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  1. Default First road trip in USA

    My husband and I are from India and we have been doing road trips in several parts of the world. This time we would like to spend time with family in NY and DC for a week. We then want to rent a car in DC, drive to Boston, Maine Vermont, enter Canada through Montreal or around and drive to Toronto where we will stay for 4 days. We have 6 days to reach Toronto from DC. Is this plan possible? We are interested in scenery, small towns, back roads etc.

    We want to return the car at Dc, fly to Phoenix and do a 10 day road trip in South west - Arizona, Utah - Nevada.
    Any advise would be welcome, specially routes, distances, places to see and stay and anything else.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Southwest suggestions.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your planned drive from DC to Toronto would 2.5 to 3 reasonable days on the road so it's certainly possible with time to explore on the way.

    Does the Southwest portion of your trip end back in Phoenix ? A loop would put some great natural wonders and driving roads within your reach, Grand canyon, Monument valley, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, Zion, are some of the well known variety and places like Walnut canyon, Sunset Crater, Petrified forest, Red canyon that are less visited. Sedona, Vegas and Hoover dam are popular spots, well I could go on and on.

    I would suggest looking around the forums and studying a good map and when you have some ideas on paper, share them here and we can help to 'Fine tune' your trip.

  3. Default

    Thanks so much. This is the plan. However, like you say, some fine tuning needed, particularly on the east coast drive. for example - scenic drives in the new England area. Also is it possible to put in some part of Maine? We are comfortable driving for long hours on scenic roads. Where should we enter Canada from? Is it ok to drive from Vermont to Toronto in a day? Can we take a rented car into Toronto and back?
    In the south west we have ten days Phoenix to phoenix - I have put down possibilities but you might have better suggestions?
    So here goes -
    Day 1 DC - Boston
    Day 2 - Boston
    Day 3 - Martha vineyard, cape cod - suggestions welcome
    Day 4 - drive to Vermont - suggestions welcome
    Day 5 - Vermont exploring the country - suggestions welcome
    day 6 to 10- Toronto
    day 11 Toronto - Penn
    Day 12 - to DC
    Day 13 - Fly DC - Phoenix
    day 14 Phoenix
    day 15 - Phoenix - Sedona
    day 16 - Sedona - Grand Canyon
    day 17 - to monument valley
    day 18 - monument valley
    day 19 Lake powell
    days 20, 21, 22, 23 around moab NPs
    day 24 - Vegas
    Day 25 to Pheonix - fly back to NY and on to India.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    For the Southwest part of your trip I would think about tweaking it a little. To start with I would leave Phoenix the day after arrival and spend a day there at the end, rather than have to get back there, drop the car rental off and catch a flight on day 25. Lake Powell ? If you are heading towards Page AZ for Lake Powell you should do it before visiting Monument valley, if not Halls crossing or Hite Marina are a little out of the way on route to Arches but doable. From Moab to Vegas to Phoenix is a lot of driving for a little amount of time in Vegas, but understand it if you want to see those bright lights ! If you are not to bothered I would go from Moab to Bryce canyon [Tropic UT] and then through Page and visit Lake Powell at this time.

    Can't help out East, sorry.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nandini.purandare View Post
    Thanks so much. This is the plan. However, like you say, some fine tuning needed, particularly on the east coast drive. for example - scenic drives in the new England area. Also is it possible to put in some part of Maine? We are comfortable driving for long hours on scenic roads. Where should we enter Canada from? Is it ok to drive from Vermont to Toronto in a day? Can we take a rented car into Toronto and back?
    In the south west we have ten days Phoenix to phoenix - I have put down possibilities but you might have better suggestions?
    So here goes -
    Day 1 DC - Boston
    Day 2 - Boston
    Day 3 - Martha vineyard, cape cod - suggestions welcome
    Day 4 - drive to Vermont - suggestions welcome
    Day 5 - Vermont exploring the country - suggestions welcome
    day 6 to 10- Toronto
    day 11 Toronto - Penn
    Day 12 - to DC
    Day 13 - Fly DC - Phoenix
    day 14 Phoenix
    day 15 - Phoenix - Sedona
    day 16 - Sedona - Grand Canyon
    day 17 - to monument valley
    day 18 - monument valley
    day 19 Lake powell
    days 20, 21, 22, 23 around moab NPs
    day 24 - Vegas
    Day 25 to Pheonix - fly back to NY and on to India.
    If you're not set on the South West part of the trip, I'd recommend the following instead:

    Day 13 - Fly DC - to Las Vegas
    day 14 - Drive to Grand Canyon (approx 280 miles)
    day 15 - Spend most day in Grand Canyon and drive to Page, AZ (Lake Powell) (approx 140 miles)
    day 16 - Spend most of the day at Lake Powell and drive to Monument Valley (approx 125 miles)
    day 17 - Spend most of the day in Monument Valley and drive to Moab (approx 150 miles)
    day 18 - Moab area
    day 19 - Moab area
    day 20 - Moab area
    day 21 - Drive to Torrey visiting Capitol Reef National Park (approx 155 miles)
    day 22 - Drive scenic Hwy 12 to Bryce Canyon (approx 115 very scenic miles!)
    day 23 - Spend day in Bryce and drive to Zion National Park (approx 88 miles)
    day 24 - Zion National Park
    Day 25 - Drive the 3 hours from Zion back to Las Vegas -fly back to NY and on to India. (Approx 160 miles)

    If you like this route, I'll make other suggestions on things to see and do.

    Utahtea

  6. Default First road trip in USA

    Thanks very much for the tips. Am happy to follow the suggestions except that we would have to go to Phoenix to meet family and rent car - drop off would also have to be there - we can skip vegas as we are not terribly excited about that city!! So if you guys can help tweaking the itin please do. And if we are missing some spectacular but less touristic places, please add them on. Can we find places to stay along the way or should we book. Mid range. Prefer to take it as we go along - keeps some flexibility.
    Also any experts on the East Coast? Help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A bit of both

    Quote Originally Posted by nandini.purandare View Post
    Can we find places to stay along the way or should we book. Mid range. Prefer to take it as we go along - keeps some flexibility.
    You should be fine in most places, so long as you are not too fussy about where you stay. But you can always keep a selection of accommodation contacts on hand, and call the day before, to reserve. I for one, do not book things ahead, as a rule. Many others do not, unless they are looking for something specific.

    However, when it comes to NYC and DC as well as GC, I would book ahead. It can sometimes be difficult to get acceptable accommodation in these busy areas, in summer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    Here is one possible idea for your Southwest section. It takes you to Sedona>Grand canyon>Monument valley>Moab [Arches/Canyonlands]>Capitol Reef > Bryce canyon> Zion NP>Page [Lake Powell] >Phoenix.



    Use the map tools to zoom in and out and left to right.

    You can tweak it in a number of ways, do a little research on the places and work out how you want to spend your time. You might want to concentrate more of your time in one place and skip others or keep on the move.

  9. Default

    Thanks to all of you - will follow that route in the south west. Suggest if a wee bit more can be done in those days.
    We have places to stay in the big cities so no worries. still need some clarity on the route back east. Also if we rent a car in DC, can we take it to Canada and back?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Driving to Canada will be a company by company issue, so you'll need to talk directly to your car rental company/agency. Some may allow it, some may not, some may charge extra for it, but in any case, you do need to make sure that cross border traffic is specifically allowed in your rental contract.

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