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  1. Default Round trip from ME to ?

    We are a family with two young adults who will be graduating from college and high school this year. In late June, we’d like to take a road trip starting and ending in Maine and are looking for recommendations on must see places to drive through and/or stop and explore. We are planning on tenting out as much as we can to reduce costs (and we really enjoy it). We we’re planning on traveling for 15-20 days total and want to balance our time driving and relaxing and looking around. A couple of the wishes on our list are the Grand Canyon and natural hot springs. We want to be mindful of the weather so probably won’t spend a lot of time in the most Southern areas. We are just beginning to plan, so any and all recommendations, both “do’s” and “don’ts”, are appreciated. Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,067

    Default Grand canyon is a good turn around point.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    A common theme you will notice as you look around the forums is that we don't believe in generic 'must see's' as every trip should be unique and based around the interests and travel style of the party going on the trip. What you should first do is all sit around the table and discuss the goals for your trip and if anyone has their own personal 'must see' along with the Grand canyon and Hot Springs and how much travelling you are prepared to do each day. As you haven't told us much of your interests it's hard to even consider what you may think of as a must see.To do a round trip to the Grand canyon and spend a couple of days there you will already have 12 days of your trip accounted for, so 20 days would allow for more time to spend heading out and back for which you should choose a different route each way. With 15 days it becomes much more limited. Have a look at the maps, use the RTA site for research and sit down as a family so you all get a say, the trip will be much more fun if you all have input. There are lots of great National parks and scenic wonders in Colorado and Southern Utah and if it's the getting in touch with nature type camping trip, that's where I would spend some quality time.

    Once you have done a little homework and have some basics put together we will be happy to offer suggestions and help fit the pieces together and answer any specific questions, but make the trip your trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,578

    Default Perhaps a Bit Much

    Portland to Flagstaff (roughly Maine to the Grand Canyon) is over 2600 miles or five days of solid driving. There and back would be at least ten full days in the car. To me that's way too much of your available time spent sitting in the car, especially if you end up only having 15 days for this trip. What I'd suggest as a starting point in you planning is a bit different. Find an area, rather than a single sight, within a relatively easy day's drive (say 400 miles) from your starting point. Hopefully, you can find enough things to do as day trips from that single home base, that you don't have to pack and unpack every day and can explore a small region in a bit more depth. Then find another such area, and another... and string them together to make a great RoadTrip.

    Taking my own advice, I tried to plan such a trip from Maine that would appeal to me. Note that I have two grandsons a little bit younger than your children that we travel with every couple of years and they love this approach. BTW - be sure to get your own children's input on what they'd like to see. Anyway, the areas and things I'd spend time seeing that I chose were:

    Western New York: Erie Canal, Watkins Glen and Letchworth State Parks, Women's Rights National Historic Park, Niagara Falls, Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario and others.

    Central Appalachians: Blue Ridge Parkway, Monticello, Asheville, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, various caves, and a ton of forests and state parks.

    The Outer Banks: Peace and quiet and deserted beaches, Cape Hatteras Light, Kitty Hawk, Blackbeard Museum, Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site & Museum, North Carolina Aquarium, Hatteras Island Ocean Center, etc.

    Washington DC: If you haven't been, this is about as 'must see' as things get with all the seats of government, national monuments, and all the various museums that are part of the Smithsonian Institute.

    That's four possible areas. Take a day to drive to each, three days or so in each of them, and a day to drive back to Maine, and you've used up 17 days. Now, your interests may differ and certainly these are not the only possibilities even east of the Mississippi and north of the Deep South. Also there are places to see and enjoy in between each of the areas.

    So, your first task, obviously, is to just figure out amongst yourselves what it is you really want out of this trip and how you envision it going. Once you know what you want, we can be of much more help in giving you specific advice.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-20-2018 at 08:26 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,858

    Default

    My hubby and I are at the opposite end of the US -- southern California -- and we have a big rule of thumb: if a trip involves crossing the USA, we need *at least* 4 weeks. Indeed, when we went to Maine about 6 years ago, we were gone over 6 weeks. (We also went to Florida and New Jersey on that trip.) When we went to DC this year, we were gone about 5 weeks.

    The other thing to realize is that camping involves setting up each evening and tearing down each morning. It does take longer than hauling suitcases in and out of your vehicle. It also takes up more space, depending on what you plan to camp with. (Tent, sleeping bags/mats=required. Cooking equipment? Food?) Back in our day with kids, we tent camped a lot, but often when we were traveling on long-haul days, we'd catch a cheap motel. Then we'd get showers.

    So I'm going to agree with the above -- you're either going to spend a lot of time on the road, or you'll need more time, or you'll need a different plan.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,064

    Default A most useful page.

    One thing you should all do, is peruse The Art of a Roadtrip. One of the most valuable pages on RTA.

    The unique information in this article will be a great help for you as to how to approach what has been said above, A great way to create memories.

    Lifey

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