Thursday, April 01, 2010

Pacific Northwest Road Trip

Dear Jamie,

What a great idea! A free and personalized personalised travel advice by the author of the nicest looking travel book we've found !

Gladly we take this opportunity for a trip from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to the USA. We will arrive in Portland, Oregon and the first days of our stay will be dedicated to visiting some relatives who live in Halsey, Oregon. Then we have about 14 days to drive to Denver for the flight home. What would be the nicest trip to make in a rented car, sleeping in hotels and motels?

We are 50+, a party of 3 or 4.

Thank you for your time,

yours truly,



Hallo Elisabeth --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA, and I am pleased you like the look of my book. It has certainly been fun to pull together, and I hope it helps you plan a great trip!

Portland is a great place to start your visit -- people say it is the most civilized and "European" of American cities, because it actually has a thriving center, and a functioning public transit system, too.

Between Portland and Denver, however, there are simply too many great possibilities for me to decide what you should do. :-)

You can see Yellowstone National Park, one of the real wonders of the world, with steaming geysers, spectacular canyons, and abundant wildlife (bison, wolves, bears and more!). And if you like the outdoors, there are dozens of other spectacular parks in the northwestern US -- in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana -- all of them unforgettable.

Besides Portland, there are other great cities -- Seattle and San Francisco to name two -- and many pleasant smaller towns. I like Astoria Oregon, west of Portland; Mendocino (seen in the photo) above and Arcata in northern California; and Port Townsend in northwest Washington.

All of these towns are fantastic stops for a couple of days, with nice hotels, good restaurants, and a wide variety of activities to enjoy. And the drives between them are very enjoyable and scenic, too!

Nearer to Denver, there are some fabulous parks in central Utah (100s and 100s of miles of redrock sandstone deserts, canyons and monoliths in national parks at Arches, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands and more). And Colorado has more of the same -- amazing landscapes, nice towns (I like Crested Butte, off my US-50 / Loneliest Road route on page 682 of the current edition). An hour from Denver, the town of Boulder, which alas I don't cover in my book, is also "cool" and popular and enjoyable.

A rented car, staying at hotels/ motels -- all sounds great! If you do want to visit the national parks, start trying to make arrangements for your lodgings as soon as you can, but in the other places you should be able to find nice lodgings in May without much hassle. If you haven't been to the US before, I think you will find it an eye-opening experience -- the USA is so BIG and wide (and occasionally even handsome!).

I hope you enjoy getting to know Road Trip USA, and that you have a great trip.

Happy Trails -- heb een goede reis

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA



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