Having travelled coast-coast along the south of USA, and up the East coast to New York, I wanted to design a road trip that focusses more on the northern States. After doing a little research, I have put together the following road trip, using Roadtrippers. This trip visits the USA (11 states) and Canada
So this is how it looks:
And here’s an overview of the stops I’d recommend:
- Los Angeles, CA (2 nights) – This is a good spot to start in as it’s easy to get to.
- McWay Falls, Monterey, CA (1 night)
- Big Sur, CA (1 night)
- San Francisco, CA (1 night)
- Yosemite National Park, CA (2 nights)
- Lake Tahoe, CA (1 night)
- Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA (1 night)
- Redwood National Park, CA (1 night)
- Vancouver, WA (1 night or 2 nights with a day trip to Mount St Helens)
- Mount St Helens, WA (1 night, or 0 nights if you do a day trip from Vancouver, WA)
- Mount Rainier National Park, WA (1 night)
- Seattle, WA (1 night)
- Spokane, WA (1 night)
- Glacier National Park, MT (1-2 nights)
- Craters of the Moon National Park, ID (1 night)
- Yellowstone National Park, WY (2 nights)
- Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, MT (1 night)
- Mount Rushmore, SD (1 night)
- Badlands National Park, SD (1 night)
- Jolly Green Giant Statue Stop Off.
- Minneapolis, MN (1 night)
- Wisconsin Dells, WI (1 night)
- Chigago, IL (2 nights)
- Cedar Point Amusement Park, OH (1 night) – I have heard that some of the worlds best rides are here!
- Niagara Falls, NY (1 night)
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada (2 nights)
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada (1 night)
- New York, NY (2 nights)
Total Nights: 34 nights
A bit more detail:
Los Angeles, CA
Also known as The City OF Angels, Los Angeles is home to Hollywood – The movie capital of the world. Whilst your there you may want to check out the Hollywood walk of Fame and some of the famous studios such as Universal Studios and Warner Brother Studios. LA is home to many celebrities, who live mostly in the Beverly Hills area. Take a tour of Beverly Hills and you might even spot a celebrity. Los Angeles also has some famous beaches Santa Monica Beach and Pier, Venice Beach and of course Arnold Swarzneiger’s Muscle Beach.
McWay Falls, Monterey, CA
McWay Falls is an 80-foot waterfall and is one of only two waterfalls in California that rops directly into the ocean.
Big Sur, CA
Located in California’s central coast, Big Sur is one of the most beautiful coastlines. The St Lucia mountains rise quite abruptly from the ocean, which makes it incredibly scenic.
San Francisco, CA
Most famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cable Car and its steep hills, San Francisco is located in northern California.
Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, glaciers, and biological diversity. You can read more here.
Lake Tahoe, CA
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine freshwater lake in North America and located on the Nevada/California border.
Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA
Wikipedia describes Lassen Volcanic park as ‘The park is located near the northern end of the Sacramento Valley. The western part of the park features great lava pinnacles (huge mountains created by lava flows), jagged craters, and steaming sulfur vents. It is cut by glaciated canyons and is dotted and threaded by lakes and rushing clear streams.’
Redwood National Park, CA
The redwood species contains the largest and tallest trees in the world which can live thousands of years.
Vancouver is the 4th largest city in Washington and is located on the north bank of the Columbian River.
Mount St Helens, WA
Mount Rainier National Park, WA
Seattle is the largest city in Washington and the North West.Spokane, WA
Spokane is near the Spokane River and is west of the Rocky Mountain Hills. Spokane is very close to Canada, 92 miles away in fact.
Glacier National Park, MT
Located in Montana, this national park covers an impressive 1 million acres!!
Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID
Craters of the Moon is a U.S. National Monument and national preserve in the Snake River Plain in Idaho.
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Yellowstone is perhaps one of the most regognised National Parks in the USA. The bright coloured springs and the Geysers attract tourists from around the world. The most active Geyser is the Old Faithful which erupts approximately every 91 minutes!!
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, MT
Mount Rushmore, SD
You know… The heads in the cliff face. This famous scuplture was designed by Gutzon Borglum and was finished in 1941. The faces belong to 4 former US predisents; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
Badlands National Park, SD
Located in South Dakota, Badlands National Park was used as a Native American Hunting Ground for 11,000 years. The park is over 64,000 acres and its highest point is over 3,300 feet.
Minneapolis is the perfect blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication.
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Wisconsin Dells – The waterpark capital of the world. Home to many waterparks, including an indoor waterpark, you’ll certainly make a splash here (pun intended).
Chicago, or The Windy City, is the third most populated city in the USA.
Cedar Point Amusement Park, OH
As there at so many attractions, it probably best to take a look at the website yourself!
Niagara Falls, NY
Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls, located on the New York, Canada border, it can be seen from both countries.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. Toronto is the most multi-culturally diverse city on the planet with over 140 languages spoken! Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally called Ville-Marie, or “City of Mary,” it is believed that the city is named after Mount Royal.
New York, NY
Welcome to The Big Apple! New York, most famous for its Skyscraper’s, has so much to see and do. From the Statue of Liberty, To Central Park, To the Empire State Building to Times Square, you won’t be short of things to see or do.
You could make this trip shorter by staying only one night per destination (27 nights), but as there’s a lot of driving involved, I’d recommend breaking up the driving a little. Some of the drives are about 4-6 hours long.
Another way to shorten the trip would be to cut out the Canadian part of the trip, or you could essentially cut the corner, and skip most of Washington.
As far as cost are concerned, I haven’t done any pricing yet, but I’ll update this post when I have done.
Please note that as I have not visited all of these locations, I used some images which I found on Google Images. These are not my own images.
If you liked this post, you may like my post A plan for an epic US Road Trip.