Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. Default Summer Trip from Seattle to Eastern Ohio/Western PA--with stops to tour colleges

    I've done Seattle to Ohio twice before (2007 and 2015). There are a couple of places I'd like to see again (Museum of the Rockies, in Bozeman, MT; maybe Mount Rushmore/Badlands of SD) and of course we want to see new sights. I'm more interested in natural beauty and small towns than big cities. Love tips on diners, local bakeries, etc.

    We'll be touring colleges for my eldest child on the way, but also need to accommodate my youngest (age 4), who will need parks/playgrounds to run at least once a day. My 13 year old will be along too; need somethings to keep her happy.

    We'll be driving a Toyota Sequoia.

    Here's the tentative list of stops, not necessarily in their proper order--need some thoughts on that.

    Seattle, WA
    Bozeman, MT
    Rapid City area, SD
    Denver, CO area (Air Force academy)
    Houston, TX (Rice)
    New Orleans, LA (Tulane)
    Atlanta, GA (Georgia Tech)
    Nashville, TN (Vanderbilt)
    Madison, WI (U-W Madison)
    Evanston, IL (Northwestern)
    Notre Dame, IN (Notre Dame)
    West Lafayette, IN (Purdue)
    Ann Arbor, MI (UMichigan)
    Pittsburgh, PA (Carnegie Mellon)
    Chardon, OH (visit family)

    and somehow back to Seattle.

    We can leave as early as July 15th and return as late as August 10th. We'll have two drivers, me and my 17 year old. She can do at most 2 hours of driving at a stretch. I prefer not to do more than 5 hours of driving in a day, but we could manage some longer days with the two drivers.

    We'll stay in Chardon for at least 5 days.

    Thoughts? You all gave me great input on our last two trips.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,987

    Default

    As far as an order, you pretty clearly need to find a way to make a loop - seeing your southern stops one direction and northern stops the other.

    That would look something like Denver - Texas - NOLA - Atlanta - Nashville - Pittsburgh - Chardon. Then return home basically following I-90 back, with detours to colleges as appropriate.

    But having said that such a loop working out to at least 7,000 miles. Driving an average of 300 miles a day - which is a little more than 5 hours a day - that's still about 24 days on the road. Factoring in the 5 days you want to spend in Ohio, you've said you only have 21 days total for this trip. Mind you, that's just driving time, not extra time to explore museum, look at colleges, or do anything else fun along the way.

  3. Default

    If I cut TX, GA and LA, that could cut ~900miles if my estimate is correct. I hate to cut those since the schools there are good bets for my DD.

    I think I could keep Nashville ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,505

    Default

    As far as diners and bakeries go, the best way to go about that would be to pull into a town and ask locally. If it's for dinner, ask at the place you're lodging overnight, what's a good bet for dinner that's local and not a chain, where's the best bakery in town, etc. We've had good luck with that, as well as wandering through a small town and just stopping in someplace that looks good that has delicious smells coming from it.

    Is your daughter wanting these college tours or are you planning the whole thing? If it's the latter, why not ask her which ones are "must-sees" and which are "eh...."?


    Donna

  5. Default

    The colleges are on a list compiled by my daughter and her college counselor. None would be picks if it were up to me (except maybe Notre Dame). She's agreed that skipping the South is OK, as those were not her top fave options (though those schools are ones her counselor thought would be a good fit/that she could get into). She's touring schools in the far East U.S. with her dad next month, after she does a week at the Naval Academy.

    I'm also wanting to see dinosaur-related places--my son loves dinosaurs and so do I.

    Picked up my maps at AAA today...love a paper map I can open up!

  6. Default

    I've revised our trip, and, after putting all the points into Google maps, have an updated, but still rough, itinerary. Thoughts? We'll stay in hotels/motels, no camping.

