I don't know the first thing about traveling across the country, we are 2 city slickers from New York planning to make the trip NY to CA and back in the summer of 2002 for 2 weeks. We are not hikers or campers or naturalists but can appreciate some natural beauty, i.e. Grand Canyon (but not too much of it). We would like ghost towns, museums, shopping, (we love Las Vegas) etc. Any suggestions on travel accomadations, places to stop or the best route (North or South) for people like us. Should we fly to Chicago and start mid-Country because of the limited amount of time? Help?!!!
Seeing v. Driving
Road Greetings Kristina,
I don't know where in California you had in mind for a destination, but for the sake of example, lets assume it will be LA. Traveling the most direct routes, with no stopping it will take at least 82 non-stop hours to cover the minimum 5600 miles . If you want to stop and see more than a couple of sights along the way and sleep a reasonable period at night, you'll still need to plan to cover about 400 miles per day. Such a trip can be done, we have driven coast-to-coast in three days, (six-days roundtrip) a number of times -- but there will be very little time to sight-see.
Personally, if it were me -- I would fly to San Francisco, or Salt Lake or Denver, and spend 10 days traveling around as much of the western states as you can and then fly home.
A cross-country USA roadtrip is very cool, but you will have to decide if you want to spend your time driving or exploring the country that you are driving in.
Driving the West
I second Mark's comments. If you are drivng between Las Vegas and LA, Death Valley is a neat little side trip and I think Mark and Megan's web site still has some articles on it. Another is the Calico Ghost Town just east of Barstow. They had a fire there a week or two ago that burned a few of the old buildings but I understand most of it is still available for you to see. I would also spend a little time on California Hwy 49 in the foothills between Fresno and Sacramento. It's called the Gold Hwy because it connects many of the little mining towns that figured in the California gold rush. Have a great trip.
Yeah! But what do you remember?
The most amazing run to me is the 22 hrs from LA to Little Rock. How fast were you going (every so often)?
What I really am curious about is -- what do you remember about the scenery on those speed trips?
New York to California
Tried a trip from Columbus Ohio to Las Vegas last year. It took me about 2 weeks without any attempt to be efficient about the trip. My whole trip was centered around seeing the sites and getting to Las Vegas to visit.
As I do not know where you actually want to go, my suggestion would be to get on I 70 west and follow it into Colorado, go south through Colorado Springs and take the road (I can't remember which one) to Pagosa Springs and then on to the Grand Canyon. If you make reservations at the Grand Canyon in advance it will be a good place to spend a day or two.
Figuring 400 miles per day is a good low estimate for days that you will do serious traveling. 600 miles per day can be achieved out west on the interstates.
Good luck and have a nice trip.