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Thread: Travel America!

  1. #1
    RoadTripper L01 Guest

    Default Travel America!

    Hi there,
    I wish to travel through every state in America when I graduate next year. I am travelling from the UK. If anyone could give me any hints or tips on great places to visit I would be most greatful and also if anyone has any idea on how long it will take me to complete my trip?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default A Challenge

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The challenge for this kind of trip will always trying to narrow things down. Are you going to focus on Major Cities or Small Towns, Nightlife or Nature, etc. Are you going to include Alaska and Hawaii in your goal? How much money do you have and how long can you afford to be gone?
    Those questions will let you know what kind of trip you're going to be taking.

    No one can really tell you how long your trip is going to take. There are people who've driven through parts of all the lower 48 states and done the trip in a little under a month. But that kind of trip doesn't leave much time at all to get a feel for where you are driving through. On the flip side, you could travel the US for years and still see just a small fraction of what the country has to offer.

  3. #3
    RoadTripper L01 Guest

    Default Thanks!

    Well I graduate in May so I am aiming to leave the Uk at the beginning of June and was hoping perhaps to have covered all areas in about 3-4 months, however I have as much time as I want and Money should hopefully not be too much of an issue. If it does become an issue is it possible to work, doing maybe bar work or fitness training? I am aiming to include Alaska and Hawaii however I may return home to the UK before completing them!
    I want to see the golden gate bridge and also the hollwood sign (typical tourist I know) and also would like to travel as many theme parks as possible, I'd really just like to experience real american life and see the real america if thats possible? If anyone has any hints on where are really great places to visit I would love to know!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default What are your interests?

    I see your list of "must dos", all of which are in or can be found in California. Other than that what do you want to see? If there are certain areas that fascinate you or other landmarks you've seen in movies that you'd like to see that could help. You can make this trip as long or as short as possible depending on your interests.

    "The Real America" - that's going to be hard to find. My life in the Deep South is very very different from someone elses life in New York City, or Montana or California. So again I have to ask, are there certain aspects of American Life that appeal to you that you'd like to see? This can be anything from American Style Dirt Track Racing to the club scene in New York to watching a Boston Pops concert.

    I wouldn't plan on trying to work in America without some serious forethought. You have to have a work visa (if I'm understanding correctly that you are a citizen of the UK) and I believe that you pretty much have to already have an employer to get one of those. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this.

    Once you have some general areas of interest lined out then we can start giving suggestions for specifics.

    Happy Planning,


  5. #5
    RoadTripper L01 Guest


    Well, I would like to visit every capital of each lower 48 state. When I say the 'Real America' I mean how each state lives differently and what these differences are! While I'm travelling I want to go shopping in New York, Watch a basketball game, a soccer game and a baseball game anywhere in the US. I'd also like to swim with dolphins in Florida. I want to fly over the Grand Canyon and do Niagra Falls but apart from that I don't really mind what I do or where I go!

    I will rethink the working! Thank you! Any recommendations of other places to visit would be appreciated.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Travel USA

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America forum!

    I think you will find so many things to do, that you may not want to leave!

    I'm a nature lover, so I would recommend the Grand Canyon, as well as Yellowstone National Park, and to look through NPS as well for more ideas along those lines.

    Check here for even more ideas.

    For some history of our country, I would check out Boston, Washington, D.C., New York City, Gettysburg, and St. Louis.

    As Laura said, the lives of Americans can vary greatly, as can the dialects and accents. Some of us omit letters in our speech, others add syllables, etc. Despite the homogenization in our economic lives, we still cling to our regional attributes to set us apart, though we have our similarities. Not every state will represent a complete change from the another in lifestyle - MA, CT, and NY are pretty similar, but if I were to jump from ME to AZ, I would notice a change for sure.

    I find it fascinating and I'm sure you will too.

  7. Default

    Hi Lacey --- hmm.. that's quite an objective. But sounds really fun.

    My recommendation would be to lay out a rough route and figure out about where you'd like to go, and I'm sure we'll all chime in with some additional things to see or do. But you've got quite a nebulous list now, and I'm not sure where to start.

