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  1. Default How does this sound to you experienced trippers?


    This is just a very early plan. I've no idea how doable this is.

    My plan would be to fly from the UK to New York and spend about 4 days there. Then I would rent a car and start my drive. To Washington DC, stopping just for a quick bite to eat and a few photos in Philadelphia since it looks like its on the route anyway. I'd then arrive in DC and book a room. The next day I'd spend entirely in DC and then leave the next morning.

    A long drive to Chicago, I'm not sure if I'm underestimating this one and might need to stop somewhere in the middle for the night. I'd like to spend a few days enjoying Chicago before leaving for LA via the Grand Canyon. This is the only part of my route I am unsure of where I want to go. I've gone for long drives through Iowa and Nebraska and Colorado here with basically just over night stops for rest.

    The alternative I thought about was driving a bit further south through St.Louis, Kansas.

    Just a day at the Grand Canyon and then the long drive to LA. Here for a few days and then another long drive to San Francisco for a few days. And yet another long drive to Brownsville for a quick visit before finishing in Portland.

    There seems to be quite a few long runs in this trip and I'm not sure if I'm underestimating them. I used to drive 400-500 mile trips here in the UK every few months and handled those ok. But America might be a whole different story? Plus I've no idea if I'd be missing too much of the central states by just driving through them so quick?

    I'd appreciate any thoughts you'd have on this route and this very early plan :)

    Apologies if I don't make much sense, I do get excited when I'm talking about this!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I think your plan sounds fine, although a bit one dimensional.

    Other than the Grand Canyon, the only places you are planning to stop is cities. That's not necessarily bad, but I'd think it would be quite a shame to drive across this massive country and not enjoy some of the natural wonders you can't find anywhere else in the world. There are dozens of national parks that wouldn't be far from your route, but you'd have to decide if you want to make some time to see the other ones. Even just scenic drive possibilities aren't really on your list - for example, you could follow the famous California Coast from LA to SF or even on into Oregon, but that means you'd need more time (2 days from LA to SF, and a few more to Portland.).

    But if cities are just your thing, your trip is fine. 400-500 miles is a pretty easy day on the road, and we generally recommend 500-600 miles as a "full day" on the road if you are sticking to the interstates taking 8-10 hours.

  3. Default

    Thank you for your answer :)

    It has got me thinking again, so many places, so many decisions!

    I consider New York, Chicago and San Francisco a must. But in-between I like the idea of just assigning a certain amount of days and just stopping wherever, whenever I feel like as I make my way across country. Its just north, south, or through the middle that I wonder about still!

    I best go and research a lot more!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default ... so many places, so many decisions!

    You don't say at what time of the year you are planning to take this trip, nor how much time you will have. Both those will affect what and how much you can do. That said, in this initial planning stage, the best thing you can do is get a good (wall size) map of the US. I like the National Geographics map as it shows all your National Parks and other natural attractions, as well as the cities, highways and interstates. Lay out your trip on it, and see what attractions - other than the Grand Canyon - are within a stone's throw of your route.

    For one thing, if you take a route through Colorado, you may find that you could spend a month there, so spectacular is that state. You really should not miss Utah if you have never been there, and once again, a few weeks there would not give you time to see everything. And the same could be said of quite a few other States.

    Enjoy the planning.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California

    Default 2 days or so...

    Washington DC to Chicago is a 2-day drive, around 450 miles per day which is about 9-10 hours depending on the numbers of stops you make. But there's stuff to be seen along the way.

    I agree with the above posters, Colorado and Utah are worth considering!


  6. Default

    Thank you for the tips, I was planning on buying a wall map so the recommendation of which one should be useful!

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