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East coast to West coast trip across USA

edited January 2013 in - USA
Hi we are planning an exciting trip to celebrate our 25th Anniversary flying from the uk. Possibly flying into New York for about 3 days then maybe travelling by train to Washington for a few days. Then onto Chicago for again about 3 days. Should we then fly, drive or train to go Vegas for a short stay. Then travel out to the Grand Canyon and stay overnight. From there we are thinking of either going by car or motorhome thru the national parks , but not sure on the best route or time needed for this part or our journey. We want to stay in San Francisco for about 5 days then drive down towards LA stopping off and staying in various places, can anyone suggest where to stay possibly a lovely beach location for 3 to 5 days and again time scale to enjoy without rushing this part of our journey. Then spend a few days in LA before flying home.
We are hoping to have between 3 to 5 weeks for the whole trip. Any suggestions welcome, we are new to this so need as much info, help and advise. We also need to know when is the best time or year to do this trip ! Many thanks


  • edited 1:52AM
    I can only tell you about driving through California and across from LA to Las Vegas. There is loads to see and you can either take the coastal route from LA to San Francisco and take in the Big Sur etc, or go inland and enjoy some mountains, deserts, redwood forests and wine farms. See this post on a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas
    Visit for destination advice
  • edited January 2013
    What an amazing trip that will be! A few suggestions:

    - I'd suggest going in May or September. The weather will be far nicer than in winter, and you'll miss the high season, when kids are out of school and families go on holiday.

    - I don't think there is a train service from Chicago to Las Vegas, but if there is, keep in mind that trains aren't as widely used in the US so it will be expensive and not very comfortable for long journeys. If you drive, you can visit some really fun little towns along the way (or even drive along the old Route 66), or you can find relatively cheap plane tickets.

    - There are some beautiful places to see along the California coast, including some of my favourites like Monterrey, Santa Barbara, and the Hearst Castle.
  • edited 1:52AM
    Thanks thats great !
    The post has some really good info I hadn't heard of 'The Big Sur' so more homework !!!

    Yeah I wasn't too sure about the train service, still trying to piece it together !!!

  • edited 1:52AM
    The exception to my comment about trains is on the east coast, btw. There is cheap, regular train service between New York and Washington DC, and it's a popular way to travel.
  • edited August 2013
    I didn't tried train service ever while on vacation. I always book a car for travel to enjoy the sight scenes. So I can suggest you to travel by because in train you will miss so many sights where you can enjoy.
  • edited August 2013
    I disagree. I plan to train travel to the US instead of driving. When you are driving, you are doing just that, driving! It's hard to notice all of the beautiful sights when you are focusing on the road and trying not to get lost. When you take the train you can just sit and stare out of the window. You get the same view as if you were driving, but you don't have to pay attention to anything else just the pretty scenery in front on you.
  • Wow I did not even see any of these comments, just the one before mine. Sorry. Have fun on your trip! No matter the logistics of it you will enjoy your anniversary!
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