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  1. Default Seattle to Maine to Georgia to Seattle

    Hello!
    My boyfriend and I are planning a 4-6 week road trip across the US in Sept/Oct 2008. We'd welcome some suggestions on scenic byways we could travel on and other places to include on our trip.
    Our tentative itinerary is as follows...
    1. Drive quickly (as we've seen the NW before) from Seattle to Chicago (via Spokane, Montana, North Dakota, Minneapolis).
    2. Drive somewhat slower through Pennsylvania while en route to Niagara Falls/Buffalo.
    3. Meander up through New Hampshire & Vermont to Maine (Acadia National Park).
    4. Visit Boston, New York, Washington, DC
    5. Traverse the Blue Ridge Parkway
    6. Great Smoky Mountains
    7. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi
    8. Nashville (Mammoth Cave National Park)
    9. Head on home... possibly stop at the Grand Canyon while en route to Seattle.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Hey Neighbor!

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forum!

    It looks like a great trip and I'm sure you can do it in six weeks. If you try to do it in four weeks, it will be tight. Do-able but not a lot of time to explore. So, hopefully, you can have the whole six weeks. Even with six weeks, while you can explore you still will need to keep moving at a fairly steady clip. We figure that you can drive coast-to-coast in about 5 days on a speed run. North-to-south is about 3 days on a speed run. So that's about 16 days...over 2 weeks...just to do the driving. Use this as a guideline to help you plan.

    You didn't ask for specific suggestions so I'll just offer some random thoughts:
    * With that amount of time, you don't need a daily itinerary as in "if it's Tuesday, this must be Chicago". But do have some idea of where you want to be at the end of each week. This will let you know if you are on pace to see it all or if you need to speed up, or even if you can slow down, etc. Adjust as you want to make it work.
    * If you have a huge budget for this trip, this won't matter so much. But one place to save some money and to actually eat healthier is to eat out of your cooler for one or two meals per day. I often actually lose weight on a roadtrip, even with all the sitting, because I tend to eat healthier on the road than I do at home. While that may not matter to you, eating healthy will keep your energy up so you actually enjoy the trip better. Especially for such a long haul. The cooler link also has a link to something that might help you with your budget, if needed.
    * Plan for some non-travel days. The road is great fun. We all love the drive. But it will take its toll. You need to have some days where you don't travel at all and some where you drive only a short distance, maybe just 3-4 hours tops. I would suggest trying to have one very short day per week and one non-driving day per week.
    * Don't assume you can drive twice as long per day with two drivers to switch off. Just being in the car as a passenger also gets tiring. Especially on a multi-day/week trip.

    Please let us know what specific help you need to plan this awesome adventure. Do you want route ideas? Suggestions on places to stop? If so, what kind of things do you like to see and do? Help us help you by providing us a bit more information.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 01-10-2008 at 12:36 AM. Reason: clarification

  3. Default

    Thanks Judy, for your quick and helpful reply (especially the food ideas, as we have no desire to put on weight by eating out for a month and a half)!
    As far as specific help needed, it'd be great to get some route ideas and suggestions of places to stop.
    * route ideas: we've been checking out the byways.org website and would like to take some of the scenic two-lane highways. We have a bit of a dilemma regarding the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we'd love to take... but we'd also like to see the beaches and coastline of North/South Carolina and it seems like it'd be a lot of back and forth to do both. Ideas on how to incorporate both, or on which to choose?
    * places to stop: we're into hiking, fly-fishing, nature photography, running. We wouldn't mind seeing a museum or two and of course the highlights of the big cities. Any recommendations based on those interests?
    * the south: do you have some recommendations on places to visit in the south (Georgia, Alabama, etc)? We'd love to spend a bit more time here, as the culture of the south is so different from our own but don't have specific ideas of things to do/see here.
    Thanks so much!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Get familiar with the search function!

    You're asking for specific help in the areas of the country that I'm least familiar with. While I've been to The South and a few places in the East, these haven't been roadtrips. Unfortunately, since I'm also from Washington state, my expertise is more out here in the West. To answer your questions, I would have to do the same thing I'm advising you to do yourself...

    And that is, (1) use the search function to search out information on the various areas you're visiting. (2) You might also browse through different sections of the forums and see what posts have titles that jump out at you. (3) When you find discussions that touch on areas of interest, always make sure you scroll to the bottom of that discussion as there will be a list of other discussions about similar places. This will lead you to even more information.

    There is a wealth of information on these forums. And the planning is half the fun. So I think you'll really get a lot of good info just poking around.

    Hmmmm...I don't feel like I'm being very helpful. Sorry. Hopefully someone with more knowledge of those areas will pop in here to give you better suggestions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Some resources for you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrita View Post
    * the south: do you have some recommendations on places to visit in the south (Georgia, Alabama, etc)?
    Here are some threads, chock-full of resources that I think you will find helpful:

    AZBuck did a similar trip to the one you are planning in 2005 (in reverse)
    This road trip covered 7244 miles and 25 states in 16 days.
    A 2007 Trip in the SE section of the USA by mikphire
    A field report to the Shack-up Inn in Clarksdale, MS
    A wide-ranging report about UKCraig's recent trip to the southern states
    Another one from UKCraig: Atlanta -- Great Smokies -- Jack Daniels -- Summer 2007 --
    Savannah and Charlotte Ideas from a local member!

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default What's the Difference Between an 'S' and an 'I'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrita

    We have a bit of a dilemma regarding the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we'd love to take... but we'd also like to see the beaches and coastline of North/South Carolina and it seems like it'd be a lot of back and forth to do both. Ideas on how to incorporate both, or on which to choose?
    Yes, you will have to go a bit back and forth to do both. So what? You're talking about an extra few hundred miles on a trip of over 8000, so less than 5% more to see exactly what you want. Yes, choices have to be made on trips like this, but the two places you mention, the Carolina Coast and the Blue Ridge of the Appalachians, are two of the best natural settings the East has to offer, Don't choose between them, do them both. Leaving New England southbound, hit the historic cities of Philadelphia and Washington, and then head east on I-66 to the Blue Ridge. See Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, then around Roanoke head south to Winston-Salem and East to Manteo/Kitty Hawk at the northern end of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Explore the coast all the way down to Okracoke and then take the ferry over to Cedar Island and continue south along the coast to Charleston, SC. From there you can wander around the South a bit on your way to Nashville and the rest of your trip.

    AZBuck

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