Hey all, so me and my girlfriend are both teachers, and one of the few perks of the job is, of course, summer vacation. We've been talking for a few years about doing a road trip across America, and I've been aiming for next summer to be the time. So I'm starting planning now. It seems very far out but between the amount of National Parks and cities we plan on hitting it's going to take a lot a lot a lot of planning. This trip is mainly about doing as much as possible in one summer, not so much about spending a lot of time in one place. I like the idea of being able to say I saw all this stuff in one summer, and any places we like in particular we can always go back to as a separate vacation in the future. So, I have a ton of books about national parks. But I would be stupid not to enlist the help of the internet. I am of course using recreation.gov and a few other resources, but whenever you google thnigs like "best things to do in ______", you always get a whole bunch of nonsense links and etc blah blah anyway....I'm starting this thread because I know there are people here from all over the country and who have done some of the things we're going to be doing on this trip. I'm doing it in the politics section mainly because this is where people may actually know who I am, and hey, it's America related so...sure, we'll go with that. I'll put a list of the places we will most definitely be hitting in each section, so that way you aren't wasting your time with a super awesome and detailed post that I can't use. But if you want to try and convince me to do something I don't have on the list, feel free. I know of at least one prominent park I'm leaving out because it's just an easier route. And this list is preliminary, some places may end up getting cut for time purposes. Some cities especially will literally be only driven through with a stop for dinner or lunch or whatever, but I'll still take info on them in case we realize we want to spend a little more time in said city. There are of course other things we'll be hitting, some national monuments and national historical sites and other places like that (forests, lakeshores, etc) that are along our way, and other points of interest (Devil's Tower in Wyoming, for example). But way too many of them to list and get into. Just throw things you can think of at me. You'll be able to get a general idea of the route we're taking by the list of parks and cities I have down below, so you'll be able to tell what's near our route. So basically, I'm looking for any advice from people on: National Parks If you were spending only one or two days in _________, what would you say is absolutely must see, can't miss? (Please only if you've actually done those things, I got a ton of books that give me this info second hand, so first hand experiences would help most) Where did you stay? Hotel/Lodging? Campgrounds? Any other info on the park that you think would be helpful A list of National Parks we'll most likely be hitting: Washington D.C. areas Harper's Ferry (WV) Cuyahoga Valley (OH) Bad Lands/Wind Cave (SD) Grand Tetons (WY) Yellowstone (WY) Glacier (MT) Olympic (WA) Crater Lake (OR) Redwood (CA) Joshua Tree (CA) (maybe, first cut possibly) Grand Canyon (AZ) Zion (UT) Bryce Canyon (UT) (also may be cut) Arches (UT) Everglades (FL) Biscayne (FL) (Maybe, another cut candidate) State Parks Basically the same as above. We won't be putting as much emphasis on hitting state parks, will more likely be possible stops that happen to be on or along our route. States we'll be driving through or in parts of include: Maryland, WV, PA, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minny, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, SC, NC, Virginia. Cities If you spending a day in ___________, what sights/parks/historic/ etc would you recommend? If you were going to spend a night in ____________, where's a good place to find affordable lodging? Any neighborhoods or regions of the city to absolutely avoid at all costs? Easier to find a motel somewhere in the suburbs? What's a good bar/tavern type of eatery to grab breakfast/lunch/dinner? Affordable, non-fast food, preferably local and non-chain places. Brewpubs of local breweries a MAJOR plus. A list of the major (or historical) cities we will either spend a day/night in, or will at least drive through (I'll also list some states where we'll be driving through but won't stop in any major cities): Pittsburgh Cleveland South Bend Chicago Milwaukee Minneapolis South Dakota Wyoming Montana Idaho Seattle Portland San Francisco Los Angeles San Diego Las Vegas Denver Austin Houston (definitely may be cut) New Orleans Mobile Miami St. Augustine Savannah Charleston Again, at least a few of these will just be drive throughs where we take in the site of the skyline and grab a meal on our way through and that's about it. So information on good, reasonably priced pubs/taverns/restaurants is super appreciated. Breweries If I'm driving through/near/in (insert city or state here), what's a good microbrew pub/brewery to grab a meal and try a beer? A secondary goal for us on the trip is to try and get a pint glass from every state we're in. And we both enjoy trying beers, so we wanna try and stop at a microbrew in each state we drive through/near to do so. This is going to take a little finagling here and there (i.e. there's only one place that I can find that is in Michigan but close enough to the border of Indiana that it's not completely impossible to take a side trip there). So if you know places in any of these cities, or better yet, random lesser known places that will be along our route, please tell me! --------------------------------------------------- You can get a good sense of our general route from those lists, as they're in the order we'll be hitting them, more or less. So if you take a look at things around those areas and you know there's something along the road that's worth stopping for, by all means please let me know. You'll notice the absence of New England, but that's because we're going to do that as it's own separate trip for Spring Break before next summer. I wanted to try and do it all in one trip in the summer but there just wasn't enough time. I know a few major things are missing, but that is more or less by design. I know this thread won't get too much love, especially right away, but I'll periodically bump it from time to time, and maybe even tag some people who I know live or lived in, near, or around certain cities at some point. If you're wondering where in some of these states we'll be, we're generally sticking to the coasts when we're near them, and otherwise are taking the most direct route from one place to the next. Thank you to anyone who contributes anything here! I'm going to be doing my best to write everything planning wise down in a composition book, and then eventually putting it out there on the interwebz somewhere to maybe be used as a road trip template for people. That's a lot of work and way off in the future though lol. Any tips/pointers from people who have done roadtrips (including things like car rentals, camping vs. hotels, etc) are also appreciated.