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  1. Default West to east in 2 weeks, young couple from Oz

    Hi all,

    We're a 29y/o couple from Australia planning a west to east road trip this time next year (June).
    Great info already on this site so hopefully won't be asking people to repeat themselves too much. I just wanted some guidance from people of similar age/interests to which might be a more interesting route for us, we've got either end sorted but have a few options for the middle. We're interested in the cafe/small bar scene, arts/culture/music (dare i say the hipster scene, sigh!), strolling around neighbourhoods rather than sightseeing' as such, so keen for places with a youthful vibe and food/drink scene rather than museums/history per se.
    We've driven across Australia (40hrs total, done in 4 days!), and driven all round Europe incl Rome to London so well accustomed to longer driving stints!

    Our definites so far are
    - LA
    - Vegas
    - Grand canyon
    - New Orleans
    - Washington DC
    - NY (and have noted lots of comments re leaving car in DC and bussing up to NY - will likely do this)

    Likely from grand canyon onwards we will take the NM / TX route rather than through CO.

    Then options are:

    - south coast - via Jacksonville / Charleston / up to Washington
    - up via Tennessee; Memphis / Nashville / Asheville to DC

    Would love some opinions on places really worth going through. Appreciate 2 weeks isn't a long time but we're happy to do longer days followed by a day or two of shorter/nil driving.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-01-2016 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Moved thread to correct forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default What Fits Best

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Given your objectives and selected stopping points (so far), there are a few places you can add without too much difficulty. That's important because two weeks will go by amazingly fast. First, I'd add Petrified Forest National Park and Austin TX on your way to New Orleans. Then Tennessee (Memphis and Nashville) makes more sense than Jacksonville/Charleston. It would also let you include Great Smoky Mountains National Park on your drive. Even at that, you're going to be spending just about half of your time on the road and 'only' half in the cities, so I seriously doubt you'd be able to spend even a single evening in each of the ones on such an itinerary. So cutting back on your 'wish list' with an eye towards realistic scheduling will be essential as your plans move forward.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default I think you will find most of what you want in the east of the country.

    In your time frame and with your wish list, I agree you will need to cut back if you are to enjoy this trip and do the things you want to do.

    We're interested in the cafe/small bar scene, arts/culture/music (dare i say the hipster scene, sigh!), strolling around neighbourhoods rather than sightseeing' as such, so keen for places with a youthful vibe and food/drink scene rather than museums/history per se.
    You may be better to stick to the eastern more compact State. Fly into NY or DC - mind you DC itself is one huge museum...... but one which should not be missed. You could then design yourself a tour with your wish list over the eastern States, which all have a lot to offer for what you want, especially if you get off the interstates, and use the older highways and local roads. There are so many lovely towns which would give you a sense of what you are looking for.

    This way you would also be able to design a loop trip, and avoid that not insignificant fee for picking up a car on the west coast and drop it in the east of the country. These fees can run into many hundreds of dollars.

    Whatever you do, do not compare a roadtrip in the US with anything you have done in Oz or in Europe. There simply is no comparison. In the west you can go for long distances, but if you want to see smaller towns, experience bars and cafes and stoll around neighbourhoods, in the 14 days you have, you will find a treasure trove of what you are looking for, without having to spend more than 50% sitting in the car. For a touch of grand nature, you could even add Niagara Falls. DC, Boston and NY are all 'walking' cities with good public transport.

    Do you actually have good maps of the States? If you cannot get these locally, I highly recommend that you get yourself a Rand McNally road atlas.. You can order it from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. You can then research on the web those things of interest you will see on the maps.

    You do not mention which State you are in, but if you are a member of RACV. NRMA, etc, then be sure to bring your membership with you. It will give you access to free tourism information from the AAA anywhere in the country.

    And of course, bring a small flag to put in the back window of your car, to show who you are. Yanks go crazy over flags! :)


  4. #4


    Just a couple of quick comments. At first glance I would favor the Asheville route option as it makes for a more scenic drive and offers some fun places for you to stop along the way. However, Charleston is a wonderful city as is Savannah, Georgia. From Charleston, South Carolina, I would consider dropping your car off (it is a walking town) and take the Amtrak train north to DC, and continuing by train to NYC. I-95 is a rather boring highway to drive not to mention being subject to being crowded and prone to major backups.

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