America coast to coast

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#1
I’ve been to the states a few times but never ventured out of California (I have relatives there and always stay with them). I’m looking to rectify this with an epic coast to coast adventure probably next summer or the one after. Family of 4, kids will be about 9 and 8 when we go.

It’s in the early planning stages but I have a rough idea of a route. I can get about 4 weeks off work before anyone notices and I think that’s adequate time.

I’m thinking of hiring a big **** off RV and camping for most of it and swapping to a stupid muscle car for Route 66, stopping in motels etc.

The route I’ve planned so far is as follows:

Boston
New York
Washington DC
Cherokee Forest National Park
Nashville
Memphis
Oklahoma City
Amarillo
Albuquerque
Flagstaff
Las Vegas
LA
San Francisco

Shit I want to see / do along the way:

Watch a NASCAR race
Watch a rodeo
Go to a cowboy ranch
USS Intrepid
Disneyland
Hollywood
White House
Arlington Cemetery (My great grandfather is buried there)
Alcatraz
Grand Canyon
Route 66
Stay in a ridiculous hotel in Vegas with a jacuzzi in the room
Blues gig in Nashville
Pacific coast highway

You get the idea, get a proper taste of America, eat chicken out of a bucket, drive a mustang, ride a Harley, get a ******* cowboy hat, drink Budweiser etc. etc.

Anyone done this trip or similar? Any must sees / dos along the way that I’ve missed? Is my route viable? Hire car / RV companies to check out or avoid? Any better routes to take or places to go through?

Cheers in advance.
 
#4
Travelled by car from Washington DC to Seattle and then back down the west coast and across the middle bit.
Grand Canyon, petrified forest, giant crater, etc etc.
But.
This was 40 years ago so any advice would be a bit out of date.
It was fun though. Booked nothing and just stopped of at a motel in the evenings.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#5
Nawlins and Florida Gulf coast?
Thought about that but the only way to viably do it means missing out Boston, NY, Washington etc.

Could start in Miami, drive up through Florida to New Orleans and then pick up the remainder of the route in Memphis or Oklahoma but I reckon most of the good stuff is further north.

Also Arlington is a must.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#6
A few mates done the trip on bikes. One driving a van with all the kit(no bike licence) and by the end was pretty hacked off with driving.
It is miles of f€ck all.
I can imagine, especially along Route 66. This is why I’m thinking of mixing it up a bit and changing vehicles in certain places. Some bits in an RV, others in a Mustang or something.
 
#7
Four weeks? Not a chance; you'll need twice that at least.

Edit: ok, maybe six. But you'll still be rushing and not enjoying.

2nd edit; beware of 'muscle cars'. I had a Dodge Challenger to play with for a week off on a business trip in Arizona; the Highway Patrol chap outside Flagstaff was very nice about it, but told me that I had to go just a little slower as he wrote me up.
DSC00483.jpg
 
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Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#8
Four weeks? Not a chance; you'll need twice that at least.
My route is just under 4000 miles, so 1000ish a week. Smash in the long boring bits in a oner.

Contingency is to snip Boston off the route starting in NY instead and sack off San Francisco as I’ve been before. Saves a couple of days.

I reckon it’s doable.
 
#9
The USS Intrepid is excellent and was refurbished a year or two ago and will easily burn up a day. Nearby, is the raised walkway thru the left side of Manhattan, called the High Line, which is an old elevated railway now converted to a scenic walk, about two miles long and it's also a must-do........motels across America range from the sublime to the ridiculous; you pays yer money and gets yer choice. Some of them are quite seedy and basic and others are ridiculously expensive for what they are and often do not include breakfast......don't forget comprehensive health insurance before you go. Check with a travel agent about what's actually included, such as repatriation in the event of an accident......the Pacific Coast Highway is gorgeous but there are quite a few restrictions on camping, of any kind, on the beaches anywhere on the PCH......another thing to do in the USA, that is cheaper than probably anywhere in Europe, is to find a local airport and rent an aircraft and go and do some local tourism. There's always a flight school or an air taxi company (usually one and the same ) on hand. You hire the aircraft for an hour, with an instructor to do the flying, while you and your companion take photos and enjoy the view.......hiring a Harley to do the Route 66 thing is expensive but the outfits that hire the bikes will often have a contact in the UK, who will do a test ride with you in the UK, to make sure that you are actually a competent rider before you go, other wise you can forget it.
 
#10
Thought about that but the only way to viably do it means missing out Boston, NY, Washington etc.

