Hey thanks for forwarding me that link. I had been on that site before, but must not have searched properly as I thought the only one close to the route im going was 21 days long. The 35 day Coast to Coast South looks amazing, and would allow me the security of travelling the country in a group with someone who knows what theyre doing, and also the chance to do my own thing in new york and california on either end. think im going to go for it - the youtube videos make it look amazing! thanks again
Ahh, glad I stumbled across this. I've been considering travelling from coast to coast this summer as well! Had considered driving it, but still not sure! Information on this was pretty helpful! Still not sure if I want to go to America over Indonesia though, I know i'll get much more time etc. for my money in Indonesia :/
yeah , the reason I want to do america now is because its probably going to be the only time in my life when i can afford to do it haha! ( working full time but staying at home still!). Was originally planning on travelling Europe, but figured that I could probably do short city breaks in europe a lot easier in years to come ( I live in scotland ), which isnt possible with the US. Its going to cost a fortune to do it , but moneys there to be spent right?!
No one has mentioned to you that it is cheaper to fly coast to coast than take a bus or train. I think you should consider touring NYC & WDC, you've been given a lot of great tips for those cities, then fly west to LA or SF. Watch for discounted fares and travel at weird hours will help lower costs. Using those cities as your base of operation you can head to Vegas, the Grand Canyon, etc., especially out of LA. There are some inexpensive flights between SF and LA plus a train.
The Amtrax train between Chicago and SF takes forever, but you will see some great sites and probably meet some interesting people on the train. The Zepher stops in Colorado, Denver and Grand Junction, where you might consider getting off, touring and then reboarding a few days later.
A good site to watch for airfares in the USA is www.farewatcher.com. I use it to compare prices and order tickets all the time.
Have a safe trip and don't consider hitchhiking as away to get around the US, it's not safe.
In the big cities you won't have problems finding cheap vegetarian (or any food) for that matter, so long as you avoid the heavy tourist areas. As for the plan I'd definitely focus on the outsides of the country (because there's more to see and do) rather than the middle, but that's just me!
Arrive in New York - spend time here!
Washington DC (you can take a cheap but nice Bolt Bus from NYC to DC) - also on the east coast consider Boston or if you like nature, Maine is really beautiful though kind of far north)
Virginia (stick to the parts near DC unless you rent a car, it is a beautiful state)
North Carolina (Chapel Hill is great and Charlotte is a cool town, but this is far enough south that it starts being less comfortable to not have a car, cities in the South/West don't tend to have public transportation as good as in the Northeast)
Tennessee (again, might be good to have a car), Beale St in Memphis is a fun part of town, Nashville is cool if you're interested in Country music)
Mississippi (not really much to see here other than deep south culture - but you can get that in New Orleans or Texas, I'd skip it personally)
New Orleans (FANTASTIC town!!! Great food, culture, partying, anything you want. Be careful though because it's higher in crime, try to stay in the French Quarter if possible)
Texas (Austin is awesome, go there)
New Mexico (New Mexico and Arizona are beautiful but I would just do one of them unless you really like the outdoors)
Coast of California ending in San Francisco (San Diego is an awesome city, LA you at least have to go through! And San Francisco is so fun of course, if you have time and desire Seattle and Vancouver way farther north are fun)
Also, is renting a car an option? Buses can pickup and drop off in sketchy parts of town and if you don't have a car it can be difficult to get around from there (and taxis are generally expensive). The east coast is SUPER easy to take a bus & train but once you get to the south and the west coast, it's not really what people do. My advice would be to train or bus it in the east, possibly fly across the country then rent a car.