Hi! I'm new to this site. Me and my best friend have decided to plan a roadtrip across USA starting in june. We have a few places to stay in 2 states (NY and Kentucky). How much money would it take about, we think maybe 4000$.
But since we are canadians and know nothing about the roads of USA, can anyone help us with what roads to take to try and DO every state. And of course, what to do in a few of them. We also can't wait to see what the south has to offer, since we've been brought up in snow! I would really appreciate it if you people helped me figure out a route plan, one of the nicest ones, so we could visit each state, and maybe spend less than a day in the more normal ones, and a few days in the more popular ones!
Unfortunately, I think 4 000$CAD is not enough for a 2 months trip unless you want to eat Ramen soup all the time and hitchike!:-) I had to spend a little more than 1 800$USD for a 3 weeks trip to the US. Just to give you an idea, I drove 16 000 km in 20 days and I hit 30 States. Ok I admit it, I slept mostly in motel rooms (cheap) and bought some souvenirs, but I wasn't living large and eating in restaurants all the time. Of course, the biggest expense is always gas. <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/roadtripamerica_cfmfiles/calculator.cfm">There is a fuel calculator<a/> on this site to help you figuring out approx. how much you'll be spending on gas.
It's kind of hard to help you with a route or to suggest anything because you didn't told us much about your interests and there are so many things out there. Do you enjoy visiting big cities? You like hiking? Museums? Historical monuments? Canyons? Desert? Skiing? Will you be camping? hostelling? sleeping in motels? Do you prefer interstates or back roads? So if you could tell us a little more about your tastes, we'll try to help you figuring out what's the best thing for you and your friend. I can tell you though, as a Canadian, I think June is a perfect month for traveling in the US, but you've got to love the heat!:-)
Ah sorry for leaving few answers in my text. We will be eating cheap, and staying in cheap motels. Of coruse we would also camp and maybe sleep in the car (convertable) on hot days and enjoy the view of the south at night!
We like trekking and beaches, and we prefer off roads than main highways. The highways are a little too boring for my taste, and repetitive, plus I'd like to pass through a few towns!
Other than that we aren'T that picky. so anything will be fun.
a few suggestions
Here are a few suggestions, some based on my own experience and some on others' recommendations:
Arizona : Grand Canyon (North Rim) (for lodging, try the Crazy Jug Motel in Fredonia, I bet you never saw anything like that in Quebec!), Havasupai, Ft. Bowie, Painted Forest, Monument Valley (Kayenta area), southeastern AZ is really scenic, Cities: Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson. Small towns: Jerome, Prescott, Superior, Douglas, Bisbee, Tombstone. Interesting highways : US60, SR80, SR82, SR90, US89A, US389, Apache Trail (SR88)
New Mexico : Very Large Array (near Magdalena), White Sands NM, Pancho Villa State Park, Carlsbad Caverns. Cities: Roswell, Alburquerque, Santa Fe. Small towns: Las Vegas, Santa Rosa, Columbus and Lincoln. Interesting highways : US60, I-40 between Moriarty and AZ State line, US9, US380
Utah: Arches NP, Zion NP (++), Bryce Canyon (++), Canyonlands, Grand Staircase Escalante, Four Corners (AZ, NM, CO & UT). Cities: SLC. Small towns: Moab, Hurricane, Kanab. Interesting highways :I-70, US89, US59, SR12.
Nebraska: Buffalo Bill Ranch, Oregon Trail, Scottsbluff NM, Chimney Rock, Courthouse & Jail Rocks. Small towns: Scottsbluff, Bridgeport, Bayard, Ogallala. Interesting highways: US26.
New Hampshire : WHITE MOUNTAINS!! Mt Lafayette, Mt Washington (don't drive it, hike it), Franconia Notch, Mt Adams, etc. If you hike the white mountains, I suggest you camp at Country Bumpkins Campground in Lincoln, it's a very nice campground, Conway scenic railroad, Cities: Concord. Small towns: Franconia, North Conway, Bethlehem, Beach: Hampton Beach. Interesting highways: US302, US3 (White Mountains stretch), US1A.
Vermont: Green Mountains, Mt Mansfield, White Rocks, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory tour. Cities: Burlington (++), Montpelier (capitol), St. Johnsbury. Small towns: Montgomery Center, North Troy, Stowe, US2 (Champlain Island), US105, US100 (covered bridges), US118, US78.
