Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Dream Road Trip USA - Part 1

Hello everyone :) Hope you're day is going well!
Welcome to the second installment of Wanderlust Wednesday and the first part of "Road Trip USA". 

Saying that I loved America would be an understatement. Of course, I love living in England, I'm a Yorkshire girl at heart and always will be, but America still holds the notion that you can achieve anything and be anybody for me.
I visited back in 2008 and went to Arizona, saw the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, a lot of scenery and a few malls. Never saw as much as I wanted to, but this was a history trip with school and was fantastic nevertheless. There is so much in America that I want to see, I could stay for a good few years very happily.
When it comes to booking and planning holidays, I know I'm not the only one who loves it. I put in imaginary dates, budgets and check flights. I love it, so today's WW will be the first part of my dream USA Road Trip.

Route 66 is the most common and well known route for a road trip that leads from the East Coast to the West. Starting in Chicago and ending in Los Angeles. Of course, it's a great route, but  it misses out a lot of the states and cities that I'd like to visit. In part one we will be travelling from the East, starting in the magnificent New York City; a very common destination from the UK, so great air links, and ending in Missouri, a total of 6 states.

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I must admit, it does look a bit long winded, but remember, on this trip we want to see and do everything. And to keep the cost low, we will be staying in B&Bs wherever possible. However, below is how I'd really like to travel, how cute is this?

New York
New York is the shopping destination, so this is an absolute must for me. It's also a good opportunity to have a good walk around and get a feel for the place.
Must Do's in New York:
  • Time Warner Centre - a huge mall, near to Central Park, where you can shop, eat and drink to your heart's content.
  • Central Park - Must have a stroll around here, maybe even a horse drawn carriage ride like in all the films (usually accompanied by snow and a kiss with some hollywood hottie). 
  • Times Square - go at night for all the pretty lights and signs, followed by a great meal and plenty of cocktails nearby. 
  • Grimaldi's Pizzeria - for an historic Pizza Pie and one of the best views of Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Empire State Building - I'm torn about this one, it is very iconic and is always on those Top 10 to see, but I think the prospect of having to get there for 8.30am to avoid the crowds is a little daunting. 
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - something that I really can't miss doing.
  • Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art - I do love a bit of culture, so can't pass up seeing some museums and art. 
  • Chinatown - whatever city I go to I love visiting the china town, so, must do this here! And Little Italy!
  • Natural History Museum - I think this is the one that I'm most excited about! OMG, Dinosaurs <3

After a good 5 days or so we'll be finally on the road, collecting our rental car as we make our way to our next destination.

I have no particular town I want to visit on my way through PA, but this whole trip isn't just about the destinations, but the journey. PA is going to be all about the countryside and the adventure. I do know that I want to visit some artisan museums and local crafters for items such as quilts <3.
As the first part of our journey, the driving is going to be minimal. Setting off from NY early morning, making a good few hours on the highway, through the beautiful countryside and finally finding a little B&B to stay at, most likely prebooked as we drive - thanks to technology!
PA is going to be about sites like this, quaint, quiet beauty; such a contrast to NY!
It will take us around 7 hours of constant driving to get from NY to Pittsburgh, PA. Most likely this will be broken up into two days so that we can get a bit of lazy sightseeing in. And then onto our next destination!

Again, more travelling, less planning. When in Ohio, I certainly want to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Ohio has some beautiful trails too, so definitely want to get back to nature for a while and have a day of walking/climbing in Southeast Ohio, visiting Logan and Old Man's Cave in Hocking Hills.
From Pittsburgh, PA to Cincinatti, OH it's another 5-6 hours and so another day or two here. 

Current total: 3 States and 8 days. 

Two hours from Cincinatti is Indianapolis. Of course, any signs for local museums/markets/fairs, etc will be investigated with great enthusiasm, and so this two hours could easily lead to a whole day.
Potential visit to the coast too. 
And this beautiful theatre in Terre Haute, ideally located on the border between IN and the next state on our list. 

Chicago is a definite must. The potential route might miss out Terre Haute altogether, heading to the coast after Indianapolis and along to Chicago from here. 
Some more typical touristy things, staying another 2 days in Chicago, before heading back inland, visiting the following on the way:
  • Chicago Botanic Gardens
  • Sandwich Antiques Market - dangerous, what if I find some amazing piece of furniture that is a must have? Export is a pain!
  • Spirit of Peoria - a beautiful paddle boat, very Lousiana-n, but way more north. 
  • Route 66 National Scenic Byway - a must that I follow Route 66 where possible, great to see some more American history. 
  • Eagle Watching in Alton.

From Illinois, we enter our final state for Part 1.

Just four hours on and we reach the end of the journey from St.Louis, IL to Springfield, MO and the end of Part 1. 
Heading to the museum in St. Joseph for some history on The Pony Express and Jesse James. 
Maybe take in a Wine Tour or two. 
And more Route 66 history (read: potential shopping opportunity)!
Another day or two in Missouri would make our totals to 6 states, 14 days and 1200 miles. 

Hope you've enjoyed! And if you have any hints or tips on where to visit, any dream destinations, then get in touch! You can leave a comment here, or email me at, would love to hear from you!

Join me next Wednesday for Part 2, Nebraska to Seattle, Washington. 

G'day, Rebekah x

1 comment:

  1. What a fun idea for this post-- virtual roadtripping with you was fun and I'd looove to go to that Totem Pole Antiques place, ya!! :) Thanks for your comment on my blog, see you around :) xo, LA