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  1. Default NJ to SEATTLE road trip

    Hello all,

    I will be travelling from NJ to Seattle sometime in mid-July and want to have the trip completed in 4 days tops. According to Mapquest, the ideal route will be taking 80W and connecting with 90W all the way to SEA. There are 3 drivers, so we are planning to drive at least 1 day non-stop. What I am looking for is advise on the following:

    1) Probably the most important thing, MUST EAT places that is along that route. We are willing to go off course, but nothing more than 1/2 hour off. We are making this somewhat of a FOODIE road trip and want to experience the best places. $$ is somewhat not an object, as long as the food and experience is good.

    2) MUST SEE/EXPERIENCE places. We will be passing through PA, OH, ILL, WIS, MINN, S.DAK, MONT,& WA..

    3) ANY and ALL TIPS to make this a memorable trip for me and my brothers. When should we take the 1 day non-stop drive, where there is a stretch of really not much to see/do.

    TX again for any tips you guys might have. I will definetely post result of trip

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Big mistake.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The biggest mistake you are making is trying to drive for "1 day non-stop". It's not going to get you anywhere any quicker, it will just knock you and your body clocks out of whack for a couple of days, a couple of days you haven't got to spare. It is also incredibly dangerous and when you do finally stop, the two of you who have been awake for the last stint will be exhausted and the third person will be wanting to visit 'Foodie places'.

    Your trip is also more than we would normally recommend driving for on a multi day trip and 5 days would be much better. If you want to have the trip completed in 4 days with 3 drivers you can follow some tips here for the 'Art of the speed run'. But the only way to do it as safe as possible is to split your time into 4 equal days of 700 [and whatever] miles and 13 to 14 hours of driving with appropriate rest stops and look for food joints in whatever town you end up in for the night.

    If you really want to make it memorable for the right reasons, try and add a day or 2 otherwise making further suggestions/adding options isn't really worth it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    If you have spent any time at all, reading through these forums, you will have noticed how often people are warned against taking on foolhardy trips, driving too far and too long on any one day. You will have read about the importance of regular stops, good food and restful nights sleep, to be able to stay alert enough to safely operate and control a ton of metal and plastic hurtling along at speed over the highways.

    This is a five day trip, minimum, and even then you will not have time to look for and enjoy good foodie experiences. With six days you are getting somewhere near making it an enjoyable trip.


  4. Default

    Thanks for the replies. It seems my 4 day window for the trip won't give us the proper amount of time to at least stop and see some sights. Maybe we'll add 2 more days just so we won't be too strapped for time. Any MUST EAT PLACES along 80/90 West??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Ask the locals

    It is at least four years since I drove this route, and even if I could remember the places I enjoyed, they will probably by now have changed ownership, or don't exist anymore.

    The best thing you can do is to get full value from the visitor centres and welcome centres along the highways and in the places through which you will be passing. The folk who manage these centres are usually up to date with all that information. Other than that, ask other travellers you meet along the road or at accommodation places. Reception at hotels can also be quite helpful.

    There are many resources to find good eating places, but I am afraid, this site is not one of them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a bit too broad

    Lifey is right that it is really tough to get a good answer to the food question on this - or most other - forums. And specifically asking people you meet on the road is the best way to get good local intel for things you'd never find on the internet.

    Part of the problem with getting an answer on a forum like this is the question is too broad, as the number of restaurants along this one route is in the thousands upon thousands. There's also just no way that we could possibly know what you might be hungry for. Chicago, for example, is obviously famous for their Hot Dogs, Pizza, and Italian Beef, but there are lots of places you could go for any of them, and even there, Chicago has hundreds of other great ethnic restaurants with food you can't find in other places.

    As Lifey also noted, restaurants also change hands very frequently, and as such, the quality can change greatly even over a short period of time. There is a great hamburger place on your route in Sioux Falls that I used to go to all the time and had been in business since the depression. I stopped there last fall, and discovered that new owners had bought it, and while the food was still good, it was very different than what it had been in the past. And in the few months since I've been there, the place has now shut down.

    The sheer number of "must-eat" places is also evident by the number of books and tv shows on this topic. Those resources could give you lists of hundreds of places that you might want to check out, and really would provide far more comprehensive information about all the places you could consider stopping than you'd ever get based on responses to a forum like this.

    The one part of RTA that I would suggest you check out is the Map Center. You can put in your route and search for 'Dining' attractions. It's not going to provide a ton of ideas, as Dining is a pretty small focus of the program at this point, but it could give you at least a few ideas in addition to your other research.

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