Road Trip USA: Need Help

Old Feb 26th, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Road Trip USA: Need Help

Hey, i'm a french student road tripping the US this summer for a mounth (with 3 friends), i'm trying to see as much as possible, so I'm going to give you my road trip map, but I wanted to ask your help if you can help me figure out better places to sleep and to visit that are around the places I go ! To be precise, I don't want to miss out on great cities that are around the cities Im sleeping in, PLUS I don't want to miss out on great activites around too , keep in mind that i only have one mounth and that I'll be driving around 4 to 5 hours a day.

So here it is all my trip from the 5th of August to to the 3rd of September 2013=
Ps: I'm sorry if it is a bit messy, but here it goes, THANKS A LOT IN ADVANCE
1, 2, 3, 4 etc... are all the steps we're crossing and sometimes stopping at

Day 1 : From Pittsburgh to Lexington:
1-Pittsburgh to Wellsville:
2-Wellsville to Sugarcreek: (1h40)
3-Sugarcreek to Millersburg: (28min)
4-Millersburg to Lexington: (1H03)

Day 2: Lexington to Chicago (6h15)

1-Lexington to Elkhart (4H13)
2-Elkhart to Chicago (2H)

Day 3: Chicago to Sioux City (8h35)

1-Chicago to Union (1H17)
2-Union to Dubuque (2h20)
3-Dubuque to Sioux city (5h28)

Day 4: Sioux City to Gordon (Nebraska) = 5h31

1-Sioux City to o’neill
2-O’neill to valentine
3-Valentine to gordon (2h00)

Day 5: Gordon to Aladdin:

1-Gordon to Prairie homestead
2-Prairie homestead to badlands national park via route 240 pour traverser tous les bad lands
3-Badlands national park to Buffalo gap national grassland
4-Buffalo gap national grassland to Rapid city
5-Rapid city to Mount Rushmore (keystone)
6-Keystone to Hill City

Day 6: Hill City to Sheridan

1-Hill City- to Pactola reservoire
2-Pactola reservoir to Deadwood (54min)
3-Deadwood to Spearfish (20min)
4-Spearfish to Aladdin
5-Aladdin to Devil tower (suivre route 24 jusqu’à devil tower)
6-Devil tower to Sheridan

Day 7: Sheridan to Cody

1-Sheridan to bucking mule falls
2-Bucking mule falls to Cody (passer par la 14 cross la bighorn lake)

Day 8: Cody to Roosevelt Lodge Cabins

1-Cody to West Thumb
2-West thumb to old faithful
3-Old faithful to Madison
4-Madison to Norris
5-Norris to Grant canyon village
6-Grant canyon village to Roosevelt Lodge Cabins

Day 9: Roosevelt Lodge to Choteau (6h)

1-Mammoth to Gardiner
2-Gardiner to Livingston
3-Livingston to White Sulphur Springs
4-White Sulphur Springs to Great Falls
5- Great Falls to Choteau

Day 10: Choteau to Kalispell (4h30)

1- Choteau to St Mary
2-St Mary to Whitefish
3-Whitefish to Kalispell

Day 11: Kalispell to Salmon (4h45)

1- Kalispell to Missoula
2-Missoula to Salmon


Day 12: Salmon to Jackpot (6h30)

1-Salmon to Challis
2-Challis to Stanley
3-Stanley to hailey
4-Hailey to Jackpot

Day 13: Jackpot to Ely (4h12)

1-Jackpot to Bonneville speedway
2-Bonneville to Ely (chercher le certificate de loneist road et mécanisme)

Day 14: Ely to Reno

1-Ely to Eureka
2-Eureka to Austin
3-Austin to fallon
4-Fallon to Fernley
5-Fernley to Reno (arrive avant 18h30: poker tournoi et voir le signe rouge à l’entrée),

Day 15: Reno to San Francisco (5h12)

1-Reno to Nevada beach (lac tahoe)
2-Nevada beach to Placerville
3-Placerville to Coloma
4-Coloma to Sacramento
5-Sacramento to Berkeley
6-Berkeley to San Francisco

Day 16: San francisco to Big Sur

1-San Francisco to Montara
2-Montara to Santa Cruz
3-Santa Cruz to Big sur

Day 17: Big Sur to Santa monica/Los Angeles (6h10)

1-Big Sur to San Luis Obispo
2-San Luis Obispo to Guadalupe
3-Guadalupe to Lampoc
4-Lampoc to Santa Barbara
5- Santa Barbara to Malibu
6- Malibu to Santa Monica/LA (voir le panneau fin de route 66)

Day 18: Los Angeles to Olancha

1-Los Angeles
2-Los Angeles to Olancha

Day 19: Olancha to Las Vegas

1-Olancha to Furnacecreek
2-Furnacecreek to Shoshone
3-Shoshone to Las Vegas
4-Las Vegas

