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  1. Default Road Trip from NYC to Las Vegas

    Hello,

    We are coming over from Brisbane Australia to live our dream of the Great American Roadtrip!

    We are hiring an RV and at this stage have some ideas of the sorts of places that we would like to go, but are really looking for advice on not-to-be-missed sights along the way.

    At this stage, we know that we will leave New Jersey and head up to Niagara Falls, and then the next place that we want to see is Sioux Falls.

    After that, we plan to head up to see Mt Rushmore, then down into Colorado, over to Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, then into Vegas from the South.

    So, we do have a rough idea of places we want to see, but are unsure about the inbetween points. We'd rather go through country towns rather than cities, and are happy to stay off the highways if it means that we'll see more of the sights of the USA.

    We have 12 days for this trip, and aren't afraid to put in long hours if it means that we'll see the best parts the US has to offer - we'd really love to meet the locals and would enjoy spending nights in small towns.

    Any advice that you have would be much appreciated, as we want to make the most of the trip and figure that you guys will know the insider secrets about the place we should go :)

    Look forward to hearing from you!!

    Aussie Wanderers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default More than you might think.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I think you have a trip that is doable, but that you might also be underestimating time and distances. Your trip is going to amount to around 3500 miles by the time you add on all the little detours and that alone is a weeks worth driving, and they will be long days in an RV on Interstate and main Highways. That leaves just 5 days and 6 points of interest to visit so far. It's going to be rushed without adding extras.

    The fact is, that by putting in long hours behind the wheel to find small town America will leave you with no time to enjoy meeting the Locals, you will just end up driving and sleeping with hardly any time out of the RV. It's going to take all of 5 days to get to Mt Rushmore and have time for a few hours at the Falls and Rushmore. From there you could head down into Rocky mountain NP for a night [6] and spend a day there perhaps driving through the park towards I70. [7] Next day continue to Moab [Arches NP] [8] A little time in the park and head for Monument valley. [9] To Grand canyon [10] From Grand canyon to Vegas [11&12].

    That will not leave you a lot of time and if you have the choice, I would extend your time or change either your start or finish point.

  3. Default

    Hello Dave,

    Thanks for your response.

    I guess our kind of Road Trip might be a bit different to others, we are more than happy to drive the distance (in Australia, we often drive 300 miles for a nice lunch spot!)

    We have the second part of our trip (from Springfield IL to Las Vegas) mapped out, however we are still looking for advice about the best way to go from Niagara Falls to Springfield. We are thinking that the coastal road along Lake Eerie would be great, but are really wondering where the best places to stop between Niagara Falls & Springfield IL would be.

    Any suggestions are much appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Not so different.

    You are welcome.

    The main difference here is not the distance, but what your expectations might be along the way. Driving for 300 or 500 miles is not a problem, but trying to do that while "staying off the main Highways" in an RV and visiting wonders such as Niagara and Grand canyon is a slightly different story. A lot of our Australian members are used to big distances, but are more used to them being in wide open spaces without 20/30mph town limits, traffic lights, congestion etc to contend with multiple times in a day.

    Hopefully someone will be along later to answer your question as I know nothing of that area.

    Have a great trip !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    If you are planning to go from Niagara to Springfield in one day, you don't have time to stop anywhere. Even if you stick to the Interstates, you're going to be on the road for more than 14 hours. That's 750 miles and significantly more time that we recommend for a single day of driving, and certainly doesn't leave any time for scenic detours or fun stops.

    While doing that in one day can be done, it will leave you exhausted and pretty useless and unable to enjoy yourself the next day, when you wake up in a city with a lot of things to do.

  6. Default

    I agree. That's a lot of driving. I think 500 miles a day is a good amount to aim for. That would probably be about 10 hrs just driving.

    As far as what to see, I've not done the Northern tier of the midwest, but I've done most other areas of the country. In Colorado I'd recommend Rocky Mt National Park, of course. Boulder is a cute town. The old mining towns (the million dollar highway?), of course there's lotsa swank ski resorts like Vail and Aspen. Durango is a great town. Mesa Verde is really memorable. You could also include places like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison although that was not a favorite of mine. In New Mexico, Santa Fe, among many other locales. There are a ton of places to go in Arizona and Utah—Grand Canyon, Arches, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, etc, etc. Then of course there's Yellowstone if you want to head back up north.

    I'm not that familiar with that northern route, but is there a reason that you particularly want to dip down to Springfield? It seems to be out of the way and adding more time onto your trip. You could go by way of Chicago and Des Moines or even up to Milwaukee and then across. I'm sure there are some interesting sites to see there up there, but nothing has ever really caught my attention. For me, personally, the other routes across the US hold more interest, but Mt Rushmore has never really been my kinda thing, either. I'm more interested in natural features, so not sure I'm the best person to give you advice. If I was going that way I'd just try to go the quickest way.

  7. Default

    Hi guys

    Thanks for your response, we weren't planning to do Niagara to Springfield in one day, we wanted to take two days for that portion. At this stage we have marked our midway point as Columbus OH.

    We chose Springfield as I read that someone said it was a great little town and there are good places to stop there. here We wanted to avoid the Chicago area altogether, simply for traffic and the fact that we'll have spent the previous week in NYC.

    I do realise that the route is not optimum, but we have promised a friend that we will travel to Buffalo to buy him a souvenir, and Crazy Horse has always been on our bucket list.

    We are planning to spend less time in the east and more in the National Parks area, so your suggestions are much appreciated.

    So far, we are thinking the following:

    Niagara Falls
    Columbus OH
    Springfield IL
    Sioux Falls SD
    Deadwood SD
    Bridgeport NE
    Vail CO
    Moab UT
    Grand Canyon AZ
    Hoover Dam/Boulder NV

    Obviously this is 10 stops and we have 12 to make so we are thinking that we will take another two somewhere in the mountains/canyons

    You thoughts/suggestions are appreciated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hunniebunnie79 View Post
    So far, we are thinking the following:

    Niagara Falls
    Columbus OH
    Springfield IL
    Sioux Falls SD
    Deadwood SD
    Bridgeport NE
    Vail CO
    Moab UT
    Grand Canyon AZ
    Hoover Dam/Boulder NV

    Obviously this is 10 stops and we have 12 to make so we are thinking that we will take another two somewhere in the mountains/canyons

    You thoughts/suggestions are appreciated.
    Rather than make another two [stops] somewhere, have you thought of turning the Moab and Grand Canyon into two night stops.

    These areas are so incredible, one wishes one could spend days there. No picture, no movie can do them justice.

    And while on the road, over the extensive distances you plan to travel, make note of all the places you wish you had time to see, but must pass by. These will make the backbone of your next, more realistic trip. As Dave so eloquently stated above, there is no comparison between travelling distances in North America, to Queensland.

    Do I read you correctly, that you will be driving from NJ (Bergen County? Trenton? Wildwood?) to Niagara in one day, and then onto Columbus the next day? This will give you time to 'see' the falls, but I doubt you will have much time to go over to the best side, the Canadian falls - two border crossings. No matter how efficient, border crossings take time.

    Parking at the Falls is a hassle at the best of times, and one can be allocated a spot a fair walk from the the action. And then there are the other activities such as the Maid of the Mist and IMAX which leave you with that unforgetable feeling of really having seen and experienced Niagara Falls.

    And that goes for most of the places you plan to stop. You will be astounded by just what you are visiting, and how much you need to miss.

    Lifey in Melbourne
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 04-09-2011 at 05:31 PM. Reason: typo

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