Driving in the US as a foreigner

Blind_Io

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Good call going through Moab, if you can I would duck south a bit to the Arizona border and Monument Valley - you won't be sorry. You know all those massive red sandstone mesas you see in movies? Those are in Monument Valley. Also the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (where he's a kid on the horse) was filmed in Arches National Park, about a mile north of Moab.

I noticed you will be taking I-80 west out of Salt Lake and then turning north. Don't. There's nothing there. It's one of the most boring drives ever. Just stay on I-15 North and enjoy the scenery of the Wasatch Range. It's a much nicer drive than I-80 between Salt Lake and Reno. My route will also save you time so you might be able to squeeze in that Monument Valley detour.

One other tweek: Don't cut over to I-15 on I-70. Take Highway 6 through Price - it's a shorter route and will shave some hours off your trip, not to mention it's more scenic.

This is the route I recommend: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=&saddr=moab,+ut&daddr=Idaho+falls,+id&sll=42.171546,-109.824829&sspn=3.309691,6.218262&ie=UTF8&z=7&om=1&msa=0&msid=102445884268908875096.000435788c9801a402b56

We have driven to Moab from Salt Lake and back more times than I can remember, trust me, this is the best route. That detour out to Wendover will add close to a full day to your trip and all you will see is flat desert. About 40 minutes west of Salt Lake you will be kicking yourself for taking that route.

When you come through the Bay Area, look me up if you want. If you want to grab a beer or something and swap stories I can PM you my phone number.

Ok, I re-worked your map for you with a couple changes to the bits through my home-state. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=&saddr=Chicago,+il&daddr=New+York,+NY+to:washington,+DC+to:Atlanta,+ga+to:Memphis,+TN+to:Dallas,+tx+to:El+paso,+tx+to:phoenix,+az+to:Grand+Canyon+National+Park+to:Las+Vegas,+NV+to:Laguna+Beach,+ca+to:San+Jose,+ca+to:seattle,+wa+to:butte,+mt+to:Salt+Lake+City,+UT+to:Moab,+UT+to:monument+valley+to:Durango,+colorado+to:cascade,+co+to:Mount+rushmore+to:Saint+Louis+to:Chicago,+IL&mrcr=20&mra=pi&sll=39.368279,-98.701172&sspn=34.023132,55.195313&ie=UTF8&ll=38.891033,-91.054687&spn=34.241065,55.195313&z=5&om=1

However, this next map series is what I would really recommend doing. Maybe duck down into the scenic areas of Virginia.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=&saddr=Belfast,+maine&daddr=Boston+to:New+York,+NY+to:Washington,+DC&mrcr=2&mra=pi&sll=40.354917,-72.998657&sspn=4.214962,6.899414&ie=UTF8&z=7&om=1
Then fly to Chicago. See it. Then fly to Santa Fe and do this trip: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=&saddr=Santa+fe,+nm&daddr=Grand+Canyon+National+Park+to:Las+Vegas,+NV+to:Laguna+Beach,+ca+to:San+Jose,+ca+to:seattle,+wa+to:butte,+mt+to:Salt+Lake+City,+UT+to:Moab,+UT+to:monument+valley+to:Durango,+colorado+to:cascade,+co+to:Mount+rushmore&mra=pr&sll=36.456636,-93.911133&sspn=35.313849,55.195313&ie=UTF8&ll=37.09024,-104.80957&spn=35.040924,55.195313&z=5&om=1
We in the US call that central part of the country the "Flyover States" for a reason. You just fly over it.

NOTE: Google doesn't seem to be linking to my maps, so right-click the links and select "Copy Link Location" then paste it to your browser.

NOTE: In the last link the board is automatically putting in a smiley face and it's fucking up the link. Look through the link until you hit Colorado. That section should read: ...+to:monument+valley+to:***Durango,+colorado... Take out the ***
 
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Phinn

Active Member
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Jul 11, 2007
Messages
121
Location
Sheffield, UK
Cheers for all the work, Blind_Io, but the links don't seem to be working, when either clicked on or CnPed. I've been working on a more finalised route with all the points of interest listed. I've ditched the Route 66 idea. It may be romantic, but it means on missing out on too much interesting stuff, so rather than a figure-of-eight, I've created the 'Big Loop' route. I've had to split it up into three sections for Yahoo! Maps to work. I'm afraid Salt Lake City doesn't feature simply because it's too out of the way. But I'm grateful to anyone who can suggest places to go that aren't too far off-course or more scenic/interesting/quicker routes to take. I've add explanatory notes where I think they're needed. Some of my stops are somewhat idiosyncratic! As for the South, I'm not sure what's the best way to go, so I've created three options. Comments welcome!

