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  1. #1
    grampacats Guest

    Default From New Jersey to Seattle

    Hi!
    I am brand new to this site so please bear with me. My wife and I (ages 60 years plus) have been thinking of driving across the USA from New Jersey to Seattle and then taking one of those Alaskan cruises everyone is talking about. Quite frankly, I don't know where to begin. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Get a wall map and some pins!

    Quote Originally Posted by grampacats
    Hi!
    I am brand new to this site so please bear with me.
    Welcome to the Forum.
    My wife and I (ages 60 years plus) have been thinking of driving across the USA from New Jersey to Seattle and then taking one of those Alaskan cruises everyone is talking about. Quite frankly, I don't know where to begin. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?
    Purchase a wall map, some colored pins and start identifying every cool place you have ever heard of. When do you anticipate this grand adventure will begin (hit the road)? What are you driving? What kinds of things interest you?

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Start Here

    Ask yourself what it is that appeals to you about the idea(s) of a cross country road trip and a coastal cruise. What doesn't appeal to you about the prospect of such a trip? Then start maximizing the time spent on the things you want and minimizing time doing the things that you'd rather avoid. If you really like driving and exploring along the way then, by all means, go that route. If the thought of this fills you with dread, then think about flying cross country (it's cheaper) and spending more time on the cruise. If you've never cruised before, and are only going now because 'everyone is talking about' it, you might be better served by going directly to Alaska and doing more of an inland tour. Start with such basics and then fill in the details.

    I can't recommend Alaska enough. It is amazing and unlike any of the other 49. When my wife and I went we had a 'tour' set up for us in advance. We travelled on our own, alternating between cars, trains, plains and boats, staying in bed and breakfasts, and generally moving at a stately pace that matched the landscape. Everything was set up for us, but we travelled on our own - our tour consisted of us. To be perfectly honest, the times we really appreciated this were when we'd be at some attraction, essentially alone, and a tour bus from one of the cruise ships would pull up and disgorge its passengers - and we could just leave. The point is that this is one of the basic questions that you have to answer. I know people who love cruises, they appreciate that everything is taken care of for them. From my point of view, one can do better on one's own. You have to answer that for yourself.

    By the same token, there are any number of impressive sights between New Jersey and Seattle, and a lot of people around here will be eager to point out their favorites. How much time do you have to get across the country? 6-7 days is probably a minimum for it to be enjoyable. Longer would be infinitely better. How long do you have for the Alaska portion? How much time to get back to New Jersey? Will you be driving your own car both ways and leave it in Seattle while you're up north?

    So..... Start by defining the basic framework of a trip that YOU want, and you'll be surprised, I think, by how easy it becomes after that.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Excellent post, AZBuck.

    Mark, I think this guy should write an article expanding on these ideas. Perfect response!

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default A suggestion for a route through the west

    Take as much of US 2 as you can. It will take you right through Glacier National Park, and you can take the side road up through glacier. I forget the name of it right now. US 2 also goes through some spectacular views through Northern Idaho, Eastern Washington, and even the Columbia River Gorge and the Wenatchee Valley. Up on over Stevens Pass, and you're right in the Seattle area!
    -Brad M.

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