Canada and US

by Carina
(Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Friends from Germany are coming over so we are planning a road trip through the States and Canada. We are going to start in Vancouver and travel all the way down the westcoast through San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, then take a turn to the east to Phoenix. From there on we will travel through the middle states over the rocky mountains, Oklahoma, until we hit Indianapolis. The last stops in the states will be Washington, New Jersey and New York. From New York we will go up north into Canada, Toronto. Then drive through Ontario to see the Niagara Falls and the along the Border lines through bigger cities back to Vancouver. We only have a month for the whole trip so if you know anything that we have to stop for and see, museums, parks, special towers,.... anything, please let me know. For now we only planned the cities that we want to see but not what exactly we could check out.

ANSWER:
Carina, this sounds like an epic road trip. Wish I could come with you!

A few thoughts....although you have a lot of ground to cover and only one month to make the trip, try not to pack too much driving into each day. You want to get a decent amount of rest and not have the trip feel like a chore!

As you drive down the California coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, take US Route 1. San Luis Obispo is a great college town with an old California mission and a lively downtown. The scenery in that area is gorgeous, and you would also enjoy the outlying beach towns such as Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, and Avila Beach.

I don't know if you're willing to include Tucson on your way to Phoenix, but Tucson is home of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, which is fantastic.

As you head out to Albuquerque on Interstate 40, you'll be on the famous Route 66. Albuquerque is a nice city, but consider picking up Interstate 25 and going north to Santa Fe, which is gorgeous. This would be a good place to spend at least a night and bring the camera.

Looks like you'll be passing through St. Louis. Plan to stop at the Gateway Arch, which is an architectural oddity. You can take an elevator ride to the top and get some great pictures of the city.

Washington DC, of course, needs no introduction. All the major monuments are worth a see. If you visit the Smithsonian Museum, you'll need at least a day, and even then, you won't see nearly everything. If you're passing through Philadelphia, there's a lot of history....www.visitphilly.com can tell you more.

As you make your way back to Vancouver, if you're sticking close to the US border, consider checking out Mackinac Island, Michigan. You have to take a ferry to get there, and you should set aside a day, but it's really beautiful. There's lots of shopping on the island, and they're famous for their fudge.

I've never been to Canada so can't help you there....but I hope these tips are useful to you. Enjoy your trip!

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