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  1. Default Planning roadtrip from Boston to San Diego and back

    Hey all. I'm planning a summer roadtrip with a few friends after graduation, and we really want to see as much as we can. The tentative time frame is 20 days, from June 4th thru the 24th, and my major concern is whether or not the trip sounds feasible.

    We want to make stops in Chicago, Omaha, Wyoming, and possibly Salt Lake City before reaching San Francisco. Then we want to travel down to San Diego and relax in California for at least a full day. Then we want to visit WhiteSands in New Mexico, and then possibly stay in El Paso (a friend has family there, not essential to the trip). Then we would like to stop by Webster Grove, MO (southeast-ish) to visit a friend (perhaps spend the night) and then try to make it to Manchester, TN for Bonnaroo Fest on the 17th. After that I'm not really worried; planning on stopping briefly in Philadelphia and then spending the night in NYC before heading home.

    Thoughts? Overly ambitious? I could reschedule the trip to July-August where we have more time, but ideally I would like to go right after graduation. Like I said, we could skip Salt Lake City and El Paso. Could we be able to meet all these goals and still travel comfortably (as in not 12 hours a day, probably 8)?

    Here is a rough schedule.

    June 4th: Leave Boston, head as close to Chicago as possible (probably Ohio)..
    June 5th: Reach Chicago pretty early (noonish?) so we can spend the day there. Either stay there or hit the road and camp out somewhere.
    June 6th: Drive to Omaha, if early we can drive on or spend the night in the city.
    June 7th: Drive as far west as possible. Enjoy Wyoming plains. Camp.
    June 8th: Drive to Salt Lake City, enjoy a few hours of rest, and move on. Sleep somewhere.
    June 9th: Hopefully we can reach San Francisco by now?
    June 10th: Drive down through Los Angeles and hopefully reach San Diego (is this possible via the Pacific Coast Highway?)
    June 11th: rest.
    June 12th: Head to White Sands in NM. (or maybe instead, El Paso)
    June 13th-14th: Day in White Sands. At night, head to Southern Missouri.
    June 15th: Spend the day in Missouri with friends. Continue to TN. Stay in KY or something.
    June 16th: Arrive in Manchester. Sleep.
    June 17th: Bonnaroo.
    June 19th: Start trekking up North. Stay in Virginia or so.
    June 21th: Check out Philadelphia. Rest.
    June 22nd: NYC. More recovery.
    June 24th: Head home to Boston!

    Any advice/pointers appreciated!!! I want this trip to be epic!!

  2. Default

    I think your plans are possible. I myself am planning a trip from boston to san francisco. We are planning on making that trip in about 4 to 5 days. We want to take our time enjoy the country and have fun doing it. You could probably drive to chicago in one day if you left early enough and made stops only to gas up, eat and pee of course. but i warn you crossing into different states beware of the different speed limits. cops love out of state plates and i know mass ones are the greatest respected from experience. good luck and have fun

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Hope you like the Highway

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Its possible to cover the ground you want to cover in the time you have allotted, but you aren't going to be able to stop any enjoy any of it.

    Think of it this way, You basically need 5 days to drive across country one way even at a speed run pace. And really, that doesn't give you much, time to stop and see things along the way. So travel time is going to eat up at least half of your alloted time.

    Looking at your schedule specifically, you have day after day where you aren't going to have any time to do anything other than drive. For example, Salt Lake to SF is over 800 miles, and would put you on the road for at least 14 hours (in other words, its not recommended). Then after a long day on the road, you'd sleep in the city, but you wouldn't have any time to explore before hitting the road and heading down towards LA.

    Personally, I might try to scale down things a bit. California is a great goal, but you'll really be rushing things if you want to see both the west coast and stop at the other places you've mentioned. Even making the Rockies and working your way down to White Sands would cut a lot of miles off your trip, and could be more enjoyable on your timeframe.

  4. Default

    Thanks so much!

    What do you think, if we skipped San Francisco and went straight to LA from SLC? Is the Pacific Coast highway as pretty from LA to San Diego? What other cities in California should we visit that are close to LA? Most of us have been there already, but we want to drive down the coast!

  5. Default The

    The coast highway from LA to San Diego is nothing like the coast highway north of LA, particularly between San Luis Obispo and Monterey. Most of the distance from LA to SD the coast highway is the same as Interstate 5 -- and you really can't stop or see the coast. There's a side section of Coast 1 that goes along through Dana Point through Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach to Long Beach that's fairly interesting, but its fairly populated and doesn't have the same natural scenic sights as farther north.

    The sights and visits are quite different -- that section of Coast 1 is in the middle of the "OC" with big houses, yacht harbors and beach front resorts. But it also includes the artists community of Laguna Beach, and the surfing meccas of the Huntington Beach area.

    LA's a huge area (and I'm using LA as generic for the huge metropolitan area). What are you interested in? In just the southern section north of San Diego before you get to Long Beach there are:
    - San Juan Capistrano (the old mission)
    - Dana Point (Marine Institue and tide pooling at the marine sanctuary)
    - Laguna Beach (including snorkling, surfing, swimming, the art colony)
    - Newport Beach (shopping, beach, snorkling in Corona Del Mar, body surfing, etc)
    - Anaheim (Disneyland)
    - Buena Park (Knotts)
    - Huntington Beach (beach, surfing, etc. ) also including Sunset Beach, and Seal Beach.
    - Long Beach (Aquarium of the Pacific, Queen Mary, beaches, harbor, shopping, etc.)

    If you venture inland a ways you can add hiking, camping, mountain biking, wineries, wild animal parks, etc (near Escondido) -- and this is all on the southern boundaries of LA.

    What would you folks be interested in doing?

  6. Default

    Oh no! Do you know at which point on the coastal highway you can't see the coast? We definitely want that experience.

    We mostly want to just relax, probably spend a day at the beach.. learning how to surf would be so fun!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default There is a USMC base in the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by shelz View Post
    Oh no! Do you know at which point on the coastal highway you can't see the coast?
    CA-Hwy-1 ends at Dana Point at which point, you would jump on I-5 if you go to San Diego. From I-5 you can see the ocean, but not the beach as you drive through Camp Pendleton -- a USMC training base. At Oceanside, there is a coastal road S21 that you can follow to La Jolla that is within 1/2 mile of the coast for most of the distance.


  8. Default

    Ohh, thank you! So, if we start at Los Angeles there are parts where we can enjoy the coastal view? =) I loved the drive from San Fran to LA and I want to make sure all my sheltered friends can see it too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Not the same

    I hope you aren't getting the impression that a coastal route between LA and SD will be anything like what you get between LA and SF. The Big Sur section is really beyond compare, as you really get to overlook the ocean as you drive. South of LA, you will be seeing sections of beach between buildings for the most part. It doesn't mean that the southern sections aren't worth checking out, but if you are expecting it to be anything like the Central Coast, I think you will be very disappointed.

  10. Default

    ah, well i guess i'll have to keep san fran on the list! thanks!

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