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Im planning 2 mths across USA. where should i go?

Travel Forums North America Im planning 2 mths across USA. where should i go?

1. Posted by kbarker (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

okay so this is very early days yet. but i planning 2 months across the USA in august/september. starting in Philadelphia.
i need suggestions of places to go from people who have been before, because i want to make the best of my time.


2. Posted by gocebe (Inactive 48 posts) 7y

If you have a choice, start in the west and end in the east. New England is at its best towards the end of September and during October.

3. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 7y

People ask this question quite a bit.

The synopsis seems to be that you should see a few cities--and a lot of great nature spots.

Some of the highlights (I'll try to put these in order from east coast to west coast--and along a driving route, but may forget things, so keep this in mind).

Go to:

Philadelphia--then north to New York City, then up to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, out to Cape Cod, up to Boston, then up to the southern portion of Maine to try some lobster. Cut west to almost Albany, then take one of the scenic roads down back down to New York city. (if you want to see some of Canada, consider Montreal first, then drop down to New York).

From here go south to the Chesapeake Bay area just east of Anapolis, then back to Washington DC (lots to see here). Go down to Williamsburg in Virginia, then back north to Washington DC. Cut west to the old town of Harpers Ferry and check out some of the Civil War sites in the area--Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, Antietam in Maryland, and the town of Harpers Ferry itself. Go down south through the Shenandoah Valley National Park area.

Next go south and see Monticello in Charlottesville, then cut west and go through Ashville, North Carolina and see the Vanderbilt House, then head west through the Great Smoky National Park and go over to Nashville and visit the Hermitage and the Wild Horse Saloon in town. From here, head west to Memphis and go see the Sun Studios where Elvis recorded, the BB King jazz club and have some great barbecue ribs or beef, then see Graceland on the outskirts of town.

Head south from here to Orlando, Florida and visit Disney World and maybe Busch Gardens in Tampa and maybe the Space Center east of here(and now you have to make a decision whether you want to take a trip to Miami or not)--if so do so and also drive through the Everglades--but in either case, the next stop is New Orleans. Visit the French Quarter and definitely spend a night on Bourbon Street. Enjoy some cajun food and great pastries.

Next stop is San Antonio and the riverwalk--then north to Austin and some time on a ranch or near Lake Travis (on a waverunner or having a great margarita at the restaurant overlooking the lake). Head west from here to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, the largest caves in the country. Head north to Albuquerque's center and to Santa Fe. Next go north to Durango. Visit the Mesa Verde National Park and its "cliff house". Take the old train from Durango up to Silverado and back. Head west to Moab--visit Arches National Park, then Dead Horse Point, then drop down to Mexican Hat and into Monument Valley (one of my favorite spots). Go to Paige and then to the south end of Lake Powell. Take the boat that goes out to the Rainbow Bridge. Go from here up to Bryce Canyon National Park, then head south through Zion to Las Vegas. Spend two to three days in Las Vegas, then go to the Grand Canyon and then go down to Sedona. Head west from here through Palm springs, and cut south to San Diego.

In San Diego, go see Sea World and spend some time on Mission Bay and seeing "Old Town San Diego". Then head north to the Los Angeles area. Spend a day at the Laguna Beach arts festival if its going on (its in August). See the sawdust festival or the Pageant of the masters--they are the best events. Head north to San Marino (near Pasadena) and see the Huntington Library and Gardens.

Now for my favorite part--the small towns of California. Go north through Santa Barbara, stoping near the pier to see the art displayed along the beach, then visit the mission there, then drive up to Solvang--a danish town about an hour north. Spend time in the wineries near Los Gatos and have dinner in the tiny town there (either Los Gatos Cafe or Forest Parker's place both have great food). Head north from here to Paso robles and take 46 west through the winery country--sample the fare, then spend the night on Moonstone beach in Cambria. Visit Hearst Castle the next morning, then make the drive to Pebble Beach, and take the 17 mile drive, then drive the one mile to Carmel--the prettiest town in the entire country (and only 1 hour from where I live). From here go north through the redwoods in Santa Cruz and go north on 17 to San Jose. Visit the Winchester Mystery House, then drive on north to San Francisco (everyone's favorite large city)--check all the threads on here on what to do there, since it takes about 10 posts just to describe it all--p.s. the seafood and ethnic food is great in almost every restaurant here.

