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  1. Default Advice on a summer trip?

    Yo Folks!

    myself and a mate are planning the trip of a lifetime for the summer, starting in pheonix and finishing in Vegas. there are a few places we definately want to visit: L.A., Memphis, Nashville, a few places in texas and Alabama, Florida, San Diego and San Francisco, New Orleans and Philadelphia. i'm sure there are a couple more but i cant remember!! we both enjoy sports, good nights out and would like to see Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon (obviously!!)
    i wouldn't of though budget would be an issue as we'll have between £10000 and £15000 each and the time limit is 90 days (due to the visa waiver program). i'm looking really for an idea of a route to take ie going from pheonix into california or another way? any help will be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks, Sam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default focusing

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The places you've listed so far seem a little scattered - I mean you list LA then Florida then San Francisco then Philly, etc.

    I think the first think you should do is simply get out a map, start plotting out points and see what comes together fairly logically. I'm thinking since most of your points so far in are in the south, a loop going across the southern states, then up to Philly and the northeast, and back across towards Mt. Rushmore would probably make the most sense especially with the amount of time you have.

  3. Default

    thanks for the reply, the places i listed arn't in any specific order just a vague list of some of the places we'd like to visit.
    the loop across the southern states sounds like a good plan though!!
    any other tips or advice would be more than welcome on things such as what sort of car we should rent for the trip


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default understood

    I understand that's just a vauge list, but my point is, until you've got a better idea of what it is you want to do, its hard for anyone else to provide a lot of help. Firming up your main destinations is such a basic element of the trip that its really something that has to be done by you and your traveling companions.

    For a car, the best value is going to be found with Sedans. A compact will likely be plenty big for 2 people, but you may find going with a larger full-sized car is a bit more comfortable for the long haul.

  5. #5


    Let me give you a start
    From Phoenix head north on I-17 for a few miles and cut across to Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, and US Rt 89A. I would suggest Bootlegger campground or Pine Flat campground (which has the best drinking water in the state). Next head for Flagstaff and take I40 west to Williams. In Williams head north on 64 for the Grand Canyon NP's south rim. Be prepared for HOT. I suggest staying at Ten-X campground just before the park's entrance. "Do" the south rim. Stay on 64 and pick up US 89 in Cameron. Check out the Trading Post there. Head north on US 89 to US89A and head west on 89A to the Canyon's North Rim. The drive is spectacular! (I would recommend, if you can find it, a copy of Arizona Roadside Geology, to get some insight to what you are looking at and why it is there.) The North Rim is about 1000 feet higher in elevation so, although the day time temperatures are rather warm, you'll probably want a sweater at night. DeMotte Park campground is the one I strongly suggest and don't be surprised if you see elk in the adjoining meadow. The trees you'll see are Ponderosa pine and it is said this tree outlines the west.

    When you ready to continue, get back on US 89A to Fredonia and US 89. You can continue north to Kanab, UT and Zion NP or turn west for Colorado City and Hurricane, UT bypassing Zion. Just west of Hurricane, UT, you'll pick up I15. Head south to Las Vegas and LA.

    Don't forget to purchase your America the Beautiful pass. I would imagine you'll be visiting a number of National Parks. Most charge an entry fees. The America the Beautiful pass eliminates your need to pay entry fees. A word of caution: Be sure to drink lots of water, especially at elevations higher than what is normal for you, while in the Western states.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-27-2010 at 06:50 PM. Reason: This forum may not be used to advertise your website

  6. Default a big summer long round trip!!


    i posted a thread a couple of months ago about me and a mate planning a 3 month trip starting in august but i was a little vague about the things we were looking at doing/ the route etc. we now think we have a decent route sorted by flying to Pheonix, heading NW to the grand canyon, then down the west coast through California then through New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee etc through to Florida. From there heading North to Chicago (i have some family there) then to Washington abd if we have enough time left (ie 3-4 weeks) we will carry on going north to Niagra via NYC, then heading back south west and ending in Vegas. although we are wanting to see the major cities along the way its the smaller towns etc where we can go for a beer and chill out with normal Americans. also do you have to be students to go to bars on university campus or does it vary?

    essentially what i am looking for is advice on what sort of things (like hotels) i will be able to find in the smaller towns away from the big cities. we'll have around £15000 each to spend so i cant see budget bieng a problem. any advice let me no.


    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-16-2010 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Merged. Please do not start multiple threads for the same trip.

  7. #7


    Personally I would do Florida, D.C., NYC, then Chicago on the return trip instead of Florida, Chicago, D.C, New York. There is no sense in heading north west then backtrack east when you can head straight up 95 to the major east coast cities you listed and then west to Chicago. That should save you some time.

    I'm also not sure why you would go from Alabama to Tennessee and then down to Florida. You have to cut through Louisiana and Mississippi before heading into Alabama and then southeast of Alabama is Florida. I don't know how Tennessee will fit in unless you are planning to do a zig zag pattern around the country.

    My advice would now, that you have your cities, put them into google maps and map out a basic route to see just where you need to go in order to his all of the places you listed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I may be totally wrong, but I don't think you are going to find bars *on* university campuses, due to the strict 21 drinking age in the US. You will find plenty off campus around the university though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default drinking

    There are a few "wet" college campuses where there may be a bar or two, or alcohol can be served at events, but that's fairly rare.

    However, even in those cases, the "campus" bar scene is off campus. It might be right next door to the campus, but they aren't physically connected to the Universities, so you don't need to be a student.

  10. #10


    I concur-the "bar scene" is off-campus. Suggest in "college towns" you look into hostel for very affordable places to stay. Have you considered alternating car camping with motels. You should be able to rent or buy equipment in Phoenix. Just a reminder - USA of a big country. It will take you two days, with no sightseeing along the way, to get across Texas and it's a long day's drive (more than 12 hours) to get from Grand Canyon to Pacific Ocean. I recommend you take a look at your target places and figure out if you could streamline or reduce the list. I mean, you could spend almost a week just in northern Arizona doing the Grand Canyon south rim, north rim, hiking in the Kaibab National Forest. Flagstaff, Williams, Oak Canyon, Painted Desert, Rt 66 and the list goes on. Great adventure -- enjoy.

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