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Boston to San Diego!!!

San Diego...
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Boston to San Diego!!!

Hello all. My wife and I are moving from Boston to San Diego. We have 9-10 days to move. We will be driving our Honda Accord across the country to start our new jobs/law school and life.

What are the best routes?

Here is what we know; Otherwise we are wide open:

1) We may or may not want to visit family in DC before we head west. This is optional.

2) We want scenic routes - e.g., Rocky Mountains.

3) We want touristy routes - e.g., Grand Canyon.

4) We can't decide between a) cutting across through Chicago, Colorado, etc. or b) taking the Southern route through DC, Texas, etc.

I guess it's between I80, I40, I10, and maybe even Route 66?

Any details would be appreciated!!! Let the journey begin.

San Diego...
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1. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

BTW - I am an international traveler and anything beyond the East Coast in the US is a mystery to me! I have lived on the East Coast 25+ years but hardly travel out West. I didn't even know how historic Route 66 is in the US!

I have done DC to Seattle and back. That was amazing, especially the mountainous Northwest (Idaho?).

How about Chicago to San Diego via route 66? Would that be fun? We might have to scrap the DC idea...

Lewes, United...
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2. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

I've never done this drive, and never done large stretches of any of the routes you are likely to need to drive, whichever route you end up taking. However, a few more questions and comments:

When will you be doing this trip? Time of year matters, but I'm guessing you mean soon and not during winter months when snow, ice and storms need to be factored into route decisions.

To do Route 66 properly, you need 2 weeks, which you don't have. So, you need to take a much more direct and straighforward route and, if and where you cross Route 66, just explore that stretch of the Mother Road. You don't have time for anything else.

To visit the Grand Canyon, you need to book lodging as soon as possible through the park lodging concessionaires, and loding books up fast, so once you have your dates, keep calling for cancallations if you are travelling soon.

For a scenic route with mountains, then I-70 would give you great views yet keep you moving through Colorado. If you picked it up after Kansas City, you could do some R66 stretches before that. It won't help too much for getting you to the Grand Canyon, however.

On your previous coast to coast, while you'd have found some mountain in Idaho, the more dramatic stretch of the Rockies in those parts is in Montana!

SWT

Green Valley...
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3. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

Best wishes to you both. I am from Boston and have driven several of the routes, and suggest this one: http://goo.gl/maps/6xIn9

Zoom in to see the various sights en route.

You'll need to drive many hours/day in the "flat lands" on the interstate, in order to have time to see these gem sights.

You'll need reservations ASAP for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. On the WY forum, we can advise re: these parks.

Given your limited time, plan on two full days in YNP, one or a drive through for GTNP.

As you continue south through Salt Lake City, a short side trip to Zion National Park will delight you.

Alternatively, I 80 or I 70 work well.

Edited: 09 June 2013, 15:31
San Diego...
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4. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

Thanks SWT.

So this is part cross-country road trip, part move to San Diego for work/law school. We are okay with 10 days drive. Our dates are not flexible -> Aug 9-18th. We have to be in San Diego on the 18th.

Options:

1) I think we can drive straight to Chicago and start the Route 66 stretch to the West.

2) I love mountain drives. Dumb question -> Does Colorado (Rt I70) provide a great view of the mountains like I would have seen in Montana/Idaho?

I am more of a "drive and see the scenery" than "we need to stop and visit everything". Therefore, Route 66 may not even be necessary. I don't know...

I think the more Northern route makes more sense right now -> Chicago to Colorado to Utah through Nevada to San Diego.

I am rambling now....

San Diego...
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5. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

Thanks Voyaging -> That route you mention is too long. We don't have time for YNP, even though I would love to do it!

I think you are right, I80 to I70 makes sense right now.

Chula Vista...
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6. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

Hi BA

Welcome to San Diego!

I might recommend this route:

http://goo.gl/maps/BDfaI

Day 1 - Boston to Niagara Falls

Day 2 - Niagara Falls to Cleveland (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

http://rockhall.com/

Day 3 - Cleveland to Indianapolis via Dayton (US Airforce Museum in Dayton; White River State Park; Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (very interesting); NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis)

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/

http://www.eiteljorg.org/

http://inwhiteriver.wrsp.in.gov/

http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/

http://visitindy.com/

Day 4 - Indianapolis to St. Louis - Gateway Arch

http://www.nps.gov/jeff/index.htm

Day 5 - St. Louis to Hays, KS - See bison in the Frontier Park

http://www.haysusa.com/html/bison_pens.html

Day 6 - Hays to Estes Park, CO - Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park

http://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm

Day 7 - Drive through RMNP to Grand Junction

Day 8 - Grand Junction to Las Vegas

Day 9 - Las Vegas to San Diego.

That route gives you quite a bit to see along the way and, while my hometown of Chicago is fantastic, I don't know that it's worth the hassle of the traffic to spend just one night there.

You're going to really enjoy San Diego--there's so much to see and do, and the weather can't be beat.

Enjoy your trip and safe travels.

Zed

7. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

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Edited: 11 June 2013, 16:47
8. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

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San Diego...
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9. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

So many good options. We have to take a somewhat straight route as well, because we have two little kittens on the drive. We have to find hotels that can accommodate cats. I will thoroughly research everyone's suggestions.

Thanks!

Cleveland
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10. Re: Boston to San Diego!!!

If you're driving straight to Chicago, the Best Western Plus in Mentor, Ohio, just north of the I-90/route 615 exit is highly rated by TA reviewers and is pet friendly. Red Roof Inns also accommodate pets. The Red Roof in Willoughby, south of the I-90/route 306 exit, would be a good, but more economical option. Both hotels would be a a good stop after a long day's drive, about half way between Boston and Chicago.

Instead of the Rock Hall in Cleveland, you might be more interested in Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world, in Sandusky, Ohio, or perhaps Put-in-Bay, which bills itself as the Key West of the North Coast. Cedar Point has fast passes that should enable you to ride all of the coasters in one day (see the Sandusky, Ohio, destination forum). See Lake Erie islands in the following travel article for info on Put-in-Bay.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g50207-s407/Cleveland…

If traveling through Cleveland on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, consider stopping at the West Side Market for breakfast and to stock up on road trip food. You should use a cooler and carry lots of water on this trip, at least when crossing the hot plains and desert.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g50207-d272156/Clevel…

Of course, stops to see attractions between Boston and Chicago, St. Louis, etc., would use some of your 10 days time. Perhaps skip route 66 on this trip, and do a day or two of marathon drives west on the interstates.

Before committing to route 66, read the several threads on this forum. Perhaps use the search engine to search for "route 66 trip report." There have been some very good route 66 road trip reports.

One thing to consider is that you can explore both Arizona and Utah on road trips from San Diego. August, part of the peak summer travel season, may not be the best time to explore that wonderful region, especially if you don't already have reservations.

Your car may be hot while traveling in August and this may greatly limit your options as you are traveling with pets, unless you use a pet motel for a day or two. Will your cats be OK if let in their cages all day in your motel room?

Also, perhaps check on the availability of pet friendly rooms in Chicago on that city's destination forum.

Have a memorable move and enjoy San Diego!