Road trip USA

Discussion in 'Travel' started by northern_warrior, Nov 30, 2009.

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  1. Good folk of ARRSE,

    Your learned advice please.

    It is my intention for this year's family N_W trip to do a tour of
    that there US of A.

    I am looking at smashing my leave card in a oner, and road tripping the US from east to west.

    I am looking for some good advice as to places to go/detour/see whilst there.

    I am after some real America not the usual Disney land etc and routes that would give us an interesting holiday (I'm not after being bummed by a banjo player in the deep south either!!)

    Any advice is welcomed, especially from our cousins over the water.

    Pax = Myself + Doris + Teenage daughter (leave the jokes for the NAAFI, *******!!)

    I would also appreciate any advice as to time scales for getting about, I appreciate it's a big arsed country and would like to know if a continental road trip was feasible in the time scale I have.

    Cheers in advance.

  2. How long have you got and at what time of year are you planning to travel?

    I would really recommend the West Coast. Maybe San Diego to Seattle? The Rockies are also not to be missed. There are loads of options if you really want to avoid the tourist traps.

    PM me if you want any further info, I'm living in the US at the moment.
  3. it might help to know what time of the year you plan on going. also what type of activities you're after, cultural, outdoors, educational, etc.
  4. July/Aug is the time

    Not after LA or anything like that. Cultural,interesting and down right cool would nice.

    I roughly have a month, so not sure if the trip could go from NY, to Chicago to the south,back up to Montana etc etc

    I am just after ideas.

    My ideal trip would take longer and visit as many cities/towns as I could, but time constraints negate that plan.

    I am after a rough plan that would not make the trip a haphazard affair, rather a snap shot that makes us see what America is like behind the scenes.

    Also, we just fancy a road trip, so any good diners would be appeciated :D

    Cheers again,

  5. N_W,

    I have done a couple of 'road trips' in my time in the US. I did LA to Seattle up the coast road. Just south of San Francisco it starts to get interesting and some great scenery. They are 'fun' roads to drive and for some reason everything smelt of burned tyre rubber...

    As you said you weren't interested in LA I also took a week and a half from Denver, up through Grand Teton National Park and into Yellowstone. I then came out through the NW entrance into Montana and then down through Salt Lake City into Arches and Canyonlands National Parks before hopping over the Rockies to Denver again. If you have more time than I did I would visit Custers last stand before going into Grand Teton National Park, and spend more time in the Parks in Montana. Rocky Mountain National Park and the highest road in the world is a scenic drive.

    Colorado is full of relatively normal people, Montana has a few people that others might describe as inbred and the Mormons are an 'interesting' bunch. If you end up staying in the Rocky Mountains the Fireside Inn (Brekenridge) is a great B&B to stay in, otherwise I camped or stayed in chain motels / hotels on my trips.

  6. A couple of years back, the family & I had a vaguely similar notion:

    We flew into Vegas and had 4 days/3 nights there. It is an awesome place, although unless you are seriously into gambling, 3 or 4 days is ample to explore and enjoy it.

    We then spent 2 days driving to Phoenix AZ, stopping in Kingman on the way. This is on part of route 66 and there were several interesting museums and such like.

    We had a week in Phoenix, taking in many local sights, lots of shopping (wife and 2 daughters, I was outnumbered, although at almost 2 bucks to the pound, it was bearable) and a couple of trips to the Ballpark.

    We then headed north, stopping in Flagstaff, also on route 66, which was our springboard onto the Grand Canyon. We did the helicoptor flight, an experience so awe inspiring, that it will stay with me for the rest of my days. The next two days were spent returning to Vegas via the Hoover Dam, another spectacular site.

    It may not have been an East to West road trip, but I couldn't recommend the Grand Canyon, the Hover Dam and Vegas enough as a leg of your trip, especially of you decide to follow route 66.

    Keep your eye out for the little museums and displays as well as the larger attractions. The Septics really know how to run a tourist attraction, and assuming you are still serving, will often offer concessions to the military.

    Hope this gives you a few ideas.
  7. I admit my bias but I recommend you consider the south also. I am in Georgia and if diners and Americana are what you seek, we have it. I say this having visited every state. The Blue Ridge mountains are quite nice, especially at that time of year and one can journey along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive with lots of opportunities for interesting side trips.

    Before the slagging starts about "Deliverance" etc., we have not had anything like that happen to "furriners" in at least 2 years. :D
  8. i'm from dc, so naturally i'd recommend it. there's plenty of things to see/learn around there. great museums, memorials and monuments. even better that they're mostly free :) but get there early. it's perfect for a teen as well. july/august time frame is when the kids go on school trips, so it could get busy. and very hot. you could easily spend a few days there. up and down the east coast is a nice road trip. great little towns to visit and nice beaches. i agree with jarhead. the south defo has plenty of cultural things to offer. although, i do like the northwest as well. they've got great parks, rambling, camping up by idaho/wyoming. check out yellowstone. i've never been to washington, oregon, but i've heard great things about it. again, i'm slightly biased as i spent a great deal of time in california. san francisco/monterey/big sur area is nice. if you're into wineries, visit napa, although a bit pretentious for my liking. san diego is another fun place, specially for a teen. if you like to camp, visit the koa website. really, people are friendly anywhere, but less so in big cities. as for driving, it's fairly easy in the US. motorway exits at almost every mile marker.
  9. What she said. :D As you may be realizing, you can really find "America" anywhere geographically (IMHO with the exception of the big cities that are pretty much like big cities in any western country) if you look hard enough and are willing to interact with those Americans you encounter. We really can be fairly charming in a rough hewn, colonial sort of way if given the chance. :lol:
  10. Don't forget to stop at the Meteor Crater which is off US 66/ I-40 too. 35 miles east of Flagstaff, AZ. Next to the one in D.C. at the Capitol Building, it's the second biggest hole in the U.S. :wink:

  11. Longlenny

    Longlenny War Hero Book Reviewer

    Like Jumping Jarhead I would reccomend the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway is not to be missed. Apalachian Mountains are worth a visit as well, so would be Virginia, SW Virginia, Kentucky and Tennesee. Lovely people down that way and a bit off the tourist trail.
  12. Will be doing the Vegas/Phoenix route over Xmas and New year only place planned is Cave Creek but will check out the meteor crater.
    Been to Texas and found small places better than the bigger ones although Galverston was good but again that was over winter so more locals about than tourists. Banderra was also quite interesting.
  13. One thing I did after moving to Canada was to put up a large North American map on the wall. Actually it was two maps because the USA forgets that Canada exists and don't show it on any of their maps much :x . I then got a pin & string and rotated out a few "Drive" circles in 5 hour, 8 hr and 12 hr ranges. The purpose of this exercise was to get a feel of just how big the USA is as opposed to dinky little blighty, the mileage scales can be overwhelming if you are not prepared for it.
  14. Where did you say you moved? Isn't that a suburb of Chicago? :D
  15. AAGF


    Try the original Route 66 - no highways (where possible) and stop when it looks interesting.