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  1. Default New Jersey to Olympic National Park

    Hi all,

    My husband and I are planning to drive out to Olympic National Park to spend the summer (hooray for seasonal employment!)... we're very excited and hoping to do some exploring on the way out there. We've got a few destinations in mind (Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH and my grandmother's farm near Indianapolis, IN), but we're still deciding what to do after that. We'd like to visit Yellowstone as well.

    I'm interested in suggestions along the way-- our route is flexible and we have about 13 days to get there (more like 10 by the time we leave Indianapolis). We don't mind big cities, but we like to go off the beaten path. We love food of all varieties and have a special affection for cheap hole-in-the-wall places (ethnic or americana, whatever!) that have tasty cuisine. We are planning to camp most of the way (we're students, so we're on a budget). We are nature enthusiasts (though we'd like a balance, since we're spending the summer in Olympic), mostly interested in seeing beautiful things but are especially open to artsy small towns and anyplace where there is good music or an unusual museum. Or unusual anything!

    I'd love any suggestions-- even if it seems to be out of the way... again, this trip is in its planning stage, so anything awesome gets consideration! Good eats, cute campgrounds, quirky museums, fun small towns... Anything!

    Thanks all,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Shortest Distance Between Two Points

    elcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    A straight line is not a concern inn your case as you'll have twice the minimum number of days required for the drive from Indiana to the Olympic. So plan on wandering around a bit and taking the back roads. There are plenty of things to do in states along the way and the way to find those great mom-and-pop dives is to get off the Interstates and away from the exit ramp fast food chains. Best advice for finding the great restaurants that no body knows about: Inquire locally.

    As a general route, think about taking in St. Louis and then following the course of the Missouri and Platte Rivers following (roughly) the old Oregon Trail into western Nebraska before heading north in to western South Dakota to see the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, etc., then up into southern Montana to walk the Little Bighorn Battlefield before entering Yellowstone via the Beartooth Highway (US-212). Then return to river following, this time the Snake and Columbia, to the coast and then turn north up into Washington. I think you'll find everything you're looking for if you take that general route and keep your eyes open.


  3. #3


    The Black Hills in South Dakota deserve consideration (Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, and Sturgis, a motorcyclist's mecca). If you can visit Cody, WY on a Friday you'll be able to catch a good old fashion rodeo. Take US 20 west through Shoshone Canyon to Yellowstone's eastern entrance or take State Route 296 north and "do" the Beartooth Scenic Highway and access Yellowstone via its northeast entrance. Give yourself two full days to experience Yellowstone NP. The Interstates from Bozeman, MT to Tacoma, WA are surprisingly scenic so you could "spend" most of your days east of Yellowstone on the way out and reverse it going back. Just keep a journal so you don't forget places you want to visit on the way home. FYI, there inexpensive national forests campgrounds along this route if you are campers.

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