Roadtrip Across the Country

Old Mar 5th, 2014, 06:11 PM
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Roadtrip Across the Country

Hello!
I've recently completed a few shorter roadtrips (All departing from Toronto, Ontario and going to places such as Virginia, Kentucky, and Florida). I'm graduating university shortly and have managed to save up some money by staying home through school, and would like to do a trip across the United States and Canada. I have created a detailed budget and am working on my itinerary. I have 180 days, leaving June 2 and returning home on December 2. We want to hit every single state (exception of Hawaii...We plan on Alaska though) and every province/territory except for Nunavut (difficult to access).
If anyone has any suggestions for routes, cities we don't want to miss, things that are must-dos, scenic by-ways...pretty much anything..please comment and let me know.
Open to any and all suggestions (there are four early-20s going).
Thanks!
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 09:37 PM
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This site might be useful. http://www.trekamerica.com/tours/grt.html
It has a map showing a course for the lower 48 states. If you click on the itinerary tab across the top you might get some ideas for sightseeing. Of course the four of you will have places you want to go, but at least it might give you an idea of how to include all states.
My daughter and I have hit 47 of the 50 states. Somehow we have missed Vermont in all our travels. lol. We even lived in Maine 3 1/2 yrs and never went that direction. I guess that will be this Fall's "leaves" trip. I've heard it is beautiful.
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 04:32 AM
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Sounds like a fantastic adventure, and congratulations on your graduation.

Obviously you will want to do the northern areas in the summer and save the far south for the winter, but some places I would not want to miss in the US are the wonderful National Parks. Get the $80 park pass at the first park you go to, it is good for a year and lets everyone in you car into all the parks.

Don't miss: Yellowstone, Denali, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Carlsbad Caverns, Everglades, Acadia, Rocky Mountain NP, Cape Cod NS, and lots more.

Many of these would be best seen in the summer, e.g.. Denali, and some will be very hot in summer e.g. Zion, Arches. Others will not be open in winter, e.g. Denali, North Rim of GC, upper areas of Yellowstone.

California coast road south of San Francisco is beautiful. Driving across the great plains can get tedious.

In remote areas, fill your gas tank at any opportunity, keep a cooler with food and drinks, keep a couple of gallons of water in the car.

Have a fantastic adventure.
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 05:56 AM
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Thank you both for your responses! We primarily want to hit National Parks and nice beaches, however, there are other things (such as Walt Disney World in Orlando and Universal Studios in LA) that we'd like to do as well.

@rjasnumberonefan the link to the site you provided was very helpful, it will definitely help us in shaping our route. We have almost double the length of time they're taking, but we'll use it a basis for how we design our maps.

@emmaloy thank you for the tips about the national parks! I have Arches, Acadia, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain on my list so far. I didn't know about the $80 pass, so that will be great to have. Is that per/person or per/vehicle?
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 06:00 AM
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The pass is for everyone in your vehicle and is good at all park service areas (NP,NM, NS, NHS etc) for a year from time of purchase. When you are at Arches, you are only a short distance from Canyonlands (do Mesa Arch there at dawn)
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 06:04 AM
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What a great trip! I'm a bit jealous over here....

If you do Disney in Orlando, also visit Disneyland in Anaheim CA. It's interesting to see the differences between the two.

Raft the Green River in Colorado

Visit as many National Parks as you can...Yellowstone is my personal favorite...haven't it made it to Glacier yet though.

Spend some time in DC

Assateague in VA

Colonial Williamsburg.

Catch baseball games at Fenway and Wrigley.
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 07:57 AM
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Thank you all for your responses! I've made a list of states/provinces along with what I would do in each one. It's not final - a rough draft, at best. We've included national parks, cities, activities and churches that various members of our group would like to reach. I don't think we'd be able to hit every single place on our list in six months, so I've highlighted the ones that are most important to us -- though I'm not sure that they'll copy over :/
If anyone has any suggestions, let me know


