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  1. Default Boston - LA (Honeymoon)

    Hi everyone,

    I'm getting married next year, and am currently planning our honeymoon. It involves driving a convertible Mustang from Boston to LA in around 24 days stopping at various places. I'd appreciate any advice, and if my plans sound feasible.

    The plan so far is:
    Day 1: Arrive in NY, rent a car (cheap as possible) and drive to Boston area where we'll stay the night.
    Day 2: Drive to Salem and see witch trials related stuff (one of the Mrs-to-be's ideas). Spend the rest of the day in Boston following the freedom trail.
    Day 3: Drive to NY where I'll drop off the car back at the rental place. Do some sight-seeing.
    Day 4: Full day in NY, more sight-seeing.
    Day 5: Even more sight-seeing!
    Day 6: Early train to DC, do some sight-seeing (I'm gona abbreviate this as SS else I'll be here all day)
    Day 7: Pick up convertible Mustang (which we'll keep for the rest of the trip) and drive to Pittsburgh
    On the way we'd like to stop in Bird-in-Hand and visit an Amish farm, where they do tours. After that I want to stop in Punxatawney and see Phil before heading to Pittsburgh.
    Day 8: SS in Pittsburgh.
    Day 9: More SS in Pittsburgh.
    Day 10: A bit more SS before heading to Bristol LA, where we'll spend the night.
    Day 11: The reason for stopping in Bristol: get up very early and head for Great Smoky Mountains. At the end of the day drive to Knoxville.
    Day 12: A bit of SS in Knoxville before heading to Anniston, AL. Depending on timing, maybe visiting Birmingham and SS, or doing that the next day.
    Day 13: Either Birmingham then head to New Orleans, or just head straight to New Orleans for SS.
    Day 14: Another day SS in New Orleans.
    Day 15: Head to Dallas, stopping in Gibston to see the Bonnie and Clyde Museum on the way. A bit of SS in Dallas.
    Day 16: Zero-gravity them park in Dallas. Maybe more SS if time allows.
    Day 17: Long drive to Albuquerque. SS if there's time, but probably just relaxing by the pool.
    Day 18: Possible balloon ride in Santa Fe, more SS type stuff.
    Day 19: Drive to somewhere near the Grand Canyon and sleep for the night.
    Day 20: Early to Grand Canyon, spend the day there, then head towards Las Vegas, stopping for the night somewhere along the way (probably closer to the Grand Canyon than LV.
    Day 21: Las Vegas!
    Day 22: Drive to LA, bit of beach time.
    Day 23: Early drive to Yosemite, spend the day there. Head back to LA area at night.
    Day 24: Another day probably at the beach.
    Day 25: Fly to NY, then from there to Glasgow.

    And there you have it! I can knock a day or two off places like Pittsburgh and New York, but does this look feasible? I've planned it so there's not really any long driving two days in a row. I don't mind long drives anyway, so it won't be much of a problem.

    I know there's still a long way to go with the planning, like which route to take, and what to see along the way. We like seeing odd tourist attractions, and want to stop at places like the worlds largest office chair along the way. But before all of that I just need to know if I'm being too ambitious.

    Any advice welcome!

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The only spot I see a problem is with Yosemite. It is too far away from LA to do it as a daytrip, and it also would just make much more sense to do it right after Vegas - heading through Death Valley and over Tioga Pass in the process.

    Have you sorted out the rental car yet? Finding a company that will let you do a one way, cross country rental in a convertible could be difficult, and if you do find it, it will be very expensive.

    Is there something specific about Pittsburgh that is really drawing you there? It strikes me as at least a little odd that you are spending more time there than almost any other of your destinations, including Washington and Las Vegas. It's not a bad thing, just a bit unusual.

    Your trip is pretty city-focused, and there are lots of other National Parks and natural wonders that you could explore, especially out west, but that might not be a priority for you.

