I'm planning to spend July, Aug, Sept and Oct travelling through the States by car. There's so much I want to see and it seems that the destinations are all over the place. Here's what I plan to do. Is it viable? Where should I stop along the way? Where should I avoid? Anyway, here goes...
LA - west coast to San Fran then through Sequoia NP and Death Valley to Las Vegas - Salt Lake City - Yellowstone Park - Glacial Park then some how across to Memphis - Nashville - up through the Blue Ridge / Appalachian Mountains Ending up in NYC.
I realise that this is one huge, twisted 'z' shape of a route and I'm pretty patchy as to where to stop / avoid during the long ride from Montana to Nashville!
Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
Myself and 2 others drove around America in July,August and September 2005.
Our route was
Boston 4 nights Austin 2 nights
New York 4 nights Dallas 2 nights
Atlantic City 2 nights Lubbock 1 night
Philadelphia 2 nights Roswell 1 night
Washington DC 3 nights Truth Or Consequences 3nights
Cincinnati 6 nights(to see friends) Tucson 2 nights
Cleveland 2 nights Grand Canyon 1 night
Detroit 2 nights Las Vegas 1 week
Chicago (2 nights was meant to be 4) San Diego 3 nights
St Louis 2 nights Los Angeles 4 nights
Memphis 2 nights Monterey 1 night
Nashville 2 nights San Francisco 4 nights
Atlanta 2 nights Lake Tahoe 2 nights
New Orleans 4 nights Redding 1 night
Houston 2 nights Eugene 1 night
San Antonio 2 nights Portland 2 nights
Seattle 4 nights
Stupid thing i put big spaces between all those places and its made a right mess of it.Theres 2 columns of cities there
1 is Boston down to San Antonio
2 is Austin to Seattle
if in doubt check my blog
This might be BAD advice, but as a citizen here, if I were to embark on any sort of long distance road trip, I'd just buy a $5 road atlas at the nearest gas station and figure it out on the go.
Looking at your route though, the problem I see is that you have a lot of north and south on the Western half of the States. Keep in mind that off of the top of my head I don't know exactly where Sequia and Death Valley are located. But I'd almost recommend heading north from San Fran thru Oregon, Washington State, over to Montana (Glacier) south thru Wyoming and Yellowstone, Salt Lake (could be missed if you ask me) to Vegas then head East from there.
Really this is making even my head spin, but it should be fun ~ good luck!
A practical point first. Where are you planning to pick up your car and where are you planning to drop it off ? If you plan to pick up in the west and drop off in the east you will almost certainly get stung by huge 'drop off charges'.
I would recommend you plan a circular route around the west. e.g. Start on the coast in LA or San Fran and head up the coast to Seattle, cut acroos and come down the rockies through Yellowstone, the Utah parks Vegas and back to the coast. Get a flight out to Memphis and do another circular route around the deep south.
You do have a couple of months so I'm guessing that you don't need the most direct route. I think you have a good idea for the west coast. Although, Sequioa and Death Valley aren't too close too each other. You might want to head west from LA to Death Valley then come back on an upward angle towards San Fran. But then you wouldn't get the coast. You can head straight up the coast from LA to SF and then do the Sequioas and look at where you wanna go from there.
I can't help you with the northerly route through America, though.
On the East Coast, you have a great idea for the Blue Ridge and you can catch the Blue Ridge parkway and take that all the way north at least through VA and, I'll look into it, but I think it comes right into the Appalachians.
The Blue Ridge parkway is spectacular for scenery and camping and trails.
Thanks for all the advice so far, it's been really helpful. I hadn't considered doing a Western loop then heading East.
Re: Car. I was planning on buying a car in LA and then selling it in NYC (or thereabouts). Is this crazy? Has anyone else done this?
Because some of my travelling will be in the summer holidays I've been worried that I'll have trouble finding accommodation if I don't prebook. Can I afford to be a bit more laid back?
Your plan is workable, and in most of the places you are going accomidations shouldn't be a huge issue - except over the labor day weekend (Sept 1-4).
As to your route it's a little tougher. While the states are pretty huge, not all of it is worth seeing, especially if you are just speeding through it by car. Highways tend to look very much the same especially once you reach the heartland of the country. That being said between Yellowstone and Glacial Park and Glacial Park Memphis I'm not sure as to what you'd want to spend time on. There is plenty of history up there, and you'll find festivals, state fairs, camping, rock climbing, etc. The horse farms near Louisville, KY might make a good stopover point, or if music is your bag you can backtrack a little west to Branson, MO - which is touristy but another big music town.
and I agree with Iron Chef, the Blue Ridge Highway through Kentucky and into West Virginia is pretty spectacular especially at that time of year.
Also aswell, I am not from America but recently went on holiday to California there over christmas. But if you wish to use some roads espeically around Death Valley they are closed in certain seasons aren't they incase of bad weather? Correct me if I am wrong.