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driving across the country......pa to west coast

carlisle, pa
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driving across the country......pa to west coast

I would like to drive from PA to the west coast.....northern route one way and southern route back home. Any suggestions? I don't know where to start.

Southeast PA
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1. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

Sounds like a great trip! You didn't mention who's going with you.. any kids? So you're going out 80/90, and back 40?

I'd be sure to see Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Big Sur (as you head south) Grand Canyon, Cowboy Hall of Fame on Okla City, Memphis attractions (Mud Island, Graceland, if that's your thing) up thru Blue Ridge, to Gettysburg...

That's just off the top of my head. My husband and I did travel healthcare for 7 years, and those are some of our favorites, along with a few we didn't get to yet..

Endless Mountains...
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2. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

WE are also planning a Coast to Coast Panorama, leaving Pa. Sep 9th returning Oct 14.

Here is a list of our itenerary starting out on interstate 80 picking up interstate 90 in South Dakota and returning home on interstate 70.We decided on I70,wanted Manitou Springs as farewell to trip.

Interstae 40 we did before.

Sep 9 Morris Ill

Sep 10 Mitchell S.D.

Badlands,Wall Drug, Corn Palace.

Sep 11/14 Hill City

Mt Rushmore,Custer State Park,Crazy Horse Monument,Deadwood,Spearfish Canyon scenic highway.

Sep 15/16 Wapiti Wyoming

Devils Tower N.M.,Yellowstone,Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole.

Sep 17 Logan Utah

Sep 18/19 Bryce canyon via scenic rt12.

Driving Rt12(claimed as a of the most scenic highways in U.S.A.)from Torrey to Tropic Utah,staying at the Bryce Point B&B in Tropic.

Sep 20/23 Page AZ

Zion,Marble Canyon via 89a,lake Powell,Upper antelope Canyon tour,Monument valley.

Sep 24/26 Sedona Az via 89a (Oak Creek Canyon)

South Rim Grand Canyon,Jerome,Williams.

Sep 27/28 Laughlin Nevada

Oatman (old mining town) via Rt 66 over the Sitgreaves Pass.

Sep 29/30

Desert Hot Springs,Joshua Tree N.P.

Oct 1/5 Tucson Az

Tombstone,Sonora Desert Museum,Biosphere2,Mt Lemmon,San Xavier del bac Mission.

Oct 6 Holbrook az

Wigwam Motel,Petrifeid Forest,Painted Desert.

Oct 7 Albuquerque N.M.

Old Town,Sandia Peak Tramway.

Oct 8/11 Manitou Springs Co.

Pikes Peak,Cripple Creek,Garden of the Gods,Great Sand Dunes,A.F.Academy.

Oct 12 Independence MO

Oct 13 Richmond Indiana

Oct 14 Home Pittston Pa.

Hope This Helps........

carlisle, pa
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3. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

Thank you so much for all this information. It will be a great help to me. Hope you have a wonderful trip!

Southeast PA
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4. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

I would recommend to both of you to purchase the National Parks Pass... It costs $50.00, and is good for all nat'l parks for 1 year (beginning the first time you use it) Most of the major parks are 20.00 per vehicle, so this is a great bargain! It can be purchased online, and mailed to you, so you don't have to wait in any lines... just order it early enough to get it in time... Remember... the 12 months don't start til you use it.

nationalparks.org

Endless Mountains...
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5. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

PA-Yankee

Thanks for the reminder..........

carlisle, pa
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6. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

Good idea....thanks.

PA
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7. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

My husband and I did this a few years ago on a southern route - 40.

The first thing we did was buy an atlas and mark points of interest out on the different routes so we could pick which highways we wanted to use. Then, we marked out points on those highways to stay overnight - either because of the driving time or because it was close to an attraction - most of them were 5-8 hours from the last overnight stay. We had an average budget for hotel stays - I can't remember what - I think like $80-$100/night. So instead of staying at the same types of places each night in the same price range, we stayed some nights cheap, and some night in nicer places to break it up and make it more interesting - and it did.

We chose:

1) Pismo Beach, CA (heading south before 40) - Best Western - it was on a cliff right on the ocean and our room had a fireplace - very nice and comfortable - About $140.

2) Lake Havasu, AZ - stayed in a really cheap hotel right on the lake, not far from the grocery store- can't remember the name, it was not a chain - nothing fancy, but was like $40.

3) Grand Canyon, AZ - Red Feather Lodge - we liked it - near the park entrance and walked to dinner. Not the cheapest, but in this area you pay for location. You could get a comperable room for much less $$ if you stay farther from the park. Flagstaff is a nice place too and not super far away. About $120.

4) Gallup, NM - would not recommend staying there at all - not very attractive and seedy at night.

5) Tucumcari, NM - Best Western - old motel they re-decorated. It is really cute - has a courtyard in the middle and a small, great restaurant for dinner next door with awesome food and wonderful key lime daquiris - I still dream of those...It was only like $60 - rooms are cute and comfortable. Beware: Do not leave your motel room door open for one second - even if you just go back in because you forgot something - HUGE roaches are outside (after all, it is NM) and will come running in your room!!!

6) Adair, Oklahoma - Bass Haven - friendly, family-owned, accomodating staff - however, didn't sleep a wink!! Hot and humid - have never seen so many bugs in my life - no lie, I really haven't - and they were flying all over my room - kept killing them but they kept coming. About $40.

7) Alton, Illinois (across the river from St.Louis, MO) - Beall Mansion B&B - best night of our trip. HUGE, beautiful room and private bath with jacuzzi bathtub - we stayed in the Senator's room. We were greeted with champagne and chocolates, they recommended a wonderful place for dinner, and in the morning they made us a delicious gourmet breakfast in bed. Owners are so nice and friendly, and the house is really big so you have a lot of privacy for a B&B. About $180 (we stayed on a weekday).

To see:

The Meteor Crater in AZ - pretty cool, and so were the Ice Caves in NM, but the Petrified Forest was terrible - huge disappointed - just a few stumps. Painted Desert was pretty - especially at sunset.

Of course, the Grand Canyon was magnificent.

Hope this helps!

Good luck and have fun!

Endless Mountains...
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8. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

In response to cnft, when we decided our itinerary was locked in stone, then all our reservations were made.Nice to know if you are coming in late,especially on weekends,that your room is reserved.We have been out West a few times and always locked our reservations before time.So far it has worked out well...............GOOD Car or Rental

carlisle, pa
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9. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

Thanks for the info.....I am grateful for your taking the time to give me all this information. It will be a great help in planning our trip.

Katy, Texas
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10. Re: driving across the country......pa to west coast

Joeman#1 & others going thru SD - Try to arrive in Hill City, SD for lunch or dinner at the Alpine Inn. Dinner is special and lines start forming early - only serve filet mignon - small 6 oz. is $7.95 and the large 8 oz. is $9.95 - naturally not top of the line, but a very good meal and the desserts are fabulous. Many choices for lunch. Very nice town to walk around. Are you taking the 1880 train between Hill City and Keystone? www.1880train.com

Deadwood is also a fun town to spend several hours. Street gunfights, casinos, shopping and historical buildings, the cemetery where Wild Bill Hickok is buried - take one of the bus tours from downtown - good narration during drive about Deadwood history.