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  1. Default Road Trip First Timer Who Needs Advice: Moving from VA to SLC in 2 weeks! :)

    Hi All,

    I'm new to this site and haven't traveled a lot, especially in the U.S., but I'm moving from Virginia Beach to Salt Lake City in two weeks so I'm quickly trying to plan my route. I'll be driving with my car so I'll have some flexibility but I'll also have my dog.

    Two questions:

    1. What are the best routes to take for the most enjoyable experience? I've listed what MapQuest suggested below and what states it tells me that I will be passing through. I definitely don't mind going a different route, but don't want to go out of the way too much to save time and money.

    2. What landmarks / attractions should be on my must-stop list for photo ops, etc.?

    Also, any suggestions and practical advice are very helpful (like how long I should drive each day, should I make hotel arragements in advance, etc). Oh, and I'm on a budget :)

    MapQuest has me going the following routes:
    I-64 through West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri
    I-70 through Kansas City, Iowa
    Route 2 through Nebraska
    I-80 through Wyoming and Utah

    The only thing on my list so far:
    St. Louis City - Arch

    Thanks so much!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A bit more info.

    Hello and welcome to R.T.A.

    There are a few options open to you but firstly how long are you planning to use during the trip. Generally it is a 5 day cross country trip for comfortable driving days. Also, what type of interests do you have as we all have different ideas of "must see".
    You will certainly be passing many wonders including a possible side trip to some of the beautiful N.P's in Colorado and Utah. We generally regard 500 to 550 miles per day as comfortable. I wouldn't of thought booking accommodation was necessary and will leave you with some freedom, of course you have to off set that against peace of mind and knowing where you are sleeping that night. I would research places in possible overnight spots and keep a list of numbers e.t.c. for suitable accommodations

  3. Default

    I'm interested in any good places for photo opportunities. I've been searching the Internet for must-see destinations in the U.S. but it is not as easy as I thought. Maybe there's not much where I'm going. That's OK. But are the routes I'm currently planning "scenic" or are they boring interstates? I definitely want to feel like it is an adventure seeing the country.

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

    Default There are no boring roads!

    That's one of our mottos here. Your route will take you through changing landscapes. I would imagine each day will bring very different views, from rolling green hills to valleys to farmland to plains to mountains to deserts. I just don't see how it can be boring.

    How many days do you have for this trip? At rough 2250 miles, you'll need the minimum of 4 days, preferably 5 days, to make the trip without feeling too rushed. So the number of days you have allotted will determine how much sightseeing you can do. As SW Dave said, you will be going near many wonderful places but you may not have time to explore them unless you allow enough days.

    This post will give you some info about traveling with your dog. The links are very helpful including info on dog-friendly lodging choices.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default The entire country

    Maybe there's not much where I'm going.
    You're taking a trip across the entire country, how could there not be much there?

    Your trip will take you by a million different things, from historic sites, to state and national parks, to roadside oddities - and that will be true no matter which way you go.

    Having said that, if it were me, I think I would stay on I-70 through Kansas, and into Colorado and Utah. This route will take you right through the heart of the Rockies and along what is arguably the most scenic stretches of interstate in the country. It would also take you within a quick detour of several national parks that would all have amazing photo opportunities.

  6. Default Virginia to SLC (I-70 or I-80)

    MapQuest has me going I-70 but then getting on I-80 in Kansas (going through a small part of Wyoming near Cheyenne). Should i go with this or get back on I-70? Which is more scenic? Is the time difference a lot?

    Any other practical advice?

    Thanks so much! Moving to SLC and I am a road trip first timer and leaving in less than 2 weeks! :)
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 09-04-2008 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Merged - Please do not create new threads for questions about the same trip

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not there

    I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. I-80 goes through the entire length of Wyoming, but doesn't go into Kansas, so I'm not really sure what you are asking when you should do this or "get back on I-70"

  8. #8

    Default I-80 in Wyoming vs. I-70 through Colorado

    Hi Marianne,

    I think there is some confusion here about routing. I-80 crosses Nebraska from east to west and nowhere touches Kansas. Also, I-80 traverses Wyoming from east to west, passing directly through Cheyenne, and passing into Utah within 50-60 miles of Salt Lake City.

    Depending on where in Virginia you're departing from, Mapquest could route you out I-64 to Charleston, WV, thence through Lexington and Louisville, KY, and all the way to St Louis before connecting to I-70. Leaving from northern VA, MQ would probably route you towards DC and connect to I-70 right there.

    Either way, I'd say MQ would route you across Missouri to Kansas City on I-70 thence up I-29 towards Omaha, where you'd connect to I-80 all the rest of the way to SLC.

    Staying on I-70 earns you a trip through Colorado and that's worth some extra miles. From just west of Denver all the way to Glenwood Springs, some 200 miles, the alpine scenery along I-70 is breathtaking. In eastern UT, you could then take US 6 from Green River to Spanish Fork, just 40 or so miles south of SLC along I-15. I'm sure someone else can give you the exact difference, but I'd be surprised if it's more than 100-150 miles, if that.

    While I tend to enjoy any open road, I doubt I-80 wins as many scenery awards for its Wyoming segment as I-70 does for Colorado. It's mostly big, rolling sagebrush hills and buttes.

    Oh, and if you route past KC to I-29, take the Nebraska Route 2 cut-off south of Omaha to Lincoln. Take a peek at the map to see why--this cuts off a big corner and avoids Omaha.

    Have a safe trip!


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