I'm from the UK and next summer I am flying to America with my Dad for a cross-country road trip. It is something we have both talked about doing for a long time, and last month we found a great deal on flights so took the plunge and booked it.
We are flying into Newark NJ on Friday 22nd May and flying out of Los Angeles CA on Saturday 6th June, which equates to 15 days of driving time. Ideally we would want longer so that we can spend more time relaxing, but we can both only take a maximum of 2 weeks off work at a time.
This will be my second cross country road trip, I did a 4,700 mile one back in 2010 from North Carolina to Vegas. Below is the route. I did that in 21 days so I am used to going on at a steady pace.
Previous route in 2010:
This time round we will drive through the south, as this is one of the areas of the USA which I have never really explored. So below is our proposed route:
Friday 22nd May: stay overnight in Newark NJ
Saturday 23rd May: get the Amtrak to Baltimore MD first thing in the morning, and pick up rental car there
Sunday 24th May: drive to Chapel Hill NC (311 miles)
Monday 25th May: drive to Asheville NC (221 miles)
Tuesday 26th May: drive to Birmingham AL (354 miles)
Wednesday 27th May: drive to New Orleans LA (344 miles)
Thursday 28th May:
Friday 29th May:
Saturday 30th May:
Sunday 31st May:
Monday 1st June:
Tuesday 2nd June:
Wednesday 3rd June: stay at Grand Canyon Village (South Rim) AZ
Thursday 4th June: stay at Las Vegas NV (276 miles)
Friday 5th June: drive to Los Angeles CA (269 miles), and drop off rental car
Saturday 6th June: fly home from LAX
Both me and my Dad can drive so we can split the driving up between us. Our route from New Orleans to Grand Canyon we are unsure about - we thought perhaps going up through Fort Worth then Amarillo then Albuquerque - does anyone have any input on this section? I figure we have enough time for a couple of rest days in the middle of the trip.
I have already booked hotels for Newark (22nd May), Chapel Hill (24th May) and LA (5th June). I intend to also make bookings for Baltimore (23rd May), Grand Canyon (3rd June), Vegas (4th June). That way we will have our first 3 and our last 3 nights all booked which will give the trip some structure. For the 9 nights in between we will probably just roll up somewhere we like the look of, which allows us to remain flexible.
Baltimore is on the list cos I am a huge fan of The Wire, and would like to see some of the spots. I know it's not got the best reputation but for me it's a must-see. Chapel Hill is there cos I went on exchange to UNC Chapel Hill in 2010 so wanna go back for the nostalgia! At the tail end, Grand Canyon and Vegas seem like natural break points in the way to LA.
We both like eating, and drinking beer. And seeing beautiful scenery and talking to friendly Americans.
If anyone has any input on the above, I'd be very grateful to hear it. Again, I know ideally we would have a bit longer than 15 days but that is the maximum we can have! And our flights are already booked so we can't change the start/finish points.