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  1. #1

    Default Seattle to New York... or vice-versa, any help appreciated

    Hi there, I've just found these amazing forums on the Web and I've spent some time searching through the various posts. There's so much to read!

    I'm from the UK, aged 27 with no family or real commitments (as yet), and would like to take the opportunity to get away and experience another country! I'm looking at taking a three week trip across America, probably in a rented car, flying into a city on one coast then flying home from the other coast. I enjoy socialising but I love being on my own too, so it'll probably be a solo trip as no one I know has any money and if I'm on my own I can please myself. I don't get bored easily.

    So with the preamble out of the way, I had pencilled in Seattle and New York as my start and end points. I've always wanted to see New York and Seattle not only has Peter Buck's restaurant (of R.E.M. fame), it's also near where Twin Peaks was filmed (hurray). At least I think it is.

    Obviously we're at the very early stage here and it'll take me til next summer to save but the more planning I do the better. I also need to set some money aside each month, so a rough figure on cost would be helpful (though very hard to estimate, I appreciate).

    I suppose I'm really talking to people who've done this trip... am I right in thinking there's a major road that links these two cities? What scenery can I expect along the way? Any detours of note? I hardly know the US at all. Though I know the Smashing Pumpkins are from Chicago.

    I'm interested in music and film, but most of all seeing a variety of landscapes and scenery... not necessarily the famous spots but the miles and miles of unpopulated space that good old England doesn't have.

    As far as travel and accommodation go, I'd prefer to have reservations at hotels in place before I go, and as I've said I'll be renting a car and paying for an awful lot of fuel.

    I apologise for this being vague but it's still early stages and I thought maybe someone could give me a few pointers. If I give myself three weeks does that give time for a few diversions further south along the way?

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

    Default Rock and Roll Roadtrip!

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First of all, yes there is a major highway that connects New York to Seattle. Well, techically it is two highways. I-90 will take you from Seattle to Chicago. I-90 and I-80 are joined together from Chicago to Cleveland, and I-80 then would take you right to NYC.

    There are lots of scenic wonders, such as Yellowstone National Park, Mt. Rushmore, and the Badlands, that fall along or near this route. There are also a few cities you might enjoy.

    Minneapolis has a pretty good music scene. First Avenue is a club that is owned by Prince, and hosts lots of good rock acts. They also have a smaller club next door that has more up and coming acts too.

    In Chicago, the Metro is a club that the Pumpkins played at alot back in the day. The Club is just down the street from Wrigley Field, in the popular Wrigleyville neighborhood, so there's lots of nightlife in that area.

    And of course, I think you'd find the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland to be a very enjoyable stop. I suspect Cleveland also has some good music clubs, but I don't have any that I can speak about with any experience.

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

    Default Twin Peaks? Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveUK View Post
    I've always wanted to see New York and Seattle not only has Peter Buck's restaurant (of R.E.M. fame), it's also near where Twin Peaks was filmed (hurray). At least I think it is.
    The Crocodile Cafe! I'll have to check that out sometime when I'm in Seattle. Didn't know about that.

    Yeah, the towns of Snoqualmie and North Bend are where some scenes from Twin Peaks were filmed. Be sure to check out Snoqualmie Falls when you're there.

    Did you ever watch Northern Exposure? I really loved that show. It was filmed just down the road from the Twin Peak's locations in the town of Roslyn. They used to have an annual festival to celebrate the show but I don't think it's still going on. But it's worth visiting. It's actually a cool town even without the Northern Exposure link.

    Since you sound like a rock fan, you would probably also enjoy the Experience Music Project. It has some cool exhibits, some rotating and some permanent. The permanent ones tend to celebrate the PNW artists like Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Merilee Rush, Paul Revere & the Raiders, etc. The outside of the building is amazing. It was designed by Frank Gehry, an international designed who tends to design buildings that people either love or hate. Believe me, it's an interesting looking place. I love it but I also wouldn't want something like that next door to me. :-) It was funded by Paul Allen who was Bill Gate's original partner in Microsoft. Pretty cool place. The name for this place references the Jimi Hendrix Experience band.

