My fiancé and I are getting married in May of this year and are coming back to my home country from the UK to do a road trip for our honeymoon. Our goal is to drive from Ocean City, Maryland, to San Francisco, California in 12 days. This requires us to cover about 300 miles per day, which from reading on the website doesn't seem too unreasonable? We want to camp as much as possible to save money on accommodation costs, and I think this is reasonable as we want to see as many national parks along the route as possible. Here are the details of what we know/would like to do:
- We are having our US ceremony with our family on Saturday, May 26, 2012 - that evening we are driving to Ocean City, MD and staying the night. So officially our road trip will begin on Sunday, May 27th.
- After getting up very early and dipping our toes in the Atlantic, we want to drive to Washington D.C. and see as much as we can see before dinnertime. After dinner, it's back in the car. We want to stay in a hotel or camp in West Virginia.
- From WV we want to follow Route 50 through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas until we get to Colorado. I'm a little bit lost as to the major sites in these states - we are still trundling through our guidebooks to pick out the main things we want to see in this stretch - however I think most of this we will spend just racking up the miles so we can spend some more time in the states that follow. We would appreciate any advice on things to see in this stretch of the route or how best to spend the time we have on this leg of the journey.
- Once we get to Colorado we really want to hit up the national parks - Garden of the Gods, Yellowstone, Rockies, and some of the National Monuments if we can. We want to spend more time in the parks than in the cities. Any advice on where to spend most of our time would be extremely valuable!
- From here we want to dip into Nevada and see the Grand Canyon, and then onto Las Vegas. We want to drive some of "The Loneliest Road" via route 50 through this state if possible.
- Once we hit California the route changes a bit. We definitely want to see Death Valley on our way from Nevada - and then dip down to Los Angeles. If need be we can spend the night driving through the San Francisco. Our flight leaves late afternoon on July 7th - so we want to be in San Francisco either the night before or in the early morning (our dream is to see the sunrise from the Golden Gate bridge!). We can then do a bit of sightseeing in San Fran before dropping our car off at the airport and catching our flight.
We really just want some general advice to see if this whole thing is achievable/reasonable, and how best to spend our time. Also we have some more specific questions:
- Should we buy a pass for the National Parks?
- We have a SatNav to help us get around - but is there anything else we need to help us in spontaneous moments? We thought about buying an iPhone to help us when we want to find where the nearest motel/restaurant/etc is, but is it worth spending the money? Or should we definitely have a set route before we leave?
- Should we bother buying KoA membership? We intend to do a lot of camping to avoid motel/hotel costs - but is this viable on the route we have chosen, and if so, is the KoA membership worth it?
- We are renting our car through Hertz - we are both under 25, and they have quoted us just under $1,500 for the trip. I am under the impression that this is one of the best prices we will find, would I be correct in assuming that?
- Should we drive highway 1 from Los Angeles to San Francisco? Or would it take too much time for the sort of time constraints we would be under?
Any help/advice would be appreciated. Neither of us have done a road trip before - and even though I am a citizen I have never really been out of my home state of PA!
Thanks a bunch!
Laura and Ben