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  1. Default East Coast - West Coast trip 2011

    First of all, hello to everyone on this site. It looks like a great source of information.

    I am planning to fly over to the US, with my family (from North east England) in August 2011.

    I originally wanted to drive across the US (East to West). However, after lots of thought we have decided to spend 8 - 10 days on the east coast then 3 weeks over in the West. I am a single dad of 2 girls (13 and 11) and I thought the long driving would be too much for them (although I haven't ruled out the possibility).

    We normally go to Florida each summer, but i want to give my daughters an experience of a lifetime they will never forget and show them what the US has to offer. We have a month and this is a very basic plan:

    • Fly into Boston (stay 4 nights)
    • Fly into Ny (stay 5 nights)
    • Fly across to LA (Pick up hire car)

    The road trip from LA will be as follows:
    • Santa Barbara (1 night) - Morro Bay (1 night) - Monterey (1 night) - San Francisco (4 nights) - Yosemite (3 nights) - Bishop (1 night) - Las Vegas (2 nights) - Zion NP (2 nights) - Grand Canyon (1 night) - Kingman (1 night) - Palm Springs (1 night) - San Diego (2 nights) - LA (5 nights, 3 at Anaheim, 2 at Universal).

    What do you think of this plan? as I said it is open to changes and haven't fully decided what to do on the Eastern leg.

    Is there anything you would miss out or include?

    To be honest I could spend 6 months over in the US and not see what I want, but in reality we have a month. Do you think we will see more doing it this way, compared to a coast to coast trip?

    I would really appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would do it counter-clockwise so you travel the coast road from north to south. The scenic pullouts will then be on your side of the road, you won't have to cross traffic to get in and out of them, and you won't have to look across a lane of traffic to see the ocean.

    Are you planning on the north or south rim of the Grand Canyon?

    Between the Grand Canyon and San Diego, the most efficient route will be through Phoenix, not Kingman and Palm Springs, and you can do this in 2 days instead of 3 - or visit Sedona.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Don't Sell Them Short

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I actually think your daughters are the perfect age for a cross-continent RoadTrip, and they'd certainly get to see a lot more of the country from ground level than from 35,000 feet. For the same reason, I'd suggest that you take the train (AMTRAK) from Boston to New York. The nly concession you need to make to your daughters' age is to keep the miles down and the scale of your daily stops more in tune with their senses. If you cover 300-400 miles on your 'heavy' driving days, that still means you could stop for an hour or two at a couple of smaller parks, museums, historic sites, small towns, whatever suits them. At that pace it would take you around 8-10 days plus whatever you wanted to spend in cities or major national parks along the way. So, sit your girls down and see what they would like to see and do, and if you decide to cross the country by car, let us know what their interests are and we'll see what we can do to suggest memorable places.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Yes and Yes.

    Your plan "out West" looks very well laid out and at a relaxing pace. Reversing the trip to head down the coast as glc suggested is one thing that could be changed, and another I would recommend is dropping a night in one of the City's and adding Bryce canyon to you list between Zion and GC, it's a unique "out of this world" experience and the drive is also spectacular.

    I 100% agree with Buck with regards to your daughters, get them involved in the planning and let them make some choices as that is what will make the trip the most memorable and exciting for them !

  5. Default

    Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.

    One thing that does really worry me is the temperatures while we will be in California, nevada, Utah and Arizona in August (I'm a teacher so have to stick to school holidays).

    We have been to Florida quite a few times in August and can cope with the heat there. How would the heat compare on our road trip?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Weather data.

    You will certainly need your hats, sunscreen and carry water !

    As we know weather is unpredictable but to give you an idea of what to expect in different areas and at different elevations use the "History data" search such as here on wunderground.
    On the top left hand side under the blue tool bar titled "local weather" click on "history data" and enter a location and date for the info, including seasonal averages.

    As well as the heat it should be noted that afternoons can bring localised thunderstorms and flash floods in some areas so you will need to keep an eye on things as you travel but in the National parks [you can find more info on each park at] there will always be a friendly ranger around to update you.

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