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  1. Default one-way cross country - know the basic route, need some specific tips!

    hello all,

    my boyfriend and I are moving cross-country (NY to LA) at the beginning of july. our schedule is not hard and fast but we'd like to take 14-18 days to get across. we know our basic route (based on both places we want to go and free places we have to stay) but we need some ideas for where to go in between. we are in our mid-20s and like doing active, fun things, and we are more interested in the natural/outdoorsy stuff more than seeing cities (though if there is a must see city, please let me know!)

    Some things we want to do but haven't figured out where to do them are:

    - go to a bourbon distillery (kentucky? tennessee?)
    - eat some amazing BBQ
    - go to a nascar race or monster truck show
    - mountain biking (beginning to intermediate, with rentals)
    - hot springs
    - a corn farm that has tours

    We plan on staying with friends, along with a handful of camping and a couple hotels along the way.

    our route is tentatively as follows:

    1. NYC to Niagara Falls (touristy but we've never seen it...) Anyone know anything cool to see/do on the slog through upstate/western NY State?

    2. Niagara Falls to Ann Arbor via Ontario

    3. Ann Arbor to Champaign IL

    4. Champaign to Memphis or Nashville - we want some bourbon and BBQ on this leg but are not sure which city to go to or what's along the way. Don't care about Elvis. Or Dolly.

    5. Tennessee to Austin TX - but via where? Any suggestions?

    6. Austin TX to Big Bend National Park. Are the Big Bend hot springs open to the public? Is Big Bend worth the visit? Also, what to do in west Texas?

    7. Big Bend to White Sands Natl Monument. Excited to see White Sands. Too bad there's no full moon this trip :(

    8. White Sands to Phoenix burbs (have a friend there). Will prob stop in Tucson (friends). What is there to do on the way? Sights? Adventures?

    9. Phoenix to Grand Canyon. Have never been, need to see it.

    10. Grand Canyon to Zion/Bryce Canyon. Which park is cooler? What to do there? Is there good mountain biking?

    11. SW Utah to Vegas. Need a night of debauchery. :) What route to take?

    12. Vegas to Yosemite. What route to take?

    13. Yosemite to San Fran or Big Sur. Stay with friends or camp.

    14. Route 1 down to LA.

    I know, it's ambitious but we are young and have energy and a great car. Any suggestions of in-between stops on this trip would be greatly appreciated as we don't want to spend all day with straight drives on highways.

    Thanks for reading!

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

    Default A few thoughts

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    One quick thought, if your list is intended on being a day by day itinerary, then you really have a full plate. You've got a few places that would be very full day drives, where you would really have zero time or energy to do anything once you got to your destination. It sounds like you've got a few days to play with, but those could get used up pretty quickly with a plan like this.

    As far as your specific questions, none of them are really my forte, but heres a bit of help:

    I'm not much of a Wisk(e)y drinker so I don't know much on this one, but I would start looking at the websites for Jim Beam and Jack Daniels or other major distillers to see which ones have tours and where.

    As far as seeing a race goes, If you are looking for a major race You'd have to see any Nascar race lines up with your trip timeline, and I'm not sure how easy it would be to get tickets. However, there are lots of small tracks in cities throughout the country, and I don't think it would be hard at all to find a small track where you could watch some racing.

    I'd have to say Moab, Utah is the Mountain Biking capitol of the US, so that might be worth reworking your itinerary. That said, I'm sure you could find some other good spots, I just don't know of any of hand.

    Hot Springs Arkansas would likely be on your route from TN to Austin, so that might be a possibility. Otherwise, search the forum for Hot Springs, and you should get lots of ideas on places throughout the country.

    I'm not really sure if you'll find a corn farm that offers tours, but your stretch around Illinois would be the best place to research the idea and see if there is one someone who offers what you are looking for.

  3. Default

    hey Michael,

    thanks for the response! this is not a day-by-day itinerary, but more of a point-by-point. we want to take our time more out west and kind of get through the eastern parts more quickly.

    I know about Moab and would love to go but not sure our route will allow it. Was wondering if there's any good mountain biking around Zion or Bryce? Or anywhere on our route for that matter?

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