I am in the middle of planning a road (and sometimes air) trip for the summer of 2016 or 2017. Now as far as I know, the easiest way to get a lot of travelling done in America is to enter through the Visa Waiver Program, which would allow me 90 days worth of travel. I have already travelled around the West Coast previously, visiting all the places you typically would in a West Coast trip, but I would absolutely love to do that again, and ideally that would be the starting point for the trip.
I have had a rough plan in mind starting from Seattle, WA. and then heading down the coast eventually landing in San Diego. For this section of the trip, it would be mainly the inner city side of things, so spending time in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. I would also want to try to fit in Yosemite to this part of the trip. As for a time plan on this trip, I have had a look at the driving times from place to place, and I don't think it is unrealistic to think that when I do this trip, with 2 drivers as there would be, that we couldn't just drive from place to place from my plan. Here it is:
Seattle -> Portland -> Gleneden Beach -> Crescent City -> San Francisco -> Yosemite -> Monteray -> Santa Barbara -> Los Angeles -> San Diego.
As for the amount of time to spend in each place, it would obviously vary from place to place. But here is what I was thinking:
Seattle - 2 nights
Portland - 2 nights
Gleneden Beach - 1 night
Crescent City - 2 night
San Francisco - 3 nights
Yosemite - 3 nights
Monteray - 1 night
Santa Barbara - 2 nights
Los Angeles - 2 nights
San Diego - 3 nights
Total nights - 20 nights
This covers a total of 1,793 miles (apparently).
I was hoping to receive some sort of feedback on this part of the plan? Am I being to hopeful in being able to do this much in this amount of time? Does any place need more time do you feel? Am I missing any must see places? One thing I do want to ask, is can anyone see any way to fit in a trip to Death Valley in this trip? I went to Furnace Creek when I was travelling before and would absolutely love to go back again as that was really the highlight of my trip.
As for the next part of the plan, I would like to do a grand tour of as many National Parks in the west. This plan is extremely rough. I am not even 100% sure that this is a realistic route, but it will give an idea of the places that I would like to see. I was thinking something along the lines of:
Flying from San Diego -> Las Vegas -> Zion NP -> Grand Canyon -> Lake Powell -> Monument Valley -> Bryce Canyon -> Canyonlands -> Moab (Arches) -> Salt Lake City -> Yellowstone NP -> Sheridan -> Mount Rushmore -> ??? -> Minneapolis/St Paul -> Chicago
Now as I am sure you will have picked up on, towards the end of that trip becomes very unrealistic for one stop driving between the 2. I'm sure that maybe even some of, if not most, of the other journeys I proposed are too long to make from one to the other, but this is why I am posting on here to find out from people more knowledgeable than me on this subject!
I haven't got an exact plan on nights I would like to stay places as I can't honestly say I know enough about them to decide. However, a few of the places I would like to spend a certain amount of nights:
Las Vegas - 2 nights
Zion NP - 3 nights
Grand Canyon - 3 nights
Lake Powell - 1 night
Monument Valley - 1 night
Bryce Canyon - 2 nights
Canyonlands - ?
Moab - ?
Salt Lake City - 2 nights
Yellowstone NP - 3 nights
Sheridan - 1 night
Mount Rushmore - 1 night
Minneapolis/St Paul - 2 nights
Chicago - 2 nights.
Total nights - 23 nights + ???
This is the section that I need much more help on (I think/hope!). The same questions apply to this section as to the previous and I assume this is going to be the one that gets picked apart for the distances and time to get each place a bit more! But that's a good thing!
Like I said before this trip will be two people, one of whom is a US citizen, aged 24 and 25 at the planned time (25 and 26 if it is in 2017), so therefore the driving time for each person will be separated in half. We expect to be camping or staying on campsites in some sort of accommodation and would by no means turn our noses up at the idea of a motel. I'm not against the idea of using an RV but it would be preferable to use a rental car for the whole trip.
So if I were to say I am 5 days ish inaccurate on each section of the trip overall I have got a rough idea for 60 days. That leaves 30 days left which I am undecided on what to do with (unless I am so far out with my planning that I would have to fly home after these 2!). I would love to see the East Coast but I wouldn't even know where to start with that. Would it be possible to try to see both the West Coast as extensively as I have in my mind and then to also spend some time seeing different places on the East?
Thank you in advance to anyone who reads, answers or comments on anything here!