Do's and don'ts - driving USA
I'm new to this forum, but I've read quite a lot and found a lot of great links from this site (keep up the good work!)
It's our first trip to the US (we live in Norway) and we've scheduled close to 4 weeks - 2 weeks on the west coast and then 11-12 days in Florida. (Late September to late October)
Our rough route is (right now):
SF to LA - including stops - like Montery. Driving the scenic route.
LA to Vegas - then Vegas to Phoenix where will fly over to Orlando - roundtrip Florida including Key West and ending in Miami - before we leave home.
So the questions: If we should include Grand Canyon on this trip - where/how would you go? I think the Yahoo map confused me a bit so please enlighten me :)
And then the real questions - those of you who are old in this game - and I might have missed a thread here - any hints on do's and don'ts?
I've read tourist guides on how to behave if pulled over by the police etc. but some more general rules - anything us foreigners don't know about? That might come in handy? Where to park.. not to park (how to park!?) etc. Stuff that others take for granted in their daily life :)
And - are there places we should avoid - or maybe visit? Not talking about the specific tourist traps but parts that show the real US a bit more than Las Vegas strip ;)
Thank you again for a great forum!
- Anettl, Oslo - Norway -
Welcome to the RTA forum!
Well, your first question is the easiest. The Grand Canyon will easily fit in on your way from Vegas to Phoenix. Take I-40 across Northern Arizona, and then head north at Williams. You can head back down to Phoenix via Flagstaff and I-17.
As far as driving in the US, I can't think of anything specifically that would be much different from what you are used to - but as you mentioned, that may be just because I'm taking these things for granted. What I would recommend is checking out our International Visitors Section and also read up on our Safe Driving Tips.
Thank you for those links - great to have something to do while it's quiet at work ;)
- Anett -
A possible addition
The suggestion of how to get from Vegas to Phoenix is a good one but I would recommend one just a bit longer and will get you off the interstate for a few miles and see a bit of old route 66 and the scenery is fabulous. This should add only about 2 hours to the journey.
Take US 93 from Vegas to Kingman, Arizona and be sure to cross Hoover Dam. You might want to stop for a few minutes here. (Actually this is the fastest way to Kingman). In Kingman DO NOT take I-40 but old route 66 east (it is called Andy Devine Bvd). Take it to Seligman, Arizona and then hit I-40 as described previously. Be sure to stop in Seligman and get a tourist's taste of 66. Might want to eat at Snow Cap Cafe for a unique dining experience.
I have driven all over Europe and find the driving is almost the same except for the language differences. I think you will find that, as in Europe, you will get your best treatment and have the most enjoyment meeting the people in the small towns along the way.
Please enjoy the country and hurry back!
Being from Norway myself, I find that driving in the US is a much more relaxing and rewarding experience than driving here in Norway, at least when you get out of the big cities like Chicago (which is currently my least favorite US city to drive in!). The roads are good, the people friendly (and most of the time even obey most traffic rules and regulations, unlike here in Norway - especially Rogaland, where I live), road signs are clear and easy to follow, and as for the police - I haven't been pulled over once during my 11 trips so far, so I wouldn't worry about it if I were you... And if you are stopped, just act "Norwegian", and you won't have any trouble, at least that's what I've heard from some friends of mine. ;-)
There is a tourist slogan here that says "It's wonderful to be Norwegian in Denmark", and while that may very well be true, I would say that would be just as true for the US. Once you tell people you're from Norway, they'll give you the royal treatment... at least that what's happened to me many's the time. :-)
I hope you have a great time in the US!