July/August this year: I have 5 weeks to travel overland (using buses and trains) to get from Vegas to Chicago. I am absolutely clueless about which direction to go in. I don't mind taking a flight or two if needs be. Should I start by heading south towards albuquerque, or should I go through the middle towards Colorado Springs??? Or any other suggestions?
I'll be travelling on my own so I want to visit places where there are things to do and see (nature reserves, parks, sports, nightlife, maybe a beach or two) Or am I completely mad to do this?!! I don't want to go to the west coast as I travelled there two years ago and had my fill! I'm hoping to see the 'real' America this year and so don't mind going 'off the beaten track'! Any suggestions welcome and appreciated!
5 weeks is a long time, so I suggest the following:
(1) Chicago to Minneapolis via Madison, Wisconsin
(2) Minneapolis to Rapid City, South Dakota area (visit the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore and Deadwood all in South Dakota)
(3) From Rapid City go to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton and maybe take a white-water trip on the Snake River and maybe spend a day at a dude ranch. Go on down to Jackson Hole, Wyoming
(4) Go from Jackson Hole down through Salt Lake City/Park City (Utah) to Moab, Utah (visit Arches National Park)
(5) Take a bus to Page, Arizona (Lake Powell) and take a boat out on the lake
(6) Go to the Grand Canyon
(7) Visit Sedona, AZ, then travel on to Las Vegas
If you want, take a bus from Page, Arizona to Santa Fe or Albuquerque (after step 5, but before 6) and then back to the Grand Canyon (long trip both ways, though).
If you want more nightlife and beaches (and less national parks), head south to New Orleans, then over to Texas' South Padre Island, north to San Antonio and Austin, then Dallas, then west to Santa Fe and Albuquerque, then to the Grand Canyon and then to Las Vegas. Go to the riverwalk in San Antonio and waterpark near South Padre Island.
If you want to spend more time just hanging around, head to Denver, Colorado, then cruise through Beaver Creek, Vail, Glenwood Springs, and Aspen, then south to Taos, NM and on to Santa Fe and Albuquerque and on to Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.
Great advice as always Calcruzer, fair play to ye!! I'll actually be starting in Vegas so will have to do the trip in reverse order but I like the sound of some of the places mentioned...thanks again!
I'll be doing some travelling in the USA this year, starting up in Seattle around July/August and seeing as much as I can see before flying out of LA in October. If you fancy a travel buddy for any part of your trip let me know as I havent got a clue how I'm doing it all yet!