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  1. #1

    Default 3 roadtrips taken..what next?

    Hi!
    I know it's a quite hard question to answer, but I am looking for suggestions on obvious road-trips that I should put on my bucket list.
    I've taken 3 road-trips (well, first one more of like a transport leg) and have really enjoyed all of them. My favorite has to be #2 on the list though.

    1) Car: Orlando, Miami, The Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Canaveral, Orlando
    2) Car (1 way rental) : Denver , Grand Junction, Moab (Arches, Canyonlands), Monument Valley, Page (Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend), Grand Canyon South Rim, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Mammoth Lake, Bodie, Yosemite (Curry Village), San Francisco, Cambria, Los Angeles. (Google maps: http://goo.gl/maps/2jIIu )
    3) RV: NYC, Saugerties, Kaaterskill, Ithaca, Niagara, Lancaster, Gettysburg, Washington DC, Annapolis, Lewes, Atlantic City, NYC

    Now I'm looking into new road-trips and would like to get suggestions for the obvious things I haven't seen (know there's a lot but what would be next?). I wouldn't call myself a man of the wilderness, but at the same time enjoy those smaller hikes I could do in Arches & Yosemite. And since I like to take photos I also really enjoyed Arches, Yosemite, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Bodie and South Rim. At the same time I can also really enjoy big cities for a few days just for the contrasts to the never ending scenery of the landscapes. So a mix is appreciated also.

    So where should I consider. The continent is so huge and (being a foreigner living outside the US) I find it difficult to find candidates for focus. Right now it's just a huge mix of Santa Fe (area), New Orleans, North-east of Las Vegas (Bryce, Zion), Yellowstone. And even I understand that all these can't easily be combined :)
    So I would really like suggestion on what might fit my preferences.
    Considering a 2-3 weeks trip. Hopefully departing and arriving in same city since one way rental is expensive (learned that at #2 above). This time I will rent a car and not an RV.

    Regards,
    BH

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome Back to the RTA Forum!

    If I were you, I think I might look at something that takes you to the Northwestern quadrant of the US, and perhaps even parts of Canada.

    Yellowstone is one of my absolute favorite places on earth so that would be a top priority for me, but the options expand greatly beyond that.

    You might look at the Pacific Northwest, checking out cities like Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver. There are plenty of great natural features in the area too, like Mount St. Helens and Olympic National Park, just naming a couple. You could potentially go south as far as San Francisco, checking out the Oregon Coast, Crater Lake, and the Northern California Redwoods.

    You could also look at places farther east, like Montana's Glacier National Park, or head north of the border to the Canadian Rockies to places like Banff and Jasper National Parks. You also could even consider going out to the Dakotas to see the Badlands and Black Hills, including Mt. Rushmore.

    Obviously, that's still a lot to work through, but that someplace to start, where you'd get a chance to experience a part of the country you haven't explored at all yet, and have a trip more similar to the 2nd trip you enjoyed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    If this were me, I'd choose the Pacific Northwest, as well. That's what jumped out at me when I read your post, BEFORE reading MidwestMichael's. Choose a city where airfare is reasonable -- Seattle is probably the most likely -- and create a loop trip from it. Best time of the year for Yellowstone and Glacier is July and August, most likely, because the roads are open, as are the services.


    Donna

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. Very interesting.
    While waiting for responses I also looked into Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone (made into a loop?). But I'll certainly want to look at the options coming in from North-West also.
    I'm bringing a teenager (16yo), so I doubt he will regret a second trip to Las Vegas though ;-)

    BTW: Since I like to take photos I'm also quite interested in wildlife (not only nature), and watching bears/wolves etc would be a few of my bucket list I guess. At the same time I'd like to stress that I'm not a wildlife guy walking alone in the bush even if I enjoy the touristy 1-day hikes.
    Last edited by Oladunk; 02-10-2014 at 09:16 AM. Reason: Typos

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Novelty and Variety

    I'm going to join the others in suggesting the Pacific Northwest as your target area for this trip, but with some differences. Seattle may be the cheapest place to fly into, but Salt Lake City might not be too much more and might make for a slightly smaller closed loop while still seeing a large variety of different, and new to you, terrains. I also wouldn't try to re-visit places you've already been just yet. Part of what makes a place special in our memories is the fact that we were discovering it new the first time we visited. Expecting to have the same excitement and thrill on subsequent visits can lead to a bit of disappointment. And there's still so much more of America to discover.

