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  1. Default Driving from North Carolina to Vancouver, BC

    Hello all!

    I will be driving from Raleigh, North Carolina to Vancouver, British Columbia this August to attend grad school. This will be my first cross-country road trip, so I would dearly love your advice as I plan the drive. My dad and I will be making the trip together, and we're hoping to do it in about a week. At this point we don't have any "must see" destinations on the way. Our main goal as road trip novices is to make the trip in one piece (with all my worldly possessions packed into my sedan) with minimal stress.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Best Way to Go...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums! with "minimal stress." And the way to do that is to simply relax and take your time. And you've got plenty of time for this drive. So, all in all you're in good shape to start with.

    What you'll want to do is to stick to the Interstates for the most part as those are the fastest and safest roads available. This will require a bit of navigation so you should go over the routing before departure so you can both know what's expected and keep an eye out as you progress. Basically, it will be I-40/US-52/I-74 to I-77 north at Mount Airy. I-77 duplexes with I-64 through West Virginia and I-64 then branches off at Charleston and will take you to Huntington WV. There you can take a scenic detour on US-52 along the Ohio River into Cincinnati. Pick up I-74 (again) and follow that all the way to the Quad Cities and I-80. At Iowa City take I-380/US-218/US-18 up to I-35 north at Mason City and thence to I-90. I-90 will take you west all the way to Seattle where your last bit will be on I-5/BC-99 up to Vancouver.

    You won't have a lot of time for sight seeing, but you will have some. Holding to a modest pace of 550 miles a day will let you take two or three short breaks each day to get a feel for the country you're driving through. But you can and should make time for short side trips to two places. The Rapid City area would be one of those. You'll have put in a few days of driving at this point and you should treat yourselves to a few of the many attractions here. Among those are Mount Rushmore, Wind and Jewel Caves, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and Devils Tower. The other place to spend a bit of your 'spare' time is Yellowstone. You won't have time to do it justice, but a drive through is certainly in order. Consider taking US-14 (the Bighorn Scenic Byway) west from Rochester WY into the park and then US-191 or US-287 north out of West Yellowstone to rejoin I-90. Note that these roads will be fairly slow going, so make sure you have a spare half day to a day before you head off this way.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-04-2014 at 08:53 AM. Reason: clarity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default To add to Buck's magnificent route.

    US218 through IA is a lovely drive.... take your time and enjoy it. You could even take this all the way to I-90.

    Consider taking US-14 (the Bighorn Scenic Byway)
    Here I would take Alt14 through the Bighorn Forest, through Lovell and to Cody. If you have time, take the short walk to the Medicine Wheel. It will also goes by Big Horn Canyon and Lake. A most wonderful drive, and if you happen to be there early or late in the day, you will find the wildlife quite active.

    Have a great trip.


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