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  1. Default 30 days, coast to coast (and back!) Help edit my cross-country route on google maps!

    Greetings knowledgeable friends on the roadtrip America forums!

    Before we both start grad school (for the rest of our lives), my friend and I are planning a 30-day coast to coast (and back) road trip for all of July this summer. As this is our first undertaking of the sort, I’m hoping that you guys can provide some valuable feedback on our rough outline of a route. Using the internet to harness the collective wisdom of (you) the masses might be good way to go.

    Here is our draft route, in two very long hyperlinks I made using google maps: (I encourage you to alter it.... just copy the whole long url to the clipboard!)

    The way there

    The way back

    ETA 5 Days, 22 Hours Driving Time

    We’ve been told that this route is more than a tad ambitious… I could really use some perspective on this question.

    Is thirty days a reasonable amount of time to complete this much driving? A friend of mine did 8100 miles in three weeks, and he said he was quite rushed. Between the effort of driving (approx six hours a day, on average?) and throwing up and tearing down our tent every night (we intend to stay most nights in KOA’s along the way).

    Generally speaking, we’d like to find a good balance between covering a lot of ground, and actually having some time to take in what we are seeing.
    Any ideas on cutting the total driving distance down to 7500 miles (for some reason this sounds more reasonable)? Which destinations do you all think would be worth giving up? Perhaps cutting of the huge bulge up to Yellowstone on “the way back”.

    Is there anywhere along the way that you suggest we should absolutely visit?

    I’d greatly appreciate it if those of you who are willing could alter the route, and post the entire huge hyperlink back in the forum. Its kind of fun playing with google maps in this way. (although who would have thought that they don’t currently support saving multiple destination driving directions to “my maps”.. crazy.

    Thanks in advance for all your help, and happy traveling to you all!

    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-13-2008 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Cleaned up Links

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default That's a perfect time for a roadtrip!

    Some wheeeee!!! time before buckling down to the books should get the wiggles out of you for a semester or two.

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    It generally takes about five day of about 10-hours driving each day to go coast-to-coast. So that's ten days total, leaving you about 20 days to explore, etc. It's very do-able but you won't be able to linger long in any way place.

    My comments on your East to West route:

    Why bother with Nashville and Memphis this trip? Or, for that matter, any of the places in the near South like Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta? These are near enough to Wash DC where you can take a week here-and-there over the years and explore them further. You WILL have some breaks from Grad School, you know. It just doesn't make sense to me to spend a lot of time in nearby places when your goal is to see the rest of what's "way out there". Of course, it's your trip so feel free to ignore this advice.

    I didn't put any stops on the way from DC to New Orleans. Obviously, you will need to have 2-3 nightly stops on that route. There are quite a few scenic routes along this way you might want to take on the way but let's leave those for later addition if you like the idea of doing it this way, skipping Memphis, etc. in the process.

    While I think Oklahoma City's Memorial would be nice to see, I would rather see Carlsbad Caverns. I also took of Phoenix in order to see Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion national parks instead.

    And it makes far more sense to see Grand Canyon and Vegas on this leg instead of on the way home.

    I also added in a Death Valley and took out San Diego.

    One thing I didn't change on the map (got too lazy) but that you should seriously consider is driving CA-1, the Pacific Coast Highway, from LA to San Francisco. It's an absolutely beautiful drive. Allow 2 days for it.

    I didn't do any checking out the mileage between stops I added/subtracted with suggestions of where to be for the night. I think that's the last thing to worry about.

    Check it out. Keep in mind that this is the way I'd do it but that doesn't mean it's the best way or the right way. It's just some suggestions. Every trip is personal and people should see what they want to see the most.

    I'll do the West to East portion in my next response.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default West to East

    Here it is.

    I think North Dakota is lovely but the corner of South Dakota by Rapid City is full of amazing things to see and I would go that way myself. Mt. Rushmore is just one of a dozen things worth seeing there.

    It looks like your Nebraska stop is for something specific so I left that in.

    Anyway, this is just my interpretation of a good roadtrip. Again, this is YOUR trip.

    Ask questions, keep investigating different ideas, and let us all continue to help you hone this trip to make it just the way your want it. Search through the different discussions here and use the search tool to find posts about areas you want to see. Happy planning!

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