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  1. Default 2016 summer Roadtrip


    We are a couple from Sweden, and we want to make a roadtrip in the USA next summer 2016, and we want som advice.

    We have about 4 weeks, we will fly to San Francisco, and we will end in New York, or maybe Miami, back to Sweden.

    We were thinking about seeing LA, Disney Land, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Chicago, Detroit, Niagara Falls, (any zoo), Washington, Maybe visit a friend in Ucoon University, New York, and we were hoping to see Miami also, if i we can, without hurry throw it all.

    Dos anyone have a good Rute, or tips, maybe som places we not should visit or maybe som places we have to visit. We are open for everything!

    Thank you so much,
    Best regards Kristian & Martina from Sweden.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Do you have a good paper map, or perhaps a USA road atlas? That's the best item you can get right now, to start your planning. With a paper map, it's so easy to see some of the points of interest. Take a pencil and circle them, or a sticky note and flag them. Pretty soon, you'll see a route starting to form. This is just not easy to do, no matter what anyone says, with a 15" screen and an electronic mapping program or website. It's much easier with paper! Use the electronics to find other things along the way, figure distances between places (though you can do some adding and get the same thing), and decide where you can possibly stay overnight.

    Most bigger cities in the US have a zoo. Some of the better ones are in San Diego, St Louis, Chicago, and Washington DC. (though I was told just recently that Brookfield Zoo in Chicago has become very run-down, which if true would be a shame).

    As you plan, you can make note that you probably don't want to drive more than about 500-550 miles in one day, less if you possibly can. Leave at least a full day for Grand Canyon. Disneyland is probably 2-days unless you've been to any of the Disney properties before (but LA is the original, and just had its' 60th birthday yesterday!). How long you want to stay in the cities would be up to you. As for "some places we have to visit", you will note that there are many national parks in the US, and most of them have beautiful scenery or nature at its best, for their claims-to-fame.

    Have fun with the planning! We are always here for "what's the next step" and "what else" and any more questions you may want to ask!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    As Donna mentioned, spending some quality time looking at maps and getting an idea of the many many options you've got in front of you is probably the best place to start. You're very city focused at this point, but the US is filled with so many amazing natural features, beyond the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, that it would be a shame to miss out on them.

    For Zoos, one of the best zoos in the country is a place you probably wouldn't think to look: Omaha, Nebraska. The Henry Doorly Zoo is always ranked among the best in the US, and even tops several of those lists.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Road Atlas.

    Following on from the advice above, if you are not able to get good detailed maps locally, you would be best off ordering a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store on the blue bar at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. The Rand McNally is probably the most used road atlas in the US. You will be surprised how much information it has, including which routes are scenic, virtually all natural attractions, historical, and touristy (though I have never seen the zoos marked on them). They also show you all the options of routes from the high speed interstates to local back roads, and all the towns and cities along the route.

    It also has semi-detailed maps of most of the large towns and cities.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default How about nature ?

    As has been said, doing a little research yourself both using this site [which is packed full of ideas and planning tips] and paper maps you will get a better idea of what is available to you and which of those appeal. Once you have a few more stops laid out and we have an idea of how much of your time you might like to spend in the various places you have listed, we can help fill in the blanks. One area I would point you towards is the National parks of Southern Utah and Colorado which will give you a great taste of scenic wonders, mountain towns, scenic drives and the diversity that nature offers. It should also help balance your trip which seems heavily biased towards the City. Even at the start of your journey you could visit one of my favourites in Yosemite NP by first heading north and then across the mountains and through Death valley to Vegas. Maybe first driving the coast to San Fran, it would certainly be an option and one that I would consider over going from NY to Miami.

  6. Default

    From San Francisco to LA, I would take the breathtaking Pacific Coast Highway. It is a destination in itself. Rather than seeing Disneyland, consider Florida's gigantic Disney World (if Florida is your final destination). It would be a nice way to unwind after weeks of travel and you might be able to fly from Orlando.

    I live in Michigan and cannot imagine why you would want to visit Detroit! There are miles of burnt down homes as you enter the city. I've lived in the Suburbs for over 60 years and seldom head downtown except for the casinos or theaters. On the other hand, Michigan does have some wonderful attractions and parks. Mackinaw Island is a fantastic vacation destination if you don't mind walking, riding bikes or horses because vehicles are banned there! For more natural beauty, head to the Upper Peninsula.

  7. Default Visit a ranch!

    We are going from LA to New York next summer, and want to visit a ranch. When we google it, we find hotels, and big ranch. We want to visit a real ranch, where we can ride horses and stuff like that. Maybe where a family lives, where we can stay for on night or just visit for a day.

    We are a couple from Sweden, Kristian (24) and Martina (25)

    Hope you can help me!! :-) You can contact me in private message.

    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about the same trip in the same thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-25-2015 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Merged Threads

  8. Default

    Thanks for your reply.
    We will try to find a MAP over USA, right now we are using and im not impressed. Do you know anything about visiting a family or a place/network where we can ask about something like that. Could be fun to meet an American family and hear about them. We are also looking for a ranch, to visit.

    Have a nice day!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default That's up to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by kristianandmartina View Post
    Could be fun to meet an American family and hear about them.
    On almost each one of my seven trips I have met families who invited me into their home. Total strangers who wanted to meet a visitor. There are two ways to go about this. Firstly interact with the locals wherever you are. There is nothing like an outstretched hand and... 'Hi, I'm Kristian/Martina'. This can be done almost anywhere where you meet people. Sometimes it is just the person parked next to you, other times it is the folk at the next table, or in a store check out queue.

    The other way is to join Couchsurfing, and even if you do not use it for accommodation, look for folk who are willing to take you around the place where they live.

    It all depends on how much you want to meet them, most folk are very friendly. And don't worry about safety, I have never had a concern with any of the folk whom I have met. Many have kept in touch over the years.

    Sorry, do not know anything about ranches.


  10. Default

    Okay! Nice to hear, and thanks for your respond.

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