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  1. Default Coast to Coast - which way?

    Hi there,

    My husband and I are planning to fly to New York next year around the 7th Sept (2009)and plan to spend five weeks road tripping across America for our tenth wedding anniversary.

    I think we have decided to just go one way and end up in LA or San Fran, my first question is should we go this way? which is best weather wise?? East to West, or West to East? and what sort of weather should we expect at this time of year?

    These are the places we wish to visit:
    New York (well we only want to go to Niagara Falls - done new York city! where would we be best to fly to for Niagara?

    Washington DC
    then we are not sure whether to go through Virginia/West Virginia/Ohio? basically we want to head to Tennessee and see Nashville and Memphis

    Next definate stop is Texas; dallas area.
    then we don't know what to do??? we want to go through New Mexico & Arizona, Vegas, LA & San Fran - the problem is that we also would like to go into Kansas and up to see Mount rushmore (I know all over the place!!)

    Does anybody have any suggestions of a route? or area's that we MUST see? I'm trying to do as much research as possible.

    Basically any help, ideas or suggestions would be most appreciated!! We did also think of flying into New York (or wherever we start) and then fly back there to return to the UK as this would eliminate the one way rental charge on the car and also we could buy a return flight rather than the cost of two one way flights from the UK - any ideas on how much internal flights cost? from San Fran to NY?

    Do you think we can do all that we want to do in five weeks? we don't wan't to be constantly driving and would like to actually see the places we visit!!

    Thank you in advance for your help!!
    Welsh Girl x

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

    Default Breaking it down

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I think you've certainly got a good start for your trip. You have a good rough idea of the places you want to see, and you know how much time you have to see everything.

    Having 5 weeks will give you a chance to see many or even most of the places you want to see. But obviously, the more places you go, the less time you'll have to spend at others.

    The time of year that you are traveling is close to ideal in my book. You'll be at the end of summer, past peak travel season, but before cold temperatures really become the norm. You should also be seeing some good fall colors by the end of your trip.

    What I think I would do at this point is to plot out a couple of rough itinerairies so you can see what all of your options look like. See what you could do on a one way trip, versus doing a big loop, and how that fits into the timeline you'd like to have for yourself.

  3. Default In Texas

    That's plenty of time to see what you like. Although you'll be zigzagging like crazy across the country. Mt. Rushmore takes you up north and everywhere else you want to visit is south and west. I did a coast to coast back and forth just driving in 3 weeks and got to see some great things. My route took me southwest from NY to Texas, from there I crossed AZ, NM, NV, SF, and looped back to UT, and then Mt. Rushmore. An hour (or so) away from Dallas in Glen Rose, there's a place called Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and it's a lot of fun. If you're into nature and wildlife, you'll have a great time there viewing and feeding wildlife from your vehicle. The deserts of Nevada near Rachel are beautiful too and only about 5hrs north from Vegas.

    As Michael said, that's the ideal time to travel. I left on the 6th of last month so I can vouch for that! The kids are back in school and everyone is back home and off the roads from the Labor Day holiday.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Beauty of Loops

    Cymru am byth!

    With 5 weeks, you would actually have time to do a complete loop around the U.S. Given that you are currently planning on doing several zigs and zags to see Niagara and then Dallas and then Mt Rushmore and finally Los Angeles, I don't think that a complete loop would add all that much to your mileage. As you point out, beginning and ending in the same city lets you buy round-trip tickets from the UK and does away with the drop-off fee for a one-way rental. You also get to shop for the best trans-Atlantic fare amongst several cities including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, etc. Let's assume Chicago for the sake of argument. Then your trip might go something like: Kansas, Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone. California coast, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Dallas, the 'South', Washington, New England, Niagara, Chicago. Again, the beauty of a loop trip is that you can start/end anywhere along it - it really doesn't matter. So you can start dreaming and planning now and wait to see where you can get the best deal on flights/car. Let's call it 8-10,000 miles of driving for the complete circuit (probably on the high side). That means you'd have to drive on average 225-275 miles per day. I know that sounds like a lot, and it can get to be a grind, but you can always tighten the loop. I'd have to work out how many miles you'd be doing by zigzagging across the country, but I think you'd still have to average a couple of hundred miles a day in any event to see as much as you want in 5 weeks.


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