If you're considering a road trip, some planning will make things easier—and safer. There’s no denying that planning a road trip across the US can get a bit complex at times, but rest assured that this one-of-a-kind experience is well worth it. A comprehensive U.S. road atlas is still one of the best ways to choose among your possible travel routes. The New York Times travelled this route back in 2010 in a ‘58 Cadillac, and it’s well worth a read.Suggested By: $caykog/Grolar, Photo Credit: David Herrera (It only takes 30 seconds, we promise! My husband and I are moving from NYC to LA. Access insider tips and hotel recommendations from our travel tastemakers. To help you on your way to inner peace, a few years back a savvy University of Michigan researcher figured out the fastest route to drive across the US, hitting all the country’s major landmarks before coming full circle. It can be a pretty sizable job to route a cross-country trip, and an RV trip planner generally works for free. For example, while your convertible sports car might be a great choice for cruising along the California Coast, mountain roads in Wyoming and Colorado might test the limits of its front-wheel drive. This kind of road trip requires 8 to 10 hours of driving each day, leaving you little time to make pit stops. Although we can’t explore its breathtaking scenery as thoroughly as we’d like to right now, we can still start dreaming and planning a future cross-country road trip. Though the Nevada section of the road is notoriously boring, this is one of the most classic ways to see the country. Road trippers who stop in cities might find Airbnb apartments or boutique hotels a more comfortable option, while camping will allow you to experience state and national parks in a more authentic way. After settling in, make a dinner reservation at Glorietta if you’re in the mood for Italian. New York to California – Cross Country Road Trip by Campervan. For example, while roads in Hawaii and Arizona will be free of ice in December, you’ll need to drive with more caution in New York or Idaho. Divide today’s day-long trek to Chicago with a pitstop in Cleveland, just two hours west of Pittsburgh. After using a few bungees to strap a fly rod, camping gear and a bag full of clothes and tools to the back of the bike, I set off to explore the nation’s backroads and stunning parks. On November 1st, my best friend and I drove across the country and created a detailed itinerary for you road-trip loving and adventure seeking humans. Electrify America's first route crosses through 11 states, and in September another cross-country route will open from Jacksonville, FL, to San Diego. The US interstate highway system is one of the safest, well-maintained, and most extensive road networks in the world, but you can’t use just any vehicle for any itinerary. The real showstopper is the 18th-floor rooftop overlooking the Magnificent Mile and Lake Michigan. While rhinos, wild horses, and saber-toothed cats used to roam this wild terrain, today you’re more likely to spot bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs. We mapped out a 10-day itinerary—including top city sights and national parks between Washington, D.C. to Washington State—so you can make the best of your journey west. In Chicago, bed down at the Viceroy Chicago on the glitzy Gold Coast, whose opulent interiors are done up in Art Deco elements that nod to the hotel’s past as the 1920s Cedar Hotel. Things you buy may earn us a commission. Playing RV road trip planner is a job that’s simultaneously rewarding and overwhelming at times. We mapped out a 10-day itinerary—including top city sights and national parks between Washington, D.C. to Washington State—so you can make the best of your journey west. The most basic variant of this itinerary would see you drive between Seattle and New York or vice-versa, sticking mostly to interstate highways as you visit cities like Minneapolis and natural wonders such as the Great Lakes. Or maybe you want to set up a theme for your road trip — like to see the most unique buildings in the US. Georgia to California: Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary. Our database includes millions of the world’s most fascinating places, making planning the unexpected easier than you thought. This untapped Midwest gem is home to locavore restaurants, indie boutiques, and contemporary art galleries. The most basic variant of this itinerary would see you drive between Seattle and New York or vice-versa, sticking mostly to interstate highways as you visit cities like Minneapolis and natural wonders such as the Great Lakes. Take your pick between a private log cabin or riverfront glamping tent, which comes with its own chandelier, copper soaking tub, and on-call butler and chef, who will happily cook up whole-roasted rainbow trout or chili-dusted Black Angus prime rib. If you are a beach bum, then Atlantic Coast cross country is your best bet! While the second half of this cross-country adventure focuses on the scenery, the eastern side is all about the cityscapes. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission. Before heading west to your final destination, it’s worth making one last detour to see Montana’s stunning Glacier National Park. There is no question that the US is a beautiful country, whether you’re more susceptible to her spacious skies, amber waves of grain, or purple mountains’ majesty. RELATED: 9 of the Most Underrated National Parks in America. Driving between landmarks of the route, including London Bridge (yes, the original London Bridge!) 