    Seattle, WA
    Bozeman, MT
    Rapid City area, SD
    Madison, WI (U-W Madison)
    Evanston, IL (Northwestern)--I dread this stop; too close to Chicago, which was a nightmare to get through on our last trip.
    Notre Dame, IN (Notre Dame)
    West Lafayette, IN (Purdue)
    Ann Arbor, MI (UMichigan)

    Chardon, OH (visit family)

    Pittsburgh, PA (Carnegie Mellon)
    Nashville, TN (Vanderbilt)
    Denver, CO area (Air Force academy)
    Dinosaur National Monument (Utah side)

    We'll leave Seattle on July 15 or 16; aiming to get to Chardon by July 22 or 23.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,319

    Default Not Really Going to Work All That Well

    You've got a pretty obvious problem right off the bat. If you leave Seattle on the 15th and arrive in Chardon even as 'late' as the 23rd, that leaves you all of about 5 or 6 hours at each of the colleges you plan to visit including everything in the Rapid City area as one such stop. How much do you think you can really learn about a university in a few hours? In summer? After driving through traffic to get there? By the way, you could save a few miles by visiting Perdue before Notre Dame, but that savings is minuscule in relation to the amount of time you'd need to gain in order to make the eastbound portion of your trip workable.

    You could have as much as twelve days for the drive back, and 'only have to cover (very) roughly 3,000 miles. If you could skip Vanderbilt/Nashville and visit Perdue on the homeward leg, that might free up some more time on the first part of your trip and save you 400 miles of driving overall.

    So, I think you've got a little more planning/pruning to do if you want the college visits to be meaningful and the sight-seeing enjoyable.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,987

    Default

    As someone who has a kid who will be leaving home and attending college 1,300 miles from home this fall, I certainly understand what you're going through, but I also agree with Buck that I think you'd still be better off cutting back.

    I will say a few things just in general. Touring colleges is nice, but in the scheme of things, it's also relatively far down on the list when narrowing down the choices. I'd guess most people usually narrow things down to 3 or 4 colleges and then pick those ones to tour. If you're already traveling across the country, by all means, stop and see several, but tours are only going to give you the "showroom" version of the campus, and as Buck noted, coming through in summer, when most campuses are nearly empty also is going to limit how much you can get out of the trip.

    So if I were you, I'd probably narrow things down into a few different categories. If you're already planning to stop at a couple of gigantic public universities like Madison and Ann Arbor, maybe you don't need to stop at Purdue (which as Buck noted is quite a bit out of the way). If you're already stopping at a couple of Large Private Universities like Notre Dame and Vanderbilt, you don't need to stop and Northwestern. While in general, I think you should be cutting more than you add, perhaps you should look at some smaller private and public colleges like say Valparaso or University of Toledo - just to name a couple that would be near your route - to help narrow down if a giant school or a smaller school might be a better fit. My point is, this should be about narrowing things down a bit and getting a feel for what looks appealing, rather than a be all-end-all examination of the best school. Once she's got things narrowed down to 2 or 3 schools, you're probably going to want to go back there during the school year anyway.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,505

    Default

    I finished with the college-researching about 13 years ago, but I allowed my daughter 3 college tours. She narrowed them down for me, simply by going online and checking them out in that way. Back in the dark-ages, this was a similar method to the way I chose my college, only I had to do it with looks at the college catalogs. In both instances, we toured a larger university, a smaller university, and a small-town college. In the end, for both of us, it depended on which one gave the better deal financially, between the smaller university and the small-town college.

    By the time you see the fourth or fifth university, her mind may be confusing all of the various choices.


    Donna

  10. Default

    Thank you for such thoughtful responses!

    I would love to cut some schools/cities--we'll go over this more as a family once my DD is done with finals and can breath again. She is thinking seriously of doing ROTC, which constrains her choices somewhat, as she wants to do it on-site, which eliminates a number of schools that would otherwise be a good fit.

    5-6 hours/school is just fine. We'll do the tour/information session at all the schools that have them. Turns out we will have to skip University of Michigan Ann Arbor, as there is an arts festival during the time we'll be by and they don't do tours then.

    For this trip, except for a couple of museums/parks, the college visits take the place of the sightseeing stops we'd normally take on a road trip. Having to book the tours ahead of time (which pretty much all the schools require) is going to constrain us, and I'll have to think and plan very carefully so we don't miss anything/get overextended on the drive sessions.

    It definitely sounds like we'll need to take more time getting to Ohio than I had originally planned.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-17-2017, 06:54 AM
  2. Summer trip - Toronto to Ohio with a conviction record
    By magicmike433 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-14-2017, 06:39 AM
  3. From Orange County California to Seattle! Please help with your favorite stops!
    By RachelKSmyth in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-30-2014, 08:42 AM
  4. Summer Road Trip from Denver to Cali to Tour Colleges with my Daughter
    By lorigal70 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-27-2014, 02:46 PM
  5. Summer Road Trip from Ohio to Western US
    By buckeye582 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-22-2007, 02:43 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES