Travelling across the states

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by johny5, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. johny5 macrumors 6502a

    johny5

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I am a bit fed up in my normal routine of life and am looking at travelling across the America.
    I have been to Newyork and Lasvegas before so figure i might start and end my tour from those but was wondering of sites/places that people think would be a good place to visit.
    I will be travelling alone (as i need to find myself etc lol) and could even possibly call in to see some of you transatlantic guys along the way.... hell if some of you want to put me up for a night or 2 that would be good also :p
     
  2. djellison macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Pasadena CA
    #2
    I've not seen much of the US - but start at JFK and head NW into upstate - thru Catskill, and up to Ithaca.

    It is beautiful up there - I was blown away. I was on my own for about 700 miles of driving around there and it was just superb.

    Also - when you pick up a rental car, you'll have ticked 'medium sized' on the rental company website probably, and then they'll give you a huge great big thing that you'll go "What the hell is this TANK?".

    Trust me - you get used to it - and after 200 miles, you'll be so glad they gave you that car, you'll love it :)

    Doug
     
  3. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #3
    Depends on where your interests are. If you like the cities, we have plenty of others here, chicago, San Fran..etc..

    But, if you really want to get away from it all and find yourself, check out the rocky mountains or the American southwest.

    For the Rockies, your best bet would be Glacier National PArk....A great town to fly into is Missoula Montana, than you can drive up to GNP.

    For the southwest, plenty of great places to choose from...Grand Canyon, Bryce canyon..etc.
     
  4. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #4
    Haven't been to too many major cities myself, however I just got back from Chicago (visiting my sister) and I really wish I could have stayed longer. Great place...
     
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #5
    rocky mountain national park is amazing. then id head down into the moab area in utah for a bit...also amazing. the salt flats would be cool to see

    i would avoid nebraska like the plague. i hate that state after 8 years of living there lol
     
  6. johny5 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    johny5

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Hey thanks for the replies, this is really helping as I havent planned anything at all.
    I didnt even think about hiring a car, but god knows how I was to get from one place to another? I kind of thought internal flights were cheap but then thats me thinking I was going to hop from city to city and maybe spend a couple of days in each?
    I did have a look at a Harley cruise where you pay something like $2000 to $3000 and that includes everything apart from drinking money, souvenirs and the flights over to the US. Thinking about that now may be a little overkill.
    I think at the moment I would just like to get over there and play it by ear so all of your comments and ideas are certainly welcomed and I thank you for these :)
    please keep them coming :D
     
  7. djellison macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Pasadena CA
    #7
    What you could do is pick, say, 8 places you want to visit - and then drive alternate...drive from a to b. Fly from b to c. Drive c to d. Most rental firms will let you drop off elsewhere (we did it - but only a little. Rent from Penn Station in NYC, drop off at JFK airport..and I did 1000.1 miles in 5 days in between :) )

    Driving in the US is nothing like here in the UK. You hit a highway and it's 65. Everyone does 65. So you set the cruise control at 65, and that's it. You know that you'll do 65 miles. You'll do 195 in a three hour slot.

    I did NYC to Ithaca in a day, 300 miles, LOADS of back-of-beyond, what you and I would call 'b' roads. Two days later, 250 miles to Arlington, Vermont. THe next day, 200 to Providence, RI. The next day, 250 back to JFK. And it wasn't tiring at all. So don't shy away from renting and covering large distances.

    What I would do - if I were alone and looking for adventure...fly to JFK or Newark. Drive up to the Adirondack Park, west to Ithaca and over to Niagra. THEN - fly - to Wyoming - visit Yellowstone, then drive drive drive to Bonneville, drive to Nevada and Black Rock, drive to San Fran - coast road all the way down to LA. LA to Phoenix, Phoenix to Flagstaff, Flagstaff to Vegas.

    That'd be my four Week week mega-road trip. One week in the NE, One week from Wyoming to SF (1000 miles - 4 easy driving days). Maybe even cheat and fly, SF to LA - then two weeks doing the high deserts up behind LA, Arizona etc.

    Americans are friendlier, more helpfull, less offensive and nicer to be around than any stereotype would have you believe, and the US is a nicer place to get around than the UK

    Hell - get a small RV and you don't even need to find motels!

    I envy you being able to go and do it.
     
  8. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #8
    You must not have driven in the northeast at all. 65 gets you relegated to the right lane. :D
     
  9. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #9
    Yes...even with the gas prices the way they are, people are always still in a hurry. If the speed limit is posted at 65, unless your in the right lane going 65 people will not be very happy with you. (Even then...you'll probably get passed with dirty looks and what-not).

    Note: good rule of thumb...5 miles over the speed limit, usually allowed. Several cops that are friends of mine say their rule of thumb is 5-10 mph over before they pull someone over. (Unless your in construction or a small town where the speed limit is 25-35 mph...follow the posted speed limit religiously. Normally small towns can afford to be more strict on speeding tickets).

    If you're out to "find yourself"...I'd say pick a route, that looks somewhat fun. Then along the way, if something tickles your fancy...just detour, until your ready to move along. Spontaneity is always more fun. (Unless you absolutely find the need to plan things in their entirety) :D
     
  10. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #10
    No kidding. In Socal, 65 will either get you tailgated or you'll be crashing into the bumper of the last car in the traffic jam.

    Of course, I'm completely biased, but the idea of spending a month traveling across the U.S. and skipping California is ridiculous. You can see the entire gamut of scenery, cities, and lifestyles just in this state alone.
     
