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  1. Default Montreal-East Coast-Montreal

    Hi, my girlfriend and I are planning on doing a trip down the East Coast of the US, mainly to see the big cities and get a taste of America (she's from France). We are leaving morning of July 4th, hopefully to see Independence Day celebrations in Portland, Maine with a couchsurfing host. After that, there are no dates but we plan on spending a maximum of 14 days. So far, our route looks something like this:

    New York-
    Niagara Falls-

    We are planning on doing some camping, some sleeping in the van, and some motelling, some couchsurfing.

    As I said, our main goal is to see the big cities, since she's never been to the US and since I've only been to NY, having been born there.

    I have a few questions...

    We are planning on winging it, and mostly just have an idea of the places we want to go/see. Is that just stupid? Should we have a hard and fast itinerary?

    A few years ago, I had a book that listed strange attractions to see while on a roadtrip, and I have no idea where it is anymore. It included things like world's biggest this-and-that, Museums of various ridiculous things, etc. and I was wondering if anyone knows where I can find something like that online. If not, how can we fill our trip with things to do between destinations?

    I have more questions I think, but any input on the above would be immensely appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just for Starters

    Bienvenue sur les forums de RoadTrip Amérique. Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Let me answer your first basic questions. Fourteen days will be a good amount of time to do a once-over-lightly of the eastern US as you have planned. It is not generally necessary to book ahead. Especially with many people cutting back on their travel plans due to recent increases in the price of gasoline you should be able to find many openings at least in motels if not in campsites (which may still fill up on weekends). As far as a good source on line for the weird and wacky, try this site.


  3. Default

    thanks AZBuck,

    as for camping, I've looked at some campsites that have websites, and the price seems to be about 30-40 per night. however, on the forums, i see people quoting prices as low as 10 per night. i suppose these are less developed sites that don't have an online presence. i was wondering how well advertised these are on highways, and if not well advertised, how do we find these cheaper places?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default what are you finding

    Camping fees -as with any fees- certainly can vary wildly depending upon the place or kinds of places you are looking at. Without knowing exactly what places you are looking at, I'm guessing for $30-40 per night you're probably finding commercial campsites with full electrical hookups available as well as many other bells and whistles?

    Public campgrounds, including state and county parks and national forest lands, tend to be cheaper than commercial sites, but they do generally have websites or at least some information available online. Some of these places still have many of the same amenities, but of course the more things your getting the more money you'll likely have to pay. I'd also say that you'll need to expect to pay more in Canada than the US, because of the poor exchange rate of the US Dollar.

  5. Default

    indeed, most of the places i've looked at are massive, commercial places. i guess if i'm looking for campsites in touristy places like cape cod, that's what i'm gonna get.

    i'm also being hindered by the 2 night minimum a lotta places have. looks like sleeping in the car is gonna happen a bit more often.

    i have a question about sightseeing... since we're going to be spending mostly a day in most cities, how should we get to most out of what we see? for example, we'll probably arrive in boston on the 5th, early afternoon, and we'll be leaving on the 6th, early afternoon. then we'll be in cape cod by the late afternoon, and we'll be leaving cape cod on the 7th, early afternoon.

    i know we can't see it all, so does anyone have any advice?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Two night mins are usually only for reservations, I don't think I've ever seen any place that's required a two night stay for people who are pulling up looking for a place to camp. Of course, if a big commercial place is requiring a 2 night stay it could be because they are expecting to be filled. I'll also say that public campgrounds can be found almost everywhere, even touristy places. I can't speak for cape cod, but in Boston for example, there are many public campgrounds within an easy drive of the city.

    As far as your getting the most question, I guess I'm really not sure what it that you are looking for? Get the most out of a place by seeing the things you most want to see, I guess. Or maybe the advice should be, worry about having a good time more than filling out a checklist.

  7. Default

    thanks MM, that's good advice.

    i've seriously not had any luck finding a lot of public campgrounds online. i went to but the closest listed campground to cape cod is almost 100 miles away. i'm not too worried though; i figure we'll check with the tourist centre there for public grounds, drive to a few commercial places, and sleep in the van in the worst case.

    has anyone camped in cape cod before?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default I Have, Yes

    Camped on Cape Cod, that is, on a geological field trip studying Quaternary glacial deposits (of which Cape Cod is one - or a few). In any event there are 420 campsites near the 'elbow' of the Cape. The problem with is that it only covers federal campgrounds, and not even all of those. Don't get me wrong, it's a great resource, but it's hardly the only source of information.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-29-2008 at 08:36 PM.

  9. Default

    thanks again, azbuck

    that site led me to, which was perfect. i'm probably gonna stay at shawme-crowell state park, but they have a 2 day minimum to reserve online. still, at $12/night, i might just book two days.

    i'll post more questions if i have any, and once this trip gets underway, i'll post my experiences.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default State Parks

    Yes, as Buck pointed out as as you apparently found, there are a lot more public sites than just the federal ones at or even what you'll find at Reserve America.

    I'd recommend looking up the website for the state parks of each place you are looking to camp. If you don't find what you are looking for there, dig a little deeper and try searching individual counties for county parks that offer camping. Sometimes it takes a little bit of work to find a good site, but the harder you have to look, the more likely you'll find a nice quiet place that should be open.

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