America coast to coast

#41
Not sure if it's been mentioned or not, but if you do go the motel option, before checking in see if they do Forces / Veterans discount. My brother in law did a similar trip last year (although just R66 IIRC) and quite often got loads of add ons. Being an ex-matelot, you should just about fit into that category ;). Sounds like an awesome trip!
 
#42
I’ve suggested this on another thread but I can’t say this enough.
America the Beautiful Passes (U.S. National Park Service)
It’s the best $80 you’ll spend in America.

US mil peeps get them for free so might be worth a punt letting your ID ‘fall’ out of your wallet when you’re paying.

The RV thing will be a ball ache and expensive. They give you a set number of miles that you’ll absolutely go over if you’re not staying static and gouge you on the overage. As others have said, comfy SUV and hotel/motel it.

The Air & Space museum at IAD (and DC in general) is my patch. Give us a shout if you make it this far.
 
#43
[QUOTE="fromunderthestone, post: 8481467, ]

San Diego fabulous with USS Midway, whale watching tours and more. A clean, smart city in a stunning setting.[/QUOTE]

I've mostly done the East Coast cities and only a few on the West but have to agree about San Diego; it's a brilliant place with a great vibe about it. If you have any USN contacts then worth finding out if you could get to see the marine mammal systems - dolphins, sealions and beluga whales to you and me. I had a fantastic time there.
 
#45
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.
She's in 15 feet of Mud, doesn't move even in a hurricane. NYC in summeris Hot and Humid, almost brutally so near the carrier(Was there last July for an interview), though from the Hanger deck down it is air conditioned. They typically get about 5 cases of heat exhaustion a day but are equipped for dealing with it. There is little in the way of shade in the area if walking from say Times Square

The TBF-1 is Frikken Enormous up close for a single engine aircraft was my takeaway memory
 
#46
Drove from San Francisco to Tampa, via New Mexico, down to El Paso, across to Galveston and then hugged the Gulf Coast, in just over 2 weeks, avoiding the interstates as much as possible. Had a great time but missed out on a lot because of the time constraint.

Agree with others about giving the RV a miss. We used Hotels.com app and booked as we went along, gave us a lot of freedom to change the route as we pleased. Going through Yosemite National Park and the Sequoia National Park, there were a lot of roads that RVs were banned from using.

Also agree with SpudGunny about the National Parks annual pass. $80 is not much to spend for entry into every National Park in the country.

You might find this thread useful:
America Til You Drop
 
#47
Agree with Lardbeast above. Tucson is often overlooked. Pima air and space museum is wonderful and also the famous "bone yard" which is now filling up with hundreds/thousands of old C-130s. Tours available.

I found LA utterly uninspiring. City centre was dirty, with lots of rough sleepers around it. Transit system to the California Science Park was good. Science park was great with space shuttle Intrepid to walk around and touch. Universal Studios great but bloody expensive.

San Diego fabulous with USS Midway, whale watching tours and more. A clean, smart city in a stunning setting.
I wouldn't recommend anyone use public transport in Los Angeles... its hit and miss and the hits are rare ( unless you are talking about getting robbed/assaulted).

Also its the "Endeavor", not intrepid :) and the Natural history museum is across the road as well ( as well as the African American cultural museum... not on my list though).

Hollywood bowl is a great place for open air concerts and in L.A there is always something going on.

San diego, L.A and San fran are all going through some serious homeless issues right now - there are over 20 dead in San Diego alone from Hepatitis.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#48
Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country | Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Vacation Destination
That would be on my list, I have a lot of respect for Dolly Parton,
and a trip to see the Spirit of St Louis in the Smithsonian is a must if you want to see the great mans aircraft

Mohamed Ali's Boxing gloves at the National Museum of African American history, a Medal belonging to one of the Harlem hellfighters that nobody realised its importance
National Museum of African American History and Culture

And the origional bus that Rosa Parkes refused to budge from her seat in
A woman who changed history without using violence or strong language !
Rosa Parks Bus - The Henry Ford
Visit Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation - Tickets, Hours - The Henry Ford
there is so much to see there
The Harley Davidson museum if you love motorcycles
Harley-Davidson Museum | Harley-Davidson USA

The Laurel & Hardy Museum of Harlem | Harlem, Georgia
 
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#49
I have done the trip a few times in segments over the years and as others have said, you are not allotting enough time to look at what you have listed. Most of the places can suck up a day at least to get a meaningful experience to make it worthwhile.

I have gone to Arlington a few times and it is one of the saddest eye opening places (always raining when I visit) I’ve been over the years, and never regretted going once, it makes an impact. Usually I spend a day wandering through it and it is beyond description the vibes it gives off when you see the landscape imbedded with the tombstones, it lives up to its nickname as the garden of stones. It is an experience I recommend highly to everyone.
 
#50
Do it in bits: last time did a grand circle of Colorado, Arizona and Utah starting and finishing in Denver.

That took 3 weeks and we would have preferred 4
 
#51
We're tentatively planning our next road trip, North to South, Montana to Arizona, taking in Burning Man en route.
 
#53
#54
I did it, West to East, years ago, starting in San Francisco and finishing in Virginia.. Bought a car in CA, drove down the coast, spending a week with navy types in San Diego, and using it as a base for day trips to Tijuana. Across the bottom and down into Florida, with a week in Clearwater beach. Up the East coast finishing up in Virginia. Sold the car there for the same price that I bough it for in CA. 6 weeks total trip.