    Otherwise, it looks like you've got a pretty good plan started.

  3. Default

    Thanks, yeah that does sound like a better idea. Pittsburgh is somewhere we'd maybe like to move to one day, and we'd like to see some of the sports there like a baseball or football game, but I think I've been a bit excessive so might knock a day off that. I might also knock a day off New York, and spend a bit more time in the west. I also wanted to visit Joshua Tree national park.

    I do like the idea of visiting more national parks, but the problem is you have to spend a fair bit of time at them to properly appreciate them. I'll bare that in mind about going through Death Valley though, thanks.

    The Rental Car should be fine; I've found a company that do it, although it is a $750 one-way charge which is expensive!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    When do you plan to be making this trip?

    Pittsburgh's PNC park is one of the nicest, if not the nicest, in all of baseball. Certainly worth a trip if you're there on a gameday.

    National Parks do require a fair bit of time to appreciate them, but is that really much different than dedicating a full day to explore a city?

    $750 for a one way fee with a specialty car on a cross country trip is actually pretty reasonable, all things considered.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Are you planning to do that 200+ mile drive after a very long flight from overseas? That caught my attention right away. The other thing that jumped out at me was Dallas to Albuquerque, a 650 mile drive. It will seem longer since it's not all on the interstate freeway.

    Bristol VA to Knoxville, via Great Smoky Mountain NP, will be about 160 miles. That will be a nice leisurely, beautiful drive during the day!


  6. Default

    Around June 2015. Yeah I'd prefer to go to PNC park, but if the timing isn't right I'll probably try and find some kind of game in another city along the way. I'll try and find more time to fit some national parks in along the way, it's just very difficult to time it all!

    Do you have any advice on picking the right route? Like which roads to take, and when to ignore Google maps?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would consider using public transportation from NYC to Boston and back, and also from Boston to Salem and back. The NYC and Boston metros and in between are not pleasurable places to drive.

    Donna, US-287 between Dallas and Amarillo is near-freeway quality, you can make good time on it. 650 miles is indeed a long haul but it's not that terrible. You will want to make a very early start to get out of the DFW metro before the height of morning rush.

    I would purchase a Rand McNally road atlas for planning, there is no substitute for paper maps.

  8. Default

    Thanks, I might consider taking public transport then. It'll have to depend on the timing of when I arrive etc.

    I've just come back to the planning after a while so I think I made a couple of changes to the plan that I've now forgotten. I'm sure Dallas to Albuquerque was broken down into two journeys, but if not, I think that's the only significant long journey of the trip so I don't mind taking the hit that one time. That's something I'll definitely look into though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Good maps vs Google.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeicesterLuke View Post
    ... and when to ignore Google maps?
    Google - or any other mapping site - is not exactly the tool to choose routes. Google is only interested in getting there as fast as possible. Google is not interested in history, natural wonders or scenic routes. Laying out a route is what one does with paper maps, where all the options are laid out in front of you. As mentioned, purchase a Rand McNally road atlas or some really good maps. (I like to have both.) You will find that not only are the scenic routes hilighted on maps and in the atlas, but many of the natural features, historical sites and quirky attractions are marked on good maps. By all means use the computer programs to work out distance, etc.

    NYC to Boston - definitely take the train. Neither city is car friendly, has good public transport and is expensive and difficult to park.

    I too would recommend you rework the plan somewhat to make a little more time for the great natural wonders out west. You won't regret it.


  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    I too would recommend you rework the plan somewhat to make a little more time for the great natural wonders out west. You won't regret it.
    Ok I'll take public transport to/from/around Boston. What kind of natural wonders would people recommend most?

    That's interesting about the maps though. Around the UK maps are there to tell you how to get from a-b, and google maps is as good as anything else. But that's because there's no great distance between anything, so whether you take one road or a similar one is gona make no real difference. I'll make sure I'm careful about the route I pick. It might even change one or two of the destinations.

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