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  1. Default Need some advice on nicest route from LA to the East Coast...

    Hi,

    First post, seems like a great forum...

    I'm planning on driving cross country from LA to..... Either Pittsburgh or a small chance we'll go to Raleigh, NC and then to Pittsburgh. I'm traveling with wife and toddler (lots of DVD's for him).

    I know they would be different routes, so I was hoping someone could advise which way is nicer and that might help with the decision making.

    We want to do the trip in about 10 days or so. We would like to have some nice (short) stops along the way (or ever off the path a bit)... A scenic route might also be nice.

    I'm really not so familiar with the US (I'm not from here), I hear Colorado is nice, but I'm use to the Swiss and Italian alps so I'm not sure if it would be a disappointment or not.

    Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. If you can perhaps let me know what are the must see places along the different ways, that would be most grateful.

    Dan

    P.S. I was thinking of stopping by the Grand Canyon (even though it's a little out of the way) is it worth it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default How long a trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by chaimdan View Post
    I'm planning on driving cross country from LA to..... Either Pittsburgh or a small chance we'll go to Raleigh, NC and then to Pittsburgh.
    By the shortest posssible route (without the Grand Canyon) it would be 4.5 days to Pittsburgh and if you add Raleigh, NC first that would add 1-2 days. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum -- since you have 10 days to make the trip -- there are plenty of places that you can stop and see along the way. The entire stretch is scenic.

    Mark

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply.....

    I am wondering if anyone can comment on the nicest route to go, the 40, the 70 or the 80?!

    Anyone share any stops along the way??

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chaimdan View Post
    P.S. I was thinking of stopping by the Grand Canyon (even though it's a little out of the way) is it worth it?
    Worth it? Oh, YES, YES indeed it is worth seeing!! The south rim is more interesting for a short look.
    You will not see much of anything on the interstate highways, you will need to exit at predetermined destinations. There are so many great things to see and do all across the country...you will need to do some research to find things of interest to your family.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Here are some ideas!

    Quote Originally Posted by chaimdan View Post
    I am wondering if anyone can comment on the nicest route to go, the 40, the 70 or the 80?!
    "Nicest route"? We never really know what this means -- I-70 is the shortest route... I-80 is probably the flattest route and I-40 follows much of route 66.

    Here is a field report about the Utah portion of I-70 (one of my favorite interstate highways in America). Here is list of places to stop and R&R along I-80 and here is a list of places found on most of the other major interstate routes in the United States.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default I have to disagree with this

    Quote Originally Posted by ncbyrne View Post
    You will not see much of anything on the interstate highways, you will need to exit at predetermined destinations.
    I truly think one can drive most interstates in the country, especially once you get away from the more congested eastern areas, and see wonderful sights from the interstates. Some of the views are amazing. I've driven portions of 40, 70, and 80, and they are all wonderful drives, in my opinion. I don't think you can miss.

    If you want to do the Grand Canyon....and it is really one of the most amazing places I've ever seen so, YES, it's worth it...you might want to consider the 40. However, 70 through the Rockies is quite amazing as well. You could actually do both. Take I-70 through Denver and then go south-west on any number of roads that take you into the Rockies, zig-zagging your way to the Grand Canyon, and then continue the trip on I-40. If you do this, I really don't think you'll be disappointed. The Rockies are spectacular.

    If that interests you, let us know and we can suggest some specific routes.

  7. #7

    Default Some ideas

    Hello Dan-

    The Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) is one of the scenic wonders of the world. A must-see, and simple to have a 1/2 day to 1 day drive-through from Williams, AZ through the park (and many overlooks where you'll exit the car for pictures, etc) and on to Cameron, AZ.

    The Colorado Rockies are much like the Swiss and Italian Alps, and I say that having had the pleasure of travelling to the Jungfrau as a teenager and having spent many vacations skiing and travelling in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana in (much) more recent years. From the GCNP, to get to Colorado and have a great look at the mountains, I'd drive northeast to Durango (and you'll pass Mesa Verde NP in the process), thence north on US 550, which includes some above-timberline passes and the very scenic towns of Ouray and Silverton. On to Montrose and US 50. At Gunnison, CO, turn north towards Crested Butte but turn off at the road to Taylor Park Reservior. Pass the reservior and take the well-maintained gravel road to Cottonwood Pass. The road is paved down the other side to Buena Vista. From BV, turn north on US 24 and pass through Leadville and Tennessee Pass to I-70 near Vail. I-70 to the east will then take you through Vail Pass, past Breckenridge, and through the Eisenhower Tunnel, thence down through Denver to the Great Plains.

    On this route, you will essentially "diagonal" from GCNP to I-70 and have a great look at some spectacular mountains and out-of-the way places along the way. As mentioned, there are above-timberline stretches of US 550 north of Durango, and again over Cottonwood and Tennessee passes. The passes themselves are around 10,000' and the surrounding mountains are between 12,000' and in excess of 14,000'. Of particular note is Cottonwood Pass, which is in the Presidential Range, a cluster of "14-ers" which the road through the pass pierces.

    I've driven across the Great Plains on I-90, 80, 70, and 40. Of the 4, I-40 was my least favorite. Obviously, headed for Pittsburgh, ending up on I-70 is a goal. That said, if you're willing to spend up to 10 days to make the trip, you can zig-zag all over Creation.

    Have a great time planning and taking your trip!

    Foy

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