Arizona

USA coast to coast road trip – Boston to LA

In the middle of 2018 we used up most of our long service leave to go on (what felt like) the biggest and craziest road trip ever, starting on the east coast of the US in Boston, Massachusetts and driving all the way back to Los Angeles, California.

It took us just over seven weeks and we crossed through 26 states, also staying at 26 different hotels, hostels and b&bs. Here is the hand-drawn map from our street directory that shows generally the route we took.

Our hire car (Cam the Toyota Camry) drove us for over 6,400 miles (10,000+ km). The car basically became the third adventurer on our trip and we would have brought him home with us if we could have!

We had picked him up with just over 400 miles on the odometer

This wasn’t our first trip to the States, so our route was partially influenced by the fact we had already been to Chicago, Toronto and New York. If we hadn’t already been to these cities we might have tried to fit them in as well somehow. We had also been to LA and Vegas before, but you can’t really avoid flying into LA from Oz and we love Vegas so much we were happy to finish off with a few days there at the end.

Monument Valley

Below is a summary of our itinerary, showing the cities we travelled to or explored each day. I plan to write detailed posts about each place and will insert links as I do so. Let me know if there are any places you want to hear more about!

Somewhere on a Pennsylvanian freeway

Coast to Coast road trip:

Day 0 – Fly from Perth to Sydney, then Sydney to LA
Day 1 – Arrive in Los Angeles, California and stay for one night to break up the flights
Day 2 – Fly from LA to Boston, Massachusetts
Day 3 – Boston
Day 4 – Boston
Day 5 – Boston
Day 6 – Pick up hire car and drive from Boston to Fairfield, Connecticut (via Providence, Rhode Island)
Day 7 – Fairfield to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Day 8 – Philadelphia
Day 9 – Philadelphia to Washington D.C
Day 10 – Washington D.C
Day 11 – Washington D.C
Day 12 – Washington D.C to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (via Gettysburg)
Day 13 – Pittsburgh
Day 14 – Pittsburgh to Wilmington, Ohio (via Berlin, Ohio)
Day 15 – Wilmington to Louisville, Kentucky (via Colombus, Indiana… where I exploded a tyre)
Day 16 – Louisville
Day 17 – Louisville
Day 18 – Louisville to Nashville, Tennessee (via Mammoth Caves National Park)
Day 19 – Nashville
Day 20 – Nashville
Day 21 – Nashville to Madison, Georgia (via Chattanooga, Tennessee)
Day 22 – Madison to Savannah, Georgia (via Wormsloe Historic Site)
Day 23 – Savannah
Day 24 – Savannah to Tallahassee, Florida (via Amelia Island, Florida)
Day 25 – Tallahassee
Day 26 – Tallahassee to Navarre, Florida (via St George Island and Panama Beach)
Day 27 – Navarre to New Orleans, Louisiana (via Fairhope, Alabama)
Day 28 – New Orleans
Day 29 – New Orleans
Day 30 – New Orleans to Houston, Texas (on a day when most of the I-10 was closed!)
Day 31 – Houston
Day 32 – Houston
Day 33 – Houston to Austin, Texas (via Bastrop, Texas)
Day 34 – Austin
Day 35 – Austin to Fort Worth, Texas
Day 36 – Fort Worth to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Day 37 – Oklahoma City
Day 38 – Oklahoma City to Wichita, Kansas
Day 39 – Wichita
Day 40 – Wichita to Burlington, Colorado
Day 41 – Burlington to Denver, Colorado (via Colorado Springs)
Day 42 – Denver
Day 43 – Denver
Day 44 – Denver to Grand Junction, Colorado (via Breckenridge, Colorado)
Day 45 – Grand Junction to Bluff, Utah
Day 46 – Bluff to the Grand Canyon (Tusayan, Arizona) (via Monument Valley)
Day 47 – Grand Canyon to Las Vegas, Nevada
Day 48 – Las Vegas
Day 49 – Las Vegas
Day 50 – Las Vegas to Los Angeles (via Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch)
Day 51 – Los Angeles
Day 52 – Fly home to Perth via Brisbane and lose our luggage on the way home

Beach houses in Florida

Even though we did so much there is still so much we missed out on! We definitely want to return and do another road trip up the west coast at least.

Our day packs and esky (cooler/chilly bin) with drinks and snacks

I found driving to be a very relaxing way to travel, as we could leave as early or as late as we wanted each day because there were no scheduled flights or trains to catch. We could stop wherever we wanted along the way which was great for making some detours and checking out some places you would never go to otherwise. We also enjoyed watching the scenery out of the car window so even though we spent quite a few hours some days in the car, we were still sight-seeing the whole time.

On our way to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon

Where was your most recent road trip to?

13 replies »

  1. Wow! That’s a lot of car time! I’m impressed. We take our Subaru on family road trips often. Our last road trip was from Long Island, New York to Georgia (Augusta & Dacula) with a stop in North Carolina for Grandfather Mountain. Last summer we drove down the eastern seaboard hitting tons of highlights all the way down to Key West and back.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the kind of trip I want to take at some point in my life. I’d love to go through the south to California then up north. Maybe come hone eventually ha!
    What an awesome trip. I can only imagine how many memories were made in that short of time (even if it was two months).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow this is amazing! I have always wanted to do this and, whenever it happens, I will make sure to read this post and take inspiration for our trip! What time of the year do you think would be the best time to take this trip? Also, do you have a strategy to keep your expenses on track and prevent huge unnecessary expenses from happening?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!

      I would say in the summer is best so you get the most sunlight and sunny weather. It was very muggy on the east coast though so I would try to be there more near autumn/spring.

      As for expenses we pre-booked all our accomodation so that was budgeted for, we stopped often to buy snacks from Target instead of having sit down meals and we used a travel money card seperate to our main account so we could regularly check that and watch our budget. Maybe I could do a post about the money side of things too.

      Liked by 1 person

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