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  1. #1

    Default Boston to LAX - Help Needed

    Hello, yes I am a Brit asking for help.

    I am thinking about doing a trip from Boston Logan Airport to LAX airport, before picking up a trian back to Boston Logan airport and flying back.

    My question is, if I I have a fortnight to travel between the two airports which route should I take so that I see a much as I can, would prefer not to view sections that the train takes, but cannot be helped in some sections i know.

    So any and all advice would be greatly accepted, my trip will start 2/3 Nov and end 23/24 Nov.

    Thanks alot

    A lost Brit seeking a route with some adventure


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

    Default Too many options !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With a couple of weeks you certainly have some time to explore but there are thousands of routes and attractions to choose from. You say " cannot be helped in some sections you know". If we knew what/where those sections were, and what route you were planning on taking, plus some idea of your interests, we may be able to offer some meaningful suggestions, but right now we have too little to go on.

    You will get a totally different perspective from the road than you will a train, as you can go where you please and not where you are taken. Imagine taking a train from London to Glasgow and what options would open up if you could drive it over a few days ! Even so I do wonder why you would choose the train and not simply fly back to the UK from LA,[?] it might give you more time for your road trip, or in the LA area.

    I would recommend you search the forums and road trip planning pages above, where you will find plenty of resources and info, together with a good map and begin plotting a route based on your own interests. With my interests [nature] I would probably head through Colorado, Southern Utah and Arizona for it's outstanding natural beauty and diversity, others may head in a more southerly direction. Yellowstone to the north is a big attraction, but it will be well and truly in 'winter mode' when you travel and a lot of the park closed down.

    Once you have an outline to work with, we can jump in and answer further questions and offer suggestions, until then enjoy the planning, it's a big part of the adventure !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Two trains from the West Coast.

    Is there a special reason why you choose to take the train from LA?

    There are two great train journeys from the west coast. Both take you to Chicago. Both cross the great plains of the mid-west. One through NE and IA, the other through KS and MO. Other than that, there is no comparison.

    The California Zephyr, which runs from San Francisco to Chicago is a spectacular journey. The switchbacks through the Sierras. The Lake high up in the mountains. (Forget its name.) The train travels slowly through these mountains. The conductor kept telling of 'Kodak opportunities'.

    Up to Denver it passes through 43 tunnels - the longest being 6.2 miles - and four spectaular canyons, of which Glenwood Canyon is the hilight. (In Glenwood Canyon alone, I took more than 200 photos.) As well, it passes right by Colorado NM. It follows the Colorado River for more than 200 miles. There is a dam at a reservoir high up in the Rockies, seen from the train. Its journey through CO alone takes most of one day's daylight hours.

    Only yesterday did I complete this journey, albeit from east to west.

    If you must start in LA, take the Coast Starlight to Emmeryville or Sacramento, and connect with the Zephyr at either of those. I have not travelled on the Starlight, but I believe it too, is a great journey.


    Edit: By the way, covering the same section by car as by train, when it comes to Interstate 70 through Colorado's Glenwood Canyon gives you an opportunity to see the canyon from both sides. Driving, you can see the railway lines on the opposite side of the canyon (and the Colorado River), just as you see the roadway from the train. Both are very different. Both are spectacular.
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 09-20-2012 at 05:14 PM. Reason: add info

  4. #4


    Thank you for the advice, since i will be travelling alone this time i as you say need to do alot of planning, so will get back to once i've decided on a route, but might try I80 but then again I might try another version, since i have done lax-vence beach-san diego-palm springs-williams-flagstaff-grand canyon-las vegas-montrey then back down route 1 to lax and out in a 10 day window. Not sure the route i listed was in the correct order but did a few miles.

    Thanks again and will be back


  5. #5


    Could you advise me about 2 things.

    1. What are the weather conditions like between Boston and Las Vegas


    2. If I was going to pop into canada via Buffallo, and come back via Detroit, how difficult is it to get to and from the border crossings, since cannot find info if i would need a visa, since I'm not a americain or candian citzern.

    Thanks again

    Kris {the lost Brit hehe}

    Well my route upto now is Boston-detroit via cleveland, then from there Iowa City, council buffs, grand junction, las vegas, bruce canyon, santa monica and then end in Los Angeles.

    There maybe a change to above the route if I decide to go into Canada via the border crossings, I am concerned that since I'm travelling in November and would guess that weather and driving conditions will be different and since this trip is been done by myself, I might decide to go for the easier route missing out the border crossings and might have to travel further going around the long way.

    Well thank all for your replies and the more given will be greatly appreciated.

    Lost Brit

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


    First, traveling in November means you're traveling at the start of the winter season. It is entirely possible that you'll see some snow. There is no way to know what you'll actually see, but you do have to be ready for winter weather. Do know, however, that you can not generically avoid winter weather just by heading south.

    If you are a British citizen, then I'm fairly certain you don't need a visa to enter Canada - you do share the same Queen after all! As long as you are coming back into the US within your original 90 days of the Visa Waiver Program, there shouldn't be a problem there. Having said all that, things like Visa's aren't something you should rely only on answers from an internet message board. Here's the information from your government as well as Canada's immigration service.

    Also note you will have to make sure that your Rental Contract allows you to travel into Canada. Many will default to only US travel, although its not usually tough to find a company that will allow travel into Canda if you ask.

  7. #7


    Thank you very much for the advice, I have quizzed the rental company and they have said that it is ok to use the car to travel into canada as long as i bring it back.
    Another question I have is tolls booths and toll roads, is there a site where you can get a month pass for ALL toll booths or is it just cash only area?
    Since I guess I am going to have alot of them to go through whilst travelling, weather wise I guess s long as the roads are drivable I will just have to take my time and get there safely.

    Thanks again all that have left messages

    Lost Brit in America


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You are going to have to pay cash tolls unless the rental car comes with a EZ-Pass. That would be good in several, but not all, states. Being that the car will be dropped off at LAX, they probably won't give you one. Our tolls here really aren't that expensive compared to other countries.

    If you take all the toll roads between Boston and Chicago (I-90) your cash toll would be about $45. This is about 1000 miles!

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