where to go???
me and my mate (two swedes) are planning a roadtrip from seattle. we have a car from a relative, but the big issue is where to go??? we have 2,5-3 month to go. is it possible to cross the states to NY and do a loop down to miami, texas, maybe a quik beep in to mexico, up to colorado, las vegas, grand canyon, CA and then back to seattle?!?!?
please give us dome info, we both are used to drive a lot and we are driveing a lexus station vagon -92.
/s and m
Can I come??!!!
You'll have time to see & do A LOT !!! Will get back to you by day's end with more & a suggested itinerary.
ok - here goes...
Seattle -> #5 N to VANCOUVER British Columbia CANADA (2-1/2 hrs)
-> #1, #5 through the Okanagan Valley (orchards, lakes) & KELOWNA (7 hrs) through mountain passes - REVELSTOKE. See COLUMBIA ICE FIELDS -> To BANFF NATIONAL PARK, Alberta Canada (4 hrs from Revelstoke) couple days here
South to CALGARY, Alberta -> GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Montana USA (6 hrs from Banff)
to JACKSON, Wyoming (via #90, #15 - 10 hrs).
North through GRAND TETONS NATIONAL PARK & YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (could easily spend 3 or more days between these)
Northeast exit from Yellowstone #212 "Beartooth Highway" towards Billings Montana.
#I-90 east. #14 at Moorcroft to #24 to DEVIL'S TOWER Wyoming.
Return & continue #14 SE towards Sundance. #90 into South Dakota. See DEADWOOD, LEAD (pronounced Leed), MT. RUSHMORE, CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL, CUSTER STATE PARK (drive amongst the buffalo/bison) (these are all very very close together!).
#90 E to Wall, to BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, South Dakota.
-> #90 E to CHICAGO (13 hrs)
-> #94, #40, #69 to border crossing at SARNIA, Ontario Canada. (5-6 hrs)
-> #402 to London. #401 E to TORONTO. (spend day or two here - go up the world's tallest - C.N. TOWER)
-> Q.E.W. (Queen Elizabeth Way) to NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario (1-1/2 hrs - border crossing) See the falls & whirlpool. Lots to do in this area. Canadian side is better than American side for views & things to do.
-> to NEW YORK CITY (7-8 hrs not including traffic jams!)
-> through Philadelphia to WASHINGTON, D.C. (4 hrs) (spend couple days in Washington! Lots to see & do, all "free"!)
-> to CHARLESTON, South Carolina (9-10 hrs) Historic beautiful town lots of old buildings & plantations (spend couple days here)
-> Through Atlanta, Georgia, to BILOXI, Mississippi to NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (13-14 hrs)
(take a "swamp tour" !)
-> to BATON ROUGE via the route past many historic homes & plantations.
(stop & tour one or two)
-> to HOUSTON Texas (5 hrs)
-> SAN ANTONIO Texas (3-1/2 hrs) (do the "riverwalk", see "the Alamo" & follow the missions route)
-> BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK Texas (300 miles from San Antonio - right on the Rio Grande river)
-> CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK, New Mexico (305 miles) reserve a couple cave tours
-> through PHOENIX Arizona & SEDONA (Oak Creek Canyon, Red Rock area) to GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Arizona (16 hrs - but you'll want to stop in Sedona area for a day/overnight). Two days at Grand Canyon.
-> #64, #160, #163 through Kayenta to MONUMENT VALLEY (7-8 hrs from Grand Canyon Village). This is what you see in all the "western movies". Very scenic. Take a jeep tour through it.
-> to MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, Colorado (3-1/2 hrs)
-> ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, Utah (3-1/2 hrs)
stay in MOAB - take jeep ride tour from Moab. Could spend couple days or more with Moab as your base.
