Coast to coast August 2013
Replies: 24 - Last Post: Sep 18, 2012 3:44 AM Last Post By: Davross23
Sep 15, 2012 10:34 AM
Sep 15, 2012 10:37 AM
Sep 15, 2012 10:54 AM
museums national parks, shopping, US historical sites and i'm also a foodie.
This is not to say that you "must" go to New Mexico, but rather to point out that you should do some research before writing off huge chunks of the U.S. #14 is spot-on.
Oh, and think about how much you'll enjoy biting insects in that convertible. The mere thought is making me feel itchy.
Sep 15, 2012 11:02 AM
Sep 15, 2012 11:10 AM
19I know the coast-to-coast thing, especially in some sort of "cool car" is a very appealing idea to a great many overseas visitors. I've hosted/accompanied several sets of British friends as they tried to live this dream.
Traveling (we use one "L" in the US) in August through the California, Nevada and Arizona deserts, then New Mexico, Texas, Louisana, Alabama and Florida is... er... ill-advised. Add a convertible and it's... whatever you get by adding mad and dangerous. (Insert requisite "in my opinion" verbiage.)
Not only can the desert areas be dangerously hot at that time (the UV value in a convertible approaching infinity) but by the time you get to the southeast, you could find yourselves sitting in New Orleans enjoying that banana daiquiri (the one you paid ten dollars for on Bourbon street) while the - er - hurricane bears down on the Quarter. Have you consulted the weather charts?
And even if you dodge tropical storms and hurricanes (although you're in the prime region at the prime time of year) do you really want to spend days and days traveling along featureless motorways in nearly featureless landscapes surrounded by 18-wheelers going 80, the hours punctuated by stops for food or drink or nature at your choice of fast food drive-throughs?
Route 66 was a great TV show, and there are some remnants left of the old road here and there. But the kind of travel you're proposing (2 days to cross Texas, for example) is NOT a romantic road trip through the scenic landscapes you see on TV. Use the landscape view feature of Google maps and plunk the yellow man down somewhere in west-central Texas on I-10 and see what it's really like. Here , for instance. Imagine 48 driving hours of that and you've got a decent idea.
Just my view. If you want to do a cross-country drive at that time of year, start on the east coast and head west, and use the northern, rather than the southern, tier. Fly into Miami or Orlando if you must (although the appeal of south Florida to the Brits is a constant source of amazement to me) and take trains or fly up the east coast - to DC and then New York. If you want to drive from there, take I-80 (for the most part) to San Francisco, down to LA, over to the Grand Canyon, then fly home from Las Vegas. Or (by far a more interesting trip IMO) fly to Chicago and get your car there, then drive on I-90 across the Great Plains to South Dakota and Montana, then on to Seattle. Continue down to Portland and then out to the Pacific coast, through the Redwoods to San Francisco, then LA, the Grand Canyon, then Vegas.
Or, as CascadeBob suggests (a very good idea, too) - split your trip into an east coast loop and a west coast loop, returning the rental/hire cars where you got them. You'll have plenty of "road trip" opportunities in that manner, it will be much cheaper, and if you really, really want a ragtop, get one in California. The coastal fog/overcast along the Pacific coast is much more a June-July thing ("June gloom") than an August thing, so if that's on your "must do" list go for it.
This will also give you lots more time, if you cut out the transcontinental drive. That time would be better spent seeing some additional places, or spending more time in the ones you visit, rather than just driving between Hardees and McDonalds. Which is not to say there isn't plenty of opportunity for romantic road tripping - there is; it's a very big country.
Sep 15, 2012 11:27 AM
20Yeah, I'm agreeing with the above posters. You seem to be skipping out on all the great and wonderful things in the US just so you can drive across the country. One of the posters gives the example that you fly through New Mexico instead of staying for a few days and seeing the amazing sites. The same can be said for the California coast, southern Utah/Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, and, perhaps, the Great Smokeys/Appalachians south of Washington. I'd think of the US as regions: pick a few and spend some time there. I'd avoid Florida and New Orleans at that time of year. What you are proposing is driving from Lisbon to Kiev, allocating one day per country and doing nothing more than driving. That could be fun...but if this is your one and only opportunity to travel the US, you are missing a whole bunch. Good luck!
p.s. Chowhound is an excellent resource to find the best food and restaurants.
Sep 15, 2012 11:31 AM
21Since you're going to be spending all your time looking out the window, you may as well enjoy some pretty scenery for as long as possible. http://goo.gl/maps/9Hsm9 will get you to Texas in style.
After that, I can only suggest you get off the interstate occasionally. The typical two-lane highway will be slower, but will also have some local character. In other words, there might be some point to this part of your trip.
Sep 15, 2012 5:35 PM
Consider this rough route.
Once in DC, ditch the car, then take a cheap bus to xNYC afterward.
- Park lodging, especially in xYosemite, fill up fast. Think months in advance, not weeks. As soon as you figure out your route, get booking.
- Speaking of, the first Monday in September, Sept 2 next year, is Labor Day. That weekend, Fri-Mon, is the unofficial end of the travel season. Places get crowded. This covers a bit of your trip's end, so be aware of the logistics.
- For the most part, this is a hot trip.
- It's nice to have your 10 days of "just in case" time, but really, you're allotting too much to it. Drop it to about 2-3. And chances are, you'll be fine and won't even need that.
- The route I noted is again, a rough route. Each place I note has something in or near that is very worthwhile for you. Some are worth multiple days, others are just quick stops. Google them.
- There are plenty of others places to stop in between some of these locations that I never point out. If you ask about certain areas, I would be happy to give specifics.
Sep 16, 2012 6:46 AM
23You've got about three weeks. Spend one week in NYC and DC, taking ground transport between them. There are very cheap buses and more expensive trains. Then fly west and make a two-week loop through national parks etc.
Sep 18, 2012 3:44 AM
24bzookaj thats exactly what i was looking for buddy, cheers for that, definite food for though, i wasn't writing off huge chunks, i was kind of looking for suggestions as to what you would do at these places.
Thanks for the replies everyone, appears the convertible may be a write off, the romance has been dashed with thoughts of insects and sunburn.
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