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Thread: Only 7 Days...

  1. #1

    Default Only 7 Days...

    Hello,
    I am an aussie going with my boyfriend to visit friends in Sterling in Kansas. We have never been to America so are very keen to have a look around and see some of the sights. The majority of our trip will be spent in Sterling, Kansas, however we will have the chance to hire a campervan and head off on our own for approximately 7 nights. We know very little about America so were wondering what a possible trip for us to take would be. Any ideas would be very much appreciated. We are very new to this. :)
    Thanks,
    Emily

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,902

    Default many possibilities

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With a long day on the road, you can cover 500-600 miles, so with a week, you probably want to limit your destinations to places that are about 1000 miles away. That will give you about 4 days on the road, and 3 days to explore. Of course you can do things as a loop, or break up the driving in different ways, but that will give you a ballpark.

    Since you are starting in the middle of the country, that means you've got a ton of possibilities. To the west, you could visit almost anywhere in Colorado and Utah. The Grand Canyon or Las Vegas would also be at the far end of where you could go. You could also go up to Yellowstone or Mount Rushmore and the Badlands. Going the other direction, you could check out cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, or Cleveland. The Great Smokey Mountains of the southeast are also a possibility, as is New Orleans or most anywhere in Texas.

    I'd start sitting down and try to figure out what sorts of things you'd most like to see. Just getting out a good map can really be helpful as you try to figure out where it is you want to go!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,924

    Default Style and Substance

    Those are the two major decisions facing you. On the style side, you'll have to decide if you want to cover ground and see as much of some part of America as you can or would rather go to one particular area and see it in depth. On the substance side, you'll have to decide which area of America you want to see.

    Fortunately, neither choice is strictly black/white, either/or. Their is a great variety of week long RoadTrips to choose from, particularly as you'll be starting (and ending) in nearly the geographic center of the contiguous United States. I am particularly fond of loop trips where you are constantly looking at new sights, so let's look at a few possibilities, concentrating on itineraries that will only have you driving for about half of your week on the road. You can then expand or straighten the trip that appeals most to you to suit your own style.

    Southwest/Rocky Mountains: Head out across Kansas on US-54 through Dodge City to Taos, Santa Fe and the Grand Canyon. Go north on US-89 through Page and Kanab to Zion and Bryce Canyon. Turn east on I-70 over the San Rafael Swell and stop at Arches National Park. Continue east over the Rockies and visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Return to Sterling.

    Midwest/Great Lakes: Head east, basically on US-24 through Kansas City to Hannibal, MO and then north along the Great River Road through Keokuk, IA and Nauvoo, IL. Then follow US-61 and WI-27 to Apostle Islands National Seashore before turning east on US-41 to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and then south across the meeting of Lakes Michigan and Huron at Colonial Michilimackinac State Historical Park. Continue south along the western shore of Lake Michigan to Chicago, then follow the remnants of old Route 66 through St. Louis before turning for 'home'.

    South/Gulf Coast: Head southeast roughly following US-160 through the Ozarks to Memphis. Head down either the Great River Road or the Natchez Trace to New Orleans. Head west through Cajun country on the Creole Nature Trail to Houston. Turn inland and experience San Antonio and Austin. Finish up on -35 north through Dallas/Fort Worth and Oklahoma City.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,321

    Default

    Being that this was posted in the fall/winter section, the Rocky Mountains may not be a good option due to snow. Trail Ridge Road through RMNP is already closed for the season. Of all 3 options, the South/Gulf Coast will definitely be the most agreeable weather-wise.

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