experienced road tripper needs ideas
I live in tampa,fl and my girlfriend and I have done several trips in recent years. We've done the smokies, tampa to d.c and Nyc, tampa to rocky mtn np via st louis, vegas to grand canyon and zion. We want to do another trip in late spring early summer but need some ideas of great trips w/ 11 or 12 days at our disposal.We are big fans of the outdoors and national parks but don't camp. just looking for any suggestions on an itinerary. thanks and happy road tripping to you all!
I trip I would repeat if I had time
Since it looks like you are OK with the notion of flying to an area and then exploring -- here is an idea to one of those off-the-beaten path routes... This area is not undiscovered -- thousands (millions?) of local touists each year -- but still cool.
A circular path that could start and end in Boise, Idaho --rather than provide a specific route -- there are some places that I would go back to in heartbeat. These would include, (in no rational order), a tour of the Oregon Outback with an over-night stay in a vintage airstream trailer at <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/hot.htm">Summer Lake Hotsprings,<a/> the <a href = "http://www.traveloregon.com/getaways/byway.cfm?regionNum=4&driveNum=4">Hells Canyon Scenic byway<a/> and ride the ski lift up to the top of the mountain for a view of Wallowa Lake. Spend some time in Joseph and Enterprise -- at one time, Joseph was a dying town of un-employed timber workers, but they started a foundary industry and now the area produces some of the largest monumental statues in the world. You can find some amazing stuff there.
Backtracking a bit, I really like the area around McCall, Idaho -- a good jumping off point for <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/people/shephard.htm">river trips<a/> and exploring the Frank Church Wilderness of No Return.
If you make it to Pendleton -- be sure to take the factory tour at the woolen mills -- trust me you have never seen anything like THAT tour.
Walla Walla used to be a sleepy little college town, now it is home to one of the fastest growing wine areas in the USA. Lots of good wine tasting and exploring here. And if your art tastes run to the uniquely bizarre -- gotta check out <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/muh.htm">THE MUSEUM OF UN-NATURAL HISTORY<a/>
Zigging to the NE -- Couer d'Alene and Sandpoint is a very cool place to explore a bit. And then driving through the Bitterroot Mountains along US-93 through Salmon, Stanley and crusing the Ketchum area is fun. Be sure to check Craters of the Moon National preserve. Gerald Thurman explored much of this region in his <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/links/Travels-with-Thurman.htm">Great Basin Roadtrip<a/> in August, 2004 and there are plenty of ideas in his Field report.
I agree -- this is a great area. If you go, be sure to check out how the northwesterners build ranch fenceposts (especially corners). They didn't have a lot of trees in some areas. Bob
yeah we're ok with flying but it's cheaper and more scenic driving the distance. we have driven as far as rocky mtn np as I mentioned but I-10 from florida to texas is really dull and boring to me, any other road to the west that is more scenic while not overridden with stop lights and 30mph zones? On the way there we took I-70 west and that was fine and quite scenic. thanks for the advice!
If you haven't been already, I do recommend tripping to N. Central Washington (Chelan, Grant, Douglas, and Okanogan Counties). The cities of Wenatchee (pop 60K+, 5 min from 99% of outdoor recreational opportunites), and the smaller Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth, just West of Wenatchee. Both are deep in all types of outdoor activities, including whitewater rafting, hiking, rock climbing, etc., but still have great lodging.
take a look!
thanks for the advice brad. We will definitly look at that when we go to the pac nw hopefully next year. Looking at pics washington state seems a beautiful place.