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  1. Default 2-week road trip from NJ going west

    My husband and I would like to plan a 2 or 2 1/2 week road trip in January from New Jersey going West. Any ideas on destinations? We aren't campers but are looking for scenery and interesting stops along the way. Would eventually like to plan a trip to the National Parks but guess this wouldn't be sufficient time or the right time of year to plan that. Any ideas? Thanks!

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm sorry, but you really just aren't at a point where we can provide much help.

    With 2-2.5 weeks you could go nearly anywhere in the US - it takes about a week to drive from coast to coast - and from New Jersey pretty much everything is "west."

    "The National Parks" also says very little, as there are 58 national parks, and 74 national monuments located in nearly every state in the country. There are certainly plenty of them that are still very active in the winter.

    You really just need to spend some time with a map, looking around at books and websites like this one, so you can get an idea of what sounds like fun to you. Of course, also think about how you want to do this trip - in terms of how much time you want to spend on the road vs time exploring.

    Once you're at a point where you know what you want, we'll be glad to help you put things together, but right now and "ideas" we could offer would just be shots in the dark.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts


    I would also suggest considering what type of weather you enjoy, and what type you are likely to encounter in the areas you are thinking of visiting. If you're looking for some warmth, that would definitely limit the types of places you are going to want to think about. If that's not such a big deal for you, it opens up the entire country, but preparation will be key as mid-winter weather can be quite tricky, as I'm sure you know.

    You already have a small inkling of an idea - it sounds like your primary focus is natural wonders (as opposed to metropolitan areas) and perhaps a change of pace from what you're used to dealing with in New Jersey.

  4. Default Thanks!

    Well, I guess you can tell I'm pretty new at this! Basically I mentioned "west" as opposed to "south" because most people assume that we're in search of warmer weather which is not really the case. Though we are not skiers, we enjoy snow and I guess we weren't sure of what is open this time of year. Sorry for the generalities... when I mentioned national parks I was thinking Yellowstone, Grand Titon, Grand Canyon - should have been more specific! In this case, my 2 1/2 week window is probably not sufficient for a trip that far in wintery weather. But like I said, that's a dream and if we have to stay closer we can do that and wait for spring to venture further west. We've already been to the mountains in North Carolina and wouldn't want to go any further south (been to Florida several times). Recently took a mini 3-day trip to Stowe, Vermont where we enjoyed some great fall foliage. I really haven't done much homework on traveling west and realize I need to get some books that will help me narrow things down a bit. Thanks for your advice!

  5. #5

    Default How about the upper Midwest?

    Hello Alexflo,

    You mentioned you like snow, so....

    Have you considered the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and nearby parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota? Michigan, particularly the UP, is covered by large swaths of National Forest lands complete with frozen lakes and thousands of miles of snowmobile trails. It's dotted with numerous small logging and mining towns. Ferries cross Lake Michigan and would make for a seldom-experienced January ride (I am assuming the ferries from Ludington, MI are operating in winter). There may still be access to Isle Royale National Park from Houghton on the Keeweenaw Peninsula in winter. Wisconsin and Minnesota offer similar out-of-the way destinations, including the Apostle Islands, where cars drive across a sheltered portion of Lake Superior on a marked route. It would be an opportunity to immerse oneself in the second, third, and fourth generation largely Scandanavian culture of that part of the country, and to get a number of great sittings in a real Finnish sauna, to boot.

    Enjoy planning and taking your RoadTrip.


  6. Default

    Thanks Foy! Really appreciate your feedback. Will definitely look into that area to see what's open in January... Finnish sauna... wow! Keep me posted on any other ideas. Thanks again.

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