As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am planning on taking a road trip this summer! I am really excited because this road trip will take me to several places I have never been before (which is always exciting!). I will share what I have planned so far, and share some tips and things to remember!
Western States Road Trip
The first thing I did was make a quick list of things I wanted to see and do!
1. Grand Canyon
2. San Fransisco
4. Mount Rushmore
5. Big Sur & Pacific Coast Highway
6. Texas (I don’t care where, I know I will go to Texas more extensively sometime, I just want to get a little taste!)
7. New Orleans
Keep in mind this is just a quick list I made off the top of my head, I can always change it later. The next thing I planned was the amount of time my boyfriend and I could get off work. This ended up being around three weeks in the summer. Since I don’t know when exactly we will be leaving, I planned the trip starting with Day 1 instead of listing the actual dates. Then I started the run part! Mapping the actual route! Keep in mind that it is easiest for road trips to move in a type of circle, you want to start and leave in the same spot, but you probably don’t just want to retrace your steps on the way back. Another thing to keep in mind (that I almost forgot) is that your time (so for me that was three weeks) INCLUDES the way back. SO keeping this in mind I had to cut out a few things in order to make it work. A great way to save a few days on this road trip would be to leave and return to Seattle, but I live in Canada so the first day or two is dedicated to getting to my first stop on my list! Another thing to keep in mind is distance travelled per day, you want to have enough time to stop and eat, take pictures, and enjoy the trip! Summer is a great time to go because you will get more daylight hours! Some of my days I have planned are quite long (keep in mind the distances are in kilometres not miles) but with two of us driving we can split it. Also most of these distances go through scene areas and it will be nice to stop and stretch and take some pictures along the way. If you are doing a solo road trip, I would suggest shorter distances per day, and if you are in a large group, you can even travel through the night if you want to get somewhere really fast!
Okay here we go:
Day 1: Alberta – Cranbrook BC
Distance: 500 km
Day 2: Cranbrook BC – Seattle WA
Distance: 750 km
This day we go through mountains and forests which will be pretty to look at, but we won’t be stopping anywhere major on the way. It is quite a long day but I figured right at the beginning of the trip we could handle it! I plan to leave Cranbrook quite early and get to Seattle at a decent time to do some sightseeing before moving on the next day!
Day 3: Seattle WA – Coos Bay OR
Distance: 635 km
I researched places to camp (most of the nights except in big cities I plan on camping! Saves money, and I love camping!) along the coast and I stumbled across Coos Bay. It is a small place right along the coast which will be nice! This drive is about an hour and a half shorter than Day 2, so we can leave a little later, in order to spend more time in Seattle. And we are going through Portland!
Day 4: Coos Bay OR – Crescent City CA
Distance: 215 km
Crescent City is right in the Redwood National Parks. I really want to spend some time here so we can have a nice leisurely day and spend some time in both Coos Bay & Crescent City and enjoy the view along the coastal highway.
Day 5: Crescent City CA – San Fransisco CA
Distance: 570 km
My goal is to leave fairly early so we can hang out in San Fransisco for the day! I love pictures on San Fransisco and I can’t wait to take my own :).
Day 6: San Fransisco CA – Big Sur CA – Fresno CA
Distance: 220 km + 270 km
I have planned to spend some time taking pictures at Big Sur. If you don’t know what this is GOOGLE IT. It is absolutely beautiful! I planned to cut inland and stop at Fresno, because we plan on going to Las Vegas, and this will shorten the long drive. We can also leave a little later and spend some time in San Fransisco.
Day 7: Fresno CA – Las Vegas NV
Distance: 635 km
This is a fairly long drive (a little under 6 hours) but we will leave early and get to Las Vegas in time to have some fun!
Day 8: Las Vegas NV
No driving planned today! Yay!
Day 9: Las Vegas NV – Grand Canyon – Flagstaff AZ
Distance: 575 km
I finally get to see the Grand Canyon! We will split this drive in two parts. A couple hours in the morning, stop at the Grand Canyon for a while and then a short drive to Flagstaff where we will spend the night.
Day 10: Flagstaff AZ – Amarillo TX
Distance: 980 km
This is our longest day! WE travel straight across New Mexico and on to Texas. I figured this would be a good time for a long drive, after a couple of short days and one day with no driving at all, it will be good to spend a day in the car and get a change of scenery.
Day 11: Amarillo TX – Dallas TX
Distance: 580 km
Travelling through Texas!
Day 12: Dallas TX – Houston TX
Distance: 385 km
On to Houston! Plan on spending some time in Houston and maybe go to the coast then off to New Orleans!
Day 13: Houston TX – New Orleans LA
Distance: 560 km
I have wanted to go to New Orleans for such a long time! We plan on getting there early so we can spend some time wandering around!
Day 14: New Orleans LA – Memphis TN
Distance: 635 km
Starting the journey back home! Spend the day travelling through Mississippi and then to Tennessee.
Day 15 – Memphis TN – Cincinnati OH
Distance: 775 km
Couple of decently long days in a row to get back up North! Then on to Chicago the next day! Travelling through Kentucky and Indiana.
Day 16 – Cincinnati OH – Chicago IL
Distance: 475 km
Fairly short drive to Chicago, we will leave early so we can spend some time in Chicago.
Day 17 – Chicago IL
Day 18 – Chicago IL – Sioux Falls SD
LONG DAY! figured it would be best to take a break day before heading out on this long drive to South Dakota.
Day 19 – Sioux Falls SD – Mount Rushmore SD
Distance: 560 km
Find somewhere to stay around Mount Rushmore. Then continue heading back home!
Day 20 – Mount Rushmore SD – Great Falls MT
Distance: 860 km
Still heading back home!
Day 21 – Great Falls MT – HOME
I have a couple of days where we don’t drive at all, and we can always move these to another time if we need a break or want to change our plans. That is one of the great things about having phones with GPS, if we think of something we want to do we can always find a way there and then just change out plans accordingly.
Well this is the plan for now! we will see how it goes in a couple of months! I don’t think this road trip will be as fun this time of year :).