5 Cross-Country Road Trips That You’ll Never Forget. The off-peak seasons of spring and fall tend to be the best times to drive, providing mild temperatures and perfect weather for both sight-seeing and cruising. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Backcountry camping is available for the truly adventurous; others can set up at Cedar Pass Campground (which offers running water, toilets, and covered picnic tables) or the park’s eco-friendly cabins, which come outfitted with pine-wood beds, flatscreen TVs, and mini-fridges and microwaves. This 310,000-acre swath encompasses Jackson Lake, Snake River, and the entire Teton range, which is webbed together by more than 200 miles of hiking trails. The US is a huge country, which means that the weather can vary considerably and in all seasons. The nice mix of scenery means you can take it slow on the old country roads (look out for the bust of Lincoln between Cheyenn… Pick up a loaf of bread, some sliced lunch meat and/or sliced cheese, or go really traditional with some simple peanut butter and jelly.Be sure to throw in some easy to eat fruits and veggies like bananas, baggies of carrots, apples, etc. itinerary ideas, America the beautiful has never been more approachable. Cheers! Well we'd love it if you left us a review. Here you can dine on the aforementioned spicy bird, before heading back down I-24 to I-75 and then to the ATL. Coast to Coast Road Trip from Florida to California. Home for the night—the Resort at Paws Up, a 37,000-acre working cattle ranch and luxe retreat in the Blackfoot Valley—is just a half hour east of Missoula. If you’re braving the trip by road, here are three good routes and some sights you’ll see along the way. Some of the country’s most famous drives, like California’s Route 1, remain open. The roasted acorn squash; ricotta cavatelli with spicy sausage, brown butter, and fried sage; and zeppole topped with mascarpone and strawberry compote come highly recommended. To ensure you don't get stuck in the snow or miss out on the best pit stops, follow this guide! The northern route across America is a land of contrasts. If you’ve only got a short while, you might consider starting and ending in hub-of-the-south Atlanta. © 2009 - 2020 Jetsetter ™ All rights reserved. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats. Explore these eleven incredible cross-country road trip routes across the U.S. Pacific Coast Highway Starting at the northwest tip of the United States at Washington’s Olympic National Park and remaining within sight of the ocean all the way south to sunny San Diego, this 1,650-mile, mostly two-lane road trip takes in everything from temperate rainforest to near-desert. But authorities along some roadways — like the Blue Ridge Parkway — are trying to discourage its use. Road: Lincoln Highway Route: Times Square, New York, to San Francisco, California America's first transcontinental highway runs 3,000 miles through Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Omaha, Denver, and Salt Lake City, and is ideal for international travelers who are flying into the United States. Although there’s world-class fly fishing, ATVing, and rock climbing on offer, horseback riding is the resort’s beating heart. This depends on how much time you have and how much you want to see along the way. Longer itineraries can add states like Florida and cities like New Orleans to the mix, or even include the mansions of Mississippi or Alabama’s important Civil Rights Trail. We were driving across the country to San Francisco so that I could move in with my fiancé right before our wedding. at the Saddle Club, whose 29,000-square-foot arena and more than 100 miles of trails make it the largest private equestrian center in Montana. Last week, I saw a map going around Facebook claiming to be a car route across the United States that hit all of the country's major landmarks. Safe travels! This season, there’s Detroit-style pizza, Vietnamese cuisine, Latin-fusion tapas, and innovative takes on American classics. Driving halfway across the country may not seem enticing these days, but at the moment traveling by car is arguably safer than traveling by plane. January 1, 2017 by Madison. All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. Plan your next road trip route with Roadtrippers. ), How to plan the ultimate road trip across the USA, others require an international driving permit, Road Trip Ideas for Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring, How to spend 24 hours in London without leaving your living room, Discover the world’s most famous sites from home. Are you making a cross-country move from New York to Los Angeles (or vice-versa, or anywhere along the way)? From here, you’re just 75 minutes outside Pittsburgh. Our East Coast … After (reluctantly) leaving the mountains of Montana, hop back on I-90 to enter the northern tip of Idaho. With more than 3 million square miles of just the mainland to discover, below, you’ll find an easy-to-use guide to the ultimate coast-to-coast adventure. We plan to drive across in November and want to take a northern route. Road trip planning made easier. A few summers ago, I was lucky enough to embark on a three-month-long, 13,000-mile cross-country