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  1. Default Massachusetts to Washington State Road Trip

    We are traveling Central Massachusetts to Washington state for a wedding and are thinking of doing a road trip. We are planning to leave late August/early September.

    We are planning to drive around 400-500 miles a day and try to cover the distance in around 10 days. We can afford to take 2-3 days off to do some sightseeing. What would be some good attractions close to the highways? We are big about scenery and photgraphy. Right now we are considering Badlands and Teton, and hoping those are not huge detours from the route.

    Also, are there any iconic restaurants/food joints we should visit? Again, we don't want to detour too much from the route but would love to make the most out of the drive.

    Any itinerary ideas are welcome :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Start The Sight-Seeing Early

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you are more interested in seeing scenery, taking great photos, and dining in places you usually don't get to, and IF you have your passports in order or can get them before you leave, then my first suggestion would be that you initially head up to Canada by way of I-87 to Pottersville NY and then County Routes 19/29/30 through Olmstedville to NY-28N/NY-30/NY-3/NY-56/NY-68 (You do have a good set of maps, right?) through the Adirondacks to Ogdensburg NY, cross into Canada there and take ON-416 up to Ottawa where you'd pick up ON-417/ON-17 (the Trans-Canada Highway) west. Follow that to Sault Ste. Marie and cross back into the US, then take I-75 south a short bit to MI-28 across the UP to US-2 to Duluth. Your last bit of 'back' road wud be MN-210 to US-10 and on to I-94 at Fargo. You can then either follow I-94 all the way to I-90. {b]OR[/b] if you're feeling adventurous, want to see Glacier National Park, think you'd enjoy wide open two lane roads through Big Sky Country more than the Interstates, you can just stay on US-2 all the way from Duluth to Glacier (but use Going to the Sun Road rather than US-2 through the park) and then use US-93/MT-28/MT-200(east!)/MT-135 to connect with I-90 for the rest of your drive to Washington state.

    The above route is actually just about the same distance as the most direct Interstate route through the US and has the added benefit of completely missing Syracuse, Buffalo, Cleveland, Gary, Chicago, Milwaukee, etc. It also takes you by some very intriguing but lesser-known attractions such as the Adirondacks, Canada's House of Parliament, the Soo Locks, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Headwaters of the Mississippi (US-2) or Theodore Roosevelt NP (I-90), and various Lewis and Clark sites in Montana.

    As far as places to eat, I have two recommendations: one place to try and one to avoid. Both are chains which increases the chances that you'll come across one no matter which way you go. The one to try is Steak 'n Shake and burger/diner chain in the upper Midwest - just food old-fashioned food. And the one to avoid is Tim Hortons in Canada a nearly ubiquitous presence that is known for its coffee and donuts, but we (five of us, three generations, varying tastes) have eaten there and none of us found their 'food' offerings palatable.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default US-2 and more.

    The route described above is almost identical to the route I took from Boston to Seattle. I went via Niagara into Canada, and when back in the US, took the route along the west shore of L Michigan.

    US-2 is a lovely and interesting route, taking you through a variety of countryside. There are a few attractions along the way, and nearby, including the geographical centre of North America at Rugby ND, the Three Tribes Monument near New Town ND and Theodore Roosevelt NP (north unit) south of Williston. If you stop at the various visitor centres they will tell you about the local attractions. I loved the relative serenity of the wide open spaces, compared to the east coast.

    The area in and around Williston has become very expensive, with most of the accommodation taken up with oil industry workers. There is significant traffic in that area, and US-2 has been upgraded to interstate standard.

    Not too far off US-2 in MT is the Upper Missouri River Breaks NM, where there is a self drive wildlife loop (off 191, before the bridge over the river). I was told that if you are there early or late in the day, the wildlife is prolific. Unfortunately I was there in the middle of the day, and saw very little. Still a lovely drive on a maintained gravel track.


  4. #4


    Well, I'm going to disagree with Lifey and Buck on the Canadian routing. For one thing, buying petrol in litres instead of gallons is confusing and can be very costly. Canadian roads are also a problem for me with all their round-abouts.

    I do agree that interstate travel isn't always the best way to go, but it does make the miles go faster. If you make 500 miles each of the first three days using I-90, you should be somewhere near Sioux Falls, SD. In South Dakota, you have the Mitchell Corn Palace, which should be fully decorated by September. Then you should definitely visit Mount Rushmore.

    From there, Devil's Tower, and Yellowstone NP are are good in Wyoming and in Montana there is The Little Bighorn Battlefield (not necessarily in that order). In fact, there are several good places to visit along I-90, but the Canadian route is probably equally neat if you decide to go that way. I must admit that I've never traveled the entire northern route, but have done I-90.

    I hope this helps and doesn't just confuse you with too many choices. They're equally good alternatives if that helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Gas in Canada is not THAT expensive - around C$1.20/L which is US$3.50/G at today's exchange rate. That's significantly cheaper than California!

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Gas in Canada is not THAT expensive - around C$1.20/L which is US$3.50/G at today's exchange rate. That's significantly cheaper than California!
    My mistake. I forget that Canada has had a reversal of fortune since I lived up on the border. Their $ is now worth less than ours, and it never used to be that way. Maybe Canada is a viable alternative, but I don't know about the UP in Michigan. It is pretty and has lots of sights, but it sure seemed too slow unless you wanted to take your time.

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