Thursday, November 17, 2011

East Coast or West Coast – in Nov / Dec 2011 ?

Hi Jamie,

My partner and I are in New York for a week of business which will finish in mid-November 2011 (next week!). We then have some time off before Christmas, and are really taken with the idea of staying "state-side" and taking a US road trip. Ideally we would like to take a drive over a ten day period, and return to the UK from our final destination.

We are quite happy to fly to the West Coast to take your Pacific Coast Highway route, or perhaps we should head down to Key West? Your advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated and of course, we will buy your book on the route you advise!

We love the scenery, are art lovers, interested in American history and are foodies.

We look forward to your ideas.

Kind regards and love the website!

Mary and Gerry


Hi there Mary and Gerry --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA, and I hope I can help you plan a great trip. I'm in at least two minds about what to suggest, so I'll try to give you an idea of pros and cons and let you decide what feels right.

My first instinct was to say that once you're done with you week in NYC, you get a car and hit the road -- appreciate some art in cities like Philadelphia (fabulous museums!), DC( more museums, and obviously a lot of history...), and so on down the East Coast. (Spending quite a lot of time in charming small Southern cities like Charleston and Savannah, which are fantastic for food and art and history and architecture and so much more besides!)

(By the way, Charleston just surprised a lot of people by being named "Best US City" by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, a high end US food and culture magazine):

Florida has some great food and lots of fun, too -- I enjoy the sense of history in St Augustine (location of the Fountain of Youth!), and Miami and Key West are super places, too.

In fact, I was going to say -- on the other hand, the West Coast is pretty great, too. But as I wrote I'm changing my mind -- you can "do" the West Coast on another trip, but the West Coast is actually farther from New York than New York is from London, and seeing as you're already on the East Coast, take advantage of it and don't subject your self to another long day in an airplane (and waiting for your airplane -- with security etc it effectively takes 12 hours to get across the USA, even by plane.)

And in any event the East Coast is full of possibilities -- though it may be worth your while to fly back to England directly from Miami, if you can re-arrange your return; or maybe you can get a Miami-to-NYC flight, or even make the drive back and re-visit the places you liked the look of on your way south.

(And don't worry, San Francisco will want for your next visit!)


And by the way, if you can take this trip thru the end of November, you'll be in the US during our best national holiday: Thanksgiving, when we all eat to excess and enjoy ourselves. On a Thursday!

Hope this helps you plan yourself a great trip.

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

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