Go east young man
I'll be hitting the road soon for my first trip east (I've never been east of Utah!), either leaving in about 10 days or might wait until just after Thanksgiving to get going.
My car is a 98 Honda Civic and I'll be going solo, hoping just to see as much country as possible, not really looking to visit any "touristy" places, just want to get out on the road and see the good ol' USA.
I'll be starting out from Vegas and would prefer taking a somewhat northerly route (weather permitting) on the way, perhaps hitting the northern Illinois area (to visit my ex-girlfriend's old home town) then on to the east coast up as far as New York and then down the eastern coast as far as Florida. Then it's back towards home taking a southerly route.
Any suggestions on routes to take? 66 or 50 or 20 on the first leg? Something else you might recommened instead? I'll hopefully ( again,weather permitting) take a coastal route down towards Florida and then 80 most of the way (again, unless you'd recommened another route) back home. Time is not a big issue, but am hoping to keep the trip around 2 weeks or so to help keep costs within reason. Any help, input or advice would be much appreciated, thanks!
Comments and suggestions
You definitly sound like you're in the mood for a great roadtrip:-)) Now, I don't mean to discourage you, but I think 2 weeks is very short for the mileage you intend to cover, unless you're an experienced roadtripper and even so. If time is not an issue I would allow at least 3 weeks for this trip or you'll find yourself driving and driving for long hours and you won't have seen too much stuff when you'll get back. Plus, if you're going solo, you cannot count on someone else to do the drive when you're too tired to drive yourself. You have to be reasonnable on driving hours and that doesn't necessarily mean to plan each and every day, and plan on taking that particular stretch of road, or how many miles you have to drive per day to meet your "obligation", it'll mainly depends on your skills and level of tolerance I guess. On the other hand, a part of the roadtrip, to my opinion, must be unplanned, it's more challenging and fun but that depends on your personality.
If budget is an issue, maybe you should try cheap alternatives in terms of lodging and food (camping/hostelling instead of hotels, eating out of a cooler, ...). There are plenty of tips on these topics on the Forum, just do a little search. If you cannot take more than 2 weeks, than maybe you should consider visiting an area a little closer to your home, it'll give you more time to really explore an area : its history, its people, its particularities.
Now the suggestions :-) If you plan on taking the southern route, you HAVE to visit New Orleans, especially if you are young, it's a real party city with nice people and a lot of entertainment. Lodging is a bit expensive, but you still can find a cheaper place in the suburbs.
Also, in Florida, another great party city is Miami, South Beach especially, lots of thing to do and to see, great nightlife. If you plan on visiting the southern part of Florida, you should allow a few hours at least to visit Key West (and eat huge pieces of Key Lime pie). Of course, Miami and Key West are pretty expensive, but you still can pick a motel room in another neighborhood. Like Dania for example or Hallandale.
I think I-80 is great, especially if you like history, you get to follow the footsteps of the western emigrants. There are a lot of museums, monuments and historical markers along the way, it's pretty interesting. Of course, it is even more interesting if you choose highways instead of Interstates, you get to see a lot of small towns, cowboys, saloons, nice people, souvenirs, ...
Well, I wish you a great roadtrip and have fun!:-)
Thanks for the tips Gen! Yup just today I was thinking it'd probably be wise to allow a little more time, closer to 3 weeks. I'd love to visit the Key West area, not sure if I'll make it down that far but will see where the road takes me. And New Orleans sounds like fun too. Thanks again for your advice - John
3 wks is better
If you are flexible with length of this trip, and DO decide to head right over to the east coast via Illinois, & down to Florida; here are some suggestions:
Kentucky - Mammoth Cave National Park
New York - Niagara Falls - if you have your birth certificate or passport with you, slip across to CANADA & see the Falls from the Canadian side. Much better view and a walk (or drive) down along the gorge to the whirlpool view as well.
Check for National Scenic Byways along your route at www.byways.org
Charleston, South Carolina - historic buildings, homes, and plantations
Thank you Syv
Syv, thank you for the tips. Per your recommendation I just visited the byways site, some interesting and helpful info there. I'm looking forward to visiting the Carolinas also. Thanks again! - John