The Big Loop

Midwest (http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&q12=Seattle,+WA&q11=Yellowstone+National+Park,+WY&q10=Mount+Rushmore+National+Memorial,+SD&q9=Badlands+National+Park,+SD&q8=Des+Moines,+IA&q7=Chicago,+IL&q6=43611&q5=44870&q4=Niagara+Falls,+NY&q3=Centralia,+PA&q2=New+York,+NY&q1=JFK,+NY&trf=0&lon=-98.041992&lat=44.119142&mag=14)

JFK, NY
New York, NY
Centralia, PA (Ghost town thanks to a underground coal mine fire that has been burning since 1962)
Niagara Falls, NY
Cedar Point, OH (Best rollercoaster park in the world)
Toledo, OH (Relatives)
Chicago, IL
Des Moines, IA
Badlands National Park, SD
Mount Rushmore National Memorial Park, SD
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Seattle, WA

3320mi, 52hrs

West Coast (http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&q18=Dallas,+TX&q17=Wichita+Falls,+TX&q16=Lubbock,+TX&q15=Roswell,+NM&q14=White+Sands+National+Monument,+NM&q13=Santa+Fe,+NM&q12=Monument+Valley,+UT&q11=Grand+Canyon,+AZ&q10=Las+Vegas,+NV&q9=Death+Valley,+CA&q8=Mount+Whitney,+CA&q7=Los+Angeles,+CA&q6=Santa+Barbara,+CA&q5=Santa+Cruz,+CA&q4=San+Francisco,+CA&q3=Warm+Springs,+OR&q2=Astoria,+OR&q1=Seattle,+WA&trf=0&lon=-110.34668&lat=40.212441&mag=14)

Seattle, WA
Astoria, OR (Suppose to be beautiful? Also home of the Goonies)
Warm Springs, OR (Indian reservation)
San Francisco, CA
Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Mount Whitney, CA (Highest point in the lower 48 states)
Death Valley, CA (Lowest point in the entire USA)
Las Vegas, NV
Grand Canyon, AZ
Monument Valley, UT
Santa Fe, NM
White Sands National Monument, NM
Roswell, NM (Aliens)
Lubbock, TX (More interesting route than the Interstate?)
Wichita Falls, TX (Ditto)
Dallas, TX

3410mi, 57hrs

The South

Northern Route (http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&q12=JFK,+NY&q11=New+York+City,+NY&q10=Philadephia,+PA&q9=Washington,+DC&q8=Richmond,+VA&q7=Charleston,+WV&q6=Clemont,+KY&q5=Nashville,+TN&q4=Lynchburg,+TN&q3=Memphis,+TN&q2=Little+Rock,+AR&q1=Dallas,+TX&trf=0&lon=-85.275879&lat=36.75649&mag=13)

Dallas, TX
Little Rock, AR
Memphis, TN
Lynchburg, TN (Home of Jack Daniel's - I'm a bourbon whiskey fan)
Nashville, TN
Clemont, KY (Home of Jim Beam)
Charleston, WV
Richmond, VA
Washington, DC
Philadephia, PA
New York, NY
JFK, NY

1880mi, 30hrs


Central Route (http://maps.yahoo.com/#q10=JFK,+NY&q9=New+York+City,+NY&q8=Philadephia,+PA&q7=Washington,+DC&q6=Richmond,+VA&q5=Charlotte,+NC&q4=Atlanta,+GA&q3=Birmingham,+AL&q2=Jackson,+MS&q1=Dallas,+TX&trf=0&mvt=m&lon=-85.275879&lat=36.509636&mag=13)

Dallas, TX
Jackson, MS
Birmingham, AL
Atlanta, GA
Charlotte, NC
Richmond, VA
Washington, DC
Philadephia, PA
New York, NY
JFK, NY

1685mi, 26hrs


Southern Route (http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&q19=JFK,+NY&q18=New+York+City,+NY&q17=Philadephia,+PA&q16=Washington,+DC&q15=Richmond,+VA&q14=Raleigh,+NC&q13=Charleston,+SC&q12=Savannah,+GA&q11=Jacksonville,+FL&q10=Daytona+Beach,+FL&q9=Miami,+FL&q8=Tampa,+FL&q7=Gainsville,+FL&q6=Tallahassee,+FL&q5=Mobile,+AL&q4=New+Orleans,+LA&q3=Baton+Rouge,+LA&q2=Houston,+TX&q1=Dallas,+TX&trf=0&lon=-85.275879&lat=33.26625&mag=13)

Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Baton Rouge, LA
New Orleans, LA
Mobile, AL
Tallahassee, FL
Gainsville, FL
Tampa, FL
Miami, FL
Daytona Beach, FL
Jacksonville, FL
Savannah, GA
Charleston, SC
Raleigh, NC
Richmond, VA
Washington, DC
Philadephia, PA
New York, NY
JFK, NY

2905mi, 45hrs
 
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thedguy

rides with Rebecca Black.. in the back
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The west coast part looks pretty good to me You may want to modify the route so you get at least some of PCH. I think if you tell people you've driven the US and then say "but not PCH" they'd look at you kind of funny.

