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Most scenic/adventurous route - Idaho to South Carolina


Mar 28th, 2016, 07:45 PM
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Most scenic/adventurous route - Idaho to South Carolina

Me and my 3 boys (ages 7,9,11) will be traveling from Idaho to South Carolina. There really aren't any time constraints. We are looking for the most scenic, touristy, national parks, adventurous, fun route we can find. Obviously we will have to drive back to Idaho so I am actually looking for 2 routes because we don't want to go back the way we came.
Also what are some "not to miss" places in the bigger cities? I have a tendency to skip/pass through the big cities because they can be a bit overwhelming to this Idaho girl but I am willing to check them out if there are things that we can't afford to miss.
We will be traveling this summer.
Any help with this trip would be much appreciated.
BerBer is offline  
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Mar 28th, 2016, 08:52 PM
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LOL - if that were my task, I would just sit down with a map of the USA and let the boys arrange the routes, based on each one telling you what/where he wanted to see the most.

Then, after the first one picks, the options are slightly narrowed for the next person to pick. (though with coming and going on two different routes, you still have LOTS of alternatives, for if the first kid picks one spot, and the 2nd kid picks another spot some distance away, but on the same north-south line... you can always do one on the way east, and the other on the way back to the west.

And Fodors here works best when you have at least some sort of an outline for your priorities... and then people here can fill-in the blanks, instead of seemingly needing to come up with the entire plan from near-scratch.
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Mar 29th, 2016, 02:59 AM
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The idea to have the kids AND you choose some places, although it may be more difficult for them to know what is available.
I will also say (from experience) that children may not value beautiful vistas as much as adults. And don't forget amusement parks.
But for starters, right next door--Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Badlands. Cheyenne Rodeo Days, if your timing is right. Headwaters of the Mississippi. St. Louis Arch.
Gretchen is online now  
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Mar 29th, 2016, 06:17 AM
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The most important thing is WHEN. Lots of folks here told people not to worry about winter cross country trips, and this year has been a nightmare

In general, I wouldn't want to drive through the tornado belt (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama) in Late April and May, and I would stay away from the Gulf states in hurricane season (September and October).

Other than that, I would suggest driving down through Utah and Colorado into New Mexico, then across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains, then down I-26 from Asheville to wherever in SC. Stop at the state welcome centers to see what they recommend to do; locally, the people at the public library in any town will be happy to tell you what to see and where to eat locally. Public libraries almost all have free wifi if you need that, and many of them have used book shelves where you can pick up reading materials for the boys and yourself for very little money.

If you are traveling in warm weather, stopping at a motel with a pool will use up a lot of energy. Gas can be hard to find in the wide open spaces, so fill up when you can. Ask other travelers about prices ahead. On the East Coast, just as an example, SC, Virginia, and New Jersey are cheaper than the other states around them, and SC is cheaper near the NC line than "inland".

Do you know how to change a tire? Do you have AAA (even better than knowing how to change a tire and a small part of the cost of your trip).
Ackislander is offline  
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Mar 29th, 2016, 08:27 AM
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This is the most scenic route I could dream up:
Wherever in Idaho to Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Check to see where you want to stay in Yellowstone (camping?)
Stop 2. Rock Springs WY
Stop 3. Moab UT to see Arches and the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands. There is a Dinosaur National Monument between Rock Springs and Moab (east of Vernal UT).
Stop 4. Glenwood Springs Colorado. Swim in the worlds largest hot spring fed pool and take the gondola ride up to Glenwood Caverns. You can hike up to the cemetery to see the marker for Doc Holliday.
Stop 5. Denver Colorado. See the Capitol building and maybe the US Mint.
Stop 6. Abilene Kansas. Best things are the Eisenhower Museum and a rock showing the end of the cattle drive trail.
Stop 7. St. Louis See the Gateway Arch and Busch stadium
Are the boys baseball fans? (maybe a game if the Cards are playing in town).
Stop 8. Mammoth Cave east of Bowling Green KY.
Stop 9. Dollywood and the Great Smoky Mt. NP.
Stop 10. Wherever you want to go in South Carolina
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Mar 29th, 2016, 11:25 AM
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If you travel on i70 across KS, consider the Sternberg museum in Hays: Dinosaurs! In Abilene basically on the highway is the Brookville Hotel Restaurant. Family style chicken etc. Not my favorite but it ranks high on some lists. Rolling Hill is kind of a zoo near Salina. Topeka has a small zoo and a decent but small history museum (focused on Ks history). The State Capital in Topeka is allegedly one of the prettiest/nicest in the nation. They just got done re-doing it. Kansas City KS has the Schlitterbahn (sp?) water park with a ridiculously tall water slide. City Museum and Cohakia mounds in St. Louis.
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Mar 29th, 2016, 04:19 PM
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I must give you credit for your courage in making this trip with the kids, but it will probably be one they will remember forever. Good advice so far, just keep lots of food/snacks drinks etc in the car and stop before you feel too tired. If you are going to do mostly motel/hotel type lodging you will probably need reservations near the National parks. If you have a tablet/ipad type device, you can find some places to stay on the fly, but I would make sure of lodging by early afternoon.

If you use tomfuller's and Bitter's list, I would try to squeeze in Zion and Bryce between Yellowstone and Moab or on the trip back.

Maybe use route 70 on the way out and back on 40 or the other way around if that works better for your plan.

Maybe stop in Albuquerque and Santa Fe and visit Bandolier National Monument, Valles Caldera, Painted desert/Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, etc.
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