drive on my motorcycle. Of course, you’ll need to be in the country legally with a valid passport and, for some nationalities, a visa. A two-and-a-half-hour drive from Chicago brings you to Wisconsin’s charming college town of Madison. It goes without saying that you’ll need a driver’s license to take a cross-country road trip, but this becomes a slightly more complicated matter if you’re not American. The options are really as endless as the country is diverse, huge—and, yes, beautiful. However, if you have more time, you can spend only a few hours driving per day or even stay several days in one location. Upon arriving in Steel City, drop your bags at the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh—a refurbished century-old YMCA turned hip hotel in the up-and-coming East Liberty neighborhood—then follow the in-the-know crowd to Smallman Galley, a restaurant incubator with four rotating food concepts from a line-up of rising chefs. On the other hand, heavy summer rains can make driving along the Gulf Coast treacherous, while spring snow can fall as far south as Denver. The Great American Road Trip is just as much a part of Americana as the stars and stripes. Notify your friends and family so they don’t worry if you’re temporarily unreachable, and consider renting a GPS navigation system as a backup for a mobile device that might not work. The Anvil Hotel is a perfect example of this fusion: the redesigned 1950s motel reflects the region’s rugged past with a mountain-modern twist. By creating a shortlist of practical considerations and utilizing a few essential itineraries as your starting points, you can assuage much of your pre-trip anxiety, which is always half the battle. The route can be started from any state and would be 9.33 days worth of driving. You know you’re getting close to the coast when you hit Snoqualmie Pass, just 55 miles outside the Seattle. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Hugging the northern end of the United States takes the longest of any of the cross-country routes. Once you’ve gotten your fill of America’s capital, it’s time to hit the road heading west. There’s no better place to have dinner than the James Beard award-winning L’Etoile Restaurant, where chef Tory Miller—you may have seen him on Iron Chef Showdown—serves locally sourced dishes like Blue Valley Gardens duck breast with Swiss chard and soubise. Likewise, you should pick a car, truck, or SUV that has enough space to comfortably accommodate all passengers and luggage. Embrace your inner cowboy (or girl!) 5 Best Routes for a Cross-Country Road Trip Movies such as The Cannonball Run, Easy Rider , National Lampoon’s Vacation and Rain Man have one special thing in common. This short sprint overlooks steep gorges and straddles the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene before entering Washington via Spokane. However, to avoid pitfalls, check the weather daily during your cross-country road trip. RELATED: 9 Ultimate Weekend Road Trips You Can Take from Major U.S. Cities, Explore More: See hotel details | See all Chicago, IL hotels. Stylish interiors, courtesy of Brooklyn-based firm Studio Tack, are done up with brass fixtures, custom iron bed frames, and Woolrich blankets. Both the scenic route and the peninsula’s only major route, Highway 101 loops around the largest road-free area in the continental U.S. Through Chicago, hit Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone etc. Your head is probably already spinning, but if you still have more patience (and a lot more time!) I am wondering if it is worth driving that way, just for the scenery. They teach us that the most epic and rewarding way to travel cross-country across the United States is on a road trip. The drive cuts through the Cascade Mountain Range, home to towering evergreen forests, misty mountaintops, and thundering waterfalls. Cross Country Road Trip – Southern Route. It’s no secret that the South is home to some of America’s best food and most legendary hospitality, from classic dishes like jambalaya in Louisiana and “Hot Chicken” in Tennessee, to the warm welcome you can be sure to receive in cities like Savannah and Charleston. Far from lifeless, this lesser-known/traveled route has its own unique draws to consider and is a perfect alternative to the southern route during the hot and humid summer months. Alternatively, you could circumnavigate the country, starting in Miami and driving north along the east coast to New York, before heading west to Seattle or Portland, then down the West Coast to San Diego before taking I-10 through Phoenix, El Paso and Houston to Jacksonville, Florida. As the best and most popular one is considered famous ROUTE 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. Filler’ up, strap on your seat belt, crank up the tunes, and hit the road! After taking in the Presidents’ massive granite profiles, continue on through the gorges, canyons, and cliffs of the Black Hills National Forest. From tips on the practical aspects of driving cross-country to some specific (and awesome!) Explore More: See hotel details | See all Greenough, MT hotels. Planning a huge trip like this can seem like a momentous task, especially if you haven’t done it before. If you're looking for a way to see more of the country that you live in, a cross country drive is a perfect way to do it! Another advantage of using Route 66 as a primer for