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  1. #1

    Default L.A. roundtrip Summer 2011- in 65 days

    Hi Everyone,
    I am planning a road trip for Summer 2011 starting in my hometown of Los Angeles. We will have roughly 4 and 1/2 weeks to get to Eagle River, Wisconsin, we are dropping off our children for Summer Camp. They will be there for 24 days and we thought we'd tour the East and South during those 24 days. Then we have to pick them up in Eagle River, Wisconsin and drive home in 8-10 days.
    On the way to Wisconsin we'd like to go up the coastal route until Eugene, then Portland, up to Seattle, then Idaho, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Fargo, and Eagle River.
    Then I need help. There are so many different ways we could go, what would be the most interesting for our 24 days before we pick up the other kids in Wisconsin? At that point it will be mostly just two women traveling with a 5 and 6 year old. (At times, our husbands might fly in and out as will a friend of ours.) What would you all suggest???
    After we pick them up we were thinking of taking a more direct route, adjusting for some things we haven't seen yet. We don't want to go through Vegas because we do that too much as is. So we were thinking Eagle River, Omaha, Kansas City, Wichita, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Flagstaff (Grand Canyon), Laughlin, and finally home.
    I know I have almost a full year to plan, but I love planning and the earlier start the better.
    FYI I already rented a 15 passenger van, because when our husbands and friend decide to join us along our journey they can fit and then when we can all share the driving. I know we have a lot of time, but this country is so amazing I keep feeling like I have to fit it all in. I need some expert advice to slow me down so we can really get a feel for the country and really enjoy the sites!!!
    Mostly I'm at a loss as to what to see when the older kids are at camp.
    Thanks in Advance for Your Advice!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Broad Brush Strokes

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    At this point, and with as much time as you have for your loop trip from Eagle River, I think that the best we can offer you is some basic suggestions on general areas that you should include and maybe a hint or two as to why, and then let you and Louise daydream. Some input from your husbands and friends would probably be in order as well. So regions that should get some serious consideration...

    The UP and Great Lakes. You're there already! Apostle Islands, Colonial Michilimackinac,Sleeping Bear Dunes.

    New York and New England. Niagara Falls, Lake Champlain, the White Mountains, Acadia.

    Outer Banks. Kitty Hawk, Fort Raleigh, Hatteras Light, Ferries.

    Virginia. Historic Triangle, Monticello, Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Central Appalachia. Great Smoky Mountains, Mammoth Cave, Cumberland Gap, Nashville.

    Great River Road. Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, Hannibal, Nauvoo.

    Well, I better stop now, you only have 24 days after all.


  3. #3


    Thank you for your reply AZBuck! But you're not suggesting that we go to all of the above places that you mentioned? That seems like too much. Isn't it? Let me know your favorite few of all you've mentioned. Let me also know what you'd leave out. I thought about going all the way to Maine and seeing Acadia, but I think I'll save that for another trip. It adds a lot of time and miles to go all the way there. Eventually I want to take a trip with my husband and kids from Maine to Florida. So I'd love more of your advice.
    Thanks Again!

  4. #4


    Need More Advice Please.
    I changed the trip to try to accommodate the kids who would like to visit Baseball Stadiums and see the games. The only glitch is that the MLB doesn't have their schedules for 2011 listed yet.
    But, if you wouldn't mind can you tell me if these two itineraries are doable? Essentially we are taking three separate road trips.
    The first one is 27 nights from Los Angeles to Eagle River, Wi.
    June 20-22-Grand Canyon
    June 23-Albuquerque
    June 24-25-Carlsbad Caverns
    June 26-27-San Antonio
    June 28-Houston
    June 29-30-New Orleans
    July 1-2-Memphis
    July 3-4-Kansas City, Missouri
    July 5-6-St. Louis
    July 7-8-Cincinnati
    July 9-10-Pittsburgh
    July 11-Cleveland
    July 12-Detroit
    July 13-Milwaukee
    July 14-16-Wisconsin Dells
    July 17-Eagle River, WI

    Any input on that part of our trip would be great. If it works out we can visit 8 baseball stadiums, they would be very happy! Hopefully the schedules work out.

    Next part is the way home.
    August 11-Starting in Eagle River-sleeping one night in Sioux Falls
    August 12-14 Rapid City
    August 15-Billings, MT
    August 16-18-Yellowstone
    August 19-Provo, Ut
    August 20-21-Vegas
    August 22-Home

    The missing part of the road trip is Eagle River round trip in 24 days (in between the drop off and pick up in Eagle River). At that point it will be three women with a 5 and 6 year old. However, the possibilities are endless so I'll work on that last.
    Do either of these sound like we are trying to do too much??? Also we will be driving a 15 passenger van and I am concerned about curvy, high roads. However I do want to take the Beartooth Hwy. Is that too scary to navigate??? Are there any roads that I should stay away from??
    Thank you in advance for all comments and advice!!!

