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  1. Default 4 week road trip in summer


    My wife and I are planning our third trip to the US from Europe. On our last trip we discovered the freedom that renting a car gives you and on this trip we want to repeat that experience.

    We have already visited NY city, Washington DC and Chicago in the east and California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah in the west (including major national parks: Grand Canyon, Yosetime, Zion, etc)

    We have clear plans for the last part of our trip: we want to visit Cannyonlands and Arches (we couldn't visit these on our last trip), Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and leave the US from Seattle.

    The problem is the first part of the trip. Where should we start?

    Do you think going on a coast-to-coast trip starting at Boston is a crazy idea? If you don't, what would be a nice route to follow?

    Do you think we'd better just start at Fort Worth of Denver and then go North?

    As you see, we are quite confused so any ideas will be welcomed.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With 4 weeks available, you have time to drive all the way across country, and still have plenty of time to see the attractions you have listed. If you want to see some of New England or the Midwest, or just want to say you drove from coast to coast, it certainly is something you can do.

    Of course, if you start farther west, say in Denver, you'd have a lot more time to explore all the places you listed, plus many of the other national parks and attractions of the Rocky Mountains and Northwest. You might even look at adding in some of the Canadian Rockies.

    One other option to consider - and the option that would certainly be far cheaper than any of the ones you've proposed - would be to do a loop from Seattle. After exploring Western Washington, you could head south to Oregon, to Crater Lake or head down the coast, even towards Redwoods National Park in Northern California. You could then head across Nevada to Utah for Arches/Canyonlands and onto Colorado (Mesa Verde, Million Dollar Highway, Black Canyon, Rocky Mountain NP etc), head up to the Dakotas for the Badlands and Black Hills, and then back across through Yellowstone and Glacier.

    A loop would mean cheaper airfare and no big drop fee for the car rental. You could also shop around for the best air/car prices for any city along the loop, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, or Denver.

  3. #3


    Being this is your 3rd road trip here I would say that there will be more trips in your life so you should not worry about not seeing all there is to see. Sometimes it is better to go slow and see things better.

    I like your idea of flying into Boston and spending a week doing New England. Then you can go through and see the Adirondacks then head out west.

    Being you where in the southwest you can work across the northern half of the states and wind up in Seattle. Then work your way down the Pacific Coast Hwy.

  4. Default

    4 weeks! The possibilities abound!

    Boston would be an excellent starting point. My family just visited the city in 2012 and there are a lot of great things to see. Boston Harbor Islands NRA is a surprisingly under-visited park with ferry access from the pier. The usual Boston historical sights along the Freedom Trail abound, but another often overlooked option is to take the National Park Service's free tour of the Boston African American Black Heritage Trail. This guided tour taught us a lot about black history in Massachusetts that we had never heard before.

    If you really want to see New England you need to visit the White Mountains. Taking I-93 through Crawford Notch is one of the most beautiful stretches of interstate in the country. A quick jaunt westward along US-2 will get you to the Ben & Jerry's ice-cream factory tour - a delicious stop to be sure! Vermont's green mountains are also spectacular; heading down I-87 (or, if you're interested, NY route 30) will give you some great views of the Adirondacks

    The finger lakes have their own draw; I'd at least stop in Seneca Falls to see the gorgeous Episcopalian Church along the canal. If you prefer to stay off-interstate, you can continue southwest into the Allegheny National Forest of Pennsylvania. Heading west into Ohio you will find Cuyahoga Valley National Park between Cleveland and Akron. The park has history, recreation, and a tourist railroad along the Ohio & Erie canal towpath for you enjoyment.

    While I'm sure there are lots of great attractions between Cleveland and St. Louis, I have not toured that area very much beyond the Kokomo Opalescent Glass factory in Kokomo, IN, and the Lincoln Home in Springfield, IL. St. Louis, however, is almost a must-see if you are traveling across country in the United States. The arch is visible from miles away and is one of Missouri's top tourist draws. The elevator ride up a non-vertical shaft is reason enough to visit this monument! Also, if you're in St. Louis you must visit Ted Drewes Frozen Custard - possibly the most delicious dairy dessert west of the Mississippi!

    The standard route between St. Louis and Moab, UT (Canyonlands) is a straight shot on I-70. While I heartily recommend this route west of Denver, I have not yet visited the area between Denver and Kansas City, so I cannot give any recommendations. In Kansas City I highly recommend you find a great BBQ place (there are TONS of them) for dinner. In Topeka you could visit the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, which details the Supreme Court decision that officially integrated schools in the United States. Denver is a city full of places to visit, from the US mint to the mile-high step on the state capitol. West of Denver, I-70 is one gorgeous view after another. If you have time, head up the Mt. Evans road to the top of this fourteener - the highest paved road in North America! As you travel across I-70 you can choose whether to go through the Eisenhower tunnel or traverse Loveland Pass, and you can marvel at the wondrous engineering that built an interstate through Glenwood Canyon. In Grand Junction you can visit Colorado National Monument, a beautiful road winding through some of Colorado's red-rock. And Grand Junction is less then 2 hours from Arches National Park.

    Hopefully this has given you some ideas of how you might spend a month crossing the United States, and what kind of sights are available in different areas. However, don't feel tied down to any one itinerary or routing - I always like to try something a little different when I visit a new place, and I've never been disappointed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Welcome and Thank-you.

    Hello Capn and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Thanks for jumping straight in and offering such detailed advice in your first few posts, it's much appreciated.

    Enjoy RTA !


  6. Default


    I am really impressed at the amount of detailed information you get in this forum.

    Thank you so much for your extensive posts ;-) You're great!


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