I've never been to Florida but from what I hear there's not a whole lot to see, it's flat and full of old people.

In the Midwest section you may want to adjust it so that Chicago to South Dakota takes a more northern route. There ain't a damn thing to see in Iowa, going up to Wisconsin and through Minnesota there are at least a couple of big cities to check out.

*pch = pacific coast highway.
 

Phinn

Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
121
Location
Sheffield, UK
The west coast part looks pretty good to me You may want to modify the route so you get at least some of PCH. I think if you tell people you've driven the US and then say "but not PCH" they'd look at you kind of funny.
That's Highway 101 right? Check the map, I'm taking the 101 from SF to LA. Or should I see more?

I've never been to Florida but from what I hear there's not a whole lot to see, it's flat and full of old people.
That's probably the least likely route I'll be taking out of the three, simply for time if nothing else. It'll also be easy to do Florida on a separate holiday, Miami/Everglades/Disney World, that sorta thing. Might be something to consider as a family holiday when I have kids (in about 15 years :)). I'd like to do New England as well some day, but I think that'll lend itself to a more sedate trip.

In the Midwest section you may want to adjust it so that Chicago to South Dakota takes a more northern route. There ain't a damn thing to see in Iowa, going up to Wisconsin and through Minnesota there are at least a couple of big cities to check out.
Heh, that's cool, I'm looking forward to driving across Iowa. All those fields of grain and red barns, oh-so-Midwest. I'm really interested in stopping at some small town somewhere and chatting with the locals. I hear Iowans are the friendliest people on earth.
 

thedguy

rides with Rebecca Black.. in the back
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Most Midwesterners are really friendly. Missouri, rural Illinois, Iowa and so on. You will definitely notice a difference between them and the people on and near the coasts.

You do have PCH on there, but I'd wager you're missing quite a bit of the good bits by taking the I-5 into Oregon. Though honestly I don't know for sure. Though that section of northern California has it's own beauty anyway.
 

BlaRo

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Damn, that's a dream trip right there, I'd love to pull off something like that. If you don't walk away with a greater understanding of America and how it ticks, then you're in a coma.

Have lots of fun, we'll be waiting to hear about it! :cheers:






Also: Iowa is the most boring state in the Union. 9 out of 10 scientists agree; the last one passed out from boredom wandering through Des Moines and couldn't be reached for comment.






And stop by in Boston, learn about how we kicked your ass 200 years ago! :p But really, it's an awesome place, and often overlooked by people who start their travels from NYC. Which is a pretty overrated place...
 

IVIaster

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I thought USA was the only country in the world where buying car insurence was only optional.
 

Spectre

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No, there's others where it's optional.

Here, it's a state by state thing. Most states require you to have insurance.
 

damnhawk

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Jan 17, 2007
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Southern Florida USA
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modified the south florida route.....alligator alley is such a bore.

I spend quite some time driving from Cape Coral to Boca Raton and when time isnt an issue (or cops as i like to drive fast) i prefer the back roads.

Ill pm you my number, if you havent been this way yet. Im part of a local car club that goes out and eats every wed and saturday night before we go to our usual meet ups, you are more then welcome to come hang with the fellow gear heads. i wouldnt mind chatting a bit as i want to do a big trip of my country as well if you dont happen to be around these parts on a meet day.

http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&lat=26.886012&lon=-81.530635&mag=13&zoom=7&trf=0&q1=Daytona%20Beach%2C%20FL&q2=Houston%2C%20TX&q3=Baton%20Rouge%2C%20LA&q4=New%20Orleans%2C%20LA&q5=Mobile%2C%20AL&q6=Tallahassee%2C%20FL&q7=Gainsville%2C%20FL&q8=Tampa%2C%20FL&q9=Miami%2C%20FL&q10=Daytona+Beach%2C+FL&w0=&w1=&w2=&w3=&w4=&w5=&w6=&w7=26.66709580110481%2C-81.9580078125
 

MattD1zzl3

2 Slow 2 Noisy
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Miamishire
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Im part of a local car club that goes out and eats every wed and saturday night before we go to our usual meet ups
Are you in broward man? Ever been to tower shops on friday?

Sunoco on US27?

What are you doing racing a box camry?
 
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