Could start in Miami, drive up through Florida to New Orleans and then pick up the remainder of the route in Memphis or Oklahoma but I reckon most of the good stuff is further north.

Also Arlington is a must.
Make it two trips. Get in the Texas coast as well, New Mexico and Baja then head up to San Fran before flying home. Grab your muscle car on the next trip and do the run to Noo Yawk and Boston. Maine is also pretty scenic I'm told.

Or vice versa.
 
#11
I’ve been to the states a few times but never ventured out of California (I have relatives there and always stay with them). I’m looking to rectify this with an epic coast to coast adventure probably next summer or the one after. Family of 4, kids will be about 9 and 8 when we go.

It’s in the early planning stages but I have a rough idea of a route. I can get about 4 weeks off work before anyone notices and I think that’s adequate time.

I’m thinking of hiring a big **** off RV and camping for most of it and swapping to a stupid muscle car for Route 66, stopping in motels etc.

The route I’ve planned so far is as follows:

Boston
New York
Washington DC
Cherokee Forest National Park
Nashville
Memphis
Oklahoma City
Amarillo
Albuquerque
Flagstaff
Las Vegas
LA
San Francisco

Shit I want to see / do along the way:

Watch a NASCAR race
Watch a rodeo
Go to a cowboy ranch
USS Intrepid
Disneyland
Hollywood
White House
Arlington Cemetery (My great grandfather is buried there)
Alcatraz
Grand Canyon
Route 66
Stay in a ridiculous hotel in Vegas with a jacuzzi in the room
Blues gig in Nashville
Pacific coast highway

You get the idea, get a proper taste of America, eat chicken out of a bucket, drive a mustang, ride a Harley, get a ******* cowboy hat, drink Budweiser etc. etc.

Anyone done this trip or similar? Any must sees / dos along the way that I’ve missed? Is my route viable? Hire car / RV companies to check out or avoid? Any better routes to take or places to go through?

Cheers in advance.
Try and do it when the U.S schools are not on summer break - Disney during the summer is pretty pointless and you will probably see about 20% of the park in a day, during the summer break ( and have to deal with horrendous crowds).


Consider no RV and just renting an SUV (tahoe size so you are comfortable) and motels/hotels... Its a lot cheaper, easier to drive.

Zion national park/Yosemite is close'ish to your route and shouldn't be missed.

4 weeks will be pushing it - my buddy just went to D.C and said four days wasn't enough ( he is a civil war history buff though).

Hollywood is shithole... And I am selling its plus points. There are better things to see and do with your time in L.A.
 
#12
Forget the Harley bit.......... there's lot's of pikeys with hosses there.

Didn't Jack Kerouac, & Neal Cassady do it in 3 days, in "On The Road "?

With the help of a large bag of Whizz ?
 
#13
I think that you will be dissapointed with the USS Intrepid. The exhibits are not in good condition, and the ship no longer feels like a ship, although being up close to a real Space Shuttle was pretty special.
NY is an epic city though but the heat in summer is a bit much as those buildings act like radiators. But there is a good thread about the best places to go in NY.

Also Hollywood is likely to be the worst place in the US that you will visit. Imagine Blackpool but with a bit of Sun.
 
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#14
I did New Hampshire to Tampa in a pick-up when I was 21 - we were in a hurry so didn't do much sight-seeing. Don't be tempted to sleep under the stars, you get bitten to shit by everything. Do save a drowning child on the beach - ensures a 5* reception by the locals (at least it did back then).

Did Route 66 3 years ago in a Ford Escape (not recommended) - should have spent the time sitting at home poking myself in the eyes with a rusty spoon. Choice of co-driver didn't help, she had a fantastic pair of airbags but no driving licence. Chicago's interesting - possibly the cleanest city (downtown) you'll ever visit. We took 7 days to get to Santa Monica - longest stint was about 5 hours from Albuquerque to Vegas. The police love to stop tourists - we had 3 quite nasty confrontations. Santa Monica is a sewer inhabited by clucking druggies and an astonishing level of homelessness. The beach becomes a tented village at night. Hollywood is just vile - con artists, hustlers and even more druggies. Wish we'd gone to San Fransisco instead. Oh - and the Grand Canyon's just a BFO hole in the ground. El Reno was OK (see what I did there!). The airbags found the locals in Flagstaff a bit threatening, but not nearly as intimidating as Santa Monica. I'd give the good ol' US of A about 1 out of 5 as a holiday destination.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
Agreed on Hollywood, I’ve been many times before, however the reason we’ve gotta go is to see relatives who live nearby.