Day 20: Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

1-Las Vegas to hooverdam (boulder city)
2-Hooverdam to Kingman
3-Kingman to Valentine
4-Valentine to Seligman
5-Seligman to grand canyon national park


Day 21: Grand Canyon to Albuquerque

1-Grand Canyon to Cameron (drive 46 livre)
2-Cameron to Flagstaff
3-Flagstaff to Gallup
4-Gallup to Albuquerque

Day 22: Albuquerque to Abilene

1-Albuquerque to Roswell
2-Roswell to Abilene

Day 23: Abilene to Dallas

1-Abilene to Albany
2-Albany to Weatherford
3-weatherford to fort worth
4-fort Worth to Dallas

Day 24: Dallas to Jackson

1-Dallas to Marshall
2-Marshall to Shreveport
3-Shreveport to Gibsland
4-Gibsland to Monroe
5-Monroe to Jackson

Day 25: Jackson to Atlanta (=6h45)

1-Jackson to Meridian
2-Meridian to Selma
3-Selma to Montgomery
4-Montgomery to Atlanta

Day 26: Atlanta to Virginia Beach
OR Atlanta to Little Switzerland

1-Atlanta to Charlotte
2-Charlotte to Virginia Beach

Day 27 : Virginia beach to lewes/Atlantic City

1-Virginia Bech to Chincoteague
2-Chincoteague to Ocean city
3-Ocean City to Atlantic City

Day 28 Atlantic city to New York

1-Atlantic city to New york
2-New Yorkn
FacesofAmerica is offline  
Old Feb 26th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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I hope the car is comfortable and the gas prices go down - that's a lot of driving and not a lot of doing things . . .
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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First - you don;t give your ge - but have you confirmed that you are old enough to rent a car.

Second - I must admit I have never heard of many of the incredibly long list of places you have listed.

Third - do you really have time to sop and see anything? If all you're doing is driving you'll get awfully bored.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 02:58 PM
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I've taken trips with itineraries like the one you list -- and I DON'T recommend them. You end up with little more than exhausted travelers and photos proving that you've stood in front of a sign.

I STRONGLY suggest you choose ONE section of the U.S. to visit - East Coast, West Coast, or central national parks -- and just visit there. YOU will have to decide what you hope to experience during this trip, and then pick the area that will best reflect that choice. With a month to visit, you'll have a lot of flexibility on what to pile onto your trip. Nevertheless, I can guarantee this: if you try to visit everything, you'll end up visiting nothing.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 07:24 PM
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Well im a college student and if i were to see the country, as if I were a foreigner, id reccomend a change. Thats alot of driving, period. There are such things as "spirit" airlines that fly to great hot spots. To see important places of the states, you want to void the middle, predjudice as it may be. Boston, NY, Philadelphia, Chiacgo, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Austin (texas) Miami, then back to the north east, that may be your best bet. I realize you miss alot of cities, but honestly, you want hotspots, places were youthful people (21-30) go out at night and live it up. Driving is very expensive but could be doable if you limit down your cities. There are my recommendations in a circular order, i do hope you have a fun trip!
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 10:46 PM
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Thanks a lot for your concern but I won't be the only one driving, we know it's a lot of driving but we're going to wake up early, and still be able to do a lot, as most of the time we'll be at 12pm in the city of our choice. The cities I've put are not the cities I always stop at, For the most part I'm just crossing them.
The idea behind this trip is to experience whole America not to do what most people do, which is selecting an area and stick with it. Our goal is to see everything, well at least a lot of things. And I feel the mid west, and the southern states are as Important as New York, or other big cities we might cross.
On my own I've already been to New York, Chicago, Miami, Minnepaolis, but I feel I wanna do something different this time. It sure gonne be a challenge, but we are young; and still think we'll be able to see, and visit everything. Plus the roads we're taken are called scenic drives, so I guess they'll be quite beautiful to take !
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Old Feb 27th, 2013, 01:15 AM
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You have obviously done a lot of research - I hope you get suggestions that SUPPORT your choices. My wife & I have done similar trips from the UK and loved every minute.

Two suggestions. 1] On day 6 you should stop off in Buffalo, Wyoming and see the Occidental Hotel. I'm guessing you are on a budget but this place has lots of character [see their website] and might be a better bet for somewhere to stay than Sheridan. Treat yourselves! At least have a look round and maybe a meal, they are very friendly people.
2] On day 7 I recommend the R14 spur that goes through Greybull. Shell Canyon is spectacular, but it is worth checking Wyoming's road closure website in case of rockfalls. They have a great little ranger station en route where you can stretch your legs and chat to people who know the area.