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

    Default as luck would have it

    You are really in luck. Just today, MLB released the 2011 schedule today - which is actually much earlier than they've done in previous years.

    Just doing a quick look, you'll be good for games in Houston, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh.

    The bad news is that Kansas City and Cincinnati are on the road on the dates you've listed, and the All-Star break is July 11-13, so you'll be out of luck there too. There are minor league parks in San Antonio, New Orleans, Memphis, and in towns outside of many of the other cities you've listed, so that could be an option for a few of your days too.

  6. #6


    Wow Midwest Michael! Thanks for the MLB info! I just spoke to them yesterday and they told me to look for the schedule in January or February. Thanks Again!!!

  7. #7

    Default Change of Plan Again

    Hi Midwest Michael,
    I changed the schedule, tell me if it's okay, please.
    Everything is the same until July 2nd.
    Then I decided not to go to Kansas City, because the Royals won't be there, this also shortens the trip by 400 miles.
    July 3-4 St. Louis-Watch the Cardinals
    The 5th stop in Springfield and see Lincoln's house and continue to sleep in Cincinnati
    July 6th-Pittsburgh-See the Pirates
    July 7th-Cleveland-See the Indians
    July 8th Detroit-Tour the car plants (if there is a tour-haven't researched yet, hoping there is)
    July 9-10 (See the Brewers on the 10th)
    July 11th-14th-Wisconsin Dells (if you have another area that is nice on the way to Eagle River, do tell)
    July 15th-17th-Eagle River, Wisconsin

    So now the kids can go to five stadiums.
    LMK what you think. I think the distances are ok, even to make a game that night.
    Thanks Again!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Other Things and Places to Consider

    Well, that's certainly an ambitious first leg to a RoadTrip. It's not overly hectic, but will still require that you average about 200 miles a day of driving, so there won't be much down time during this portion of the 'vacation'. I'm sure you've got your reasons for and attractions in each of the places you plan to visit, but a few that may not be on your list:

    Your kids (and your wallet) may actually appreciate some of the ballparks on your route that are not quite major league. Las Vegas, Albuquerque, New Orleans, Memphis, Louisville, Indianapolis and Columbus all host AAA level teams. Games at this level are easier to attend, cheaper and more kid friendly than their major league counterparts. And of course, there are the AA and A leagues as well.

    Be sure to ask at any National Parks you come to about their Junior Ranger Program. These are activities aimed at kids about 5-12 that get them involved in the history and purpose of the parks, and when they complete their tasks they get sworn in as a Junior Ranger and receive a park specific badge and/or patch. And the programs are free. Also, if you plan to visit 4 or more parks, get an annual pass at the first one you come to. It will pay for itself over the course of your trip.

    Some venues that aren't specifically listed in your itinerary, but are worth the effort: Petrified Forest National Park, Petroglyph National Monument, The Alamo and river Walk, Space Center Houston, Creole Nature Trail, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi Petrified Forest, Mud Island, Ste. Genevieve (MO), Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Natural History Museum in Cleveland, Cedar Point Amusement Park, Bass Islands, Deerfield Village, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and Circus World Museum. You certainly won't be able to fit in exhaustive visits to all of those sites, but you should know they're available.

    The home-bound leg calls for a bit more driving each day, maybe 250 miles on average, but still quite reasonable, and 'other' attractions include. Badlands National Park, Wall Drug, Jewel and Wind Caves, the Crazy Horse Monument, Devils Tower, Little Bighorn Battlefield, Great Salt Lake, Zion National Park, Lake Mead, Valley of Fire, and the Mojave National Preserve.

    The problem with the Beartooth is that people respond very differently to such roads. For example, I love them and my wife dreads them. Once you commit to it, there really is no turning back. Know that it is not the fastest route from Rapid City to Yellowstone. That would be US-14 across northern Wyoming, or I-90 if you decide to include the Little Bighorn.


  9. #9

    Default Need More Help Please in the Michigan area

    Hi Everyone,
    It's been a while since my last post. I've put the summer trip on the back burner but now I'm ready to start planning again. I need your advice on where to stay for a couple days in between Eagle River, Wisconsin and Petoskey, Michigan (Bay Harbor). The area from what I read is beautiful, but I would love your expert advice on a great lake side town to stop and enjoy. (We'll be going over the Mackinac Bridge.) This portion of the trip will be me, my friend, and our daughters, ages (almost) 5 and 6. If you have specifics on hotels/motels that are clean and safe that would be a plus.
    Thank You So Much!!!

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