Highways, Interstates and everything inbetween!!
im from the UK and its always been my dream to roadtrip across America. id like to do the trip next summer (08) if i can find people who'd like to tag along (i dont really fancy doing it by myself, but if thats what i have to do then so be it!)
i just have one question at the moment:
id like to take in the scenic route as much as possible during the trip and be at the mercy of the open road. so therefore, which routes are the best for this? the reason i am asking is that ive read alot of threads about highways and interstates and am therefore confused about the difference between them. id like to stay away from overely traffic congested routes and therefore would just like to know which roads/road types to take. at least then i can start planning a route!!!!
Thanks in advance
Hello from another Brit
Interstates are the equivalent of motorways, autobahns, autoroutes, etc. All guardrail and fastfood joints. It is entirely possible to get around without using them but, when time is restricted as it usually is when flying in from the UK, they are a necessary evil. Of course, not all Interstates are despressing so, if you let us know more about your planned trip, we can maybehelp suggest a suitable route.
Thanx for the reply criag.
erm....time wont really be an issue for me as im planning on taking around 2 months for the trip.
id just like to know how highways, interstates and other routes differ
I think you'll probably find that a mix of highways is going to be your best choice.
Craig already explained interstates, but they are the typical Super-Slab, where you can only get on or off at designated stops. But they have higher speed limits and they get the vast majority of the country's Long Distance travel.
US and State Highways are typically 2 lane roads, although they made add more lanes or even become freeways in some high traffic areas. These roads will take you right down the main street of many, if not most towns and cities throughout the country. Of course, that means you also have to deal with stop signs, crossing traffic, and other things which generally make them a much slower option than the Interstates.
And of course, there are also other local roads that typically take you into more remote locations, that are typically used by locals to get to more rural locations, or they are just old highways that have been replaced by more modern roads. Many ofthese roads often aren't even on large maps, but they certainly can be fun if you just want to see where the road takes you.
Of course, there is rarely any one choice that works for a roadtrip, I suspect you'll end up taking a mix of all different kinds of routes as you travel across the country.
Great thnx. thats just what i was looking for. i now understand what will take me where.
i already knew that the interstates would take up most of the trip but was just wondering how id get to the core of cities/towns etc.
this answers in perfectly. Thanks
just one more question: would that mean that id use interstates for coastal driving or will there be alternatives?
Where you heading?
Like the UK there is a mix of roads on which you could do the same journey. It really depends where you're heading and how long you wanna take.
Cool. well i dont really have any plans as of yet. but at least now i know what options i have.
thanx for all the advice roadtrippers. ill keep checking the site as usual but ill be sure to make a post or two once i have some sort of foundation for the trip
Look forward to hearing your plans as time goes on.
For the east coast, I've driven Routes 1 and 9, and I think Route 17 further south. It's definitely worth taking the time to find those smaller highways, since the drive is really pleasant, and they are far less crowded in the summer time!
Originally Posted by choobakka
For the west coast, there's Highway 101. We're planning on driving that highway this summer; I have driven small segments before, so I know it will be far more pleasant than just zipping down the main interstate.
Depending on where you are going, and how much flexibility you have, I think there are always going to be smaller highways you can take (possible exception: getting over the Rockies, which may require spending at least some time on an interstate).
me and a friend are planning a roadtrip next summer (08). we are in the preliminary stages at the moment so theres a long way to go yet!
we thought of 1 route today with the major locations mapped out (obviously we will stop and see other things on the way but the main 'pit stops' are as follows:
fly to NY from UK and rent a car,
NY > CHICAGO
CHICAGO > SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANSCISCO > LA
LA > SAN DIEGO
SAN DIEGO > LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS > ORLANDO
we calculated this at about 6000 - 6200 miles. we have no idea what a trip like this would cost. obviously fuel, motels, food will come into account. thing is we have a very tight budget - something like $3000 each (including flights). im not looking for help calculating costs. id just like to know if the above trip is too much to try and achieve with our budget? we'd like to get as much in a possible in this one trip as we are unlikely to have this sort of time (6-8 weeks) available to us for a very very long time. we will be 22 and 24 when the trip rolls around.
any help/advice would be appreciated
Thanks in advance