Alabama – David Platt’s Church
Alaska – Denali National Park
Alberta – Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Edmonton Mall
Arizona – Grand Canyon National Park
British Columbia – Glacier National Park, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Vancouver, Victoria Island,
California – Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, Redwoods National Park, San Diego, Los Angeles/Venice Beach,
Colorado – Mesa Verde National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Denver or Colorado Springs, Green River
Connecticut – drive through, stopover lunch/dinner
Delaware – Drive through, stopover/lunch
D.C. – The Mall, Smithsonian Museums,
Florida – Everglades National Park, Orlando – Walt Disney World,
Georgia – Savannah,
Hawaii – Not accessible by land
Idaho – Lake Couer d’Alene Scenic byway
Illinois - Chicago
Indiana – Indianapolis
Iowa
Kansas – Drive through, stopover for lunch/dinner
Kentucky – Mammoth Caves National Park, Louisville, Lexington
Louisiana - New Orleans
Maine – Acadia National Park
Manitoba – Riding Mountain National Park, Winnipeg
Maryland – [See D.C.]
Massachusetts – Boston
Michigan – Isle Royale National Park
Minnesota – Minneapolis – John Piper’s church
Mississippi -
Missouri – St. Louis, Branson
Montana – Glacier National Park
Nebraska – drive through – stopover for lunch/dinner
Nevada – Death Valley National Park, Great Basin National Park, Las Vegas
New Brunswick – St. John / Bay of Fundy
Newfoundland – Terra Nova National Park, Gros Morne National Park
New Hampshire – Whale Watching
New Jersey –Atlantic City
New Mexico – Albuquerque, Route 66
New York – New York City
North Carolina – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
North Dakota – Theodore Roosevelt National Park
North West Territories – Whitehorse
Nova Scotia – Halifax, Peggy’s Cove
Nunavut – Not accessible by land
Ohio - Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Oklahoma – Tulsa (Visit Noah )
Ontario –home base / departure & arrival locations
Oregon – Crater Lake National Park, Portland
Pennsylvania – Lunch/dinner stopover
Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island National Park
Quebec – Old Quebec City, Forillion National Park
Rhode Island – Stopover for lunch/dinner
Saskatchewan – Grasslands National Park
South Carolina – Charleston, Myrtle Beach
South Dakota – Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore
Tennessee – Nashville, Memphis
Texas – Corpus Christi, Dallas, Matt Chandler’s Church
Utah – Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyon lands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Zion National Park
Vermont - Stowe
Virginia – Shenandoah National Park, Assateague,
Washington – Olympic National Park, Mount Rainer National Park, North Cascades National Park, Seattle
West Virginia – Caanan Valley State Park
Wisconsin – Madison
Wyoming – Yellowstone National Park, Grand Tetons National Park
Yukon – Yellowknife
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 08:42 AM
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In Alabama you could add Cathedral Caverns and
www.rocketcenter.com

In NH I'd add the White Mts...maybe ride the Cog up Mt. Washington, or just do some hiking.

In VT you can stop in Quechee to view the gorge and some glass blowing at Simon Pierce. Depending on your route thru the state, stop at Ben and Jerrys and Cabot Cheese for tours.

In Florida stop at Cape Canaveral and maybe St. Augustine.
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 09:46 AM
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Thanks for the ideas for Alabama, New Hampshire and Vermont! I was lacking ideas of what to do in those states...as for Florida, I don't think I'll take the time to do St. Augustine or Cape Canaveral this trip as we've been to both places a few times...it'd be lovely but I don't think I'll have time this trip.
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 09:51 AM
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If you've been there before, I agree...skip them.

PA...you could visit Hershey Park, Amish Country, Longwood Gardens. Spend at least a day in Philly too...see the Liberty Bell and all the historical stuff. Reading Terminal Market is a nice lunch stop.

Maryland is more than DC. You could spend some time at the Inner Harbor or Annapolis.
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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Those are great ideas for Pennsylvania!

As for Maryland, I know its more than just DC - I visited a few years back with my parents - but due to a limited amount of time and the huge number of other destinations on our list I wasn't sure if we'd have time to do much other than spend a few days in D.C. I will however keep those ideas in mind as we continue to plan
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 10:04 AM
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Can I come with you?
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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In North Carolina/Virgina don't forget the Blue Ridge Parkway. Stop off in Asheville.
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Old Apr 19th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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I have some suggestions for a handful of states, starting with Ohio.

First, I highly recommend the Air Force museum in Dayton, Ohio. It is huge, exhibiting hundreds of USAF planes going back to the very first airplane they bought, (guess from whom) to the near present. In a separate hanger they have most of the presidential airplanes that have been retired from service. One that is missing is the plane used by Ronald Reagan and something like 6 presidents before him, but it ended up at the Reagan library in Simi Valley, CA. A travesty! It's only a training run from my house, but I still don't like the obvious politics behind it.

Air Force Museum.

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...ates_Air_Force

The second link is an easier read.
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Old Apr 19th, 2014, 12:36 PM
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What fun!

New Mexico - I would consider adding Carlsbad Caverns National Park www.nps.gov/cave Santa Fe is only an hour north of Albuquerque; it's our state capitol and has some great museums. If you'd like to visit one of the iconic pueblos, Taos is about an hour north of Santa Fe, or you could visit Acoma Pueblo, about 45 minutes west of Albuquerque off I-40.

Lee Ann
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Old Apr 19th, 2014, 12:45 PM
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I agree with ElendilPickle on Carlsbad Caverns, so I'll cross it off my list of things to recommend. (Yes, I do have a list.)
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Old Apr 19th, 2014, 01:18 PM
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Mississippi. Natchez Trace, Vicksburg Park, the Gulf Coast
Texas. Do not miss austin
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Old Apr 19th, 2014, 07:04 PM
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For Texas I'd add Austin over Dallas and corpus Christie. The gulf coast is just not pretty. Be sure to catch the ocean and amazing rocky coastline in big sur S of San Fran and/or Ecola Park only 90 min frm Portland.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 03:41 AM
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Ohio has better than Cuyahoga park, I think. There are numerous Mound Builders sites in southern Ohio. Even the rock and roll hall of fame in Cleveland.
How about a baseball game somewhere? Is it only parks and outdoor things?
Alabama--go to Montgomery for the Civil Rights monument at Southern Poverty Law Center.
NC? Winston Salem for Old Salem. Much of the GSMNP is really in Tennessee, if that matters to you in calculating the states.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 09:47 AM
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I better get back to to providing my recommendations!

In North Carolina, add the Wright Brothers National Memorial. This should be an international memorial, given its enormous impact on the whole world.

http://www.nps.gov/wrbr/index.htm
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