Good shout on Yosemite and sacking off Disneyland. That was just a treat for the brats but we’ve been to another Disneyland and they’re all the same.
 
#16
There is a Space shuttle in L.A at the California science museum - basically free to see. I was just there this weekend, very impressive and should be more so by the time you come here as the exhibit is supposed to be expanded.

If doing Disney in L.A, I would plan three days - two in disney for your kids and one in the waterpark just outside it.
 
#17
Disneyland will have that new Starwars land by your visit... should make it a extra special reason to milk you of hundreds of dollars.
 
#18
I've been to most of the places you're thinking of visiting, my thoughts below:

Boston is well north, so it will add quite a bit fo traveling time. It's a shitty industrial port, so if you've been to Liverpool or Antwerp, you're not gaining much. Unless you have Irish heritage.
NYC is quite unique, plenty to see. Ellis Island, Liberty Island, USS Intrepid, Times Square, Empire State, all classic tourist sites, with good reason.
DC is a much more interesting place, at least to me. The Smithsonian museums (definitely go to the Air/Space museum at Dulles - Shuttle, Enola Gay, Concorde etc). The US Capitol building can be visited, but need advance tickets - not sure how you would get them, we had to go through our Congressman, but I'm sure it's possible. Not sure if the WH is open for tours again. But plenty to see along the National Mall.
The Cherokee National Forest is close to me, as is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - the most visited National Park. Swing by :)
Nashville is excellent - as it goes I was there yesterday. Broadway is full of bars and there's ALWAYS live music on there. Check if there's any events on - it will be jam-packed if there's a big event on, like the CMAs.
Memfrica is a shithole. Best thing about it is I-40 East to get the hell out.
Can't speak for the next 4, I haven't been.
Vegas - like no other place. See it, live it, move on out. Take lots of money :)
Rather than LA, can I suggest San Diego? USS Midway is there, if you don't get to see the Intrepid. Much better climate, less crime etc.
San Francisco is a very interesting place. Like NYC or Vegas, Alcatraz is a must-see, but never again type place. Again you need advance tickets.

Hit me up with any specific questions. I'll try to help. BTW, most US school holidays are June and July. Not July-August. Doesn't really matter, it'll be redders no matter what :)
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#19
I've been to most of the places you're thinking of visiting, my thoughts below:

Boston is well north, so it will add quite a bit fo traveling time. It's a shitty industrial port, so if you've been to Liverpool or Antwerp, you're not gaining much. Unless you have Irish heritage.
NYC is quite unique, plenty to see. Ellis Island, Liberty Island, USS Intrepid, Times Square, Empire State, all classic tourist sites, with good reason.
DC is a much more interesting place, at least to me. The Smithsonian museums (definitely go to the Air/Space museum at Dulles - Shuttle, Enola Gay, Concorde etc). The US Capitol building can be visited, but need advance tickets - not sure how you would get them, we had to go through our Congressman, but I'm sure it's possible. Not sure if the WH is open for tours again. But plenty to see along the National Mall.
The Cherokee National Forest is close to me, as is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - the most visited National Park. Swing by :)
Nashville is excellent - as it goes I was there yesterday. Broadway is full of bars and there's ALWAYS live music on there. Check if there's any events on - it will be jam-packed if there's a big event on, like the CMAs.
Memfrica is a shithole. Best thing about it is I-40 East to get the hell out.
Can't speak for the next 4, I haven't been.
Vegas - like no other place. See it, live it, move on out. Take lots of money :)
Rather than LA, can I suggest San Diego? USS Midway is there, if you don't get to see the Intrepid. Much better climate, less crime etc.
San Francisco is a very interesting place. Like NYC or Vegas, Alcatraz is a must-see, but never again type place. Again you need advance tickets.

Hit me up with any specific questions. I'll try to help. BTW, most US school holidays are June and July. Not July-August. Doesn't really matter, it'll be redders no matter what :)
Awesome advice, cheers.

Dulles museum sounds like a must. My boy is obsessed with planes.

Will definitely sack off Boston to gain a day or two elsewhere.

Kind of need to do LA to tick off the obligatory relatives visit, otherwise I have no interest in the place at all. I’ve been loads of times before and it’s a shit hole full of homeless people.

Unfortunately it’ll cause big problems if we go out to the states and don’t swing by the aunts and uncles.
 
#20
Get to Arizona if the umfaan likes aircraft. The Pima Air and Space Museum is said to be pretty good.
 

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