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  1. Default NYC to LA and Back

    Hi,
    This is my first post on the site - I've read a lot of the postings and done what I think is a lot of research (I didn't think planning this trip would be so difficult!) and just wanted to get some feedback on our summer road trip. Also, this is our first cross-country road trip and our honeymoon.

    We have about 3 weeks, can be more.

    We are planning on making good time, not too much stopping from NYC to Colorado. We are sleeping in Toledo the first night. Then we will stop in Chicago for a few hours, and make our way down to another hotel late that night. The next night we are camping in Nebraska and then on to Colorado where we will stay with family for a night.

    The firm places where we already have reservations (and in their order) are:
    Riverton, Wyoming - the night before we get to Yellowstone
    Yellowstone - camping reservations for 2 nights - driving in the south end, stopping in Teton then onto the camp site
    Zion National Park - hotel reservation for one night but will get to the park early
    Malibu Beach - camping reservation
    Grand Canyon - hotel reservation for one night but will get to the park early

    Some important places we want to see on the way back home to NYC are:
    Santa Fe
    Kansas (anywhere in Kansas, really)
    St. Lous

    The rest of it is open. We would love to see Moab but going from Denver to Yellowstone then back south to Grand Canyon makes a loop around this area of Utah. We could make it work on the way to Zion by taking a detour back east, but not sure if it's realistic/possible/worth it in August, especially with the rest of the scenery we will be seeing. We have never been there so we don't know if it's a must-do or not.

    Any advice, opinions, options, etc would be greatly appreciated.

    We tried to cover everything and give as much information as possible within the post. Thank you in advance!!!!!

    Brittany + Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The timeframe.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your overall plan is difficult to follow as there are no dates with your reservations between Yellowstone and Grand canyon and therefor no idea how much time you have to get home from the GC. One thought that crossed my mind, is whether or not it is possible to visit family on the way back. You could go from GC through Monument valley to Arches and then Denver, but that doesn't work if you really want to visit Santa Fe. Malibu seems a long way out of your way if you are just heading there for a night.

  3. Default

    Hi Dave! Thanks for the welcome and the feedback!

    We definitely thought about making the trip to Denver on the way back in order to fit in Moab and that area of Utah, but then we would miss out on Santa Fe, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and St. Louis.

    We don't anticipate ever having a trip like this again/being able to visit this many states - it's always been a dream of both of ours to drive coast to coast - which is why we're going terribly far out of the way to visit Malibu :)


    Day 10 is really up in the air as of now.


    Day 1 - Coney Island (see the sunrise on the beach) to Toledo (pit stop in Cleveland)
    Day 2 - Toledo / Chicago / Davenport to sleep
    Day 3 - Davenport / Omaha / Camping in NE
    Day 4 - Arrive in Denver & spend the night
    Day 5 - Denver sightseeing / Route 70 Scenic Drive / Stanley Hotel visit / Camping in Loveland, CO
    Day 6 - Drive to Riverton WY and spend the night (already paid for room)
    Day 7 - Riverton to Grand Teton / Yellowstone (already paid for site)
    Day 8 - Yellowstone (already paid for site)
    Day 9 - Leave Yellowstone, sleep in Idaho Falls, ID
    Day 10 - Originally planned on driving from Idaho Falls to SLC and spending the night / do sightseeing but thinking we can re-route to Moab from here
    Day 11 - Either see/leave SLC or see/leave Moab / Monument Valley, etc - either way, this is the day we are planning on arriving at our hotel right near Zion
    Day 12 - Enjoy Zion, leave in the evening to head to Malibu, sleep in Barstow, CA
    Day 13 - Arrive in Malibu, see sunset, camp on the beach (already paid for site)
    Day 14 - Enjoy Malibu beach, leave for Laughlin (hey, the room was super cheap!) sleep in Laughlin
    Day 15 - Check-in at Grand Canyon (already paid for room)
    Day 16 - Grand Canyon - leave in the evening and sleep in Gallup

    at this point, the rest is still being formulated but we think it will go something like this..basically just driving to get home and seeing Santa Fe and St. Louis (those are the only places we really care about seeing, unless Santa Fe isn't worth it?)

    Day 17 - Stop in Santa Fe, sleep in Amarillo, TX
    Day 18 - Drive, sleep in Kansas
    Day 19 - Drive, stop in St. Louis, sleep around Indianapolis
    Day 20 - Drive, stop in Pittsburgh, sleep around Danville, PA
    Day 21 - Home!


    Wondering if this is even possible - I feel like we're majorly missing something here - like it should take a lot longer but on the way home we're just power-driving for the most of it so I guess it could be possible on this schedule.

    We would love feedback, suggestions, awesome places to stop, experiences, anything!

    Really wondering if Moab is worth it to go out of the way on Day 10 instead of sleeping in SLC.

    Thanks again in advance :)

    Brittany + Chris

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm a little confused by your timeline. Right now, I already see a whole lot more than 3 weeks worth of activities in your plan. Very generally, a trip from NY to Yellowstone to Grand Canyon would already be a packed 3 weeks without a detour to California.

    You're already at 5 days before you get to Yellowstone. You're saying 2 nights in Yellowstone - but I'm not sure what happens from there. 2 nights is really not much time in Yellowstone. Between your drive from Riverton and your plan to see Tetons, you're really not going to have a chance to see Yellowstone itself the day you arrive, and while you've got 2 nights at Yellowstone, you really need a minimum of 2 full days just to see the highlights.