I got to go, but there are more to come!
Roadtrip USA by Jamie Jensen
An incredible guide to the old two-lane US Highways (they were replaced by the Eisenhower Interstate System in the 50's and 60's.
The book explains about ten different routes and all of the cities/towns and things to do and see in between. Absolutely perfect for the kind of trip you're planning on taking. It won't give you access to ALL fifty states, but it's chock full of information about the lower 48.
Good luck, safe driving, and DON'T ATTEMPT TO DRIVE TO HAWAII ;)
Colorado : Rocky Mountain NP, Mesa Verde, Great San Dunes, Scenic train rides in southern Colorado (ask Bob Schaller about this), rafting on the Colorado river, Royal Gorge. Cities : Denver (try to bargain at the Homestead Inn in the southern part of town). Small towns : Durango, Parachute, Cortez, Craig. Interesting highways : I-70, US40, US50, US160.
Texas : Big Bend NP (Starlight Theater), Guadalupe Mountains, Ft. Alamo, Riverwalk and Brackenridge Park (San An), Old Mission Trail (El Paso), Big Texan Steak House (home of the 72 oz steak) (Amarillo) Bolivar Peninsula, Space Center (Houston), Caverns of Sonora. Cities : San Antonio, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez (Mex), Austin, Houston, Dallas, Amarillo, Corpus Christi. Small towns : Ozona, Post, Shamrock. Beaches : Galveston, South Padre Island/Port Isabel. Interesting highways : US380, US118
Massachussetts : Freedom Trail (Boston), Cities : Boston (for lodging stay out of Boston (min. 100$US for a decent room) try places likes Revere, Lynn Dedham and Needham), Cambridge, Lowell. Small towns : Salem, Wellfleet, Gloucester. Beaches : Cape Cod (especially Herring Cove and Race Pt.), Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard. Interesting highways : US3A, US6 and other Cape Cod byways, US127.
NY : Niagara Falls, Adirondacks (Mt White Face and Catamount), Ausable Chasm, 1000 islands, Enchanted Forest, Cities : NYC, Buffalo. Small towns : Lockport, Alabama. Beaches : Pointe Au Roche S.P. Interesting highways : US77, US104, US250
Missouri : Gateway Arch (St. Louis), Ozark Scenic Riverways, Lake of the Ozarks, Talking Rocks, Daniel Boone Home, Taum Sauk Mountain, Onyx Mountains Caverns, World's Smallest Cathedral near Highlandville. Cities : Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield.
Florida : Everglades, Big Cypress Preserve, Doplhin Research Center, fishing on the key bridge, Florida Bay, Cape Canaveral, Disney World (duh), South Beach Miami, Seaquarium. Cities : Miami, St. Petersburg, Talahassee, Pensacola, Key West. Interesting Highways : US19 (west coast), USA1A in Miami, US1, Everglades Parkway. Beaches : South Beach Miami, Keys, Naples.
Other places : Mammoth Cave (KY), Appalachian Trail from ME to GA, Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (VA), Ivy Lea Park (Ont)(nice campgrounds!), Crystal Onyx Cave (KY), Green River Lake SP (KY), Cape May Ferry (NJ), Baxter SP (Mt Katahdin) (ME), OKC Bombing Memorial (OK), Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville (TN), Niagara Falls (Canadian side) (Ont), Museum of Western Heritage Trails in Council Bluffs (IA), Detroit Institute of Art (MI), Henri Ford Museum in Dearborn (MI), Starved Rock SP (IL). Cities : Portland (ME), Norfolk (VA), New Haven (CT), New Orleans (++) (LA), Chicago (IL), Detroit (MI), Nashville (TN), Memphis (TN), Kingston (Ont), Brockville (Ont). Beaches : Virginia Beach (VA), Kiptopeke (VA), Ogunquit (ME), Myrtle Beach (SC), Cape Hatteras (NC), Cape May (NJ).
For cheap motels, stay out of big cities (and Texas (taxes are 15% (as bad as in Quebec!) + a special tax for lodging in certain cities), try Mom & Pop motels and chains like Motel 6, 1st Inns and Budget Host Inns. Read the posts in the Cheap Road Trip section of the forum.
Have a nice trip!