Wednesday, October 27, 2010

East Coast as good as West Coast?

Hi Jamie,

I looking for some advice in regards to the 2011 trip I am going to take across the US. My wife and me had completed 17 days this year starting from LA to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley then back to LV and to San Francisco. We are from Europe, and we were absolutely mesmerized by the beauty and the people of US.

I am planning similar journey by car sometime around April or May 2011.I was looking to start in NYC drive a bit into Pennsylvania then to Washington DC.From there across the Appalachian mountains to Atlanta and New Orleans.From New Orleans to Orlando , Miami and Key West. The itinerary would include around 28 days to take in the sights.

However what is baffling me is whether the east coast has so much to offer in comparison to California? Will we not be disappointed due to the "less attractiveness" of those states? Would you say it would be better to kick off in Boston and drive all the way to New Orleans and leave Florida for a separate trip? Would you suggest any more attractive route instead?

Your help is much appreciated.

Kind regards



Hello Greg --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA, and rest assured, there is plenty more good stuff to see and enjoy in the eastern half of the USA!

There aren't the same wide open spaces and amazing landscapes of Monument Valley and the like, but the rich history and cultural variety is at least as fascinating.

If you could kick off in Boston, you could maybe take in some of the sublime mountains of New England (like Mount Washington in New Hampshire), or the coastline of Maine. Then wind south via New York and Philadelphia and maybe Washington DC, to sample some city life before heading along the Appalachian Trail into the rural American heartland of Virginia and Tennessee (where there are some spectacular mountains and waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway.)

If you like music, you'll want to see Nashville and especially Memphis, which is a fascinating city for all sorts of reasons.

Then, rather than head to Atlanta, I'd recommend you head south into Mississippi and cruise down along the Great River Road into New Orleans (again, music and food both feature prominently on the visitor agenda!)

May is a perfect time of year to be in the Deep South, which has all sorts of gardens and cultural festival at that time of year -- in fact, you may want to plan your trip around the world-famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which takes place the first week in May 2011.

The eastern US is certainly very different from the Wild West and California, but I suspect you'll find enough mesmerizing people and places "back east" to make your visit unforgettable.

I hope so, for sure -- just stay off the freeways, and you'll see plenty of delightful places.

Thanks again for writing, and Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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