Get off the tourist trails as much as you can, you'll experience America so much more by stopping in backwater towns. I have ended up in tiny towns where the UPS man's daily call is the highlight of the social calendar and they have never heard of London. Staying with some friends down in swamp country was like stepping back 30 years in time (from the 1990s).

We skipped Vegas - but were on a budget and didn't want to blow it all in one night!

Motels are cheap and clean, in most places, and the big chains are all over the place for when you want a proper bed and a shower. We stayed in motels most of the time except when stopping with family or friends.

New Orleans isn't on your list. Very sensible, its a toilet. But we did get very, very, drunk.

We didn't really plan a route, just knew where we wanted to head and when we, roughly, had to be there. Then again, we didn't have a list of 'must do' things.

If you are on the East coast then you should definitely stop in at my brother's vineyard. He is multi-award winning and you can stock up for those nights when you park your RV in BF Nowhere.
 
#55
I did it, West to East, years ago, starting in San Francisco and finishing in Virginia.. Bought a car in CA, drove down the coast, spending a week with navy types in San Diego, and using it as a base for day trips to Tijuana. Across the bottom and down into Florida, with a week in Clearwater beach. Up the East coast finishing up in Virginia. Sold the car there for the same price that I bough it for in CA. 6 weeks total trip.

Get off the tourist trails as much as you can, you'll experience America so much more by stopping in backwater towns. I have ended up in tiny towns where the UPS man's daily call is the highlight of the social calendar and they have never heard of London. Staying with some friends down in swamp country was like stepping back 30 years in time (from the 1990s).

We skipped Vegas - but were on a budget and didn't want to blow it all in one night!

Motels are cheap and clean, in most places, and the big chains are all over the place for when you want a proper bed and a shower. We stayed in motels most of the time except when stopping with family or friends.

New Orleans isn't on your list. Very sensible, its a toilet. But we did get very, very, drunk.

We didn't really plan a route, just knew where we wanted to head and when we, roughly, had to be there. Then again, we didn't have a list of 'must do' things.

If you are on the East coast then you should definitely stop in at my brother's vineyard. He is multi-award winning and you can stock up for those nights when you park your RV in BF Nowhere.
Agree on avoiding tourist routes, unless you need to be somewhere in a hurry, or you've got a large expanse of nothing to cross (i.e. El Paso to San Antonio - over 300 miles of nuttin'), go via local roads, we found some great places to visit that weren't on any tourist guide.

We stopped overnight in Vegas, spent some time looking around and decided that we were leaving as soon as it was daylight. Can't see what all the fuss is about, dirty and tacky, it made Blackpool look upmarket.

New Orleans - went there in the 80's and it was a toilet. But Katrina did the place a huge favour, it's like a different city now. I really wish we'd been able to stay longer, definitely going back at some point. Bourbon street smells like a sewer though!
 
#57
Not sure if it's been mentioned or not, but if you do go the motel option, before checking in see if they do Forces / Veterans discount. My brother in law did a similar trip last year (although just R66 IIRC) and quite often got loads of add ons. Being an ex-matelot, you should just about fit into that category ;). Sounds like an awesome trip!
Ravers join your local RNA before you go.

Why?

Because you now get a very ID card type thing, with a photo, Union Flags and Royal Navy written on it. You WILL get the Forces/Government discount in the USA waving that baby around! But don't ask - don't get!

San Diego is ace - spent 5 weeks on a boat there. Don't bother nipping into Tijuana! Several of our lads took leave to go across the States to meet up with the boat in New London, some north, some south. All said there were lots of long boring bits. Another Route 66 film was done by the bloke that does Shed and Buried, can't remember his name, but lots of good no nonsense advice - different take on it to Billy Connolly.

If you need a bag carrier........
 
#59
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.
I reckon it'll severely compromise your hols.

I've only driven longish distances twice in the States; once in a 4 tonne through The Cascades, Washington State - couple of hundred miles shuttling (but beautiful winter scenery), once through California, Elsinore to San Diego (and into Mexico which we shouldn't have in a hire car!). A 200mile journey really is 3+ hours at US speeds and the scenery/attractions are few, and far between. 200 miles a day? 2x400 and a shorter day? Lot of time driving - and it's like driving from Yorkshire to London but without changes in scenery. Even International Drive, Orlando to Disneyworld seemed to take twice as long as a comparable distance in Europe.

I planned a similar trip by highlighting map locations from my bucket list and noticed patterns emerging (a cluster around E. Coast locations, Grand Canyon to Monument Valley, list of locations in the lyrics of 'Route 66' are condensed mostly on the western end etc. Each would justify 5 days.

Get a big map, mark the must do's, see if a pattern emerges and consider internal flights to cover GAFA country in between. Bet you'll see and do more, faster and easier, probably cheaper too.

And Malls in Seattle looked the same as Malls in New York, California and Florida too.
 
#60
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.
Hi all, the Intrepid was refurbished pretty much head to toe and has a special Shuttle and Space exhibit and a Concorde alongside. The Shuttle is amazing, no other word, as is the Concorde (that wing!) and the SR-71 is just sinister looking, not to mention the Migs on deck. They have an on-deck restoration workshop that you can view, as they repaint and refurb the aircraft and the entire interior has been repainted and relaid. A lot of the deck has been stripped of all the launch rig so there are no cables, catapults, hatches and so on. You can do an audio tour or simply talk to all the many old boys on each deck who are always happy to talk to an ex-serviceman. The bridge and navigation wheelhouse are just mad, Ted!....I was there last May.
 

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