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  1. Default Booked flights for a long road trip

    Our 25th wedding anniversary next year, so we have booked tickets to spend 6 weeks driving across the states. We know we have a big ask. The info on this site is invaluable and the route maps are great. So this is what we are looking at:

    Fly into NYC on the 30th May, spend 2 days around NYC. Pick up car on the 2nd June and drive upto Niagara expected travel 1 day, spend 1 day
    Drive the northern part of the states to Mt Rushmore via Chicago expected travel time 4 days, spend 1 day there
    Drive to Yellowstone expected travel 1 day spend 3 days there
    Undecided whether to travel to Seattle (is the route particularly stunning, scenic, beautiful) allowed a couple of days or drive to San Francisco travel time 2 days, spend 2 days there
    Drive to L.A travel time 1 day, spend 1 to 2 days there.
    Drive to Las Vegas via Death Valley travel time 2 days spend 2 days there
    Drive to Grand Canyon travel time 1 day spend 1 day there
    Drive to Nashville (to see family)via Monument Valley travel time 3 days spend 2 days there
    Drive to Charleston or Norfolk travel time 1 day spend 1 day
    Drive to Washington travel 1 day spend 2 days
    Drive to NYC for flight back.

    We know we are trying to pack in an awful lot. We are leaving florida and the deep south for another time. Any places you would recommend not visiting. Is there anywhere you would suggest we include into our itinerary. We are mixing it with some camping and budget motels. Any further advice would be appreciated.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default My, How the Time Flies

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    At first blush, 26 days sounds like an awful lot of time to tour the U.S. But then when you start to break it down and plan on actually spending a decent amount of time at some of the many great sites, you find that 26 days is not nearly enough, I actually think you've done a pretty good job of apportioning your time. Only you. of course, know what intrigues you, so I assume you've take that into account. That said I can offer you a couple of suggestions.

    In general, you have left a goodly amount of time for your driving between intermediate destinations. This is excellent planning and will let you sample some of the many smaller venues en route and get a taste for what America is like away from the major tourist attractions. And one mildly specific recommendation: While I wouldn't take the extra time to go all the way to Seattle, continuing west from Yellowstone to Portland would let you get to both the Snake River and the Columbia River and that would be well worth the effort. In the Snake River Valley there's the Thousand Springs area as well as Bruneau Sand Dunes and the seldom visited Bruneau Canyon. As you then head down the Columbia River Gorge, be sure to take a 'side trip' on the Historic Columbia River Highway and avail yourself of some of the many short hikes back into some truly spectacular waterfalls.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default "Particularly stunning, scenic, beautiful..."

    Quote Originally Posted by michele5041 View Post
    Undecided whether to travel to Seattle (is the route particularly stunning, scenic, beautiful) allowed a couple of days or ...
    You could take 93 / 75 /21 through beautiful central Idaho and the Sawtooth Recreational Area, along the Salmon River - setting of River of No Return. From Loeman route through Banks to Boise. This route will take you to several central ID ghost towns. Or you could take 75 all the way south through Ketchum and Hailey to Twinfalls. Shosone Falls are said to be as large as Niagara, and in early June, they very well may be.

    I-84, a designated scenic route to Pendleton, leads to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, with its many attractions. North of Portland, along I-5 is Mt St Helens NM and Mt Rainier NP. Seattle is a great place to visit. Pike Place Market, the Library and the Tram along the waterfront are outstanding attractions IMHO.

    Or you could head straight south to SF.

    You don't say where you are flying in from, but you may like to check with your local automobile club if they have a reciprocal program with the AAA. If they do, then your membership at home will give you access to free tourist information and maps. You may also like to check out car rental prices in NY and NJ. I have heard that it could be quite a bit cheaper to rent from Newark.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    One thing stands out - only allowing 1 day from SF to LA will not let you go down the Coast Highway (CA-1) which would be a real shame to miss.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the advice so far, we're flying into Newark Airport from the UK, where we will also fly out from.
    In answer to some of your questions, where do I get the information about particular scenic routes as you can imagine coming from the UK most of our route planning is blind. Secondly the CA-1 is a must for us.(I would rather shorten the stay in L.A to be honest)

  6. #6

    Default

    USA National Scenic Byway – read the full link. Hope it helps.

    Don’t get too ambitious if you wish to see things. A national consumer organisation in the UK recommends 5 weeks just to do justice to a trip covering California.

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

    Default Get a road atlas now.

    Quote Originally Posted by michele5041 View Post
    In answer to some of your questions, where do I get the information about particular scenic routes ...
    On most US maps, and in most Road Atlases, scenic routes are marked. You can see at a glance which is a scenic route, and take it. Sometimes these are the interstates, sometimes minor highways, or other roads.

    Quote Originally Posted by michele5041 View Post
    ... as you can imagine coming from the UK most of our route planning is blind.
    No need to fly blind. You have ample time to get yourself the 2012 Rand McNally Road Atlas. (It has been out for some months now.) Rand McNally will mail it out, you'll have it within a week or two. Check out the shop on this site, I believe it is available there, as well. It will be money well invested. You will use it on the road. Not only that, you can make it a souvenir of the trip, by marking all the roads on which you travel. At day's end, I highlight all the roads on which I have driven that day. It is helpful when talking about your trip later, with family and friends. Further more, your UK automobile membership will give you access to free maps and tourist information from the AAA at any office in the USA. Plan to make it one of the first places to visit.

    Quote Originally Posted by michele5041 View Post
    Secondly the CA-1 is a must for us.(I would rather shorten the stay in L.A to be honest)
    So would I!

    Lifey

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