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  1. Default New York to San Francisco with Kids

    My hubbie and I are planning a roadtrip from NY to San Francisco next week! We have our 2 small boys ages 6 & 7 with us. We have family in Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis and California (LA and SF). We want to see NY (Statue of Liberty, Times Square, etc), Niagra Falls, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Hoover Dam and anything else we can on the road. We have a total of 5 weeks total. We think we can go westward in one week, stay in Cali for 3 weeks and then take a week to go back to NY. Is this doable? What are highlights for kids? What is the best route I-70 or I-40 or Route 66 backroads? Any tips, advice would be great!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default For Starters

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    There is no "best" route. The difference in mileage between I-80 and I-40/I-44 (the old US-66 alignment) is really minimal considering the length of the drive ahead of you, and both general routes will take you by some great (albeit different) stuff. This is a good example of when alternate routes out and back make sense. Use a northern set of roads one way, hitting Niagara Falls, Chicago, the Oregon Trail, the Great Salt Lake and Lake Tahoe between New York and San Francisco. On the other run take in Indianapolis, St. Louis, the Ozarks, the Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas between New York and Los Angeles.

    One logistical recommendation would be to steal a few days from the west coast portion to add to the driving portions. You can make the crossing in 7 days, but that is going to be tough on the boys after a few days. They'll need time each day out of the car to just run around and blow off steam. Such stops don't all have to be at grand attractions - they'll be just as happy at a state park lake or even a town park playground - but taking 1 or 2 such breaks each day will make their journey, and yours, a whole lot easier.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Traveling Time

    I don't think your estimate of 7 days driving each way cross country is realistic, if you are planning to make the stops you've listed. Driving at a moderate pace, which is highly recommended with kids, it will take you about 7 days to make the drive alone. So from there, I'd add on the amount of time you plan to spend at each of the main attractions you want to see.

    As far as a route, I agree with Buck that going out via I-80 and coming back via I-40/44/70 seems like a good fit for your trip. If you are willing to add a little more time to your traveling, I might cut down to I-70 through Colorado and Utah, before picking up I-80 again at Salt Lake City, but if you are trying to make up miles to spend more time in California, then I'd stick to I-80.

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