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  1. Default 2 month summer road trip - looking for any tips!

    Hey everyone! I am moving from New Orleans to Connecticut this summer. My partner and I decided to do a cross country road trip, starting in New Orleans, going out west, and ending up in Connecticut. We are planning to camp, stay with friends/family, couch surf, or do cheap airbnb's most nights. Most of the cities we'll be passing through on the east coast, we've visited before, hence the short stays. I've never been on a road trip, so I'm looking for any tips, thoughts on feasibility, things to see, or really anything you want to share with me!

    Here's our route:
    New Orleans—>Atlanta (1 night)
    Atlanta—>DC (1 night)
    DC-->Ithacha, New York (1 week for a friend's wedding)
    Ithaca, NY--> Hartford, CT (3 nights - hoping to put a deposit down on an apartment)
    Hartford, CT—>Toronto, Canada (2 weeks visiting family and working)
    Toronto—>Detroit (1 night)
    Detroit—>Chicago (3 nights)
    Chicago-->Lincoln, Nebraska (1 night)
    Lincoln, Nebraska—>Denver, CO (1 week visiting family and visiting Rocky Mt NP)
    Denver, CO—>Canyonlands NP (3 nights)
    Canyonlands NP-->Salt Lake City (1 night)
    Salt Lake City—>Reno, NV (1 night)
    Reno, NV—>Redwoods NP (2 nights)
    Redwoods NP—>Napa, CA (3 nights)
    Napa, CA—>San Francisco (2 nights)
    San Francisco—>Big Sur via Pacific Coast Hwy (1 night)
    Big Sur-->Los Angeles (2 nights)
    Los Angeles-->Las Vegas (1 night)
    Las Vegas—>Grand Canyon (1 night)
    Grand Canyon-->Antelope Canyon (1 night)
    Antelope Canyon-->Santa Fe, NM (2 nights)
    Santa Fe—>Oklahoma City (1 night)
    Oklahoma City—>St Louis (1 night)
    St Louis—>Indianapolis (1 night)
    Indianapolis—>Pittsburgh (1 night)
    Pittsburgh—>Hartford, CT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got a very busy plan, but I don't see any red flags. Obviously, 2 months sounds like a lot of time, until you start spending a week here, 2 weeks there, and add a lot of extra miles by going up to NY, then all the way back to California, before returning to the Northeast. There are a lot of other parks you could include in the west, but they would pretty much have to come at the expense of the places you've already got planned.

    Really, the only thing that stands out as a potential problem is when you say you're going to Toronto for 2 weeks and plan to work while you're there. Working while visiting a country as a tourist is very much a problem, that could get you kicked out of the country and/or denied entry on any future trip. When you say you're visiting family, perhaps that means you are a dual-citizen? But that's the only real word of warning I've got for you.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply! We're both legal to work while in Canada, so no worries!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    It's your trip and your interests that are the only thing that matters but as Michael mentioned, there are many areas of amazing natural beauty including the National and State parks and your trip looks heavily biased towards the City's which can start to look a little 'same old' in my opinion.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    My recommendation would be to start putting this plan to paper, day by day by day, and see how it works out. When I get to that part of planning, I know when I've got more in the plans than we can do, or not enough (which is rare). Bear in mind as you do this and plan your driving days, don't rely on electronic mapping programs' "driving times". Take their mileage and divide by 55 (for interstate driving) or 50 (2-lane hwys), and that's your time including fuel-food-pit stops. Allow time to see the national parks.

    Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim is about a 5 hour drive, for instance.


  6. Default

    This is an excellent tip, thanks, Donna!

  7. Default

    Hey Dave, thanks for the feedback! The cities that I've listed are more like a general guide for our daily driving goals, rather than our actual destinations. For example, when I list Oklahoma City on the itinerary, we may camp at Red Rock Canyon State Park instead of Oklahoma City proper. Any other National or State Parks along the route that I've listed that we should be sure to see? We definitely want to be sure to take in the natural wonders of the country!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Some options.

    I'm pretty sure you have Arches NP in your thoughts when at Canyonlands. When you are travelling on I70 come off early onto UT128 through Castle valley. It's a nice scenic detour following the Colorado river through red rocks and it hardly costs any time. Your family may tell you, but earlier on 170 you can also detour and cross the Continental divide over Loveland Pass on US6 to Dillon Reservoir. From a personal point of view, I would much prefer to drive from Canyonlands to Bryce canyon and Zion and through the amazing National park of Yosemite, rather than going up to SLC and Reno and spending quite so much time around Napa. These 3 are among my favourite NP's. It would put the Redwoods a bit further off course, or you could check out the smaller Redwood parks south of SF and Muir woods near Napa.

  9. Default

    Instead of going the SLC/Reno/Redwoods route, what if we do the following:
    Canyonlands-->Bryce-->Zion-->Death Valley-->Yosemite-->Napa?

    How many days do we need to spend in Yosemite? Is 3 enough? We really want to spend the 3 days in Napa because my partner is a winemaker and we want to spend the time exploring the wineries! If we don't go to Redwoods NP, what is another alternative along the way to see Redwoods?

    You are super helpful. Thank you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Three days in Yosemite would be a nice amount of time to relax and enjoy the park, if you were pushed 2 days would give you a nice overview. As I mentioned, you can get a feel for the Redwoods at Muir woods to the north of SF and to the south there are some State parks such as Big Basin and Henry Cowell near Santa Cruz. If you took the above route you mentioned then you could actually stop in Vegas between Zion and Death valley and then go the Grand canyon on a direct route from LA.

    Depending on time factors, between Canyonlands and Bryce canyon you could take UT24 through Capitol Reef NP and then UT scenic 12 through Escalante. An amazing drive !

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