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  1. Default cross country northern route

    HI there!

    I am doing a drive from VA to seattle, WA to start a new job and plan to take the I-80 the bulk of the way through the mid-west. Only have about 4-5 days to do it, but would welcome any restaurant/accommodation stop ideas along the way that would be different from the usual roadside fast food and motel chains.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Long Road Ahead

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Just so you know, you are looking at around a 3000 mile trip. If you are looking at doing this in 5 days, you'll need to be in a car 11 hours a day for each day of your trip. While that's not impossible, its a pretty grueling pace.

    I also have a question about your route, where do you plan to cut up to I-90? You can cut up from I-80 at a number of places, with Chicago and Omaha being the two most direct options.

    Without knowing your specific route, I can't offer a whole lot of specifics. However, in general terms, you should be able to find good local restaurants and mom and pop motels in almost every town (even the small ones). They are a great way to get away from the chains, get a feel for the local flavor, and often save money at the same time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Just look for where the cars are

    When I want to enjoy the local flavor at a mom-and-pop restaurant, I get a mile or so off of the freeway and look for a place with lots of cars. Or, if I'm stopping for gas, I'll ask around. I've found some little gems this way.

    But, Michael's right, you're gonna have extremely long driving days and may not have time to do this for each meal. I suggest that you do a lot of eating out of your cooler. Stop and refill at full-size grocery stores, not expensive mini-marts. This way you can eat healthier so you'll have the zip and zing you'll need for long driving days. And you'll also save a LOT of time. Eating out only once a day, or every other day, will make it a treat when you do instead of giving you that "oh, no, more restaurant food" feeling that can occur after a few days on the road.

    And check out The Art of the Speed Run for tips on how to gain the most enjoyment out of all these long hours on the road and how to do it all safely.

    After you settle in Seattle and want to explore the great PNW, let us know. I live up here, too, and another moderator used to live up here. We love to share tips.

  4. Default

    thanks for your input. Will plan to hit I-80 in chicago. Also have a navigator with me so surely will make the lengthy trip less grueling. Unfortunately would rather have a longer time to meander, but no such luck. I am very much looking forward to exploring the pacific northwest once I get out there!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Still Puzzled

    How are you routing yourself for this trip? I-80 ends up in San Francisco, not Seattle, so if you are planning on heading west on I-80 from Chicago, you could be going a long way out of your way.

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