Hi all, firstly thank you for having such a great site, it has been invaluable in planning our trip. My wife and I are going on a 3 week road trip from LA to NYC (as you'd have guessed from the thread title!) in July. We are planning on 2 nights in LA and 3 nights in NYC at the other end.
We have sorted out our flights, and have just booked our one-way car rental (through Holiday Autos, who are a broker, the actual car will be from National), we've gone for the Chrysler Sebring Convertible and it's cost us £425 for 18 days (we'll have a $199 one-way drop off fee too). Not sure yet whether a convertible will be a great choice (mainly due to it being less secure than a hard top), but will appreciate having the top down when it's not too hot!
We can stay in NYC for free and one night in Las Vegas is already paid for so we are working on a budget of £2000 (roughly $4000) for the fuel, accommodation for 18 nights, food and activities. Accommodation wise we are planning in staying in cheap independent motels as far as possible, making exceptions if we see somewhere with particular character (ie the Monte Vista Hotel in Flagstaff, because it's haunted :-). We'll be mainly eating a diner style breakfast, often skipping lunch, and looking at cheap meals in the evening. For instance we want to try all the various US chains that we've not been to before.
Anyway, I'm hoping that if I list our planned route all you knowledgeable members may be able to point out interesting things to see and do on our trip.
Night 1 - 2: LA, CA
Night 3: Las Vegas, NV
Night 4: Flagstaff, AZ
Night 5: Gallup, NM
Night 6: Albuquerque, NM
Night 7: Amarillo, TX
Night 8: Elk City, OK
Night 9: Fort Smith, AR
Night 10:Memphis, TN
Night 11: Birmingham, AL
Night 12: Atlanta, GA
Night 13: Augusta, GA or Columbia, SC
Night 14: Wilmington, NC
Night 15: Raleigh, NC
Night 16: Washington, DC
Night 17: Philadelphia, PA
Night 18-20: NYC
As you'll see there is only 20 of the 21 night allocated here. From that list where do you think would be the best place to spend an extra night? Is there anywhere on that list that you think would not be worth staying in?
You may wonder why we're going over to Wilmington, it just happens to be somewhere we've both wanted to go to.
I'd love to get recommendations as to great cafes/diners at each stop. Any of these places (or in between) got a really good proper American theme park? Any really quirky museums or points of interest that we should detour to on the way? We really want to see a little 'real' America on this trip, but don't mind only being in one place for a day.
We've got our 2008 Road Atlas turning up in the post tomorrow and I've already got a couple of USA road trip books. Is there anything I've missed? Apologies for the long post, I just wanted to give you guys as much information as possible to try and get some good tips.
Anyway, thank you reading all this!