Congratulations for thw forum and thank you for your posts. You helped us plan the huge roadtrip we'll try to accomplish which is circling the US (with a bit of Canada) in 30 days from the 1st to the 30th of August.
I'm posting this huge post to ask your help in some questions we have and i really hope you will read it and help.
Our planned trip is this:
We have never been in the US and since our country is flirting with bankruptcy -we're Greek - this might be oul last chance for many years on to make this trip happen. So, our main goal is to see as much of the diverse landscape both urban and natural and we would also like to taste some local american food.
--Any suggestions on what we should eat in any place we visit is more than welcome!
We'll be driving from 6 to 9 hrs/day, split between two drivers. We try to have a stop for lunch, sightseing and perhaps some activities every day and we'll have some evening activity (a drink, or anything local and interesting) before sleep. So it is two places to see every day. Our trip will include a lot of filming and taking pictures but, we'll also try to "breathe" as much as we can of every place we stay or pass.
Our trip will begin in Buffalo where we'll rent a car.
We're actually landing in Toronto Pearson at 1800 and we need to sleep in Buffalo the sam night. Given the jetlag we're trying to find a good way to go from the airport to Buffalo without losin too much time and money.
--1) Could anyone suggest the best way to go to Buffalo from Toronto Pearson Airport?
After we -hopefully- spend our first night in Buffalo, we'll follow a northern route to Vancouver through both cities (Cleveland, Chicago, Milwakee, Minneapolis, Seattle) and National Parks (Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone Park).
Hopefully, we'll reach Vancouver in a week's time and then we'll move south by the Pacific coast through Redwood National Park and San Francisco to Los Angeles.
That should take four (4) days. We know we need a night stop between Portland and SF at somewhere around Grants Pass, OR.
--2) Could you suggest a nice place around there to have a nice evening, maybe enjoy some sightseing and spend the night?
We'll then stay in SF for two nights and then drive to La from the coastal road.
--3) We'd like to swim in the Pacific. Could you suggest a beach between SF and LA to do so? Do you think the coastal road is too slow and we should take 101 or we'll miss everything if we do so?
After LA -where we'll spend a night too- we'll drive to Las Vegas and sleep there. The drive through I-15 is about 4 hours according to Mapquest.
--4) Is this the road crossing the Death Valley? Would driving give us the feeling of the lanscape or a stop is neccesary? Where would you suggest us to have a 2 or 3hrs stop for sightseing if so?
From Las Vegas we'll then cross the Southern States to New Orleans. This part is the one we're most afraid of since it has long routes in the desert. But, it is the most exciting as well! We'll be crossing the most alien scenery for us (we're coming from a Mediterranean country after all). So, we'll get some sleep near Grand Canyon (Williams is a town we found near there), see the Canyon the next morning, then go to Phoenix for lunch and to Tucson for the night. Drive the next day for lunch in El Paso and spend the night in Fort Stockton, TX.
--5) We've actually chosen Williams, AZ and Fort Stockton, TX just because they suited our driving hours split. Would you suggest any better place to spend our evenings and nights or we were that lucky to pick the best?
Texas is a must for us so, we'll drive to San Antonio (probably visit the Alamo and grab something to eat) and then spend our evening in Houston.
--6) What would you suggest in order to have a "complete Texas experience" during the two and a half days we'll drive through the state?
If things go as planned, after a five hour drive by the Gulf we'll reach New Orleans in our 17th night in the States. And after new orleans we'll turn north again. Within a week we'll be at Boston with our stops being: lunch in Jackson, MS; night and lunch in Memphis, TN; night in Nashville; lunch in Knoxville.
--7) Then we need a night stop between Knoxville and Washington, DC. Is Roanoke, VA a suitable place or you suggest anything more interesting in Virginia? As it is one of the Thirteen Colonies we wonder if you suggest anything worth seing near the I-81S.
After that, we visit Washington, Baltimore, Gettysberg Field, Philladelphia and then spend two days and nights in New york. After a lunch in Providence (is it as expensive as we heard?) we'll sleep in Boston.
The last couple of days we'll have to decide whether we return to Buffalo, give back the car and spent a couple of days in Toronto or take public transport from Boston to Montreal and then to Toronto just to catch our flight.
--8) What would you say?
This is our plan at the moment.
Our general plan is to find low budget motels for our lodging throughout the trip and mix meals between fast food, hand made and restaurants. I suppose having a VISA debit card would be fine for any kind of purchase around the States.
We would also like to ask you some general information, in case you can help.
a) Since we haven't found anywhere on the internet a website or an application to tell as so, do you know how much would the tolls cost throughout the journey? Would it be more than $100?
b) The entire trip is about 8500 miles. Will be renting a Chrysler Cruiser for the trip. Is it sufficient or we should go for something bigger?
c) The estimated cost of gas for the vehicle is just over $1000. Based on your experience, should we expect a big difference between this and reality? Would a 10% increase be enough for our budget calculations?
We, really, thank you again for reading and hope to get some answers from you!