Roadtrip USA (East to West)

Going on a Roadtrip (Mid Life Crisis) planning to fly into an east coast city such as Washington DC or Boston then drive West till I hit Denver or Vegas depending on the amount of time it takes. I've booked off 9 days in February to do this and have rented a big pickup truck (Think it's an F-150). Is there any advice you could give me? Or any routes / places I should definitely visit? Not hugely into Big Cities but small Cities and Towns are interesting to me.
Planning to drive atleast 4 hours a day in the early morning but am happy to drive 10 + hours in a day if it comes to it.
Any routes / advice is really appreciated.

  1. 4 months ago

    I think you'd need to drive about 8 hours a day driving if you want a roadtrip across the united states in only 9 days. Go look up how long it takes to drive from the east coast to the qeat coast by car. People greatly underestimate how big it is here.

    • 4 months ago

      See google maps said my route was 32 hours but I'm not sure how accurate that is. I'd assume it doesn't factor in Traffic and the like?

      • 4 months ago

        I used to do a lot of road trips in the US. I found that if I used highways and mostly followed the speed limit, I could count on averaging between 55 and 65 miles per hour with stops to eat, fuel up, smoke, use the toilet, etc. The 55 mph pace is taking it easy, doing sit down meals, etc. The 65 mph pace is making short stops. So, if you want to estimate the travel time, dividing distance in miles by 60 should give a good estimate.

        • 4 months ago

          Thanks for that Gem! wasn't entirely sure what the average speed was in the US. I'll give this a go for sure.

      • 4 months ago

        I did Norfolk VA->LA, in Fall
        >I've booked off 9 days in February to do this and have rented a big pickup truck (Think it's an F-150
        Not enough time you "can" do it but keep in mind the daylight times are shorter, weather is shittier, and people drive slower

        You will need to understand
        8hrs of driving time, somewhere between 6.5-7.5hrs driving per day and with food stops.
        It only takes one snowstorm to fuck you up
        The rockies are impossible unless you know what you are doing for DENVER->las Vegas, you're going to need to go through NM
        You need to get actual rest vs. "yolo dirnking and party each stop"
        Gas will fuck your budget
        being able to say you will drive 10+hrs a day is easy until day 4-5 where it begins to SUCK, keep in mind backups will most likely happen

        you'll need 2-3 weeks to do it properly.

        It's not worth it do something else or just book the California Zypher fly back home after

  2. 4 months ago

    I've driven across the country, from the west coast to Florida and wasn't good about starting early and stopped a lot and probably could have made better time, but it took 4 days. It wasn't that bad though and you could do it in 9 days seeing things along the way. Some states you will just want to skip but others are worth a day or two. 2 weeks might be more ideal because you'll want more rest than you think.

  3. 4 months ago

    Just do Route 66 instead.

    • 4 months ago

      You can't though. It doesn't exist as a separate highway for a lot of its length. There's parts in Texas, NM, CA and AZ (the best part) but you have to take 40 for several long sections to get there. 66 from Flagstaff to Needles is a cool trip though.

  4. 4 months ago

    Dumb idea for a multitude of reasons. Just do highway 89 like a normal person.

    T. I’ve done so many road trips across the USA. The big empty space between the Appalachians and the Rockies is a huge boring time sink.

    • 4 months ago

      I personally liked Arkansas a lot, in particular, the Ozarks and Ouachitas. And its not *that* far from there to NM. A northern route takes you through Illinois and Kansas and sucks ass.

      But it is really the wrong time of year to do this. Even northern AZ can get heavy snow which is one thing but the rest of the country isn't going to be scenic or pretty, all the trees in the east won't have leaves and it will be grey and damp everywhere.

      • 4 months ago

        AZ wouldn't be the worst of his concern

        Crosswinds can tip a semi or take a van off the road, taking some of those 2 lane highways to a stand still
        NM can actively and often will take Highway speeds to 35mph during snow
        OP wanting to go to Denver is too hard a detour for 9 days
        Daylight will make most possible places to see a night only thing
        OP would be best looking at late spring or early fall, maybe summer if he doesn't care about heat

  5. 4 months ago

    If you're going later in February and taking I-80 to Denver, there's a huge Sandhill crane migration worth checking out in Nebraska.

  6. 4 months ago

    Why the fuck are you doing this in February? Not the best time for a road trip imho. If you're going from DC or Boston west to Denver or LA most of your drive is going to be cold, gray, and dark this time of year and everyone's hibernating. Boring. You should come in the summer instead. Or if you have to come this time of year just cut the road trip shit and fly straight into Denver, check it out for a couple of days and then go to one of Colorado's world class ski resorts and tear up the rockies.

  7. 4 months ago

    Don't drive east to west. 75 percent of the drive sucks on every route. The middle of the US is terrible. Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Indiana and the Texas panhandle are all so fucking boring. And it'll be even worse in February because you might have problems with snow in Colorado which is really the only pretty state in the middle. 9 days is not enough time to see anything for such a long drive. My advice is to do a west coast loop.

    Do Las Vegas, Joshua Tree, San Diego, Santa Monica, Big Sur, San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas. Take Route 1 on the coast as much as you can. It's fucking gorgeous the entire way and the weather will be decent in California in February.

    • 4 months ago

      Do either the West coast tour like
      is saying OR since you're going in Feb. I would recommend flying into Orlando (cheap flights) do a day or two checking out the year round stuff that is in Florida, drive through the panhandle and into Louisiana, stop in New Orleans (Mardi Gras starts on the 17th and Fat Tuesday is the 21st). It's really the best place to be in the US around this time, and there is a ton of stuff to see and do in the city so give yourself at least a full day or two there.
      From there, its around 28 hours to drive to LA so just spend the next 2-3 days taking I-10 W through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. This route lets you avoid bad weather and you get to see the southernmost parts of the country along the way.
      Once you get to Los Angeles you've completed your coast to coast journey and you can either spend your final 1-2 days there or I would recommend Vegas as the finale. Maybe even plan it out so that you get two days in Vegas and fly home from there.

      • 4 months ago

        recommended short stops along I-10 include:
        >Houston/Austin/San Antonio
        see which one looks like it is the most relevant to your interests and pick one to stop at for an afternoon or evening. All three of these cities have a lot to see.
        >Dripping Springs Natural Area, NM
        Theres not much to see in New Mexico along this route, but this state park is worth a stop. White sands missile range is also pretty cool.
        >Saguaro National Park & AZ roadside attractions
        If you like roadside tourist trap stuff, check out Tombstone, AZ and Bowlin's The Thing, two of the most famous roadside attractions in the US
        >Palm Springs & Joshua Tree
        also stop at Cabazon Dinosaurs along the way

  8. 4 months ago

    I have done this multiple times. IMO, the southern route is best. I started from Eastern NC on US 70/I-40 all the wayout to San Diego. You go through the mountains at the NC/TN border, cross the Mississippi River from TN into Arkansas, I then swung down into Texas, and through NM and AZ, then through the mountains into San Diego. On the way back I went further south, going through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, SC.

  9. 4 months ago

    you're planning a holiday to do something that people get paid to do because it sucks otherwise

    I did DC to kansas city a few years ago and it was awful and incredibly boring.

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