-> CANYONLANDS National Park & CAPITOL REEF National Park (4-1/2 hrs --NOTE: these are just "driving times" not the slow actual time to Drive Through / Stop / Photos / Hike in each national park. The actual roads THRU the park will be very slow scenic going)
-> BRYCE CANYON National Park (4 hrs)
(take a horseback ride down into the canyon here!)
-> ZION National Park, Utah (3 hrs)
(Zion & Bryce are my two favourites - both Spectacular !!!)
-> to LAS VEGAS, Nevada (3 hrs)
-> DEATH VALLEY National Park California (4 hrs)
-> SEQUOIA National Park & / or YOSEMITE National Park (EACH is 7 hrs different ways from Death Valley)
to LOS ANGELES, California
-> coastal drive #101, #1 to SAN FRANCISCO
-> #101 to REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK
-> PORTLAND Oregon
-> MT. ST. HELENS NATIONAL VOLCANIC MONUMENT Washington
-> MT. RAINIER National Park
& back to SEATTLE !
Some of the above itinerary is assuming you are taking a "summer" trip. Route might change if winter months / snow / road closures.
Much of western area is scenic, through desert. Be sure to keep fuel tank filled up. Some stretches very long between gas stations. Just because you see a small town dotted on the map does NOT mean it has stores & gas stations. Often it is just a "blink and you miss it" town. Keep drinking water with you too. This is nothing to be concerned about. Just letting you know since often tourists from Europe do not realize just how BIG the good ol' U.S. of A. is until they actually start driving it.
I tried to add many national parks, along with some great cities. These will give you a GREAT idea of what the USA is about in all its various parts. You can find all the details of each USA park at www.nps.gov/parks.html
Buy a "National Parks Pass" (either in advance or just at the first national park admissions gate). This will get you into ALL the national parks & monuments (expires in one year). Well worth it!
Check out National Scenic Byways at www.byways.org
Distances given are very approximate. Do not go by them exactly. Get out a big atlas & road maps & use the internet road trip planners & maps such as www.mapblast.com to check your route.
Have fun! Keep posting your questions & we'll try to help.
budget and visa issue?!?!
first of all, thanks a lot for all info so far.
we wounder about the budget, our plans so far are to spend 1350 $ a month! is that enough??? we will live on the cheap, bring food and eat out of a cooler, bring our own tent. we will spend the most money of events like football games and national parks!!!
what about the visa? as a swede do we have 3 month for "free" when we arrive, anyone know is there a problem to go to canada, which also is 3 month for free, and then back to the states on the same visa, or do we have to apply for a multi-entry visa at the ambassy back home??!?!?!
/stevie and marcus
Sweden is one of the "visa waiver" countries. Therefore Swedish tourists can enter the USA for 90 DAYS MAXIMUM without a visa - just a machine readable passport (the new kind with biographical data).
It would appear from searching through the websites below that you can go back & forth between Canada & the USA with your passport. You may want to read up more about that to be sure at the websites below:
Re: $1350 a month.
Using your relatives' vehicle will really help keep your costs down. The cost of a rental car would be ridiculous for this long of a trip.
Buy a National Parks Pass for about $50. This gets you entry into all the national parks (expires in one year). You can just buy this at the first park gate entry.
Campgrounds in the national parks are about $12 - $20 per night (extra - not covered by the parks pass). Showers are usually about $2.00. Laundry facilities are a couple dollars as well to wash & dry a load. Eating from a cooler is a good idea. Go to grocery stores in the larger towns to pick up some fresh fruit & other items every couple days.
Hostels are anywhere from $20 - $40 per night per person depending what city.
Fuel is really expensive right now. About $2.00 a US gallon (some places much more, some places a little less than).
If you plan to put on a lot of miles crossing the country, I think you will be cutting it close on $1350 US currency a month. As long as you have a credit card for "just in case" emergencies, or other access to get more cash.
This will be an AMAZING trip! Happy planning!
1350 $ are for one person, which means that we will spend 2700 $ togther...
i hope that will be enough!!!