I'm planning a 2-week road trip with a friend in July. We'll be leaving from Los Angeles and arriving in Halifax, NS, Canada. The plan at the moment is to drive across the Southern states and then up the East coast into Quebec.
The Canada part we have easily covered, but as for the US we are less specific on the points of interest there. If anyone can make suggestions as to sites to be sure to see, or avoid, it would be greatly appreciated. As well, any suggestions for stops off the beaten path would be nice to have.
Thanks for any help/info you can provide.
Hmm, that seems a lot of distance for two weeks Might be wise to cover less miles so you can enjoy the trip a little more.
I'd normally tell you to drive through Death Valley, but maybe that's not such a good idea in July. Definitely go to the Grand Canyon though. Sedona is a nice little town to visit for a few hours as well. I found one of the nicest things on our trip from AZ to California was some of the quirky little towns. For instance, the little town of Oatman is a little off the beaten track, but quite entertaining for an hour or two.
I haven't really seen enough of the Southern US to comment beyond that. I'm sure there will be others full of advice though.
Grand Canyon is amazing. Other things I would add would be Santa Fe, NM; San Antonio, TX; maybe hit a beach in Florida (Destin/Ft. Walton); Savannah, GA, is a fabulous city. DC is two weeks' worth of travel-warranted time and then some! If you don't go up the coastline, the Smokies in TN/NC (Knoxville/Ashville) are beautiful, although Gatlinburgh/Pigeon Forge are *really* touristy. Unless you just have a thing for pancake or steak houses. If that's your thing, you'll be in heaven!
If you did go a bit more inland, maybe follow a set itinerary, like Civil War battlesites. There are some great ones that could easily be seen and would give you a more focused route. Shiloh, TN; Vicksburg, MS; Atlanta, GA; Ft. Sumter, SC, etc.
Would definitely not pass up on Santa Fe and San Antonio. Very few cities like them in the US. Santa Fe is the US's oldest capital city, and San Antonio is great for walking. The drive through the mountains going to Santa Fe is spectacular (as is most of the desert SW), and the Hill Country on I-10 coming in from the west of San Antonio is also very pretty. Texas has some good wines. Caprock has some good reds, and there are a few good fruit wines out there, too. There is a bit of a mall about two blocks down from the Alamo that has a wine store/cellar. Check there. Oh, and a bookstore across the street from the Alamo will be glad to mark on a map of the original Alamo fort the location of the current store. Pretty neat! Both cities are rich in history, but can easily be done in a short time.
Same with Savannah, GA. Very unique city.
Have a great trip!
Well, I agree with Sedona, Grand Canyon, and Santa Fe, but to then get to San Antonio is a long ways back to the south. You might want to stay on I-40 and head to Memphis (Go to BB King's place for blues music and BBQ), then on to Nashville or cut south towards Atlanta before heading up the coast to Washington D.C., New York and Boston.
I like San Antonio a lot--it does have the "riverwalk" and the Alamo---but you have to offset this against the extra 400 miles you would have to go out of the way to get there.
New Orleans is normally great, but I think still recovering from Hurricane Katrina--so not the fun it normally is. But if you go to San Antonio, New Orleans is then pretty much on your way.
New Orleans is certainly worth a visit - and try to head out to visit the outskirts, if you can. They have some fantastic plantations and a boat trip on the bayou is a must. Personally, I'd stop in Savannah, Georgia just because of all those magnificent homes and the stunning scenery (although I've never actually been myself).
I also just read a book by Martin Fletcher called Almost Heaven: Travels through Backwoods America . It's about his car trip across the U.S. (down the east coast, through the southern states and up to Washington state) to quirky, fasinating places off the beaten path. Not only is is a great read, it can also give you some fabulous ideas of where to go. Two that stand out are Smith Island (MD) and Sapelo Island (GA), where the island residents still live much like they did a centurry ago. Give it a read - it may inspire you!
Thanks everyone. There's a lot of great suggestions on here to be added to my growing list of want-to-see's.
I know two weeks is a short amount of time to fit this all in, but we're going to do our best to do as much as possible with it. From the sounds of things so far, we should plan to devote more time to the southern portion than the east coast.
We obviously won't be able to do everything, but all comments are welcomed and appreciated. The more ideas and options, the better the trip. I already feel like Arizona alone would be worth a week or more, so I may have to make a return trip just to do that one state at some future point.
Thanks again for all the advice thus far, and keep it coming.
there is very nice planning ,to recreating .
Wow, if this person is from Canada they'll die of heatstroke in AZ, TX and LA during July.
I would stop at the Grand Canyon though just to see it even though it will be hot and crowded with tourist. The Grand Canyon will only take you an hour each way from I-40. I would probably also take another hour long diversion to Santa Fe, NM as someone else mentioned. Not only is it the oldest city in the US it also has the highest elevation at nearly 7,000 ft. and July is a lovely time to stroll around the Plaza, It's definately a walking town. From there I would Bee-line the drive through the hot, humid, States and concentrate on the turn northward into cooler weather.