    Things get really murky after that. Yellowstone to Zion is a very long day on the road, so since you say you plan to get to Zion early, I'm assuming you've got at least 1 night in between? Things are very similar with Malibu and Grand Canyon, those are more long drives, and again you mention getting to destinations early, so I'm assuming you've got some additional overnights planned there as well?

    Assuming you're planning to spend any time at all around Malibu, and factoring the time you need to drive back to NY, and 3 weeks look like they'd be pretty much gone.

    I will say if you've got more time available and you want to start looking at Moab, I think it would make more sense to directly from NY to Yellowstone - via I-90, then go down to Zion, California, GC, and then back through Moab and Colorado.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default well then

    It looks like You responded while I was posting.

    What you laid out for a trip isn't impossible, but you will really be rushed through the middle section of your trip.

    Your time in Yellowstone in quite short. It looks like you'll essentially have 2 full days for both Tetons and Yellowstone factoring your drives from Riverton and to Idaho Falls, and I would recommend at least 3 to see both parks.

    Day 10, I don't think you've got time to detour all the way over to Moab - by the time you added in the drive, you wouldn't really have time to see or do anything else, especially since if I were you, I'd want to spend some of day 11 in Zion, considering your plan to get all the way to Barstow on day 12.

    You're driving all the way out to Malibu for just 1 day there. Again, not a problem, but you're adding 2 days on the road for one day of exploration.

    From there on out, you're ok. You won't have much time to do much other than see what's right near the side of the road, but it should work for you. I just think you need to make sure you're up for this busy and rushed of a trip on your honeymoon, which is a time people typically want to make sure they're leaving time to relax with each other!

  6. Default

    Thank you, we really appreciate this! Yes, we know we are trying to pack in a lot of stuff in a short period of time. Maybe we will end up not going to Malibu. Thanks again!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Why Malibu? Of course, I could also ask, why not Malibu? Did you have something in mind?

    I agree....this is a very rushed trip. I know you're young and think you'll never have a chance to do this again, but unless something extreme happens, you probably WILL have another chance at a trip. Life does not have to be accomplished all before you're XXX years old. What I'd like to recommend is that you slow down just a tad and enjoy it, make sure you both like road trips so that you'd want to find time to do another one. If you rush through it, you may both sit back and say, "Whew, I'm too tired, road trips are horrible, let's fly next time!" I've seen that happen to too many people.


    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    162

    Default

    Hello:

    When you say, "about three weeks, can be more," that tells me you've got a little wiggle room. As everyone has said, your schedule as you've laid it out is do-able, but fairly hectic. I completely sympathize with your goal of packing as much into this trip as you can, because you're absolutely right, it may be a one-of-a-kind for you guys. (Definitely your only honeymoon)! For that reason alone: if you have access to a little more vacation time? This trip would be a REALLY good use for it! With even just a few more days, you can slow down just a bit for some of the highlights, and if you do, I can guarantee that you won't regret it.

    Just sayin'.

    Rick

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Why Malibu? Of course, I could also ask, why not Malibu? Did you have something in mind?

    I agree....this is a very rushed trip. I know you're young and think you'll never have a chance to do this again, but unless something extreme happens, you probably WILL have another chance at a trip. Life does not have to be accomplished all before you're XXX years old. What I'd like to recommend is that you slow down just a tad and enjoy it, make sure you both like road trips so that you'd want to find time to do another one. If you rush through it, you may both sit back and say, "Whew, I'm too tired, road trips are horrible, let's fly next time!" I've seen that happen to too many people.


    Donna
    Hi Donna, thank you so much for the feedback! We really appreciate bringing up the idea that if we push it too much we may never do it again. We didn't even think about that.

    Aside from it being really important (and really the point of the trip) to go from coast to coast, we visited Malibu a couple years ago (Point Dume) and LOVED IT. We have an 8x11 of a pic we took hanging in the house. It's one of our "happy places" so when we found out that we could camp on the beach there, we just had to do it. But yes, coast to coast has become the main point - childhood dream of both of ours - the stops in between are really for breaking up the trip.

    But during the planning we've both started thinking it may be too much and that is why I wanted to bring the plan to this forum. We had a feeling it was a lot in three weeks but not 100% sure because until you've done it, you don't know how much it really takes out of you.

    Thanks again!

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Quinn View Post
    Hello:

    When you say, "about three weeks, can be more," that tells me you've got a little wiggle room. As everyone has said, your schedule as you've laid it out is do-able, but fairly hectic. I completely sympathize with your goal of packing as much into this trip as you can, because you're absolutely right, it may be a one-of-a-kind for you guys. (Definitely your only honeymoon)! For that reason alone: if you have access to a little more vacation time? This trip would be a REALLY good use for it! With even just a few more days, you can slow down just a bit for some of the highlights, and if you do, I can guarantee that you won't regret it.

    Just sayin'.

    Rick
    Hi Rick, yes we have wiggle room! Thank you so much for your feedback, it REALLY resonated within me. I really can't thank you enough. I got goosebumps reading it haha. I am smiling and inspired.

    We can definitely do a few more days. Any suggestions on where to place them? Is my layout of time between distances realistic or no? I'm trying to not push past 500ish miles a day, unless it's one of our "drive days" - because I know it is probably not possible to drive that much in a day, everyday. Also on the days where we camp, we have to stop earlier, on the days we're staying in isolated locations in a hotel (like Riverton) we tend to put in some more time on the road to be closer to the next "highlight stop" (Yellowstone) and make sure we get there early.

    We are willing to camp in Moab (really trying to save money on this trip) but not sure if the heat at night will be an issue - doesn't seem like it is in the evenings. Any experience/input on that?

    Thanks again, I really really appreciate it.

    Brittany

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