I want to travel the US by car, has anyone done this?

After I finish nursing school I want to take a break from life and spend a 1 year traveling the us by car.

I want to see all the major national parks, like yellowstone, yosemite , sequoia and etc. I also will be traveling alone. Has anyone done this? Any advice? I guess what I want to take from this experience is to see and experience as much as possible, so I'm open to any recommendations of any scenic or historical places.

Background info:

I'm 24

I live in southwest florida

I plan to buy either a Honda Fit of a Hyundai Santa Fe sport for this trip

I plan to live in my car

I plan to save up 20-30 thousand dollar over the next two years

Thanks :)

2 Answers

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  • Jack
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sounds like a good plan. Actually you can sleep in your car at Wal-Marts. This is nice because there are so many of them, they are well lit, most are open 24hrs, so that's convenient if you get hungry or need to use the bathroom, All Flying Js have showers that are well maintained. Here is a list of places I would see (I have seen) if I were you.

    Leaving Florida I would travel up the coast and see Savannah and Charleston. There's a lot of history in those places and they are quite pretty too. Go on up US-17 through Myrtle Beach and Wilmington and then out to Moorhead City. See the Cape Lookout Lighthouse while you are there. This is a jumping off place, at Cedar Island, for the ferry to the Outer Banks. Now the Outer Banks is unique; it is not a place you'll ever visit 'just passing through'. Climb the Cape Hatteras lighthouse while you're there. You have to make a special effort to get there. Believe me it's worth it.

    I would then head west to the Blue Ridge Parkway say at Boone. Take the Parkway south stopping at Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak in the East at over 6000 feet and continue on down to the Great Smokey mountains and stop off at the Cherokee Indian Reservation. If you're into the Hunger Games much of the wilderness scenes were filmed in the Dupont State Forrest nearby.

    Going on across the South takes you through Nashville. In addition to the Grand Ole Opry which you may or may not want to check out, there's a full size recreation of the Greek Parthenon. That's pretty cool and worth seeing.

    In the Southwest the Meteor Crater, (www.meteorcrater.com) is unique and worth seeing. When I was there you could still climb down to the bottom. I've heard they have stopped that. You'll want to do the Grand Canyon of course. At Kanab, Utah don't miss another unique place, the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. I think it's a state park. It's where they filmed the movie Lawrence of Arabia. In the same area are Bryce Canyon (carved by wind) and Zion Canyon (carved by water) National Parks. While you're there visit Arches National Park for me. www.nps.gov/arch. I was unable to get there myself and I really wanted to. You may want to hit Salt Lake City and float in the Great Salt Lake, another unique experience. Visit the Bonneville Salt Flats and see how fast your car can go. I'm going to stop using the word 'unique' but you get the picture. Go on to Beatty, Nevada and visit the nearby ghost town of Rhyolite. Of particular interest is the bottle house whose walls are make completely of whiskey bottles from the saloons of the town's heyday. Your right at the eastern entrance to Death Valley. Don't miss it.

    From there Kings Canyon National Park is worth it. It's on the way to San Francisco. Ride the cable cars and hang off the side like in the Rice-A-Roni commercials and go out to Alcatraz. A walk out on the Golden Gate Bridge is also interesting, if they still let you do it. If you can fit Yosemite in it's also worth it. In the Northwest the Olympic Peninsula is worth experiencing. Glacier National Park is also interesting. There were still large snow banks there when I was there in August and yeah, you could see glaciers. They were cool. By the way, for this trip take a GOOD pair of binoculars and a good camera (not your cell phone lol).

    On your way down to Yellowstone and the Grand Teatons there is an old gold mining ghost town called Maryville. Stop for an hour or two and take some photos. Compare it to Rhyolite. Old Faithful still blows it's top every 59 minutes, I think. Yellowstone is worth a couple of days. Coming across Wyoming Fort Laramie is worth seeing. It's a restored army post from the days of the Indian wars. In the same area is the Devils Tower National Monument. You won't see any space aliens around but it is worth seeing. The Black Hills in South Dakota and Mount Rushmore are interesting, as well as the Corn Palace in Mitchell. I don't know much about Minnesota and Wisconsin but Michigan is worth spending some time in. Explore the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) and go to Sault Ste. Marie. On the way stop at Whitefish Point and see the lighthouse and museum dedicated to the Edmund Fitzgerald (Big Fitz) and her crew. Go on to Sault Ste. Marie and explore the Valley Camp, an ore carrier similar to the Big Fitz. Cross into Canada and take a boat trip through the locks of the St. Marys river. You can also take the Agawa Canyon Excursion Train on a great day trip leaving from right downtown. Crossing into lower Michigan leave your car in Mackinaw City and take one of the 3 ferries over to Macinac Island. No cars are allowed there. It will be another, dare I say, unique experience. lol If you have the chance and haven't already done so, see the movie 'Somewhere In Time' with Christopher Reeve (AKA Superman). It was filmed there.

    Source(s): Been there and done that. I had to take some things out because for the first time they said my answer was too long. lol
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Actually, that's a good idea but let us say that it is long-term travel which means it is expensive to do. You can do it actually if you have the money and the time.

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