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  1. #1

    Default 5-6 Weeks, FL->CO->PA->FL, 6,000+ miles

    My girlfriend and I are using our last summer before the "real world" to take a roadtrip from the University of Miami, FL, to my parents in Boulder, CO, east to Philly, and down the east coast back home. Neither of us has ever roadtripped before so we would love some advice. Time isn't much of an issue, we are looking forward to not being pressured and being able to go where we want when we want. All we know is we want to leave after the 4th of July (probably that weekend) and be back in time for classes to start around the 20th of August. Budget is somewhat of a concern, but we will be driving a Honda Accord Hybrid, and as a 21st birthday present my parents will be paying for the gas. We plan on doing about a 75% camping to 25% budget motels ratio. We are considering getting a National Parks pass to save on camping prices; do you think it's worth our 50 bucks? We have a Coleman Roadtrip LXE grill and both like to cook so plan on cooking most meals with and using grocery stores to save some money over dining out everyday.
    We are AAA members so we have been reading books and using the online TripTik, and have come up with a basic route / some of the major cities we would like to hit:

    Miami
    Montgomery/Birmingham, AL
    Nashville
    Memphis
    Little Rock
    Oklahoma City
    Santa Fe, NM
    Colorado Springs/Denver/Boulder(family)
    Lincoln, NE
    Kansas City
    St. Louis
    Louisville, KY
    Lexington
    Cincinnati
    Sandusky, OH (Cedar Point!)
    Akron, OH (family)
    Pittsburgh
    Hershey, PA
    Philadelphia
    Baltimore
    DC Suburbs (went to downtown area a year ago, want to see what's outside of the Metro range)
    Williamsburg/Jamestown
    Norfolk/Newport News/Virginia Beach
    Outer banks/Hatteras
    Charleston, SC
    Savannah, GA
    St. Augustine
    Miami!

    Not sure what there is to see in a lot of these places and some of them are just bigger cities along the general route we were looking to take. The TripTik said this was just over 6,000 miles, but we are looking forward to taking scenic routes, see some small towns (as a change from Miami), and a few detours here and there so i expect this to get closer to 6,200-6,500. We are really looking to get away from it all and have a relaxing time exploring the country, getting out of the hustle and bustle of Miami, and take advantage of the fact that we have 6 weeks straight of vacation.

    This trip is getting closer! What advice do you have for a couple of rookies? Places to see, things to do, other cities close to that route we may have missed (neither of us have ever lived outside of FL, so we don't know much about the other 49).

    I know this is a long post so I should probably just end it and see what you all have to say! Thanks a lot for your help and expertise!
    Last edited by PeterS; 06-23-2007 at 03:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Chacun à Son Goût

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, it's certainly an eclectic trip! There's certainly nothing terribly wrong with it and a couple of months on the road is a great way to prepare yourselves for 'real life'. A few comments: Unfortunately, the National Parks Pass is now $80 and only covers entrance fees to the national parks, not camping or other fees. But on the plus side, that $80 does cover both of you and the car and will pay for itself after the first few park visits. One tip. The clock on those now starts ticking when you purchase it, so don't buy yours until you go to enter your first park. They are for sale at every entry station. I think you're going to end up being more like 7,000 miles on this trip if you wander very much, but that is still a quite reasonable amount of driving to be doing over two months. One place I would add some miles is at the far west end of your trip. It would be a shame to go all that way and only see the Rockies from the base of the Front Range. You should really go just a bit farther and actually do some mountain driving. One good option would be to take US-64/US-84 from Santa Fe up to Pagosa Springs, CO and then US-160 to Durango, up the Million Dollar Highway (US-550) to Montrose, and then east on US-50 through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison on your way to Colorado Springs. That only adds about 125 miles to your trip, but would be spectacularly different from anything currently on your itinerary. Finally, have a look at this post by Judy for some estimates on a travel budget, and don't forget to stop at the Welcome Centers as you enter each new state. They are a wonderful source of both ideas of what to do and discount coupons for doing it.

    AZBuck.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-23-2007 at 06:33 PM. Reason: added link to Million Dollar Highway article

  3. #3

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks a lot for your post. The addition to the west might be a great one, especially if we end up stopping in Vail (for a family reunion in the end of July) on our way to Boulder and just toss out Colorado Springs (I've been there before, the AF Academy was nice, but I wasn't that impressed). By changing that route and going from Gunnison to Vail via 285/24/91 would only add 55 miles to the trip, so it would definitely be worth it. Seeing the mountains more would be a great addition for us Floridians, plus we were looking for some more sights for the pre-Boulder part of the trip, which seemed less exciting than the post-Boulder part. Anyone else know of any nice drives or places to to see on our route between Florida and Santa Fe?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default More from AZBuck

    Here is a field report that cris-crosses some of your route that I think you might find interesting

    There are a few interesting places on your journey before you reach Santa Fe... Natchez Trace and the Great River Road, New Orleans, virtually of Arkansas (but if you only have time for one place -- Eureka!!!) Lots of western history in Oklahoma and here is a great thread on Nebraska.

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default Anyone been to New Orleans recently?

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    There are a few interesting places on your journey before you reach Santa Fe... Natchez Trace and the Great River Road, New Orleans, virtually of Arkansas...
    Is New Orleans safe right now? We scrapped it because I saw an article in the USA Today showing the sharp increase in crime, specifically murder and robbery, over the last year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Write to Chad!

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterS View Post
    Is New Orleans safe right now? We scrapped it because I saw an article in the USA Today showing the sharp increase in crime, specifically murder and robbery, over the last year.
    As a working contributor to USA-Today, I have to "pull my punches" but I would view those stats as a little stretchy. Yes, that community has been hammered and yes crime is an issue (but it has been for at least 100 years or so) -- Chat Whitney (author of this field report) lives and works in New Orleans and I think he is a good source for you.

    Mark

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