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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default An American Adventure

    Hello,
    My husband and I are middle aged Australians who love America. We have been to your lovely country a couple of times and have travelled by car each time. The first time we went from LA to San Diego, across to Phoenix, up to Flagstaff (Grand Canyon), into Yosemite and Las Vegas before visiting San Francisco and driving back down to LA before going home.
    The second time we landed in New York on the last leg of our world trip just last June. We then went to Washington DC by bus and caught the Amtrak down to Ashville North Carolina where we hired a car, visited some friends in Black Mountain and did the circle taking in Smoky Mountains, Cherokee, Memphis and Nashville. We then flew to Seattle and hired another car to visit the bottom edge of Canada (Whistler, Vancouver and Vancouver Island) before dropping the car back off at Seattle and flying down to LA. Our last night we spent at Marina del Rey before flying home.
    I am hoping that you will help me plan our next holiday to take place next year. We plan to spend about 6 weeks going from the East to the West. We are quite active but not what you would call hikers so no climbing great mountains please! :) We are also not great fans of museums. We loved Nashville and Memphis for the music. Being typical aussies, we also love to have a tipple or two of our favourite wine or beer along the way and love to meet people! We would like to see places we havenít seen before but would like to go back to New York and my husband would also like to see Savannah which isnít really that far from Black Mountain so we can see our friends too. Other than those things we would love to hear your suggestions.
    We often plan our holidays with the most gracious suggestions of people on forums and we are yet to have had a holiday where it hasnít been all we hoped it would be.
    Iíve read about Route 66 (and we may have even been on it during our drives) and think we may find that quite interesting.
    I hope that is enough information for a start and hope you can offer us some suggestions. Thank you in advance. Kind regards, Flossy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default So many options.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums!

    With the whole country being a target and 6 weeks to travel across it there really could be a million and one suggestions open to you. By using key words and entering them into the RTA search engine you will find useful info on just about anywhere you feel appeals to you. I can tell you that Route 66 was decommissioned years ago and replaced mainly by Interstate, but parts of it do still exist. However I would plan your route along places of interest rather than a road itself.

    Looking at "places new" I think you would find Colorado and the Four corners region of interest as well as looking into Yellowstone NP and surrounding area.

    I am sure we can be of much more use once you have a few more dots on the map and be able to make suggestions to fill in the gaps.

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,359

    Default Pick a Route, Any Route

    With your timeframe and starting out in New York, I'd heartily suggest that you start out by taking either the coastal or mountain route (or portions of each) down the east coast to Savannah. From there, since you've seen a good bit of Tennessee and the southwest, I'd recommend that you follow the Gulf coast to New Orleans and then cross the mid-section of the country cutting northwest through the Ozarks of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma to the Denver area and then cross the Rockies visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, Arches National Park, the Great Salt Lake and Reno/Tahoe before finishing up in San Francisco. If that appeals, or whatever basic route you finally choose, we can offer specific advice on it.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-18-2010 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Fixed link

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,937

    Default From one Aussie to another.

    There is so much, but in all you have seen, I have not seen you mention the north.... Niagara, Indiana Lake Coast, Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone and Idaho to mention just some. And Colorado! You could spend the whole six weeks in Colorado, Four Corners and southern Utah.

    Lifey who will be there in 2011

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default North and south

    Hello everyone, thank you for your assistance so far. Sorry for being so vague but the truth is, I don't really know where we will go yet. Firstly, I got that wrong when I said east to west it is actually the other way around - west to east and back again as we fly in and out of LAX. You are right Lifemagician, we haven't seen anything of the north at all except when in Seattle and haven't seen any of the places you mentioned. I thought perhaps we could go in a big loop somewhat leaving LAX going across the bottom of the country up to NYC then return going north across the country. The suggested route by AZBuck sounds really good. Colorado sounds fantastic. What about Chicago? I've heard great things about that place too!
    If you have favourite places can you please tell me about them so I can look them up. I'll definitely check out the Four Corners region as you suggested Dave.
    When in '11 will you be going Lifey? What is the best time of the year do you all think for a road trip? Thank you all so much for your help so far. :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,937

    Default

    Hi Flossy,

    My travels are a little unconventional.

    Given that five of my grandchildren live on the east coast of the USA, I am (more or less) bound to travel there every couple of years. Normally stay for around six months, which covers all of the grandchildren's birthdays, son's birthday and son-in-law's birthday. (Unfortunately both daughter and daughter-in-law's birthdays fall outside of that period.) All the birthdays fall between the 4th April and 15th September, so it is always a summer trip.

    In between spending time with the families at birthday times, I spend some time travelling around. At first I just went.... wherever. I did not know anything about the US, did not even know where the Grand Canyon was. Then, as I learned a bit I started travelling with a rough plan, but never with an itenary. Never knew before I left home where I would go. Just wandered around the highways and biways of one State after another, and came upon the most magnificent gems. Then visited the major attractions if and when I got into the district.

    Now that I belong to this wonderful forum I have become aware of so much more that exists out there, and have so many more things on my 'to see' list. But somehow, I cannot bring myself to making an itenary.... cannot bring myself to book anything (other than the first night in LA). Last year I covered some 28000 miles and ended up seeing the most amazing places.

    Lifey who loves winging it

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Plus and minuses

    What is the best time of the year do you all think for a road trip?
    There isn't a one "best time" to travel, especially over an extended period as each has it's own advantages and disadvantages, such as too hot, too cold, too many people and so on. I prefer peace and solitude and don't mind wearing an extra layer or two to try and find it, but it is also connected to where you will be at a certain time and what restrictions the weather might bring.

    Personally I love to travel in Sept and October as the temps begin to fall and so do the visitor numbers and the Fall colours start to come alive. However if you travel late in the year you would have to choose your routing carefully and visit more Northerly and high elevation places early in your trip as places like Yellowstone and Rocky mountain NP can start to see snow, colder air and even start to close areas off. Early Sept should be OK in said places and perhaps finish off further South, but it really depends on you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Dave, I agree with you about the best times to travel. Start in the north first and then go south. The fall (what we call autumn here) would be beautiful I would think.

    Lifey, thank you for sharing your story. I'm about to sit with a good glass of vino and read. :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default Third of USA - east side

    Hello
    I've had to rethink our trip. I don't think we have enough time to go from west coast to east coast and back again in 6 weeks. So after family discussions I think we will spend a week around california and the other 5 weeks in the east of the country. We really want to see Chicago, Boston, New York, Charleston, Savannah, Orlando and Miami. Given that we have already visited Washington DC, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Asheville and Charlotte these bits are not on the 'to do' list. Can anyone suggest a good route in some sort of loop for us to drive taking in the places listed above. I was hoping not to drive anymore than 300miles in any day and would like to stop in some places (but not all if there isn't that much to see) more than one night. A friend suggested that we fly from LA to Chicago and from there get the Amtrak train to New York and then pick up the car. I thought we could pick the car up from Chicago. Would that be a better idea? Your help is greatly appreciated. Cheers, Flossy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    The most economical way would be a "loop" trip, picking up and dropping off the car in the same city. This would eliminate the one way dropoff fee.

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