I've decided that a US road trip is something I'd like to do in the next 18 month or so, and I'm thinking that the best time for me would the August-September 2012 period. So this is a later summer, early autumn time frame - I figured I'd put it in this forum :)
You'll be happy to know I've done a bit of research first, and think that I'll hire a small car with my girlfriend, and take 30 or so days to get from Los Angeles or San Francisco to New York or Boston. This would hopefully take the form of a 'smell the roses' tour, and for that reason I'll be trying to avoid Interstates.
I've been using http://www.roadtripusa.com/routes.html as a bit of a rough guide to 'two-lane' roads, and after having a read of most of the site, and looking at Google Maps, I think I'd like to do a hybrid of Route 9 (a San Fran, CA to Ocean City, MD Route 50 trip, going through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland, ~3000 miles) and Route 5 (a Maine to Georgia journey that shadows the Appalachian Trail). I would probably leave Route 50 in West Virginia or Virginia, as I don't have much interest in DC or Maryland, and then travel north through Pennsylvania and New York (with a stop in NYC at some point), and possibly into Massachusetts and Boston.
I guess my biggest question is; will 30 days be enough time to do this? I'm Australian, and have had experience driving long distances (up to 14 hours alone in one stretch, and regular monthly 5 hour drives on my own), will have my girlfriend who can do some of the driving. I don't want to rush, but I'd be happy to drive at least 2-3 hours every day, and up to 6-8 on some stretches. I read somewhere that a direct trip on the Interstates LA -> NY would be 43-46 hours, or 5-6 days of 10 hour driving days.
Another question - accommodation, I figure I can get $75-100 double rooms most of the way there, if not cheaper, with more expensive ones in the major cities? And food, I'm interested in the small town experience, hearty food along the way, with splurging on better food in the bigger cities - would $35-40 per person per day for food be a decent average amount to budget for, with maybe 60-70 for bigger cities if we wanted to splurge?
Also, what would the weather be like in these months? I'm used to temperatures in Australia from 37oF to 95oF, having lived all over the country. Would the West be unbearable? Would the trees in New England have started to get some autumn colour by the time we reach there in early to mid September?
Anyway, lots of questions there. Hope to get some responses :)