USA by bus or train

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1. Posted by vagabond (Full Member 104 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Hi People,

I am planning a 10-20 days long trip accross USA by Bus or Train, around mid february (preferably bus as its cheaper). I am an Indian student leavin around the DC area right now. I want to see as much USA as possible but by land travel, as I feel, thats the best way to see it. I dont own a car neither have a licence :( I have saved up some money for this but it aint much!

Could any one of you guys suggest me an itinerary or some destinations. If I travel by bus then I have to make frequent stops. I guess if I go by train, I'll take a few long distance rides.

If any one wants to join me, lemme know,
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks a ton guys

2. Posted by croner (Budding Member 6 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

You probably already know this but the Grayhound lines have an unlimited pass that you can buy online. They have various durations for different parts of the country. The trains are a bit quicker, but the destinations are getting more sparse everyday. If you could, I would suggest taking the train because most people on the train would be there for the same reason as you: they enjoy travel. The bus people are usually more destination oriented. Anyway, check this out:

3. Posted by vagabond (Full Member 104 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Thanks a lot croner, could you suggest me some travel destination. I mean where would you have gone?


4. Posted by jjstroke (Full Member 13 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

I've been trying to find someone willing to take the chance train hopping across the country... but its been a tough search.

Anyways.. for a 20 day trip, here are a few places I'd recommend:

Utah national parks... arches, canyonlands, southwestern slope of the colorado plateau is just breathtaking
Califorina national parks... death valley, joshua tree, sequoia, san fran bay area, northern cali coast, big sur coast is photographic heaven!!!!
yellowstone in the winter time is awesome deeep snow, very low tourists.. in the summer its rediculous just like most of the np's
grand canyon i prefer north rim 100x to the south rim, as north rim tourists are scarce.
vegas is always great to see even if you dont gamble...
nevada lonliest road is really great :)
idaho is pretty cool, montana, wyoming, all great scenery
white sands in new mexico, awesome weather this time of year
rocky mtn np in colorado is nice, pikes peak is worth the trip...
hagerman idaho / snake river grill has the best trout ive ever had in my life
np in texas are great
not far from DC, shenandoah/ blue ridge parkway/ great smokies NP is a really nice several day trip, but east coast np have to close EVERYTHING in the winter
there are a few places in virgina that still have a clear, dark, non light polluted sky where you can actually see the Gegenschien (sp?)
florida keys this time of year is fun to go diving or snorkeling on the reef... swim with sharks is always fun
the everglades is the only subtropical wetlands in north america, mosquitos are tolerable this time of year and great chances to kayak/canoe with gators/ crocs & snorkel with huge turtles
crystal river & a bunch of springs in florida offer chances to swim with manatees this time of year
nyc is my fav city by far... chicago is also way cool

a good bit of the above list could be done in 20 days time...

5. Posted by TimmyG (Budding Member 6 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

It's hard to stitch together a cross-country-trip, especially if you're starting in D.C., but with 20 days and a February schedule, I'd break this into three trips:

1) Northeast USA
2) South
3) West.

Northeast USA could be train-based from D.C., with suggested stops in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston (though under your tight schedule, you might want to forget Boston, especially since it'll be snowy.) You could also continue this trip into Montreal, which is a fascinating city.

The South trip could be based on the Amtrak "Cardinal" train. Stop in Charlottesville, VA to see Monticello and the University, then continue on to Atlanta and New Orleans (don't miss New Orleans - there's no other city that compares with it's flavor and attitudes.) If so inclined, you could continue on to Texas (Houston & Dallas.) (I'm biased about the Charlottesville stop - I live here!)

I'd then fly on Southwest Air to the West. A one way ticket could be as little as $50 between an airport in Texas and Las Vegas or Los Angeles. (Buses between Las Vegas and Los Angeles are cheap and plentiful.)

As for the West, there's unbelievable distance to cover here, but no trip would be complete without stops in Las Vegas & the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Unfortunately, this suggests missing sites like Yosemite, Seattle, Phoenix.

If anything, I'd skew your time during this trip to the West, since this is where you'll find the best weather and the most distinctive sites. (In other words, Atlanta is nice, but Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles are more distinctive to me.)

Hope this helps.....good luck!