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  1. Default Aussies on Road trip from San Francisco to NY and Nashville to LA

    Hello All,
    We are starting a 10 week road trip in 11 days and have mapped out our route.
    Our last trip was from Houston to NY via New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Louisville and DC. We loved the USA so much we are coming back for a bigger better trip.

    We are travelling the following path:
    Part 1- San Fran to NY with stops at
    Mendocino California, Eureka California, Coos Bay Oregon, Portland Oregon, Seattle Washington, Leavenworth Washington, Spokane Washington, Butte Montana, Billings Montana, Rapid City South Dakota, Sioux Falls South Dakota, Minneapolis Minnesota, Milwaukee Wisconsin, Chicago Illinois, Cleveland Ohio, Buffalo New York, Albany New York, Boston Massachusetts, Providence Rhode Island, New York, New York.
    Part 2- Nashville TN to LA with stops at
    Atlanta Georgia, Charlotte North Carolina, Savannah Georgia, Jacksonville Florida, Daytona Beach Florida, Cape Canaveral Florida, Orlando Florida, Miami Florida, Key West Florida, Naples Florida, Clearwater Florida, Tallahassee Florida, Pensacola Florida, New Orleans Louisiana, Houston Texas, Dallas Texas, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Wichita Kansas, Colby Kansas, Denver Colorado, Rock Springs Wyoming, Salt Lake City Utah, Las Vegas Nevada, San Diego California, Los Angeles California.
    I have identified a lot of things to see (mostly the general tourist places) but dont want to miss anything significant or interesting along the way.
    We are both in our 50's, and interested in landmarks, historical places, and scenic places. We are not so much into walking, hiking, flowers or trees. The wife loves everything from "Gone with the wind" era such as plantation houses etc.
    Any advice would be really appreciated, and if yu are on my route, feel free to message me and we might catch up for a beer.
    Thanks all in advance.
    David.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,569

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    This looks like a great trip. You've only listed cities, but I hope you're planning to explore many of the natural wonders and national parks along the way.

    I will ask, have you considered going the opposite direction for this loop? It sounds like you'll be traveling from late April into early July, but you're going to be going across the Northern US for the first half of your trip? Well that's not a deal breaker, it does mean you're probably going to run into a fair amount of things that are still closed for the winter or aren't fully running yet - for example, I suspect there will still be at least a few roads in Yellowstone that are still closed, depending upon when exactly you get there. On the flip side, you'll be exploring the southern US right as the heat and humidity of Summer is getting into full swing. Going to opposite direction would seem to basically solve both of those issues.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,802

    Default Some Historical and Scenic Sites on Your Route

    With the scope of your travels, there really isn't space or time to list everything historic, scenic, or noteworthy that is within visiting range or your route. Most of the really famous sites will, I think, be on your wish list already. What I will try to do is to present just a brief list of some of the smaller or less-visited places that I think you might enjoy. The biggest advantage of the smaller sites is that the rangers or docents are less world-weary and more accessible to visitor. Especially at historic sites this can make all the difference between just seeing a building or landscape and learning its story. So without further adieu...

    Historic Columbia River Highway
    Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
    Devils Tower National Monument
    Crazy Horse Memorial
    Theodore Roosevelt National Park
    Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
    Greenfield Village
    Lake Erie Islands
    Erie Canal
    Women’s Rights National Historical Park
    President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
    Mohawk Trail
    Salem Maritime National Historic Site
    Mystic Seaport
    Elfreth's Alley
    Blue Ridge Parkway
    Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
    Savannah's Squares
    Cumberland Island National Seashore
    St. Augustine
    Kennedy Space Center
    Sixth Floor Museum
    American Indian Cultural Center and museum
    Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
    Dinosaur National Monument
    London Bridge(!)
    Mojave National Preserve

    And even that list is just scratching the surface.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    Hi AZBuck,
    Thanks heaps for the list. This is exactly what we are after. Places like Elfreth's Alley which is only a couple of hours from NY, and the Crazy Horse Memorial are 2 that I have just added.
    Really appreciate the feedback.
    Dave

  5. Default

    Thanks Michael for the reply. We did consider the reverse but it was an afterthought after we had made a lot of plans and the cost of the hire car etc was too much to change.. We realised the reverse would be better weather wise, but we are stuck with the clockwise route. We live in Queensland on the Gold Coast, so are used to the heat and the humidity. Our weather is like Miami all year round.
    By the time we finish we will have covered over 40 states between this trip and last trip.
    With additional stops at any worthwhile places along the way, each leg of 3-4 hours drive are expected to take a whole day, which means we can capitalise on seeing and absorbing as much as possible.
    So anything along the way is great info for us.
    David.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,127

    Default A little aside.

    Dave, since this is not your first trip to the US, I wonder if you are aware that your automobile club (RACV, NRMA etc.) membership will give you access to free maps and tourism information from the AAA, all over North America. Comes in very handy when you are in a given place and looking for an attraction/route/booking, etc. Regardless in which State you live, your membership will be recognised for tourism information in the US.

    There are many places which offer a discount to AAA members. I always mention that I am a member of a reciprocal organisation which AAA recognises, and ask for the discount. Sometimes I get it. Sometimes I don't. But it is always worth asking.

    Lifey

  7. Default

    Hi Lifey,
    Thanks for reply.
    I wasn't aware that places in the USA recognised our Automobile clubs. We are in the RACQ so I will see if I can get discounts when there.
    As for maps and tourism info, I am all over that, but in many places its harder to find the out of the way/ off the grid places that are worth seeing. Trying to sift through places on many sites is like finding needles in haystacks. We have all the usual suspects covered but there are obviously places we don't know about along our route. That's what I am generally after.
    Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,127

    Default You need to ask and look - but not on the w.w.w.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsm99 View Post
    Hi Lifey,
    Thanks for reply.
    I wasn't aware that places in the USA recognised our Automobile clubs. We are in the RACQ so I will see if I can get discounts when there.
    As for maps and tourism info, I am all over that, but in many places its harder to find the out of the way/ off the grid places that are worth seeing. Trying to sift through places on many sites is like finding needles in haystacks. We have all the usual suspects covered but there are obviously places we don't know about along our route. That's what I am generally after.
    Dave
    Most automobile clubs worldwide have a reciprocal arrangement for travellers.

    The out of the way places you can learn about when you are chatting with the locals. Ask them where their favourite place is when they want to get away from it all. I find chatting with folk in the queue at the checkout most helpful. They often want to know where you live. AAA will often tell you about out of the way places, so long as you tell them what you are looking for. Another great source is the BLM offices and the local rangers offices. But you won't find them on the interstates. They are often in the smaller towns, along the minor highways.

    I have stumbled upon numerous sites by speaking with the staff in those offices, and seen the most amazing places. But if you are looking only on the internet, well, you won't find many of them. The AAA and Rand McNally maps, have a lot of these things marked on them. So look for the minor highways between all the places you already have on your list, and stop in the small towns, speak with the locals, and who knows what gems you may unearth.

    Lifey

  9. Default

    Hi AZBuck,
    Again thanks for this list. We spent the afternoon going through it and have added about half of the list. Excellent help.
    Dave

  10. Default

    Thanks Lifey. We intend to stay off the interstates as much as possible. We spent many hours in bars last time chatting to people (sometimes too long). I agree this is the best source for info.
    Dave

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