All Around America!
My friends and I are planning a road trip for the summer of 2008, just before college. We're planning on splitting up into two different cars, all the guys in one and the girls in the other. So this is about eight people all together. Anyway, we're planning on going from Rhode Island, down to Florida, across to California, up to Washington, and then across back home. Some of our stops are Tijuana, Yellowstone National Park, Niagara Falls, Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Cajun Country and Blue Ridge Parkway.
But of course, money will be an issue, and we're not planning on shopping at the most expensive stores at every stop. What we're all looking for is some sight-seeing, good beaches, rich culture and pulsing nightlife.
I'm sure this trip will take up the majority of the summer, so we need to conserve our cash.
So... any tips on towns or cities we should visit? I also need suggestions on cheap things to do, and inexpensive places to say.
Anything you can do, I greatly appreciate it.
I'd include South Padre Island for beach (in addition to the ones in Southern California, of course), and be sure to make a stop at Big Bend National Park in SW Texas. Check out mine and Gen's article on cheap road-tripping in the RoadTrip Planning section! For culture and nightlife, I'd think New Orleans would be about perfect. But you'll find interesting things to see and do in almost every city along your route -- look up each of those cities using a search engine and see what you can find (for many things, you will have to wait until a few months before your trip, as schedules for that time aren't set yet).
You've got enough National Parks on your itinerary already that you should spring for an annual pass (for each vehicle). They are about $50 -- but with just 3 or 4 parks on your way, they'll pay for themselves -- plus they are good for a year so you can use them later on if you have occasion to visit a park, monument or two closer to home.