A plan for an epic US Road Trip

Based on my experiences and on the places on my bucket list, I have designed a road trip (using Roadtrippers). This road trip visits 14 states and Washington DC. 

So this is what it looks like, all 6,581 miles of it:


And these are the cities and places I’d suggest that you visit and the number of nights that I would stay there:

  1. San Francisco, CA (2 nights, 3 if you’re travelling from far away. You’ll be super jetlagged)
  2. Yosemite National Park, CA (2 nights)
  3. Sequoia National Park, CA (1 night)
  4. Los Angeles, CA (2 nights)
  5. Las Vegas, NV (2 nights minimum – There’s so much to see and do)
  6. Zion National Park, UT (2 nights)
  7. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT (1 night)
  8. Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim), AZ (2 nights)
  9. Monument Valley National Park, AZ (1 night)
  10. Petrified Forrest National Park, AZ (1 night)
  11. Santa Fe, NM (1 night)
  12. Roswell, NM (0 nights – I’d visit Roswell on the way to Carlsbad)
  13. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (1 night)
  14. San Antonio, TX (1 night)
  15. Austin, TX (2 nights)
  16. Houston, TX (1 night)
  17. New Orleans, LA (2 nights)
  18. Tallahassee, FL (1 night)
  19. Miami, FL (2 nights)
  20. Orlando, FL (3 nights – If you planning on doing a theme park as well as the Everglades, I’d stay at least 3 nights)
  21. Jacksonville, FL (1 night)
  22. Atlanta, GA (1 night)
  23. Jack Daniels Distillery, TN (0 nights – Visit on the way to Nashville. It breaks up the journey)
  24. Nashville, TN (2 nights) 
  25. Columbus, OH (1 night)
  26. Pittsburgh, PA (1 night)
  27. Niagara Falls, NY (1 night)
  28. Washington District Of Columbia, USA (2 nights)
  29. Atlantic City, NJ (2 nights)
  30. Philadelphia, PA (1 night)
  31. New York, NY (3 nights) 

Total Nights: 45 nights

You could make this trip shorter by staying only one night per destination (29 nights), but as there’s a lot of driving involved, I’d recommend breaking up the driving a little.

Another way to shorten the trip would be to skip driving down into Florida, and go straight to Tennessee from New Orleans, perhaps with 1 night in Alabama. I’d recommend Birmingham. You could visit the Civil Rights Museum, which I found very moving. 

So how much would all of this cost?

It’s hard to say really because lots of things can effect the price. For example, travelling alone is a lot more expensive than travelling in a small group. I have done some basic research I have found the following:

Accommodation – $25 pp per night – I would suggest camping/staying in a wooden lodge for most of the nights to save money. A lot of the National Parks have camping grounds, so I would stay there. 

Food – $20pp per day. I would recommend getting a cool box and making your own lunches rather than eating out. Las Vegas and Los Angeles can get quite pricey for food and drink.

Fuel/Gas/Petrol: Well you’re driving 6,851 miles, so your gonna need a lot of fuel! If you drive in an economical car and avoid high speeds, you’ll save some money there.

Car Hire – If you don’t already live in the USA and own a vehicle, you’ll need to hire a vehicle. I would suggest getting a campervan/RV or mini campervan. That way you can stay in your campervan and save some dollar! 

Then of course you’ll need to book your flights to San Francisco and back from New York. Check out Skyscanner and Expedia for some flight deals. If you’re flexible on your dates, make sure you go off-peak to avoid extra charges!

What type of road trip is this?

I think that this road trip is a bit of an all rounder, it ticks all the boxes. If you’re into nature and hiking, there are some great national parks included. You get to see a Natural Wonder of the World and one of the largest waterfalls. Then there’s the night life of Austin, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Miami and Atlantic City. For all you beach bums, there are some opportunities to go to the beach such as in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Florida. There are many excursions that you can do in the locations for all you thrill seekers. For example, you could visit the theme parks in Orlando, there are jeep tours in the Monument Valley, there are alligator tours on the Everglades, you could white river raft in the south and you could go on a boat trip in the Niagara Falls. 

Let me know your thoughts!

Happy Travels,





4 thoughts on “A plan for an epic US Road Trip

  1. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. Naturally, I thought I should see what you are writing abou and this is a pretty impressive piece of work. Having done all 50 in a series of road trips, I’d have to say this is a very good route if you want to have a coast-to-coast experience and emphasize the southern tier of the country. Personally I’d probably take the northern tier starting, perhaps starting from LA, but a lot depends on what you want to see. I would suggest a different path in Florida unless there are some specific reasons for your choices. I thinkone might drop Tallahassee, and spend the night in Apalachicola in the pan handle (see what’s left of the old Florida. THen go down the Gulf coast, stopping off in Tampa/St. Pete. (Skip Orlando, cross over through the Everglades and head down to Miami Beach, Key Biscayne. Then back up along the east coast, stopping off at Cape Canaveral. But whatever route you choose, it will be an interesting experience. Are you actually planning to do this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Robin,

      Thanks for taking the time to visit my page.

      Thank you for you compliments. This was loosely based around a trip I took in June 2014, but I tailored it a little.

      I love your advice on taking a different rout through Florida. That sounds so much better than what I put together.

      One day I hope to take a trip like this, but as it stands at the moment, it’s quite difficult for my partner and I to take so much time off, but maybe one day!!

      I suppose we could always split the trip into two holidays if we had to.


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