your cross-country road trip is all the bucket-list attractions that sit in close proximity to it, including the Grand Canyon, White Sands National Monument, and the St. Louis Arch, to name just a few. Before leaving Jackson Hole, fuel up with homemade pastries or bread pudding french toast at Persephone Bakery, then set your GPS for Grand Teton National Park. Tucked between the Teton and Gros Ventre mountains, Jackson blends Wyoming’s rustic, rough-and-tumble side with a refined resort town vibe. The 2nd most popular route is the Pacific Coast road trip which offers some of the views and amazing vibes of California. However, we couldn’t just leave it there, because Randy also created this absolutely incredible road trip map of Europe — next holiday sorted? If you tell a good story, the locals will tell you a good story. The Northern Route. I thought, Hey, neat. It’s not uncommon to lose reception for hours or even days when driving through states like New Mexico and Utah, so take practical precautions before and during your cross-country road trip. The nearby Chazen Museum of Art and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art have impressive collections, but if you’d rather spend the day indulging in some retail therapy, check out Upshift for flirty vintage dresses or Anthology for quirky handmade crafts. The fastest routes for driving across country. Researching Your Route. By Nikki Cleveland Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Locations, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, RV Trip Ideas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington. I have done the 80 drive (snooze fest) and I have never been to Colorado so would love to see it. It’s early to rise on day five if you want to beat the crowds for an early-morning visit to Mount Rushmore national monument, just 20 minutes away. You can barrel across the country on I … The shortest amount of time to drive from the West Coast to the East Coast (or vice versa) is between four to six days. The first way to do this would be to combine one (or more) of the above itineraries. Use our insider connections to know where to go and what to do. The grounds are maintained year-round, with the original 1930s custom furniture and artwork still on display. Although the USA is the birthplace of the smartphone, its mobile networks can leave something to be desired, particularly in the deserts of the Southwest. The most famous stretch of road in the United States is Route 66, and while the highway is now defunct, you can still drive portions of the proverbial Mother Road. 9 Ultimate Weekend Road Trips You Can Take from Major U.S. Cities, 9 of the Most Underrated National Parks in America. There are 11 classic USA cross country road trip routes. You can take in the scenery—crystalline, glacier-fed lakes; sheer, snow-capped peaks; untouched alpine meadows—along the gorgeous Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile route that crosses the Continental Divide and winds through Logan Pass alongside Saint Mary Lake. Explore More: See hotel details | See all Pittsburgh, PA hotels. If you dream of taking a cross-country road trip from the Pacific to the Atlantic, then you should definitely consider heading west on U.S. Route 6. in Arizona, the “Cadillac Ranch” art installation in Texas, and Oklahoma’s Will Rogers Memorial, you will follow a route that, more or less, shadows Route 66, whether you go the entire distance between Los Angeles and Chicago or just part of it. The northern US is home to some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes and cities, which makes it the ideal latitude for a cross-country road trip. In fact, its popularity originally grew from migrants looking for a better life and traveling west during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, when it was one of the main arteries connecting the west coast to the heartland. When people envision a classic American road trip, they might imagine sleeping in quaint little roadside motels — but this is not always the most affordable or sensible option. Arguably the most famous road trip in the world, driving across the country on Route 66 is as embedded in U.S. culture as the American Dream. Once you reach the city, you deserve to put your feet up at The Nest, Thompson Seattle‘s rooftop bar, for sundowners and sweeping views of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, and the Seattle cityscape. and north to Charleston, before heading westward through North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains to Nashville. While in yonder years, Route 66 dominated as the iconic drive, today, the cross-country road trip reigns supreme. Travel News How to plan the ultimate road trip across the USA. About three and half hours in, you’ll pass by Fallingwater, the renowned residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that sits cantilevered over a bucolic waterfall in rural Pennsylvania. Again, by using a carefully calculated route, the University of Michigan professor was able to figure out the fastest way to drive across the European continent, hitting all the major landmarks before coming full circle along the way. For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. 