Now drive north through the redwood national park and Napa/Sonoma Winery country north of here--obviously, this area is world famous--especially if you like red wine.

Make a stop in Ashland, Oregon--which has a wonderful Shakespeare festival--and then go on to Crater Lake. Head on up to Portland and look for their tea spot that has over 120 different types of tea (I forget the name of the place). Go north a few miles into Washington and stop at the Mount St. Helens monument station--and watch the amazing films on the explosion of the mountain here. Go on north to Seattle and visit the Space Needle. At the base of the Space Needle is the Experience Music Project and the "alien" museum about space invaders. Also visit the Soqualmie Falls 17 miles east of town, then take a look at Bellevue near Lake Washingotn, then head north to Canada and take a ferry across to Vancouver Island and see the city of Victoria--which is more like England than north America. Take a ferry back to Vancouver and visit the Grousse Island ski resort/summer resort on the north end of town.

If you still have time, head on through Banff, then to Calgary, then south to Yellowstone national park, the grand Tetons national park, visit the city of Jackson Hole, Wyoming (like an old west town in the 21st century), then head east through South Dakota to see Deadwood and the Mount Rushmore Monument, and on to see Chicago--another great city. Fly home from here, or drive or take the train from here back to the east coast.


4. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 7y

In my message above, I said "go visit the wineries near Los Gatos and then go to the Los Gatos Cafe for dinner". What I should have said was "go visit the wineries near Los Olivos and then go to the Los Olivos Cafe for dinner". Los Olivos is near Santa Barbara in the southern part of the state. Los Gatos (another nice town) is just 20 miles from where I live, near Santa Cruz in the northern part of the state.

Sorry about that--but at least I corrected myself.

5. Posted by loveit (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Hi I can see you've already been given a lot of information, but here's my opinion anyway! Not sure if this would fit into your trip, but I really loved Colorado when I visited - if you're looking for a more "outdoorsy" type of adventure then you should try and check it out! The scenery is actually breath-taking and there's so much you can do; hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting...or you could even go for a quick ski break if you fancied!

If you miss the city life you could always visit Denver too, which is a really lively, fun city and also has lots of museums and older buildings you can visit if you're interested..

6. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 7y

where are you from? if you are from philly...get on the turnpike and head west...immediately!

if you are not from Philly, Hang around Philly for a week and a half and use it as a base-

There really isn't too many big things to see or do here other than eat, but, from here you are a two hour drive or less from NYC, Baltimore, D.C., and Atlantic City. Also two hours north of philly is Jim Thorpe, home of skirmish paintball. I highly, highly suggest that, it's one of the best, if not THE best place in the world to go paint-balling. Plus a little northwest of the city is the oldest brewery in america, maybe worth checking out.

7. Posted by deadmanmoz (Full Member 92 posts) 7y

Calcruzer is the man to listen to, i know i did when i went away.

I did 3months around the states and went from Miami up the East Coast stopping at Orlando, Atlanta, Smokies, Washington, NY, Boston into Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago, various stops across the top of the country, some stops in Canada including Banff, Vancouver, Calgary and then down the West Coast.

Highlights for me were: Miami, NY of course, Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Providence, Chicago, Banff, San Fran, Vegas, Bryce, Page, San Diego.

But i visited so many places i could go on forever.

What kind of thing are you looking for?
Tourist sights.
Natural wonders.
Theme Parks.
Movie locations.
etc etc

8. Posted by Christoph5 (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y

I'm doing a West to East Coast trip for two months from mid September to mid November, whats the best / cheapest way to do it? Buy a car?

9. Posted by way2goeh (Full Member 159 posts) 7y

I woould TOTALLY agree with Calcruzer. Vancouver is a no-miss. Spend more time in Parks than cities. Las Vegas is a must see also (for one day b/c you lose all your money...hahahahaha) and do the hoover dam tour outside Las Vegas. The drive from LA to Vancouver is awesome. The changing of the trees is something else