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  1. Default What to do in the middle?

    Hello guys,
    I've been browsing the forum for a few days now after the ingenious idea of driving coast to coast in the USA popped into my head whilst under the afluence of incohol the other night, and now i can't shake it.

    The rough plan at the moment is fly to an east coast city, Washington or Boston probably. Hire a car and make my way to San Fran' for my return flight 4 weeks later. The only place i can really think of visiting is Bonneville salt flats and Niagra falls. please tell me that the US isn't one big interstate and that there is something to do in the middle of it. I like the idea of staying in hostels as apposed to BnBs and Motels because i would quite like to meat other travellers, and i am tight with my cash.

    I have no preference to being in the north or the south or the millage covered, i am going in either October 08 or Feb 09 (depending on how quickly i get my arse into gear). I've got about £5000 ($10,000 at the current exchange rate) to pay for flights and car rental. I much prefer country side to big smelly cities. I can cope with the cold being a hardend brit, but a hint of sun and temperaturs above 20c and i go all pink and melt. hence my autumn/late winter dates.

    Thanks in advance,


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

    Default 1924 Ideas

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Of course there is far more than the couple of places you've listed. Start by just taking a look at this A-Z list looking at things to do in every state, province, and territory in the US and Canada.

    Hosteling sounds like a good option for your trip, check out this article for a little more information on the topic.

  3. Default choices

    thanks for that, however it is almost too much choice. that'll take a whole day to work through and cut out what i don't like.
    Not knowing much about the geography of America i have no idea which states are beautiful to look at. where will i find mountains and forests and wild bears? should i expect snow and those apocalyptic ice storms you guys have? and can you get through Canada and onto Alaska easily? would i need to get more visas? because they look like the most beautiful places i have seen*.


    *apart from the Scottish Highlands.

  4. #4
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Can-Ak

    I'm not certain about the immigration laws of Canada in dealing with other fellows of the Commonwealth (Since Elizabeth is also the Queen of Canada), but I doubt you'll have too many problems if you have your papers for entering the US. I'd still check with a Canadian Embassy or, better yet, the UK Consultate to Canada for clarification.

    As far as finding forests, there are large swaths of forests both east coast and west coast. Some of the best to see are anywhere in the Pacific North West (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Northern California). Washington has the Olympic National Forest and National Park, one of the only temperate rain forests in the world.

    The best thing to do is get a map of the US that shows National Parks and National Forests (which is pretty much any Road Atlas).

    Mountains are abound west and east, and generally run north and south.

    One road I would highly recommend (and it would keep you further north) is driving the full length of US 2 from Michigan to Washington. You'll go through the northern plains, the Rocky Mountains (including the world famous Glacier National Park, a world heritage site), the Columbia Basin of Eastern Washington, crossing the mighty Columbia River, and then crossing the Cascade Mountains (also known as the American Alps) over Stevens Pass (excellent skiing) and ending in Everett, WA on the shores of Puget Sound across from The Olympic Peninsula.

    Just my 2 cents.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Alaska, too?

    I don't think you will want to make that drive in October or February, especially not February. It's more of a summer trip due to weather-conditions. And you will have to move really fast if you're going to add those extra miles to your trip.

    Arizona Brad gave you some great suggestions. After doing US 2, you could enjoy the coastal drive down to San Francisco and visit the Giant Redwoods in northern California and other forest/ocean settings along the way.

    You might also enjoy I-70 which would take you through varying scenery, such as the Great Plains and farm country of the Midwest, then into the Rockies Mountains of Colorado with its beautiful forests, and then into the more desert areas of Utah and Nevada, then over the Sierra Nevada mountains with its smaller pine forests, and over to the coast for the Redwoods before heading south to San Francisco.

    Of course, as a Washingtonian, I think Brad's idea of visiting my state and enjoying its forests is the best option, LOL, but you do have other options.

    It's difficult for us to tell you the best route as they're all good, just different. You will really need to do some research on this. You should poke around on these forums, read guidebooks (we have some recommendations in our book area you might enjoy), and keep asking questions so that we can help you plan a great trip.

  6. Default

    Visiting Washington and Oregon is now on the cards having just traced US-2. detour down to SLC (i don't know why, but i really want to see the Salt Flats.) on the way to San Fran'

    What kind of Road is the US-2? i'm guessing it isn't multi-lane highway but a two way cross country road. (an A road for us brits) and isn't full of Lorries and cummuters? Because that could be just the road I want, where as the I-70 is just that. And it goes through Kansas, which apparantly is as flat as the monitor I am looking at. No offence to Kansasians, but that is really boring. And I couldn't bear to do a road trip on a motorway.

    As I said, I have no idea where to go, but those suggestions help and at least i know that Alaska is out of bounds in those months, i don't want to get stuck. I'll keep it simple and not bother with Canada this time.


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

    Default The plains

    US 2 is going to be primarily a 2 lane road, and it will go through very few major cities. It also would basically take you through a portion of Canada, because there is a gap between Michigan and New York.

    Kansas would only be boring if you make it such, and any cross country route will take you through the Great Plains. Going farther north, simply means you'll be trading corn fields for wheat fields.

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