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  1. Default Road Trip 2008 USA - need ideas


    I`m planing a rod trip in September. I will start in San Francisco drive to Reno, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone Ntl. Park, Spokane, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and back to San Francisco. I have 21 days.

    I need help with thing that are worth seeing on the way, which places are fun and interesting. Im not much of a monut climber and hiker, but I belive that there is more to this area of USA and Canada.

    So please help me to plane the best Road trip!!!

    Thank you,

    Ziva, Slovenia, Europe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    For us to help you, we need to know a little bit more about you. You write that you're not much of a hiker, but I would at least make a little bit of time to take a short hike while you are in Yellowstone. You'll find that there are many places to explore there that you wouldn't normally hear about.

    You must have some idea of what you want to do - reasons that you picked these particular locations in which to take your trip.

    If my calculations are correct, this trip is over 3000 miles in length (5000 km). Have you budgeted for this much travel?

  3. Default Hi!

    I have been on a road trip like this last year but I traveled to the southwest. So I think I have some idea how much money to take with me and how much time it would take me.
    I picked this locations because I heard that this is the most beautiful part of USA, and because I wanted to see a little bit of Canada.
    I like colorful countryside and I would like to see some parts of your country that are not listed in the travel guide. I would also like some fun during the trip, I am 24 years old and traveling with my boyfriend and we would like to se some baseball, football or NBA game and also find a place with good live music and maybe if we have enough time, go to six flags in Vallejo,...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default It's do-able

    and it's definitely a beautiful area! I wouldn't venture to guess if it is the most beautiful or not, as each area of the country has its own unique beauty.

    San Francisco to Reno: I suggest you go through Yosemite. This is one of the most popular national parks in the US for good reason. Also, swing by Lake Tahoe. You can get some good meals, entertainment, and gambling in Tahoe as well. The drive around the lake is awesome. You might also want to visit Silver City while you're in Reno. This is an Old West town with original buildings that make you feel like you're walking in an old western movie. You expect to see horses and buggies. The Suicide Table, old slot machine collection, and museum about prostitution were particularly memorable.

    Reno to Salt Lake City: This will take you through desert and salt flats. The Bonneville Salt Flats where many land-speed records have been made are just after you cross the border into Utah. In addition to the Mormon buildings, you might enjoy visiting the Great Salt Lake.

    SLC to Yellowstone: Swing through Grand Teton NP on the way to Yellowstone NP.

    Yellowstone to Spokane: Bozeman has some great museums, particularly the museum at the college with dinosaur exhibits. Butte has the Copper King Mansion, Our Lady of the Rockies and more. In Idaho, you might enjoy swinging through the charming and historical towns of Wallace and Kellogg. Coeur d'Alene is a beautiful city. If you have time and if you like amusement parks, you can't go wrong by going a short drive north to the city of Athol to visit Silverwood. Spokane is a lovely city. You might enjoy the interesting statues, antique carousel, and gardens at Riverfront Park.

    Spokane to Vancouver BC: Just south of Coulee City, swing into the park to visit Dry Falls. This ancient, now dry, waterfall was the biggest waterfall the world has ever had per geologists. Then visit the Grand Coulee Dam, in terms of mass it's bigger than Hoover Dam. At night, they do a fun laser-light show on the dam. And, driving through this area, you'll see a lot of the famous coulees this area is known for. From there, head over to Winthrop, a charming little town with a Wild West them (but done well, not tacky). On the way, you'll be going through the lovely Methow Valley. After Winthrop, you'll drive over the amazing North Cascades Highway. At Sedro-Woolley, head north through a nice road in the Cascade foothills to Abbottsford BC, crossing the border at Sumas.

    While in Vancouver, enjoy Stanley Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge, old Fort Langley, and the lovely drive to Whistler. You might enjoy the trams to the top.

    Vancouver, BC, to Seattle: Stop at White Rock before crossing back into the US to enjoy its beach. In Bellingham, you might enjoy the old Fairhaven District with its amazing collection of old buildings filled with unique shops and restaurants. If you want to avoid the interstate for awhile, enjoy Chuckanut Drive and a visit to the lovely town of LaConner before going back to I-5 to head into Seattle. For things to do in Seattle, visit here. Don't worry, the things listed also appeal to adults.

    Seattle to Portland: I would take the ferry from the Seattle waterfront over to Winslow on Bainbridge Island and circle the Olympic Peninsula. Short drives and walks will allow you to see the wonders of Olympic National Park. Highlights to visit: the Nordic town of Poulsbo, the Victorian city of Port Townsend, Dungeness Spit in Sequim, Hurricane Ridge in Port Angeles, the Hall of Mosses south of Forks, the beaches in the Kalaloch area, and the lake and short trails at Lake Quinault. After you get back to I-5, take the one-hour drive from Castle Rock to the Johnston Ridge Visitor Center to see the crater and other destruction still visible at the eruption at Mt. St. Helens.

    Portland to San Francisco: You can't go wrong by taking the coastal route via 101 and CA-1. Allow at least 3 days, but 5-6 would be better if you want to really explore this area. Scenic vistas, unique and interesting towns, beaches, make for a nice drive. Add in interesting places like the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and the Redwood forests in Northern CA. Lovely! You'll cross the Golden Gate Bridge when you return to San Francisco.

    I'm not totally sure if this is what you have been looking for, but it's how I'd do it.

  5. Default Thank you Judi

    I really don`t know how to thank you enough. It is a great plan and you have really helped me out.
    I still have just a little question: can I drive with a rental car to Canada?

    Thank you again,
    Greetings from Europe, Ziva

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Ususally, But...

    You will need to check specifically with your rental car company, some do have geographic restrictions, even with 'unlimited mileage' contracts. But normally, an non-Canadian can take an American rental car into Canada. Just make sure that your contract specifically permits it and that any insurance coverage you have is valid (again, this is usually the case).

    Two restrictions that people should typically be aware of, but do not apply in your case, are that additional insurance issued by a Mexican company is required any time you drive into Mexico (Mexican law), and Canadian citizens cannot bring an American rental car into Canada (Canadian law).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Glad to help!

    After all, that's what we're here for. Please feel free to ask further questions while you're planning and consider returning here after your trip to give us a roadtrip report. We love hearing how things went, especially the best things you experienced on your trip, any unique discoveries, etc. Enjoy your trip!

  8. Default Rent a car

    Im trying to rent a car from the San Francisco Airport for 21 days, and I have a problem because they all want me to pay extra for underage driving (I was 24 in May). Can you help me with this, any suggestions how to get a cheap car?

    Thank you for your help, Ziva

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default That's a standard fee

    So, really, most anyplace you rent from will charge an under age 25 fee. Sorry.

    If you google "car rental San Francisco" or some similar search term, many agencies come up. Some will be locally-based agencies instead of the more well-known national/international companies that you might have been checking into. It is possible that some of them might not have that fee. Many do but, with diligence, you might find a good company to deal with that doesn't have the fee.

    So, really, the only thing you can do is research a lot and see what you find. Good luck.

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