A few friends and i are planning a trip from California to New York for summer next year, or maybe the year after. We are from New Zealand and I have no idea how long it will take us to drive that far. We were thinking a few months because we want to see and do as much as we can.
Does anyone have any advice or comments or anything at all the help me in planning this? Thanks!
Trip to NY on '200x....
Where would you like to go? Are you planning on doing some outdoor stuff like going to national parks, camping, theme parks, etc.... There are plenty of things you can do. I think you are on a right track for doing a little bit of planning before you drive cross-country. You can visit National Parks all over the U.S. Starting from California to Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, etc.........
We had some places we want to go, mostly to all the touristy things and things like the worlds largest ball of yarn! We are wanting to go one way and will travel around California visitng friends, and we were thinking we would start in Santa Monica and go to Las Vegas, after that we have no idea yet except we want to end up in Florida and then drive up to New York, and possibly Niagara Falls. Any idea how long this would take?
Travel Distances and time
To steal an earlier piece of advice from the lady who calls herself, "justagirl", I suggest you get a good map, layout the places you need to go, calculate minimum travel times, and that will tell you how much time you will have left for detours, stop-overs, and byways. Most good travel atlases (I use the Rand McNally one) have a mileage table between major cities that can be used for rough estimates. On the major interstate highways over long distances, a general rule of thumb is you can plan for averaging about 60 miles an hour, including short stops for gasoline and food but not stops for sightseeing. On US-numbered highways, you can estimate averaging 45 mph unless that highway goes through an unusually high number of mid-and-large-sized towns and then it will be less. On less developed roads, you may have trouble averaging 35 mph. Of course, weather, accidents, road construction, detours, and lots of hills and curves can also have an impact on those estimates. I encourage you to allot enough time so you can take a few hours everyday for seeing new things and not feel really pressed to get somewhere. On a trip like yours, I usually plan on averaging no more than 250-300 miles per day. That gives me plenty of time to see what's around the corner and over the hill. Have a great trip.
Here is a route that will wiggle its way through some of the best the west has to offer.
While you are in California I would recommend going up to Yosemite National Park.
The route I'm about to give you is over 6,000 miles. Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, Page, AZ and Glen Canyon National Recreational Area at Lake Powell on the Utah - Arizona border. Take the all day boat trip on Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Zion National Park, Utah, Bryce National Park, Utah Scenic Hwy 12 through Escalante up to Torrey, Utah and on to Capitol Reef National Park. Moab, Utah and Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse State Park. In Moab rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle and do some off road trips. Take a day rafting trip down the Colorado River. From Moab, Utah head south to Gouldings, Utah and Monument Valley. Cross the 4 corners (Utah, Arizona, New Mexico & Colorado) This is the only place in the US where four states meet. From here go to Cortez, Colorado and visit Mesa Verde National Park. Durango and take a train ride. Siliverton, Colorado thought the Million Dollar Highway to Ouray, Colorado. Denver and then the Rocky Mountain National Park. You will do a little back tracking but make it up to The Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Head east but make sure you stop at Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming. Deadwood, South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, Badlands National Park and Wall Drug Store.
I'm not as good on the east as I am on the west. From here you can head to Niagra Falls, New York and then down to Florida. Like I said, this is about 6,000 miles but if you have a few months then you will have plenty of time.
Here are a few links:
Offical Web site of the National Parks of the US:
My favorite web site on Utah:
My web site with picture of some of the areas I mentioned:
Thanks everyone for your help!
I'm so glad i found this site. We have taken some of your advice and are going out tomorrow to find a good map, thats going to be hard for us here because we can find great maps of New Zealand everywhere but we have trouble with other countries!
You might want to invest in a computer map progam. My favorite is Microsoft Streets and Trips. It makes calculating the miles so easy and fast.
Amazon for all its faults...
Amazon.com. is a good way to get superb maps. Our personal recommendations for paper maps can be found at http://www.roadtripamerica.com/maps/maps.htm
Rather than purchase mapping software, I suggest using the free (to consumer) resource of NavTech at www.mapblast.com We use it nearly every day.
Mark is more wired than I am so I still like to have a road atlas or other paper map when I travel. However, if you do like using on-line maps, www.mapquest.com is also a good site. I especially prefer it forlocal, detailed maps. Again, have a great trip.
I tired the online maps that you guys told me about and i found one that works well for me. www.randmcnally.com Its good because you can tell it where to go, where you want to have stopovers and it tells you how long it will take you to drive there and how many miles, or kilometres(for us New Zealanders!) it will take. It also tells you the distance between your stopovers and the time for that as well!