny really how many things that "tourists" do in a city that many of the residents have never done.

    An adventure is as close as you want it to be, and that holds true no matter if you live in New York, California, or anywhere in between.

  6. Default

    Wow.. thanks for all of the ideas!!

    it'll be a tough choice now..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A String of Two Hour RoadTrips?

    Quote Originally Posted by bonez
    Wow.. thanks for all of the ideas!! it'll be a tough choice now..
    To paraphrase, Midwest Michael, some of the best roadtrip destinations are less than an hour away. I am a fan of the two hour roadtrip and you might even consider making a string of two-hour roadtrips in whatever direction you choose. This could even lead to a smaller strand of twenty-hour roadtrips!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-26-2006 at 08:09 PM. Reason: fixed darn typos

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default Penna

    Quote Originally Posted by bonez
    I didnt really consider west all that much.. I went to college in pittsburgh (usually took the turnpike) so PA to me doesnt seem that interesting..
    I use to feel this way, looking at PA as an obstacle to be gotten through as quickly as possible, which is hard due to the geography of the state (notice that SW-NE direction of most roads due to the mountains?).

    Then one day I decided to see what I was missing and embrace it. My travel partner agreed with me, so we starting investigating destinations.

    Now, every year for Patriot's Day (around April 17), we make a trip to PA and it's one of the best decisions we've ever made.

    Pittsburgh - that is a really interesting city, a gateway nestled at the start of the mighty Ohio River and offering awesome food on the cheap. I thought it would be steeped in steel mills and the like - wow, I was way off base. It's amazing what can happen to a place when people are focusing elsewhere.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    10,059

    Default One of my favorite cities in the country!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mass Tim
    Pittsburgh - that is a really interesting city, a gateway nestled at the start of the mighty Ohio River
    One of my all-time favorite road views is exiting the tunnels about 6 am inbound to Pittsburgh as the morning light hits the Alcoa tower and the rest of the city. It looks magical and it always reminds me of Oz. The strip at Pittsburgh is pretty fun and the entire Pittsburgh metro holds many fond memories for me.

    Mark

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