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  1. Default route from maryland to california!?

    I'm planning on taking at least two weeks at the end of August to drive from Central Maryland to Northern California for school in Arcata. Problem: I know I want to take a central/southern route and then up the California coast, but have no clue of how to find specific destinations alongs the way or how often to stop.
    I know I want to visit the Grand Canyon, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Sacramento in the days before I reach Arcata. Before these, I don't know. Any suggestions for seeing Middle America?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Basics

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    When faced with an endeavor you've never done before, it's usually best to get some advice, break the task down into a few simple steps, make a stab at those steps, go back to get some advice on how you've done so far and repeat as needed. You're already well on the way through the first two steps, so take a deep breath, relax and keep working on it as you have been.

    You've got a basic idea of what you want to do (a central and southern route across the U.S.) and you're seeking advice on a framework to hang it all on. Well if you grab a big map of the country and take a look at where you are and where you want to get to, one route that should suggest itself is down I-81 along the eastern side of the Appalachians, then west on I-40 to northern Arizona (and the Grand Canyon) and then north through California on I-5. But that is just to give you a rough idea of where you're going. You also have a good bit of time for your drive and can afford to wander a bit off that simple route. So now you look for the big venues that appeal to you. You can choose from sites like Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Nashville, Memphis, Hot Springs National Park, the Ozarks, Santa Fe, the Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Yosemite, the California Coast, and many, many others.

    The other thing you'll want to look at is where to stop each night. We generally recommend about 500-550 miles in a good day of solid driving. Days where you want to stop and spend some time at a sight or two, you'll want to drive a bit less, but that's a good rule-of-thumb. Then, once you have a basic route and timeframe, you start looking at larger maps of the individual states or areas for other things to do and fill in all the places you want.

    At any time along the process we'll be happy to help but you're actually doing quite well so far - just plunge in and keep going and you'll not only have a trip to remember but the ability to plan many more completely on your own.

    Last edited by Mass Tim; 01-29-2010 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Added whitespace

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