Hello, My boyfriend and I are in the early stages of planning a road trip from L.A. to NYC at the end of July....We'd like to stop off in San Francisco, Chicago and Boston en route and see loads along the way..We are hoping to go for two weeks..is this a reasonable amount of time? It was suggested that we should go in September instead..Is July/August a mad time to be going? How many hours driving a day can I expect to do? Any advice on these early stages would be much appreciated..thanks a million..helen p.s. we're irish so this a big adventure for us!
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
Two weeks should give you enough time to make it across country with some time for some site seeing. You'll have to keep moving pretty good between your stops but I don't think it will be overly difficult to see what you want to see though.
As far as when to go, September is cooler and has less other tourists, but the fact remains that July and August are probably the biggest two months of the year for travel in the U.S., so you'll at least have comfort in numbers if you make a summer trip.
How far can you go each day, well, that one is totally up to you. Some people only like to travel for 4-5 each day, while for others 4-5 hours is just getting warmed up. Just remember to stop when you're tired, and take RTA's RoadTrip Compatibility Quiz to make sure both you and your boyfriend are on the same page for your trip.
Thanks a million for getting back to me..so if i drive for 4 hours a day we can make it across in 2 weeks? that sounds do-able..
Sorry, I meant to ask if anyone can help suggest a route? We'd like to start in L.A. and then go to San Francisco and visit Seattle and Chicago before hitting New York..we need to do more research on the middle states but maybe if someone can suggest a route to incoporate the states we definitely want to visit then we can look at the places on the route as a starting point for planning our other stop off points..we'd really like to have ideally every second day driving free if possible or at least every 3rd day but would sacrifice rest days in the middle of the trip to get some extra time in san fran, chicago and nyc etc...we can extend the trip to 3 weeks by the way.any help would be much appreciated..thanks very much..
Route 2 and From!
If you can extend yourself 3 weeks, then perhaps you'd enjoy some US Route Hopping. You can take the 101 all the way up from LA to San Fran, further up the coast into Washington, and make the loop around the Olympic mountains on US 101. You can take the Ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle to get to the mainland without having to drive south too far. From Seattle, take I-5 north and see Everett before connecting to US 2. This road here is not only a real treat, but with lots of things to do. It's a wonderful drive. Be on the look out for Deception Falls, its a small pull off a few miles east of Skykomish. You might pass it and never know you actually drove over it! Another stop to watch out for is after the village of Coles Corner (it will be the first gas station you come across after Stevens Pass), down in Tumwater Canyon, is The Alps candy and gift store. It's a must stop for any Cascade Mountain traveler!
Leavenworth is the next town of any size, and is a good place to stop. Leavenworth sits in the middle of what is nicknamed "The American Alps", and what better place to put a Bavarian-theamed town? They are consistantly holding events, and the view is wonderful! Nestled at the head of Icicle Valley the mountains surround the town nearly completely!
As you leave Leavenworth, you'll start to notice fewer and fewer trees... as you get into the Deserts of Washington. In Cashmere you can take a tour of the Applets and Cotlets factory, and sample some of their wonderful candies. Next you'll enter the largest city in North Central Washington, Wenatchee, which is the Apple Capital of the World. Wenatchee offers a great place to stop for the evening, and a great city to tour around in.
From there you can take US 2 north to Orondo, and then East to Waterville, across the Columbia Plateau, and into Spokane. At spokane you can either continue to follow US 2, or, take I-90 to US 95, then north to Silverwood Theme Park. Some good wooden rollercoasters there!
Continue to follow US 2 up to Bonners Ferry, and then East across the Rockies. US 2 will take you right into Glacier National Park. Here, I would detoure to Going-to-the-Sun Road, and actually go deep into Glacier National Park.
US 2 will then take you across the norther plain states and into Michigain. From the town of Iron Mountain, you can take US 141 south towards Chicago.
From there, well, I'd take the interstates (preferably non toll ones myself) into New York. I'm not sure of exactly what to see out that way, but I know Gen might!
Have a fun trip!
What 4 hrs a day will get you...
Traveling about 4 hours a day will let you go about 250 miles per day, figuring Interstate travel. If you want to stop as much as you've indicated, I think you'll want to add that 3rd week.
Los Angeles to NYC, via Chicago, is a 2800 mile trip, so you're talking 11-12 days of driving, adding SF and Seattle ups the mileage total to 4050. That's about 16 days of travel, giving you only 5 days off the road. Enough time to spend in those cities, but certainly not enough to stop driving altogether every third day. However keep in mind, only traveling 4 hours a day will give you quite a bit of time to explore, even on the days you are traveling.
As far as a route goes, I-5 and I-90 would be your most direct Interstates. I would certainly try to get some time in driving along the Pacific Coast, and I'd probably detour off I-90 through Yellowstone and the Black Hills, but remember those routes are significantly slower than the interstates, so you'll either have to increase you driving hours those days or spend less time in the cities you want to explore.
Hope this helps!
Thank you so much
Thanks so much for all your help..at the moment all these route numbers are very confusing but my fella will be navigating so we'll work it out between us I guess...thanks again...i think we definitely will make it 3 weeks..and ge the most out of it..does anyone have any ideas for picking up where Bradleft off? thanks again..
Last edited by helenc; 02-26-2006 at 03:07 PM.