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Thread: Roadtrip advice

  1. Default Roadtrip advice

    Morning everybody,

    My husband and I are planning a trip to the USA next Summer and would really appreciate some advice.
    We don't mind driving long distances, we're in our 30s, no children and will be coming for 18 nights.
    I've done the USA 10 times now but this will be my husband's second time. We visited LV, Mammoth, SF, Carmel, LA, San Diego last year and adored it but looking at East Coast as the flights and hotels seem a bit cheaper for us and I have fond memories of the area.
    Itinerary so far
    New York - 3 n
    Cape Cod (Hyannis?) 2
    Toronto 2 (I'm aware this is a long drive though)
    Niagara 2
    Cincinnati 1 (or somewhere else on the way south)
    Nashville 3
    Charlottesville (?) 1
    DC 2
    Atlantic City 2
    Then back to JFK
    Any advice would be so much appreciated. I know these are long distances but we often drive from the north of England to Nice (over 1000 miles) in one go!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Getting started.

    Hi Pooky, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Do you have any maps left from your previous trips to the east coast. That would be your best way to start. If you do not have any detailed maps and cannot get hold of these locally, it would be highly recommended you get a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store on the blue bar at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. This is probably the most popular road atlas in the US, with its detailed maps of not only roads and cities, but also most (if not all) the national parks and forests, State parks and forests and other natural attractions. It also shows historical and touristy attractions, shows the grades of all roads from interstates to old US highways, local roads and hilights scenic routes. Good maps like that are invaluable during the planning stage.

    Then you might like to follow the advice in this paragraph:-

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    You might like to forget about 1000 miles in one go. Not only is it very dangerous, but it way beyond what the law will allow professional drivers to drive, for safety reasons. Besides, you would see very little, and part of the joy of a road trip is stumbling upon the unplanned and unknown attraction you may see along the way. For that reason I prefer to travel off the high speed interstates.

    Enjoy the planning. As questions come up feel free to ask. Someone will be able to answer them.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    As Lifey mentioned, bragging about doing 1000 miles in one sitting isn't something that will earn you praise or respect on this forum, any more so than telling us how many beers you can drink before getting behind the wheel, as the two essentially have the same level of danger.

    Thankfully in your trip, I don't see anything anywhere close to that extreme.

    One suggestion on your routing, is that it would make more sense to go from Cape Cod to Niagara and then onto Toronto. It would shorten up the driving day to Niagara, and it would later be shorter to head from Toronto onto Cincinnati via Detroit.

    It seems you're aware, this is already a very fast paced trip, where a lot of the places where you are spending for 2 nights really only work out to one day, because you'll need to be on the road basically all day to get there. Nothing's unworkable or a problem, but it could be too much for some people.

  4. Default Niagara to Savannah

    As part of our Roadtrip this summer, one of the legs is to get from Niagara to Savannah, allowing for a one night stopover.
    Is it worth it to push and drive to one of the bigger places like Winston-Salem or Charlotte, (which I guess would be 12 or so hours!), or stay somewhere before that, question being, where? Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about this trip in the same thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-02-2016 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Merged threads

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There are several hotels around Wytheville VA, which is where I-77 and I-81 cross. That is approximately the halfway point.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default options

    Charlotte is nearly 700 miles, and farther than we'd recommend traveling - and more than 12 hours away for that matter. Winston Salem is a reasonable distance, but is a pretty big detour off the direct path.

    If you just want to pound out miles, then I'd look at the Hillsville, VA or Mt. Airy, NC, both with plenty of motels to choose from. About halfway between those two points is Fancy Gap, which also has some hotels, and is a stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Another option to consider if you'd like to do more than just drive between point a and point b, the New River Gorge National Recreation Area is pretty close to the halfway point. You could explore that area, and spend the night around Beckley, WV, before continuing onto Savannah the next day.

  7. Default Cincinnati to Atlanta

    My husband and I will be driving from Cincinnati to Atlanta in August. Is it worth the detour to go via Nashville for a couple of hours, or is the more straightforward I75 advisable?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default That would be longish day....

    Nashville is pretty cool. But the most direct route is still 461 miles and that would be more than 8 hours on the road without the detour. If you spent a couple of hours in Nashville, your travel day would be closer to 11 hours and that's more than we ever recommend.

    Would it be possible for you to stay overnight on the way? Or do you have other travel plans on this trip?

    Ah, I see this is part of a longer trip... As requested earlier, please keep all posts about one planned road trip in one thread.


  9. Default

    Many thanks for the reply, sorry about not keeping it to one thread, I'll make sure I do that from now on.
    We've played about with the route for a while now, and don't think we'd be able to sacrifice a night in Nashville unfortunately, we don't mind such a long day, thought it might be nice to see a little bit of Nashville, but not sure whether a couple of hours is enough, so not bother at all.
    Failing that option, are there towns on the I75 for a lunch stop?
    The route so far (first two hotels booked) is as follows, and hopefully not changing now!
    Cape Cod 3
    Niagara 2
    Cincinnati 1
    Atlanta 3
    Savannah 2
    Charleston 3
    DC 2
    NY 4
    The last 4 places we want to stick to but could say have 3 in Sav and 2 in Charleston etc

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