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  1. Default NJ to San Diego! :)

    Hey all-

    So come July I plan on driving my 2000 VW Beetle across the country so that it can stay with me in San Diego where I go to school. I'm 19 and will be doing it with a friend of mine who is the same age. Both of us are really excited to do it and consider ourselves good drivers. She actually has more experience than I- she's done several road trips with her mother to several different places. We plan on doing it in 10 or so days. So naturally I have a few questions:

    1. Does anyone have a suggestion of the general route to take? Should I stay north and follow the coast in california? Or go along the atlantic coast and go across on the southern half of the country? Or take a more direct diagonal type route?
    2. Can anyone give an estimate? My car gets 30-35 to the gallon, we're okay with motels and diners, and we'd like to make a few interesting stops along the way if possible.
    3. Is 10 days a good amount? Should I be looking at less/more?
    4. Any interesting tips or advice? Things to bring/sights to see/etc?

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

    Default Fun trip with a fun car!

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    I drive an NB myself. It's a fun car to travel in.

    1. Does anyone have a suggestion of the general route to take? Should I stay north and follow the coast in california? Or go along the atlantic coast and go across on the southern half of the country? Or take a more direct diagonal type route?
    With 10 days, any of those routes would work. It just depends on which route takes you through places that you want to see the most. We generally recommend that people limit their driving to 500 miles per day, or even less if you're planning on doing a lot of stopping and exploring that day. It generally takes 5 days to go cross-country and about 2 days to go down the coast. So if you do one of the coastal drives, this only leaves a limited time to explore. Because of that, I'd suggest a more diagonal route. But if you prefer driving along one of the coasts, it's do-able. There is no best choice here, just the choice you prefer.

    2. Can anyone give an estimate? My car gets 30-35 to the gallon, we're okay with motels and diners, and we'd like to make a few interesting stops along the way if possible.
    This post gives you some tips on how to figure out your budget.

    3. Is 10 days a good amount? Should I be looking at less/more?
    Less is never better. If you have more time and can afford the extra days, go for it. It would take years to see everything there is to see across the country so you will definitely be able to find things to see and do on those extra days.

    4. Any interesting tips or advice? Things to bring/sights to see/etc?
    I suggest you get a good-sized map and mark the places on it that intrigue you. This should start giving you an idea of what route you'd need to take in order to see these places. Then come on back here and let us help you tweak things, if needed, to make it fit your time and budget.

    Basic things to pack are maps, guide books, flashlights with extra batteries, blankets/pillows, first aid kit, cellphone(s) with car charger, cooler for snacks and water....if you want a more complete list, check out this discussion.

    So, do a bit of thinking about just what you want to see and do, share your ideas with us, and enjoy the planning process.

  3. Default

    I'm back with a little more news and a few more specific questions! :)

    My friend and I have been talking and we've come up with a little bit more information on our trip!

    -We're both interested in staying in unique (but not expensive) lodging, such as hostels/b&b's/motels/etc.
    -Taking a cooler and filling it up for food, then having a hot, sit-down (but still not expensive) type meal for dinner is our eating plan. Stops for an interesting snack or the world's greatest chicken wings or whatever are cool too.
    -Neither of us want to spend all of our type on interstate highways where you can't really see the landscape or the beauty of the country. A few hours or so is okay, and probably needed, but we're definitely into seeing the sights and taking the side roads.
    -She specifically wants to stop in Missouri to see her grandfather.

    Basically we both want to SEE the country for what it's worth. Anyone can drive the interstate highway in 4 days and not see anything, but this is NOT what we want to do. We want to drive the side roads, see the unique sights, eat unique food, and stay at interesting lodging facilities whenever possible. Still though, we want to do this in 8-9 days.

    I was thinking... to get to Missouri should I go through PA, OH, IN, IL? or PA, WV, KY? Then after Missouri my thoughts are to go through OK, TX, NM, and AZ. That way we could do Tulsa, Amarillo, Albequerque, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, and LA. Are all of these possible/good ideas? Any more ideas along that direction? Is that even a good direction to go? :P haha.

    So do I have a good general route down? And does anyone have suggestions for places to stay or eat at or see along the way?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default My recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by callittaboo View Post
    I was thinking... to get to Missouri should I go through PA, OH, IN, IL? or PA, WV, KY?
    I would choose the latter. Even from the Interstate, the scenery in WV is absolutely stunning.

  5. Default

    i've asked a few people and they've all said the same thing! I live about 40 min above Trenton (and 2 min from the PA border). So going that route, would we maybe be able to go through DC?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Of course you would!

    So going that route, would we maybe be able to go through DC?
    One key thing to remember on a roadtrip: The car goes where you tell it to. Its a remarkably simple, and obvious, concept, but many people get so worried about a route that they forget the route is just a way to get between places.

    Since you've got a little more than a week to work with, a slight detour down to DC would easily be doable.

    -Neither of us want to spend all of our type on interstate highways where you can't really see the landscape or the beauty of the country. A few hours or so is okay, and probably needed, but we're definitely into seeing the sights and taking the side roads.
    Interstates kind of get a bad rap with statements like this. You can certainly see lots of landscape and beauty of the US on the Interstate, but most people driving them are so worried about getting from point A to point B that they forget to look. I'm not saying you shouldn't also enjoy some time away from the interstate, because there are things that you can only see from 2 lane roads, but you'll be best served by taking an open mind no matter which road you take.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Virginia Beach right now
    Posts
    3

    Default My trip too

    I am leaving Virginia Beach and traveling to San Diego this summer. I am taking Interstate 70 across to Nevada, and then heading south. Have you found any interesting sites along that route during your searches?

  8. Default New Jersey to Orange County!

    WELLLLLLLL hello again!

    I've been doing loads more research on my trip! We'll be leaving NJ early morning July 15. Here is my (VERY VAGUE & not fully set) itinerary:

    Day 1: thru DC, sleep at a B&B (Natural Seasons B&B or Old Clark Inn) in central WV.
    Day 2: Through KY, sleep somewhere between Evansville and St. Louis.
    Day 3: through KY/IL/MO, spend the evening with relatives in Kansas City.
    Day 4: Through KS with a stop in Lawrence, sleep anywhere between Copeland (the name has a big significance to me) and Greensburg.
    Day 5: Through KS/(TX or CO?), sleep at the famous hostel (I forget it's name) In Taos, NM.
    Day 6: Through NM and AZ, sleep somewhere in the top 1/4 of Arizona.
    Day 7: Through AZ, visit the Grand Canyon, sleep in Las Vegas.
    Day 8: Through NV, and CA. Get to the OC. Sleep in LA if we have to (I have a place there)

    SOOO with that, I have an extra day. What and where can I stretch. The only DEFINITIVE things I'd like to do (in order of preference)
    -relatives in Kansas City, MO
    -Taos, NM
    -Lawrence, KS
    -Grand Canyon
    -Las Vegas
    -Washington DC (it would be second if the friend I might be meeting would finalize plans haha)
    -Copeland, KS

    everything else I just kinda made up. I want to stretch it to the one extra day, since that will definitely mean a TON of driving each day, I just dunno where to stretch it!!! LOL

    So I'll ask again... any cool cities/places to visit? Sights to see? Places to eat? Places to stay? Should I keep it that tight of a schedule to leave room for error?
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-17-2008 at 06:55 AM. Reason: Merged with Original Thread

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