Have a great trip
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Old Feb 27th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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If you were advising someone visiting Europe would you recommend a trip like this where you spend no more than one night anywhere? Nothing wrong with getting out of the cities but you need to stop and actually spend some time looking around and maybe even hiking. Have you looked at the list of National Parks in the US? Do you know about the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive if you want to drive in the south? You might even do part of this by train...
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Old Feb 27th, 2013, 11:36 PM
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@Roger_cook, thanks, Yeah we'll try that hotel, i had previsously heard of it, but I guess I didn't think they would be any room available at that time. And on day 7 that's what is planned , thanks

&Thursdaysd: I know theses places, along this roads there are beautiful places to hike but I've been looking on the Internet and found that there were 4 hours hikes so we Didn't think we had the time to do them :/

Regarding all of your concerns, I guess you were kinda right that's why we decided to cut the first 4 to 5 days of the trip in order to win 120 hours, and to let us have more free time !
We'll depart anywhere near denver and try to reach Mount rushmore and then follow the road as planned !
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 04:57 AM
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Here are a few suggestions. Hope they help.

Day 1: Pittsburgh to Chicago--long drive--or stop along Lake Erie somewhere. Love roller coasters? Spend a day at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio (Looks like you wanted to see Amish country but that is a bit out of your way)

Day 2: Chicago

Day 3: Sioux Falls

Day 4 Badlands, Mt Rushmore---(skip Gordon Nebraska?)

Day 5,6,7 even Day 8 Yellowstone and the Tetons (I think Glacier is out of your way)

Day 9 Salt Lake City

Day 10 Reno

Day 11 Lake Tahoe

Day 12, 13 San Francisco

Day 14 Big Sur

Day 15, 16 LA

Day 17 Las Vegas

Day 18, 19 Grand Canyon

Day 20 and on..... Skip all your Texas stops--. You don't want to be in Texas in August Head up toward Denver, go across the states..Kansas City, St. Louis...head toward the east coast skipping some of the more southern states.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 06:26 AM
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I wish I were young enough to join you.

Many of us on this forum are focused on the destination -- being in Yellowstone, not on the journey to get there! You clearly understand the distinction.

I have few regrets in life, but one of them is that I did not drive overland from London to India in my twenties. Too be honest, I was far too poor to drive but I could have joined a group like yours. Now, the chances are next to Zero that an American will ever be able to drive across Pashtunistan.

Go for it, and bonne chance!
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 06:44 AM
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I live in Missoula. People often underestimate the size of the western states and the fact that there is generally no interstate system. Just to give you an idea, on Day 11 of your trip it would take 2.5-3 hours to get from Kalispell to Missoula and about the same amount of time to get from Missoula to Salmon. You'll be on 2-lane roads almost the entire time. Between Kalispell and Missoula you'll pass Flathead Lake, the Flathead Indian Reservation, and the National Bison Range. Don't know if you are interested in stopping at any of those places. And I hope you are planning on driving through Glacier Park if you are going to be in the Kalispell area. It is magnificent and, sadly, in a few years the glaciers might not be there due to global warming. Good luck with your trip, you'll have quite a trip report afterwards!
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 09:54 AM
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You may enjoy reading "Blue Highways" by William Least Heat- Moon before your trip. He drove on lesser roads, the so called blue highways, instead of the interstate highways, to discover more of the real places and culture of the USA.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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If you do make it to Seligman - Day 20 - call in to 'Seligman Sundries' and say hi to Lyn and Frank, the owners, tell them Andy and Mary from UK sent you, you will have a great coffee and a good chat.
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Old Mar 1st, 2013, 08:16 AM
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@LindainOhio , why should I avoid texas in august? and southern states? and why do you think glacier would be out of my way ? ^^

@Ackislander, thanks a lot, cheers

@achay, Flathead Lake, the Flathead Indian Reservation, and the National Bison Range are all written down, and we had already planned to see those places We were hoping to see glacier national park, i Think it's quite close to St mary, Montana.
Yeah we're planning to make a documentary out of it, that's why we want to see every thing, so we can document on every thing we saw !

@HappyTrvlr, thanks I'll definetly read it ! We tried our best to avoid those big highways when we designed our trip !

@Lateagain, I'll try to remember that as we cross seligman !
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Old Mar 1st, 2013, 01:04 PM
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I haven't read all these, but I am responding to your query about Texas, just above.

Heat is an issue in some places. Think Spain with no siesta in the southwest-- Arizona to Texas. Add humidity in the southeast . Expect mid-day temperatures greater than 33C throughout the region and temperatures to 35 or 36 possible. The last two summer in Texas and Oklahoma have had weeks at a time of 100 to 107 Fahrenheit.

Stay hydrated, never travel without water in your vehicle, and you will be fine. The car, perhaps not. Watch engine temperatures, particularly on long grades. Stop and give it a rest if it begins to overheat.
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Old Jun 7th, 2014, 06:56 AM
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Hey guys, thanks for all the reply, here are our youtube channel where we uploaded parts of our trip, I hope you enjoy the scenery as well as the routes we took:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qum8yceMeQQ
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