Monday, June 14, 2010

Whirlwind Road Trip -- 21 cities in 21 days!

Hi Jamie,

My best friend and I, both girls in our early 20s, decided to celebrate our college graduation by taking a cross country road trip to fit in as many cities as we could in three weeks. The deal is that we only get one day/night per city and afterward we'll have an idea of where we might want to plan future vacations based on which cities were the most interesting to us. It's more of a road trip/bonding experience and less of a sight seeing trip.

We're leaving from Tucson and plan to hit the following cities in this order: San Antonio, Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York City (2 days), Boston (2 days), Buffalo, Chicago, St. Louis, Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Even though we aren't planning on being able to get a lot of sight seeing in, it would be a waste to just dine, drive around, and sleep in each place. So what would you suggest are some must-sees along our route? We're both very interested in history and landmarks and want to make the most of this whirlwind trip across the U.S.A!

Thank you!



Hi Denielle --

That's quite a trip you have ahead of you -- when do you hit the road?

I hope you can allow yourself to spend a bit more time in the places you like, or at least bend your "one night per town" rules when you feel like it. Not only are there a lot of great big cities on your route, there are countless smaller cities and towns you'll want to explore -- to my mind, road trips are more suited to enjoying the in-between places, so I hope you'll be flexible and adventurous and really make the most of your freedom. Certainly in my Road Trip USA books, most of what I cover are these in-between places, which aren't necessarily the biggest or most popular destinations, but are definitely worth searching out and appreciating.

On your way to and from New Orleans, for example, check out towns like Natchez and Vicksburg Mississippi (esp since you like history!)

Near Atlanta, I suspect you'll really like the historic ports cities of Savannah and Charleston (both of which are packed with historic landmarks.)

Between Boston and Buffalo, the Berkshires of western Massachusetts are lovely, and you didn't even mention wanting to see Vermont, which is perhaps the prettiest state in all the eastern US.

And so on across the USA -- by the time you get home, you will have a very long list of places you want to come back to, later in life.

A couple more towns to add to your list would be Cannon Beach and Bandon on the Oregon coast, and Arcata and Mendocino on the northern California coast. Plus at least a dozen more I could mention, but which you'll probably enjoy finding all by yourselves. There really is a great big wonderful world out there -- my main advice would be to get out of the the car as often as you can, and wander around these places on foot rather than simply gaze out thru the windshield.

Hope this helps you make the most of your great adventure.

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen


Post a Comment

<< Home