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  1. Default New York to Chicago to Seattle

    My boyfriend is moving and we are going to be driving his car from New York to Seattle with some of his stuff in it. We hope to make good time while stopping for a few interesting attractions along the way. So far the plan is to push it to Chicago in one day and stay with my family for a day or two. Between Chicago and Seattle, I've picked out Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Mount Rainier as points of interest. I've been told that Mount Rushmore isn't worth it esp since we're trying to do the Chicago-Seattle portion in 4-5 days. Keeping that in mind, do you have advice on:

    1) any good places to stop for food between New York and Chicago?

    2) what are the "must sees/dos" at the Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Mount Rainier?

    3) what are good places to stop for lodging that are near the points of interest, but far enough for the prices not to be jacked up because of it? don't mind driving an hour or two in the morning to reach the park or in the evening after departing.

    4) are there other "should not miss" points of interest along the way that's worth stopping by?

    5) what would you say is the safety of having stuff in the car (after all, my boyfriend is moving) while parking in motel/park lots? any suggestions on theft deterrents?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Too Much

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    New York to Chicago is nearly 800 miles. By the time you add in the extra time required to get into/out of those cities, and the necessary fuel food and bio breaks, trying to do that in one day is far more than I would recommend. Trying to stop and see anything along the way would just delay your arrival and make you cranky, exhausted 'guests'. Taking two days for this portion might make it pleasurable, but as it is it's nothing more than a Speed Run.

    The long leg from Chicago to Seattle is a bit more manageable, being around 2,100 miles (plus stops and side trips), so doable in 4 days of 500+ miles a day. That is quite doable and leaves minimal time for sight seeing, as long as your sights are near the highway. Unless you can add a day, that would NOT include a tour of Yellowstone all the way down to the Tetons, but could include quick stops at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD; the Badlands; Wall Drug in Wall, SD; Devils Tower; the Little Bighorn Battlefield; maybe a short scenic drive in the Coeur d'Alene area; and Mt. Ranier. You really should not be trying to squeeze more than that into this trip.

    As far as leaving stuff in the car, your best bet is to leave it covered, and park the car in a well lit area where it can be seen from the motel's office or check-in window.


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

    Default Yes, add days if you want to really sightsee along the way

    With 4 days, I would just stick to the interstate and watch for upcoming signs for things that interest you that are close to the road you're on. Believe me, there is plenty to see and just the sights from the road itself are going to be breath-taking.

    I would skip visiting Mt. Rainier on this trip. It's only about an hour or so from Seattle (depending on which entrance point you go to). There will be plenty of time to explore it once your boyfriend has settled into life in Seattle. It's not like he's going to forget it's there. There are few sights more inspiring than being in Seattle and seeing Mt. Rainier when "the mountain is out".

    If you have any questions about exploring the new home state of Washington, let me know! Welcome to the neighborhood.

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