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  1. #1

    Default New York City to ??? next Summer, with dog!

    Hello all!

    We are in the very first stages of planning a road trip for next Summer, probably in May/June. We are 2 young adults who will travel with our adventurous Australian Shepherd dog! We currently live in New York City, but we are both Canadians and we haven't seen much of the US apart from the North-East (Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, etc.)

    We want our road trip to last around 3 weeks and we will travel with our own car so we need to get back to NYC at the end. Although I would love to visit the west coast, I don't think it is reasonable to get there, visit and come back by car within 3 weeks, so it will be for a future trip. We will camp in a tent most of the time, we are equipped to sleep in the car if needed and we might get a cheap pet-friendly motel room once in a while. We are looking for places to visit, although we don't have a fixed itinerary in mind. Here are some preliminary thoughts:

    - We like hiking, but we don't want to make it only a hiking trip
    - We like cities, but don't want to just hop from city to city
    - We hate museums, which is great because dogs are rarely allowed in museums!
    - We don't want to leave our dog behind (in the car for extended hours or in a kennel), so parks like the Yellowstone are out of the picture since dogs are not allowed on hiking trails.

    Places we would like to visit:
    - Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway (already been, but would go again!)
    - Some beach on the East Coast maybe?
    - New Orleans (how dog-friendly is this city?)
    - Route 66
    - Grand Canyon (there are restrictions on pets, but as I've never been I don't know if it's still worth it???
    - Some mountains / national parks in Colorado

    Can you guys recommend some places in line with the above, or can you think of something else? A logical route would be to go down the East coast, then accross to New Orleans and then Texas, go through New Mexico to get to Colorado, and then come back to New York passing by many states I couldn't even place on the map! What is there to see in Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-10-2015 at 01:47 PM. Reason: New members may not post links to outside sites.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Heading south.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Have you thought of Florida? You could head down the coast to FL and come back via New Orleans, Shanandoah NP and the BRP.

    Get hold of some good maps, and see just how many attractions there are along such a route, natural, historical and touristy. Then 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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Couple of Basic Options

    I agree with you that trying to get all the way to the west coast and back in three weeks would probably detract from your enjoyment of this trip, making it more about being (literally) on the road and less about the sights you can see and the adventures you can have out of your car. That's because any reasonable west coast loop would entail about 6000 miles of driving (plus detours to destinations) and thus eat up roughly half of your available time just burning gas and watching the world pass you by outside the windshield. There are a couple of somewhat shorter loop trips that would only require that you be driving about a third of the time, leaving you a full two weeks worth of time actually experiencing what the country has to offer.

    The first of these options (and the one I'd recommend) is the slightly shorter of the two at around 3400 miles (plus any detours you decide to take) and basically heads down the east coast as far as say Cape Canaveral, then along the Gulf Coast to New Orleans, back up the Natchez Trace to Nashville, through the Great Smoky Mountains, up the Blue Ridge Parkway and into Pennsylvania where a final jaunt through the Poconos and Delaware Water Gap brings you back to New York.

    The second is a bit longer at nearly 4800 miles (plus detours) and would have you heading west along the Ohio River then through the Ozarks and across the Great Plains to Santa Fe. Next you'd follow the Front Range north through Denver and on into Wyoming before turning east through the Black Hills of South Dakota. You could then go either 'over' or 'under' Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie to Niagara Falls and follow the Erie Canal and Hudson back home.

    I've deliberately left those descriptions a bit vague to encourage you to take a look at them and plan your own specific routes, but either would give you a good mix of driving, scenery, history, urban and rural settings, etc. And while national parks can be a bit restrictive on pets (for good reason) state parks tend to be a bit more open to them, but no matter where you go you need to expect to be required to keep your pet leashed in public and to clean up after it.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-10-2015 at 06:22 PM.

  4. #4


    Thanks Lifemagician and AZBuck for these great advice!

    I didn't say anything about Florida in my original post, I think I have something against it. I've only been to Fort Lauderdale on a 48-hour layover, but there's something about the fact that all snowbirds gather there that doesn't attract me. I am probably wrong thinking that way, but I kind of see it as a place I will go to every winter when I retire (in 40 years!)

    It really depends where you're from, but being from Montreal, New Orleans and Texas sound so much more exotic than Florida!!! :P

    Natchez Trace - I just looked it up and this is exactly the kind of things I was looking for, looks great! Thanks!

    Second loop suggested - I'll have to research more about Ozarks and everything else you mention. I'd have to modify it to not near the Great Lakes, I find myself in Chicago and Detroit multiple times a year for work. As for Niagara Falls: been there, done that, meh.

    Pets on a leash and clean up after them - this is how we roll in NYC. No choice with 8 million people and 600,000 dogs! I like your suggestion about National Parks vs State Parks, I never realized there was a difference but it makes a lot of sense!

    In case anyone else in interested about dog laws in State and National parks:

    Thanks all and if anybody has other suggestions, please share them!

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