Across the USA on Amtrak
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Aug 23, 2012 9:14 PM Last Post By: zeldasdad
Aug 23, 2012 7:25 AM
Across the USA on Amtraki have been trying to plan a cross country journey on Amtrak.
Fly into San francisco and stay for three days before heading to Salt Lake city and a bus journey to Jackson Wyoming for a winter visit to Yellowstone. planning on a week in Jackson including a 5 night stay at the old faithful snow lodge.
After that the plan was to train it to Denver/fly to Dallas/ Fort Worth /Austin/ San Antonio/New Orleans........then train to North Carolina and hire a car for a week in and around the Smoky Mountains. Wanted a southern small town experience. Never been to Tennessee/N Carolina and finally Washinton DC and a flight home.
BUT even if I stay just 3/4 days in each city stopover....Denver/Dallas/Austin/San Antonio/ New Orleans/ Washington then i feel it would be rush rush rush and overload and far too long a trip.
So which of those cities would you spend more time in, which would you cut ? The Yellowstone and Smoky Mountains part was the main focus and the journey an extra. Texas fascinates me for the western thing but 3 cities? Perhaps too much.
any suggestions ?
Aug 23, 2012 7:45 AM
1A few more pointers. I chose Fort Worth because of its Western Heritage but wonders if the stockyards are really more Disney than anything else. Chose Dallas because it has a great gay scene. yes I am gay. So 4 nights to cover both ?
I like walking and the great outdoors and has been told Austin is superb for close to city hiking trails. Longer in Austin ?
Miss San Antonio perhaps.
Another factor would be getting around the metropolitan areas without a car.
Aug 23, 2012 7:50 AM
1) The south entrance to xYellowstone is closed to wheeled traffic in winter. See this map.
2) Even if the entrance were open, you'd need a car to do this.
What you should do instead is fly xSF to xBozeman, rent a car, and enter via the north of the park (via Gardiner), which is open all year. Or to West xYellowstone, then reserve a snowcoach to xOld Faithful Lodge.
xSan Antonio and xNew Orleans, for example, are about 545 miles (875 km) apart, or roughly 9 hours by car (+excluding+ stops for food, gas, etc).
Pick your poison.
The first two are quite close, so if you go to one, it's easy to visit the other.
Aug 23, 2012 8:00 AM
3I should have typed more. Realises the above. Yellowstone opens on December 18th for its winter snow tours. snow transportation to Old Faithful snow lodge is available at the south entrance. Shuttle from jackson to entrance and then a snow bus.
Aug 23, 2012 8:01 AM
4I dont know why you are even setting foot in Texas. There is plenty of good gay scenes in many other places. I would fly to New Orleans from Denver, then fly to Wash DC, and pick up a car there, for the Smokeys/Asheville and do a big loop, dont forget about Charleston while you are at it.
Amtrak is not any cheaper overall than a oneway flight, try Southwest Airlines for great oneway fares.
Yellowstone in winter? They already had their first snow last week, I am headed there next week, staying near Gardiner and will advise.
Aug 23, 2012 8:05 AM
5There is public transportation ,SLC to West Yellowstone...THIS entrance is open to Snowcoach & snowmobile tours to Old Faithful... FIVE, days at the snowlodge will be expensive and a stupid waste of time... I fear your "travel" is yet largely fantasy... Dream on ... carracar
Aug 23, 2012 8:06 AM
Aug 23, 2012 8:09 AM
Aug 23, 2012 8:15 AM
Aug 23, 2012 8:26 AM
It snows there too in December. Are you OK driving on snow? The road from Newfound Gap up to Clingman's Dome will be closed in December whether or not there is any snow.
I am not sure that a "typical southern small town experience" is available anywhere around the Smokies. What isn't overrun by tourists is overrun by yuppies.
Aug 23, 2012 2:57 PM
Bryson City NC seemed pretty "real" in summer, a decade back, and should be even less touristed in winter. (I know bzookaj says "it's all real," but really? Even Main Street USA in Disneyworld?)
Aug 23, 2012 3:17 PM
Aug 23, 2012 3:48 PM
Aug 23, 2012 9:14 PM
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