Hi everybody, really glad I stumbled upon this forum, looking forward to receive some input from more experienced roadtrippers.
This March, I will go on my first vacation in years, and I thought I better make it a special one. Iīll be flying from Hamburg, Germany to Boston on the
2nd, and will fly back from NYC on the 31st. That leaves plenty of time to spend in these two great cities, but I am also planning to rent a car inbetween for 15 days and hit the road.
My destination is White City, Kansas, not because itīs the smallest and most boring town in the US, but because I know some people there. But the point of the trip is not really arriving there - I donīt think Iīll spend more than 3-4 days there - but being on the road to WC.
So Iīm gonna tell you my planned route so far, and would appreciate any opinions about it, especially about:
-Weather: I know that you never know what youīre gonna get, but if you think that thereīs just no way that you can drive through any of the places in the middle of March, let me know
-Distance: If you think that any of the routes is too long to make it in one (relaxed) day, tell me about it
Special Places: If you know any of the places I travel through, tell me whatīs worth seeing, where you can get good food at a good price, or if there are any small and inexpensive mom&pop motels.
Day 1 (approx. March 7th): Boston - Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
-I really wanted to travel through Pittsburgh, but figured itīd be too long to make it in one day, so this seems like the perfect small town in the East, about halfway inbetween. Plus, I found a really charming guesthouse there.
Anybody know this town? Must be a great town if itīs named after an athlete, still looking for the day when Iīll be staying in a town called Michael Jordan.
Day 2: Jim Thorpe - Pittsburgh
-One of my favorite books is Michael Chabonīs "Wonder Boys", and ever since I have read it I have wanted to go to Pittsburgh. I donīt even care if itīs anything like in the book, but I just have to go there, even if I donīt see much of it. So far, the best lodging I have found for Pittsburgh is a Motel 6, so Iīd really appreciate any help finding a more unique motel.
Day 3: Pittsburgh - Indianapolis
-I knew Day 4 had to end in St. Louis, so Indianapolis seemed to be on the way. If anybody knows a better city to spend the night between Pittsburgh and St. Louis, let me know. I could, however, try to get a ticket to the Big Ten Basketball Championship, so maybe Indy is not the worst idea. Anybody know how to get tickets?
Day 4: Indianapolis - St. Louis
-One of the least favorite books I have read is Johnathan Franzenīs "The
27th City", but even if I didnīt like it too much, it made me really want to see St. Louis, especially the Arch. Actually, the setting of the book was the only reason why I read through it. Best lodging I found for St. Louis so far is the Huck Finn Youth Hostel, anybody know it? I will be staying in a lot of Hostels throughout my trip, I know I canīt expect too much comfort in those, but they should be a way to get a good nightīs sleep for little money, right?
Day 5: St. Louis - White City, Kansas
- I can already see the beautifully dull landscape of Kansas before my inner eye, I bet as soon as I enter WC I will wish that I had stayed at one of the great cities along the way instead. But memories still make WC look like the most beautiful place on earth, so thereīs no way Iīm driving all the way to Kansas without spending a few days here.
So far, thereīs not much point in talking me out of this trip, this is the part that I think I am going to do like this no matter what. As for the way back to Boston, I thought Iīd take a different route, which would take me further to the North. But for the way back, Iīm not really quite convinced yet myself, so if there are any objections to this route, Iīm have my ears wide open. Also, any alternatives are more than welcome, for the cities on the way back to Boston, I had no such inspirations as books, so if you know any cities along the way that are more worthy to be seen, tell me about it. Anyways, hereīs what I had in mind:
Day 1 (approx. March 15th): White City, Kansas - Des Moines, Iowa
-Iowa may sound just as boring as Kansas, and I bet it is, but if you want to go North, I guess passing Iowa makes sense
Day 2: Des Moines - Chicago
-Not really too convinced about going to Chicago, so Iīm open to any other cities in that area. Would be cool if they were somewhere by the lake. Or is Chicago the place to go? Hm, just donīt know...
Day 3: Chicago - Detroit
-Not sure if Detroit is too pretty, either, but I think I like Detroit, so why not go there.
Day 4: Detroit - Niagara Falls
-OK, if youīve been wondering "Why is the guy driving all the way to the North if he doesnīt like any of the cities heīs going through?", now Iīm getting to the part I really wanna see - if the wheather permits driving there, that is. Niagara Falls sounds like a nice place to see, and then I was thinking about heading up to...
Day 5: Niagara Falls - Toronto
-...Canada! I really want to go to Canada. Bad idea that early in the year? Let me know! Toronto is one of the cities I think I would want to live in, and I have never even seen it.
Day 6: Toronto - Montreal
-Montreal must be a nice place, as well - if only people there knew how to talk English ;-) But isnīt Montreal even further North than Toronto? I can already see icy roads and lots of snow. Somebody calm me down, or at least talk me out of driving there all by myself :-)
Day 7: Montreal - Portsmouth, New Hampshire
-Never been to New England before, but itīs already my favorite part of the US. So much beautiful landscapes. I think Portsmouth is the perfect place to end my road trip (if I make it this far in the first place), before Iīll drive the short way to Boston the next day to return the car.
So like I said, Iīm really looking forward to this trip, but Iīm also open to any suggestions, especially for the way back from Kansas.
I think most days I wonīt drive more than six hours a day - anybody disagree?
As for expenses, I was thinking about spending $30 a day on average (that does not include gas or lodging, only food and whatever else I may find to spend money on) - does that sound reasonable? Iīm sure I will think of more questions before I leave, but thatīs should do for now, really looking forward to everybodyīs two cents - Thank you!