    The loop I'd suggest can be done in two weeks, but three would be better, It would include Salt Lake City, Yellowstone and the Tetons, the Snake River Valley, the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon coast, the Redwoods of northern California, Reno and Lake Tahoe, the 'desolate' Basin and Range province of northern Nevada, and the Bonneville Salt Flats. Such a loop could easily be opened up a bit to include Seattle if you can get significantly better prices on the fights and car by using it as your starting/ending point.

    One other thing. While the weather is, indeed, best in July and August, particularly in the northern Rockies (e.g. Yellowstone), that also means that that's when most everyone else will be on the road too. Personally, I have had some of my best RoadTrips in the northwest in mid to late September and even into October when the crowds leave, the weather cools, and the wildlife is on the move to winter quarters, getting ready to hibernate, or in rut.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Yellowstone and Utah.

    While waiting for responses I also looked into Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone (made into a loop?).
    For a trip out of Vegas to Yellowstone and back down into Utah, you might get a few pointers here. If you have 3 weeks you could include Glacier NP or have more time to explore Bryce and Zion etc. You will find many other ideas checking out the Road trip field reports as well as in other areas of the forums and planning pages.

    It's really about research and is your choice to make, but Yellowstone and Southern Utah are hard to top. If it's possible I would be looking at early/mid September when the main crowds have gone but the weather will still be favourable

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Another link.

    Here are a few more Fly'n drive road trips from us overseas visitors, including one in the Northwest and Yellowstone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Out on a limb.

    I will go out on a limb, and suggest Alaska. Three weeks would be a great time to fly in and out of Anchorage, rent a car and explore the cities and sights of this last frontier.

    Some of the outstanding attractions are Denali NP for wildlife; Kenai peninsula for whale watching and Glaciers NP; Valdez the oil port and history of the 1960s earthquake; Fairbanks gateway to the wild north and flights over and onto northern glaciers. There are also flights to the more remote regions of Barrow, Deadhorse and Nome. These are only a few which readily come to mind. There is no end to where you could spend your time. The variety and beauty as well as the scenic routes are unforgetable. Further afield you could explore part of the Yukon, in Canada with places such as Whitehorse and Dawson City, both of which have a rich gold-rush history.

    All of this can be done without any significant hiking. But you better have large memory cards in your camera(s).

    Lifey

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for all the good suggestions. I will dig more into all of them in detail. Seems that I'm narrowing in on an area now...though still huge. Alaska is also definitely an option, but since I'm from Norway and still also traveling my own country I feel that that is the part of the US that mostly resemble my homecountry (big/deep fjords, tall mountains, whale watching etc).

    Las Vegas was picked by me just because I thought maybe it would be a "relatively" cheap place to fly into from Europe (given the other alternatives Salt Lake, Seattle etc). But I might be wrong, and I won't know until I start price search. I also thought maybe my teenage son (16 yo by the time we travel) would appreciate the trip to Las Vegas. This would be the only place we have been before though if I drive north from there.

    BTW: Any suggestions regarding possibility of spotting wildlife? Bears would be ultimate but anything is interesting apart from bedbugs and ants I guess ;-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    I really can't think of a better place in the US to see wildlife than Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Bears - both Black and Grizzly - are found within the park. Bison are common, as are Elk and Moose. Wolves are also there, although a bit tougher to view. If you see a large group gathered on the side of the road, they are likely looking at some large animal - which of course can lead to some traffic jams - and that's when the animals aren't causing the traffic jams as they walk down the middle of the road!

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