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  1. #1
    imported_Ben Guest

    Default Cross-Country Road Trip

    Hi. I am located in Boston MA and my family and I are looking to go on a road trip across the country. We have been to every single state on the east coast so we want to focus on the central United States and west coast. We have about 17 days to make the whole trip.

    Here is what we want to do:
    -Stop at Niagra Falls for a couple hours
    -Stop at Indianapolis
    -Stop at Mount Rushmore
    -Stop at Seattle Washington
    -Stop in San Francisco
    -Stop in Los Angeles
    -Stop in San Deigo
    -Visit Baja California in Mexico
    -Stop in Las Vegas Nevada
    -Stop at Grand Canyon
    -Drive through Texas
    -Stop in New Orleans
    -Head back to Boston

    Does this sound crazy or do you think it can be done? Also, Do you think going to Denver instead of New Orleans would be more exciting? Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Possible? Yes.

    But the question is, do you really want to do this (in the time that you have available)? Quick figuring shows that your plan, not including Denver, is about 8000 miles (roughly). Rand McNally (web site) says you can drive it in about 130 hours. This means the driving ALONE, spread over 17 days, will be 7.64 hours per day. That doesn't give you enough time to stop and see anything much. My suggestion is you choose a more compact route, or you'll need more time.

    Unless of course all you want to do is drive. Hey, I'd do it. But I don't know how many family men would get away with it! :)

  3. #3
    imported_Ben Guest


    Yeah... I will have no narrow down the destinations. Have you ever been to denver? Would it be worth going to Denver for a day?

  4. #4

    Default Mostly just through!

    My boys used to live near Denver, so it was a way point on the trip to see them. It is a beautiful city, setting-wise, with the Great Plains on the front porch, so to speak, and the Rocky Mountains off the back.

    It is an outdoorsman's paradise, plus within easy driving you can find Rocky Mountain National Park, many resort areas (hiking, fishing, horseback riding, skiing in season, etc, historical sites (Beecher Island Battleground, Bent's Fort, Kit Carson Museum, Sand Creek Massacre Site), and many, many other places of interest. If you are a sports fan, the US Olympic Complex is at Colorado Spgs, for example, along with the USAF Academy and Pike's Peak. There is Royal Gorge and Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Dinosaur Natl Monument and both the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge RR and the Cumbres and Toltec Narrow Gauge (at Antonito or Chama, NM). Also in the SW part of the state, Mesa Verde National Park is a great place for a visit. You could river raft on the San Juan near Durango, or along the Arkansas River near Buena Vista. ALL of these are within a day's drive of Denver. You could easily spend your entire trip in Colorado, and still not see everything. Vacation paradise! (You could also spend part of your time in the red rock country next door in Utah, highly recommended).

    I am not very familiar with the attractions of Denver itself - perhaps someone else on the forum has detailed information about that. About the only thing I've done IN Denver is the Buffalo Bill Museum off I-70 just west of the city. But I'd be VERY surprised if there's not a week's worth of activities to do before you even get out of town!
    As usual, the hardest task will be paring it down to a short list!

  5. #5

    Default Missed the mark, I guess

    I reread your post -- I guess I answered everything you didn't ask but not much about the city. Sorry!

    Besides the Buffalo Bill Museum, I believe there also might be a big amusement park there (if still open), and you could always go to a Rockies game (if you like basaball).

    Again, maybe others will come forth with more specifics.

  6. #6
    imported_Ben Guest


    Yes... Narrowing down the destination points is becoming
    very difficult. There is so many places I want to go to
    but so little time. I am thinking about taking Seattle of
    the list of places and possibly the stop at Niagra Falls off too. So now the question is... Which one of the
    following routes would be more interesting:

    Route 1: From Los Angeles drive east going through
    Arizona and texas. Make a stop in New Orleans. Then head
    back to Boston.


    Route 2: From Los Angles drive to Denver. Stop for a
    day or two. Then continue back to Boston

    Thank you all for everything. All your info is greatly appriciated!!!!

  7. #7
    imported_Ben Guest


    No! Your post really did give me a lot of info. Thank you!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    If you are driving from Boston to LA and then back again, I still think you're route is a bit too long to really enjoy the sights along the way. If you're flying to LA and just driving one-way back to Boston, then I think either of your routes is interesting and doable.

    As for which of the routes is most interesting. I'm one of those people who thinks most everything is interesting so I'm a bad one to judge. Both will take you through scenery far different from anything you've ever seen in the Northeast. Both routes have their fair share of beauty and history.

    If you're thinking of driving Boston-LA-Boston, you are still talking about 6000 miles of driving, roughly 100 hours at 60mph. So keep this in consideration when you're planning your route. There are way too many cool things to stop and see to be on a blitz the whole time.

    You might check out some of the road trip planning helpers on this website...I love MS Streets & Trips and think it's well worth the $20 or so to purchase it...however, there are good free sites listed there to check out. You can get an idea of things to see along the way for either route, the miles of driving for each route, etc. These are worthy trip planning tools.

    BTW, Boston-LA-Denver-Boston is 6004 miles.
    Boston-LA-New Orleans-Boston is 6419 miles.
    Both per MS Streets & Trips suggested "quickest route" feature.


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