    The Jimi Hendrix Memorial might be worth checking out. I've never been there either so I can't vouch for it. If you're a fan, it's probably worth it.

    Of course, you could always come visit Aberdeen (the town right next door to me) to see where Kurt Cobain of Nirvana grew up. If you're interested in some info on this, let me know. We're about 2 hours west of Seattle on the coast.
    As far as travel and accommodation go, I'd prefer to have reservations at hotels in place before I go, and as I've said I'll be renting a car and paying for an awful lot of fuel.
    I really wouldn't bother. The only place I'd recommend reserving is in NYC. Unless you happen to try to stop for the night when there's something special going on, like a major festival, motels are easy to find. And, even if that happens, going just a few miles down the road is all you would need to do to find a place to sleep. You are really going to give up a lot of flexibility if you tie yourself into reservations.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-16-2007 at 12:29 PM. Reason: removed extra white spaces

  4. #4


    thanks Midwest Michael and Judy, I will make a note of everything that you've said and will try and visit as many of these places as I can. I was hoping to do a true coast-to-coast drive so Aberdeen sounds like a good a place as any to start. it seems like a long way off but the more planning the better - I don't want to get back and find I've missed something.

  5. Default

    Crocodile Cafe is more like a dingy greasy-spoon kind of place. There is a small performance space in the back along with a bar. It's probably the only classic grunge venue still in business under the same name. Lots of history and still very active in the local scene.

    I'd skip the food unless you're chasing a hangover ;) There are several other cheap eats on the same block.

    Good luck with the trip.

  6. #6


    haha thanks for the tip, I'll skip the food then.

    I'm a pretty big David Lynch fan so as well as the Twin Peaks locations looks like I can do a bit of the Straight Story route as well, through Iowa.

    well you learn something new every day, is it true nearly all the cars in the US are automatics?? I never realised.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default A Sad Truth

    Yes, unfortunatly, Americans love the Automatic transmission. Unless you get a very small car, a pickup truck, or a sports car, there aren't even very many manuals on the market any more. In fact, they are even getting hard to find in compact cars and pickups.

    If your going to be renting a car, you certainly will be getting an Automatic. I don't know of any car rental company in the US that offers any manual cars.

  8. #8


    ah an automatic's okay. I've driven one before. what I really need to do is start saving up, can anyone give me a rough idea of how much I'll need to spend a day, just on accommodation and food?

    accommodation-wise it'll be cheap and cheerful motels all the way, with maybe four or five nights in a nice hotel. food-wise I'll be eating out most of the time - mostly cheap, not-so-posh places, with the occasional more expensive restaurant every couple of days or so.

    I've had a look at some of the other budgeting tips on the forums. would $100 a day be a good average? too much? too little? forgetting other costs for the time being. thanks again for all your help, it really is appreciated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default About right

    I'd say you'll need to budget at least $50 per day for cheap motels.

    If you'll be eating at typical sit down "family restaurants," you'll spend around $10-15 per meal.

    So $100 per day would be possible, but if you are planning on splurging for nicer rooms or meal more often, then you'd probably want to budget a little more.

  10. #10


    thanks MidWest Michael, I'll have to save very hard for the next 12 months!! so far it looks like Seattle - Twin Peaks country (nr Seattle) - Yellowstone Park - Badlands Park - crossing the Mississippi at Lansing, Iowa (it was in one of my favourite films) - Chicago - Niagra Falls - down to Washington, DC - New York.

    I'll have to go almost straight down from Buffalo to Washington but I really want to see the capital and it's not too far out of the way. on Google Maps it comes in at about 3,500 miles - if anyone wants to check it out. Any ideas or thoughts on the route are welcome.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-25-2007 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Preferred URL Format

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