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1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

Portland, Maine
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1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

Hi,

My girlfriend and I plan on driving from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA this June. This is mostly a trip to relocate but we want to take the opportunity for leisure and adventure as well. Ideally, we would like to make it within 7 days with time being the biggest factor. I don't even know if this is possible...

We are open to any suggestions that are MUST SEE attractions/destinations or MUST EAT places. I don't mind driving 8 hours a day and looking for lodging somewhere. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Tips too!

Thanks.

Bloomington, Indiana
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1. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

MUST SEE and MUST DO are highly subjective. There are things that some people love that bore me to tears (and vice-versa).

Can you give us some ideas of things you like/dislike? Nature, museums, music, history, shopping, restaurants, etc? (And for many a "what kind?")

Looking forward to making specific suggestions,

hlo

Portland, Maine
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2. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

Hi hlo,

A must-see attraction would be Mount Rushmore for me. I guess MUST SEE > MUST DO. Restaurants and foodie places are secondary to our interests but should not be excluded either.

So far, I've compiled this very, very short list:

1. Mt. Rushmore

2. Waterbury, VT to grab some Heady Toppers (beers).

That's it.

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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3. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

Tiffany and boy friend, look at a detailed map and find things that might appeal to you. Otherwise, it's guesswork about your likes and dislikes. Seven days is not much time, but you can drive by places such as Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, through Glacier and North Cascades National Parks, etc. And your "short list" is not even that nor descriptive of your interests. Please, do some homework and play on the web. Look at other posts re: this drive and things to see. As said above, "Can you give us some ideas of things you like/dislike? Nature, museums, music, history, shopping, restaurants, etc? (And for many a "what kind?")"

PS This is one way, right?

Edited: 05 June 2013, 00:39
Chula Vista...
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4. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

Hi Tiffany,

Welcome to the Road Trips Forum.

One thing to consider when planning this trip is that sites like Google Maps use the speed limits across your route when calculating driving time. They do not account for stops for food, fuel, rest breaks, or sightseeing, nor do they factor in delays for traffic, weather, or construction.

The "straight shot" Google Maps route shows about 47 hours of driving between Portland and Seattle. Over 7 days, that's just under 7 hours a day of driving. Realistically, you'll probably spend closer to 9 hours or more per day driving, depending how long you stop along the way.

Bottom line: If you really want to stop and see anything en route, try to add a couple of extra days or be prepared for a couple of 12-16 hour days.

Zed

Portland, Maine
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5. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all of your responses so far. I've done the google maps thing and routed it from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA. I've also used this website: https:/…road-trip-planner w/ settings for 8 hour drives per day and adding destinations like the 2 I've mentioned previously. This took me to roughly 7 days accounting for rest in between. And yes, this is a one way route! We have both lived in Washington state before so seeing sites in Washington state isn't a top priority.

I enjoy scenic drives and nature sites. History sites are okay too but I would rather save most of that for when I drive through the southern parts of the United States. I don't particularly want to spend the night at a campsite since we are driving in an economy car. Motels/hotels will do.

Another interest is that I want to stop at famous eateries along the route. I know that I'll be crossing Chicago so I want to stop in at Hot Doug's for their hot dogs. Places like that.

I'm not trying to be vague, it's just I am really open to anything. We can extend our drive from 7-10 days if we find something we really want to see along the way.

Uden, The...
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6. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

For roadside attractions maybe try: www.roadsideamerica.com

Some places west of Chicago are Corn Palace Mitchell, Badlands NP, Black Hills SD (Custer SP, Mount Rushmore etc), Devils Tower NM, Big Horn Battlefield NM.

7. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

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Portland, Maine
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8. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

Yeah it would be unsafe! We've gradually had family members come visit and slowly pawned off boxes for them to take back here and there. Everything is either being donated to Goodwill or sold off. We'll only be taking 2 boxes. Only one of us is relocating for a job =) I'm along for the adventure.

Canada would be a consideration but I have seen nothing of the United States besides WA, HI, ME, NY, MA, CA, FL, NV, and OR. Most of the states I've visited have been coastal states.

Seattle, Washington
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9. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

Done it.

Down to I-90 and press the pedal. You want to get through the Midwest and Plains ASAP, so that you can slow down and enjoy South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, (a little bit of) Idaho, and Washington. Cleveland, Chicago... whoosh.

See the Corn Palace in Mitchell, Badlands NP, Deadwood, Lead and "the Faces" in SD. See if the nice alien men have come back at Devil's Tower. Listen to the wind at the Little Big Horn battlefield in Montana. Have the best steak west of the Mississippi at the Land of Magic Dinner Club out in the boonies west of Bozeman, and cleanse with something made of groats served by Earth Maidens in Missoula. Watch out for the speed trap just over the Washington line, and have a look at the Wild Horses monument overlooking the Columbia River. Then it's over the Cascades and over Lake Washington and through a tunnel that says "Seattle - Portal to the Pacific."

I-90 is the longest highway in the USA, and it's glorious every mile.

Personal opinion, of course.

Uden, The...
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10. Re: 1st cross-country trip from Portland, ME to Seattle, WA ever

And of course, if you had more time you can visit Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. You can drive from Billings via Beartooth Pass, Cooke City and Lamar Valley into Yellowstone .

Or drive from Sheridan to Cody and enter Yell via it's south entrance.