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  1. Default summer road trip

    I am a single mom planning a month long trip with my children, ages 17 and 22Graduation trip for both, one from H.S., the other from college. We're pretty much just winging it, but would love any suggestions for "don't miss" places. Leaving Ohio and traveling west.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Once Around the Block

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    With a month to make this trip, you can pretty much go anywhere (but unfortunately, not everywhere) in the contiguous United States. What I would suggest is that you make this a 'once around the block' kind of trip where you see each of the regions of our country. It will have to be a smorgasbord rather than a gourmet feast, but it can be great nonetheless. Let me describe it in counterclockwise fashion, although you can do it in either direction, and let me keep the description fairly general, so that you still can, indeed will have to, wing it.

    Start out heading northwest, up through Michigan, and savor some Great Lakes sights to begin with. These might include the Mackinac State Historic Parks (learning is a lifelong endeavor, after all), Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and maybe even Isle Royale National Park. Then continue across Minnesota and South Dakota.

    Next up, then would be the west, starting in Wyoming with Devils TowerNational Monument, a short detour into southern Montana for the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and then the crown jewel in the national park system, Yellowstone. From there turn south through the Grand Tetons and by way of Dinosaur National Monument to set yourself up for the trip across southern Utah through Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National parks. Continue on to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. At this point you may want to continue on to the west coast. If so, check the links in this post for loops between the Vegas area and some of the highlights of California. In any event, end up back in Arizona and ready to continue to the east for your next region, the South.

    Heading east on I-40, which generally parallels the old US-66 alignment, you'll pass Petrified Forest National Park, Petroglyph National Monument, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum on your way to the Ozarks. You then have your choice of a number of great ways across the South to the east coast. One Possible route is the one I took a couple of years ago, and described in a field report covering the Southwest, the Deep South, and the South Atlantic coast. By all means, if you've gotten this far, stop at our Nation's Capital and at its birthplace.

    You can then, time permitting, head for New England. I've described a number of possible itineraries for New England. You can find links to them here. From here it's a simple matter to turn for home with maybe one last stop at Niagara Falls. Can you do all that in a month? Probably not, but it will give you an idea of what's out there for you and your graduates to choose from. Oh, and one final piece of advice, even if you're only going to stop at 3 national parks, it is worth it to buy a National Parks Pass either before you go or at the first park you come to. Have a great trip!


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