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Circling the USA

Travel Forums North America Circling the USA

1. Posted by tany33 (Budding Member 14 posts) 10y

tany33 has indicated that this thread is about USA

im hoping on travelling around the USA hitting quite a few of the big cities and such, basically circling it(New York, Washington, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, LA, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Boston and then back to New York)but i also want to make sure i see smaller places and experience some culture. im unsure the best way to get around at the moment, i like the idea of having a car but if i rent i dont know about costs/ how far and long i can take it. how long do you think it will take if i want to see lots and not rush too much. what are the places i should deffinatly go, and what should i avoid?

thanks for any feedback
tania xx

2. Posted by hblock987 (Budding Member 7 posts) 10y

its very ambitious to try and hit all those cities! being from nyc, i recommend staying there for at least a week if you want to experience more than just the tourist attractions. the danger in visiting these major cities in only a couple of days each is that you will have a harder time actually getting to know them. if you want to drive cross country, which is what i think would be best, look at "driveaways". for example, fly in to san francisco and find someone who needs their car driven across to nyc (there are websites for this kind of thing, often when someone moves across the country they need someone to bring their car for them). you may have more of a time restraint this way, but all you will have to pay for is gas. message me if you need any more info. good luck!

3. Posted by hitesh_g (Budding Member 18 posts) 10y

I agree with hblock; most people are not able to visit all the places you have listed in their lifetime inspite of being in the U.S :-) You have not mentioned how many days you have in hand.

Definitely driving would be the best option if you want to have the flexibility of travel. Of the places you have listed - I would recommend doing the following to get a good overall cultural and regional experience:

NorthEast:
Newyork, Boston, DC - you can mix Philadelphia in the equation - its got a rich history - with Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin musuem etc.
I'd give this leg atleast 7-10 days.

SouthEast:
I'd stick with Miami/Keywest, and New Orleans; while driving along the east coast from North you can have a stop over at the Carolinas or even Orlando.
I'd give this a week - excluding travel time to get here.

Southeast:
I'd suggest San Francisco, and San Diego. (4-5 days)
Highlights could include sandiego zoo, san fran city tour, yosemite etc.
The coastal drive from SanDiego to San Francisco is a marvellous drive. You can continue on I-5 North to Portland and Seattle, give 2 days each - get the highlights of these cities. If you are coming during the summer months - the Northwest should be really pretty.
You can visit Mt. Hood, the active Mt. St. Helens, etc.

If you do want to go to Canada, you can continue further north on I-5 - 6 hours from Seattle to Vancouver. 2-3 days in Vancouver should be nice - you can visit Victoria; not sure about Whistler in summer months.

I would then suggest flying to Toronto (havent been there so cant tell much sorry) - visit the Niagra falls from the Canadian border, drive to NYC and fly back home.

I am looking at atleast a month here - and lot of fun but a lot of fatigue too.

Happy Travels !

New York, Washington, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, LA, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Boston and then back to New York)

4. Posted by campingirl (Budding Member 5 posts) 10y

I agree, that is a lot to cover. It, really does depend on how much time you are planning on spending here. I was born and raised in CA and lived all over the state so I can definitely help you out with CA on up. The drive from San Diego up to San Francisco is a great drive (about 9-10 hours), however taking the Pacific Coast Highway is just beautiful. It takes you right along the coast. It will take you a lot longer, but if you have the time it is worth it. The train is always another option as well.
I lived in the San Diego area so if you want more information as to where to go let me know.
Santa Barbara is my favorite city and you will drive through it on the way up to San Francisco, a great little beach city. You could take the San Marcos Pass and go through Santa Ynez and Solvang which is a beautiful drive. Santa Ynez has some wonderful wineries if you are interested in wine tasting, so does Napa Valley in Northern CA.
San Francisco is a fun city, very eclectic and lots to see. The drive through Oregan is beautiful especially through Mt Hood. If you have the time I would go through the North Cascades in Washington. It is a long drive (about 3-4hrs if you take your time)but amazing.
Anyway hope some of this helps, it really does depend on how much time you have and what your objective is, if you want to spend more time in the cities to party and do the tourist thing, see the sights outside the cities, or both. I don't want to take up anymore space than I already have, so if you want specifics as to where to go let me know.

5. Posted by campingirl (Budding Member 5 posts) 10y

check out calcruzer's reply to the USA Newby thread. He has a very detailed trip of CA on up with a lot of good info.

6. Posted by pschwerdt (Budding Member 26 posts) 10y

That a lot of places to go. I would probably just focus on a certain area... East Coast (Boston, New York, DC, etc...) is great for it's cities and a lot of history. While the West Coast (San Francisco, Grand Canyon, Seattle, etc...) is a bit better know for natural beauty, and some good cities to boot.

I personally, think a LA, Grand Canyon, Vegas, Yosemite, SF, Oregon Coast, Portland, Mt. Rainer, Seattle, and Vancouver/Vicoria BC trip would be great.

7. Posted by sammie1987 (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

Quoting tany33

im hoping on travelling around the USA hitting quite a few of the big cities and such, basically circling it(New York, Washington, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, LA, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Boston and then back to New York)but i also want to make sure i see smaller places and experience some culture. im unsure the best way to get around at the moment, i like the idea of having a car but if i rent i dont know about costs/ how far and long i can take it. how long do you think it will take if i want to see lots and not rush too much. what are the places i should deffinatly go, and what should i avoid?

thanks for any feedback
tania xx

Hey thought id join to say im basically doing the trip u wanna do...not all of it but im leaving on the 10th April im doing new york, washington dc, florida, miami (fly to) la, grand canyon, las vegas, la (for a day or too), san francisco, yosemite, san fran (just for a day or 2), seattle, vancouver (fly to) toronto, new york

when in toronto ill be heading to niagara falls etc.

But im only using the 90days to do this on the waiver (sp?) thing the u can get without getting a visa. So it should be fun. still hasnt sunk in.

8. Posted by tany33 (Budding Member 14 posts) 10y

thankyou to everyone 4 your advise. yes i know its a lot, but at the moment its just a wish list which, in time, i will cut down depending on whats best/ costs/ time etc.

i dont know how long i have to do this as iv got no long term plans at the moment so its more depending on how much it will cost to how long i will have before my money runs out! iv got to work to save up.

looking at what you have said i will probally try driving, but flying across so maybe start on the wast coast then fly to the east coast and explore by renting out a car. thanks for the tip about driveaways - il look into it. i did have a look at calcruzer's reply on the USA newby thread, was v. helpful ta.

thanks for all your help. hows best go about renting a car, should i get one when im there or order in advance.. (plus will it be alright to rent if im 18, i know there drivng age is ok but will it cost extra? iv heard sometimes it does!)
thanks
tania xx

9. Posted by ash48 (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

hitesh_g made up a pretty good trip for ya... If you wanted to squeeze Detroit into your trip, I know, being from Michigan, that the drive from Detroit to Toronto is pretty easy (about 3 1/2 hours). And by going through Windsor, you could do a little gambling. ;) So, basically, the only thing I'd add to hitesh_g's post, is to fly from Vancouver to Detroit.
Oh, I also should tell you that sometimes you can't rent cars at age 18. I'm 19 and have looked a little into it. If you are able to rent, there are fees. Let me know if I can help.
~Ashley

10. Posted by luckysnap (Budding Member 37 posts) 10y

atlanta is a dangerous city and unremarkable.