14 Best Stops on a Road Trip from Las Vegas to L.A. 20 of the Most Beautiful Places in America. That being said, you should keep in mind that roadside camping is rarely legal in the US, so check the rules before you pitch your tent. So, if you’re driving a base model 2020 Honda CR-V with a combined city-highway fuel consumption rating of 7.7 L/100 km, for example, then travelling the approximately 4,000 km across … There are major landmarks and attractions on just about every road, so going faster doesn’t mean missing out on fun. Safest Driving Route Nashville, TN to Spokane, WA, Travel, 2 replies best winter route for cross country drive, Travel, 22 replies Best cross country driving route mid november from Indiana to San Jose California, Travel, 24 replies Cross country winter travel route advice, Travel, 2 replies Best route cross country, Travel, 11 replies Enter where you want to start and finish your road trip, and then discover the coolest “off the beaten path” places along the way. - If you had to drive from Louisville, Kentucky to San Francisco in January, which route would you take? Follow the locals to Sophia’s Bakery & Café, where mouthwatering cottage cheese pancakes are served in a cozy dining room. The northern US is home to some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes and cities, which makes it the ideal latitude for a cross-country road trip. Once you’re out of South Dakota, you’ll cut through the heart of Wyoming, passing endless plains and the sprawling Wind River Reservation. Just 10 miles north on 191, you’ll enter Yellowstone—America’s first national park famous as much for its rainbow-colored hot springs, mud pots, and spewing geysers as it is for picture-perfect wildlife sightings (keep your eyes peeled for bison, moose, black bears, elk, and the rare wolf pack). The final four-hour leg to Seattle is pretty barren, so make sure you have your road trip playlist queued up for some carpool karaoke. Once the research is complete and you’ve hatched your plan and packed your bags, all you have left to do is hop in the car and begin your epic journey from sea to shining sea. Explore More: See hotel details | See all Jackson, WY hotels. While in yonder years, Route 66 dominated as the iconic drive, today, the cross-country road trip reigns supreme. Hit grocery stores along your route. You can make a counter-clockwise loop that takes you south to Savannah (or even Miami!) Explore More: See hotel details | See all Seattle, WA hotels. Get your cameras ready: the next few days are all about epic Rocky Mountain scenery, from Wild West backcountry to lush, lakeside meadows. By Chelsea Bengier December 18, 2019. Here, grab a bite to eat at the West Side Market before wandering through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to see guitars and paraphernalia from music legends like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Mick Jagger. Use our road trip gas calculator to see how much your road trip will cost. In all cases, you’ll need insurance for your vehicle, which you can purchase through the car rental company. Heads up: be prepared to pull over to make way for mountain goats! Answer 1 of 4: Hello, I will moving from Reno, NV to Princeton, NJ early May. Stretch your legs in Badlands National Park, an otherworldly expanse of jagged pink pinnacles, grass prairies, and ancient fossil beds. Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. For example, some states accept licenses from most countries, while others require an international driving permit. United States - Which cross-country route, I-40 or I-80? For the family that’s less “stop and smell the roses” and more “get there as fast as we can,” look for shorter, more direct routes. 12. The on-site wranglers can also arrange rodeo lessons, cattle drives, and dinners aboard traditional chuckwagons. 7 Tourist Traps to Avoid (and What You Should See Instead). Today is the longest stretch you’ll be on the road, so crank those tunes and prepare to cruise straight through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota on I-90. you can see even more of the US on a cross-country road trip. Veering a little off the beaten path greatly expands your possibilities on this trip, which takes approximately 42 hours end-to-end without stopping, whether you camp in Glacier National Park, make an excursion to the resurgent “Motor City” of Detroit or spend some time in the Dakotas to gain an appreciation for Native American culture. Drive Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago, then continue east to Boston, or further still along the gorgeous coast of Maine. After Yellowstone, cross the border into Montana’s Big Sky country and continue north past dude ranches, whitewater rapids, and vast cerulean skies as far as the eye can see. Olson reassures that, in actuality, the round trip would take around 2-3 months including stops at gas stations. Some ground rules to start: The classic cross-country road trip route, established in the 1970s during the legendary Cannonball Run races, starts … Going in armed with some pro tips and tactics can go a … You’re going to want to pick up some gift shop snacks, because it’ll be another five hours before you pull into the Windy City. From the wide-open spaces of the historic west to the sultry urban chaos of Miami Beach, the coast-to-coast road … A road trip of this kind can take several weeks or months to drive across the USA. Explore the best of the world. If you're getting ready to road trip across the great United States, make sure you have everything you need to prepare.