PA to CA & back
Next June or July I'll being heading out for 4 - 5 weeks xcountry and back. Is this a decent amount of time to see some sights (mostly parks and perhaps some cities). I needn't stop everywhere, I'm more interested in just getting out on the road. I was thinking of doing a loop--up through the North, down the Pacific Coast then back through the South. I'm constantly driving, so driving a lot will not be a problem (I'll have two friends who will drive as well). Thanks in advance! By the way, this site is great!
it's probably plenty of time. i personally would prefer 4 to 5 months rather than weeks but i've also driven across the country in three days so if you end up running out of time you can always just hit a major highway and drive straight through to home in a relatively short amount of time. big highways are fast. its the smaller roads and all the stopping that eats up time. but thats also the fun part.
this is a very doable trip. i drive from ny to seattle myself in 3 1/2 days once a year. I 90 throug south dakota is great. the badlands are beautiful and my rushmore is a once a lifetime must. continue on into montana and loop down through yellowstone back to I 94 across to puget sound and hop on 101 down the coast. If you want a mix of big cities and scenery this route it great. you can hit chicago, milwaukee, minnepolis, seattle plus see the great lakes, yellowstone etc. i dont know what you want to see on the west as far as grand canyon etc but i recommend stopping in new orleans if you have never been it is amazing any time of year
Sounds awesome. I did a similar trip (from L.I.) back in the summer of '98. I'd say that five weeks is plenty of time, depending on how long you're going to want to stay at each place.
My friends and I found a good balance between cities and sites. Here's a sample of stop-worthy places that I've been to along your intended route.
Cleveland, Ohio- Rock and Roll HOF...a must see
Cedar Point, Ohio- incredible amusement park in a scenic area
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore- No one knows about this place. It's right off of I-80 before you get to Chicago. Follow the signs to Mt. Baldy, park your car, take off your shoes, and get ready for a little exercise. Climb the sand dune barefoot (if it's not too hot outside) and be rewarded by an awesome soft-sand beach on Lake Michigan.
Chicago- Great city for EATS!!! Baseball fan? Nothing like the old time feel of Wrigley.
I-90 out of Chicago. It's quite a bit nicer than I-80 in this section. You'll go through Wisconsin which rolls a bit more than Illinois. You can stay on 90 all the way through South Dakota. Check out Pipestone in Southern Minnesota and whatever you do, DON'T MISS THE BADLANDS!!! Crazy place!
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks- They're right near each other. Don't be afraid to spend several days in these parks. There's alot to see and do. Rent a motorboat in Grand Tetons and meander through the lakes within the mountain chain. Watch out for submerged TREES! No joke.
Glacier National Park- Northwest Montana is beyond description. Great park with very accessible sights and awesome hikes of all lengths and difficulties. We share this park with Canada, so bury your weed in the back country and cross the border. You'll be glad you did.
Seattle/Mount Ranier- Great city to hang out at night. Check out the music scene. On a clear day, you can see Mount Ranier, another worthwhile stop.
Crater Lake National Park- A lake in the rim of a dormant volcano. Rivals the Badlands for strangeness.
Humboldt County- mmmmmmmmm. Find the town of Weed (no joke) and you'll be at the base of Mt. Shasta, the tallest in the range.
Yosemite National Park- Yosemite Sam lives there. Varmint.
S.F., down the coast(GET OFF THE INTERSTATE and find
Route 1) the whole way to L.A. and S.D. The ocean will be on your right for a good portion of the drive. Stop in Santa Cruz for good beachside eats.
Anything within a 300 mile radius of the four corners will be very scenic, whether it's a park or not. Check out Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. Check with locals for more remote destinations. They know alot more than I do.
On your way back, don't miss Nashville, and if you have time, New Orleans. VERY fun nightlife in both places. Very friendly women too.
Great Smoky National Park/Blue Ridge Parkway/Shenandoah National Park- The parkway connects the two parks. It's almost 500 miles long and very beautiful the entire way.
Washington, D.C.- if you haven't seen it extensively already, and even if you have. You could spend days on just the Smithsonians. Baseball at Camden Yards is a good time, though the Orioles are likely going to suck again next year.
Good luck, have fun, be safe.