  11. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #11
    It really depends on your definition of 'cheap' :) flights in North America (even between cities) are fairly expensive, especially if you are comparing them to discount airlines like RyanAir or EasyJet. Driving can be a great way to see a large part of the States, but it really depends on how much you like to drive, how much time you have, and if you can remember to keep on the opposite side of the road! ;)
     
  12. djellison macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Pasadena CA
    #12
    OK - so I was doing 75 not 65 - but the rule still applies. Compared to the UK - it's a totally different type of driving.

    And notice I didn't skip Cali :) I have friends I want to visit in LA before too long - probably next spring.

    Doug
     
  13. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #13
    65 is the speed limit? maybe for highways but on the interstate here, its 75
     
  14. maestro55 macrumors 68030

    maestro55

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    #14
    Spend a week in Texas if you are going to come to the states. Fly into DFW and rent a car there. You might choose to spend a day in Dallas. Take I-35 from Dallas down to the Capital (stopping in Waco of course to have a burger with me, haha). Spend at least two days in Austin, drink plenty of Shiner Bock, go bar hopping on sixth street. Maybe catch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse (for more Shiner). Then on to San Antonio to see the Alamo. Perhaps to the Galveston, Texas and see the Battleship Texas. On to Houston where you can fly to where ever.
     
  15. apsterling macrumors 6502a

    apsterling

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    #15
    Check out Arizona. It's a huge desert, but we have quite a few neat things to do here.

    If you like amusement parks, hit Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio, that park is amazing.
     
  16. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816

    XnavxeMiyyep

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #16
    You definitely need to visit Boston. It's both historical and full of culture.
     
  17. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
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    #17
    i love how everyone recommends visiting where they live!

    seriously now, go to colorado haha
     
  18. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #18
    You need a plan. The states are big with a whole lot of empty spaces in-between cities. Where do you want to go, what's your budget, nightly accommodations, food, "hired car", these are all kind of important. Don't count on MR users to let you crash for a night -they're notorious for flaking out last minute leaving you sleeping in a Greyhound station or worse. You should pick a city to fly into and go from there. Plan a route that gets you to places you'd like to see. I've done many a trip and can give you some advise if needed. A Harley while a blast will really limit your luggage which for an extensive trip will be rather cumbersome. There's also the option of shipping yourself care packages delivered to hotels or held at stations for pickup.

    The possibilities are endless and I hope you have a good trip.
     
  19. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #19
    Definitely need to visit Sydney!
     
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #20
    i would seriously rent a small rv. that way you always have shelter, place to sleep and yea everything. plus gas will seem so cheap here for you haha

    heres one site out of many for example on rv rentals

    http://www.cruiseamerica.com/rent/our_vehicles/
     
  21. Galley macrumors 65816

    Galley

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #21
    If you're in the Greenville, SC area, you can crash at my place. :)
     
  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #22
    i will say Greenville is a nice area. Definitely visit Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC if you are in that area. very historical places
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #23
    Internal flights are not cheap (especially given current fuel costs), but what is often economical is to purchase a multi-step ticket. Like you purchase a London -> NYC -> Miami -> Denver -> San Francisco -> DC -> London or something like that. But, to quote MacGuy, then you really need a plan.

    Personally, if you like riding motorcycles, I'd do the Harley thing. Probably more once in a lifetime. And you might have a Robert Pirsig moment. :D
     
  24. JDR macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #24
    Hi johny5,

    Just have a few things that you might find useful:

    • Buy a USA road trip book. Most have popular routes that highlight points of interests, hotels, etc. across the country.
    • Visit road trip forums on the internet and read the basic FAQs on driving in the States.
    • Give yourself plenty of time--enjoy the sights, the road, and the country at your own pace.
    • The national speed limit is 55 MPH. Some states have different regulations and will allow higher speeds upwards of 65 (rural areas) but if ever in doubt, go 60-65.
    • Rent a rental car from a well-known company: Avis, Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, to name a few. They'll have locations everywhere if you ever encounter a problem.

    I'm not from Colorado, but as others have said, I highly recommend it. The whole state is filled with beauty. Try towns such as Estes Park (Rocky Mountain National Park), Boulder, Colorado Springs, Buena Vista, and Glenwood Springs.

    I'll also second Chicago---very tourist friendly, and also I live there :p

    Any other questions, feel free to ask!

    Regards,
    JDR
     
  25. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #25
    I would suggest an east-west drive that takes you through many US National Parks, including "The Badlands", Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone. I would also suggest visiting the Volcanic Mountains of the Western US, including Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, Mt. Shasta, and Crater Lake.

    A great trip would roughly follow this route:
    Boston - New York - Washington, DC - Chicago - The Badlands - Yellowstone - Seattle - Portland - San Francisco - Grand Canyon

    Also, a nice, leasurely way to travel across the US is by Train. Amtrak (the national Passenger Rail) travels through these different area, those not served by train can be accessed by Buses.

    If you really want to be blown away, go to the Canadian Rockies, mainly between Banff, Alberta and Jasper, Alberta in the Banff and Jasper National Parks. The roads there are actually nestled between the peaks of the mountains.

    TEG - Living it up on the Columbia River Gorge

    PS - Each state has limited abilities to have their own laws, including where to drink and how fast to drive. Some states have special liquor stores, others sell liquor anywhere. Some states have a 55 MPH (88kph) speed limit, others set it to 75 (110), with some rare areas with a speed limit of 85 (125).
     

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