    For example, I live in California. You've laid out a couple of the basic tourist things (Hollywood, Golden Gate Bridge), but there's a lot more to see and experience to feel the "real America".

    To really experience California (and you have to realize the scope of some of the distances here), I'd include Golden Gate/ Fisherman's Wharf in SF, Hollywood Area in LA, surfing/beaches etc along the OC in SoCal, the deserts (from Anza Borrego to Palm Springs or up through Joshua Tree/ Mojave National Preserve/ Death Valley), the Sierras (Yosemite, Lassen, etc), the Central Valley agricultural areas, and the California Coast (Big Sur, Redwoods, Hearst Castle, etc.). You'll need to pick and chose what you'd like to do.. You'll want to talk with people, get outside the usual tourist bit, and do some walking and experiencing other than canned tourist items I'd expect.

    Even from the amusement parks approach there are quite a few, and would probably require some pre-planning. For example, there are 4 major amusement/theme parks near LA (Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Knotts,and Disneyland). There's also SeaWorld in San Diego, and a couple near SF (Santa Cruz and Santa Clara). That's a lot in itself, just from the amusement parks. And I've left out places like San Diego Wild Animal Park, Legoland, etc.

    Every major state has some unique cultural items, and can be very diverse within the state. For example, the Everglades versus Miami, or Gulf Coast Texas versus Austin versus Amarillo, or Santa Fe New Mexico versus White Sands.

    Give some thought as to what you'd like to see and I'm sure we can help in refining a plan.

    The only general thought I'd add to this is consider getting the basic means to do car camping -- it'll save you money and it usually gets you out of the big cities. Tent, stove, cooler, sleeping bag etc -- not very much money and gives you some additional flexibility in visiting places. And the ability to travel outside the usual tourist season of July-August will give you more flexibility across the country.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Search the forums!

    Hi Lacey,

    Here are a couple of links to RTA threads or articles regarding certain areas of the US to help you find some ideas :

    California and Nevada;

    Colorado : Rocky Mountain NP, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Million Dollar Highway, Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Mesa Verde NP, plus take a look at these tips;

    Utah : check out Moab, National Parks (Bryce, Zion, Arches, etc.)-- here's an interesting thread regarding that area;

    Wyoming : Cheyenne and its Old West Museum, Oregon Trail Sites and Monuments (Register Cliffs, Ft. Laramie, Scotts Bluff NM, Grand Teton NP and of course Yellowstone NP;

    Utah, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico;

    Deep south (AL, MS, LA) and southwest (TX, NM, AZ, etc.);

    Pacific North West & Alaska;

    New England;

    East Coast;

    Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois;

    South Dakota;

    Happy planning!

  9. #9
    RoadTripper L01 Guest



    Thank you all for your help, it is very much appreciated, please keep it coming!! I have wanted to travel every state in America for so long and almost gave up on it a little while back but then realised I would be kidding myself if I gave up on my dream.

    I don't really have many specific things I want to do so far but I'm sure once I have doen some more research that I will come up with some ideas, thank you Gen for the threads, they have proved very informative so far and really whetted my appetite!

    The good news as well is that I have been talking about it quite a bit with my friends and already one of them has decided she wants to come with me which is good news as although I have travelled on my own before, I would so much rather travel with people I knew!

    Will be researching loads more in the coming weeks, any hints or tips would still be greatly appreciated!!!

    Many Thanks


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Roadtrip companions

    Hi again Lacey!

    While it may seem a great thing that one of your friend wants to join you for your trip of a lifetime, it also can be hard on your relationship if you don't get along very well on the road. Just make sure she's seriously considering going on this trip and make her participate in the preparation. I don't want to scare you or anything, you can both have a blast on a trip like that but to avoid bad surprises, I suggest you take this quiz to help you figure out if you are compatible. I remember back in high school I organized a trip with two girl friends and I thought it would be fun and it almost ended up in a cat fight!:o) Some other times though, I travelled with other friends and everything went smoothly.

    I guess you never really know until you experience it! Solo travelling can also be a very pleasant experience.


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