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If you could plan and go on ONE dream road trip, what & where would it be?

I'm planning an epic West Coast/California road trip but want to hear what would be other people's dream road trip. Go crazy!

16 Answers

top answer by
Elizabeth from Boynton Beach

I did a Washington State & Oregon Road Trip in 2013 that turned out to be epic--especially the unplanned parts. I flew to Seattle and headed straight for Pike Place Market and bought this:$326.50 worth of Whole Sockeye, White King Salmon & Jumbo Dungeness later which was to be shipped home on my return, I had a wonderful bowl of clam chowder, some off-the-hook salmon-potato croquettes with an herb sauce and a micro-brew at Lowell's Restaurant which boasts beautiful water views. If that's not your style, there are plenty of other good eateries here.

Next day I headed for Mount Rainier National Park. This park is gorgeous--one of the most-glaciated parks in the US. (The release that you have to sign to hike there is extensive.) But it's jaw-dropping, mind-clearing, soul-inspiring terrain. Did no research on the food this time but by accident stumbled upon an incredible restaurant "The Wildberry" in Ashford. Authentic Nepalese food right outside the park entrance. How appropriate. I ate a to-die-for-good meal, topped off with a slice of home-made Huckleberry pie.Onward and upward to Olympic National Park. You'll drive your car onto the ferry and enjoy the ride to the Olympic Peninsula. You'll see forest, coastal, and mountain ecosystems here. It's designated as both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve so there is a lot to see. I didn't spend nearly enough time here. Take your time. Don't rush.

Back on route 101 heading South to the rugged, publicly-owned Oregon


Spoiler alert: nerdier parts of the trip ahead:

Not planned but it was there so I spent an afternoon at this place: This is the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. This is where Captain William Clark stood on November 7, 1805 believing he had reached the Pacific ocean. He was close, and who could blame him for mistaking the Columbia River estuary for the ocean.

If you are out this way--do the Historic Columbia River Highway. In 1986, it became the first and only designated National Scenic Area. You  could spend days there. 

OK, gotta stay somewhere on the coast and relax for a couple of days so I chose this place: Sylvia Beach Hotel.

I stayed in the Mark Twain room, yes, all the room are named after famous authors: Austen, Fitzgerald, Poe, Stevenson, Melville, Hemingway, Colette, Dickinson, Cather, Christie, Stein--you get the idea. The owner Goodie Cable describes her  property as a "trap for interesting people."

Gotta say, it certainly was. One night, at dinner, which was excellent, the woman seated across from me introduced herself as Jane Adams. Adams as in the daughter-in-law of Ansel Adams. 

For over an hour, she told us stories about her famous father-in-law and how he was at his core, an environmentalist as was she. Her issue is water, and two years ago she predicted that current water crisis in California. Fascinating stuff.

After dinner we played "Two Truths and a Lie." There were eight of us at our table, and the first two participants played it pretty clean, so I thought I would spice things up with at least one racy tidbit.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself, pretty cocky until the next player-a gorgeous older woman--a blonde, lithe-figured, soft-spoken lady said,

"Yul Brenner slipped a Mickey into my boyfriend's drink at a party so that we would both be forced to stay overnight."

"I went out with Elvis."

"Kris Kristofferson and I dated for six months."

Well, shut my mouth...

Turns out she was a model and a singer who had lived in LA. And, oh by the way, no one correctly guessed that the lie was about Kristofferson.

So, it's that kind of a place. If you're a reader, you'll love it here. If you're a viewer, you won't because the rooms at TV-less.

Moving on to Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Wonderful theater in a pretty little town. Saw a production of "Streetcar" that was first rate. This Stanley would have been a contender at  the annual "Stella! Yelling Contest" in NOLA.

Onward to one of my favorite National Parks, Crater Lake. How do you describe that color of blue? I give up and just call it "caldera blue". It is such a pretty place. Met all kinds of kindred spirits here.
Headed back to Portland now, that haven of progressive thinking and weirdness. Took the scenic route 97 cause I wanted to see Bend. Wow. Cool place. Very young and vibrant with lots of in-shape, outdoor-sporting types--hiking, biking, rafting, camping, etc.

In general, the interior of Oregon is beautiful and perfectly designed for a road trip. I don't remember the routes that I took to get to Portland from Bend, but I do remember driving through multiple, verdant wilderness areas and national forests thinking, "This place is gorgeous and so much of it is preserved."

Portland. And the Willamette, dammit! wine growing region. Yeah, books and wine and coffee. Without those three things, life would pretty much suck. Again, I think you could strike gold by just wandering by car through this region. I was pretty impressed with the wines at this place: Ponzi Vineyards. And when I told the server at their wine bar that I was a Pinot Noir freak, she poured from a few special bottles not on the generic tasting selection. Oh, Momma! This is living. And this is eating at the Ponzi-family-owned Dundee Bistro where yet again I met interesting folks.
If not for the winters, I could easily live in Portland. It is a special place. And it was also the end of my epic 2013 road trip. <SIGH>

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Washington (attraction)
  2. Oregon (attraction)
  3. Seattle (city)
  4. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  5. Lowell's Restaurant (restaurant)
  6. Mount Rainier National Park (park)
  7. Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (attraction)
  8. Ashland (attraction)
  9. Crater Lake (attraction)
  10. Portland (city)
  11. Bend (city)
  12. Ponzi Vineyards (attraction)
  13. Dundee Bistro (restaurant)
7 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Amanda from Fort Worth

My family and I went on an epic road trip when I was in high school. I lived in Oklahoma at the time so we took I40 out west to Los Angeles, then the PCH up to San Francisco and to the Redwood National Park and Yosemite National Park. On our way back we stopped in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon National Park. It will always be one of my favorite trips. 

If I had to plan another, I would go to on a cross-country road trip. I found this great info-graphic on Pinterest that gives the best routes for the time of the year. I think something in Autumn would be gorgeous!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Francisco (city)
  2. Redwood National Park (attraction)
  3. Yosemite National Park (park)
  4. Las Vegas (city)
  5. Grand Canyon National Park (park)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Jacqui from London

Hi Spencer! 

We are planning an epic road trip in August/September. We are hiring a van in Zagreb and I am driving my 7 passengers to Plitvice Lakes National Park (2 nights), Kotor (1 night), Lake Shkodra Resort (3 nights), Budva (lunch stopover), Dubrovnik (3 nights) and visiting Mostar for a day. We are camping the entire way and I can't wait!! 

Follow me on all social media -  (a) Jacquitravels


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Zagreb (city)
  2. Plitvice Lakes National Park (park)
  3. Kotor (attraction)
  4. Lake Shkodra Resort (hotel)
  5. Budva (attraction)
  6. Dubrovnik (city)
  7. Mostar (city)

answered by
Alikn from Montreal

Last year we drove from Montreal Quebec to Austin Texas and back along the Music Highway. Stopped in Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Then through Kentucky to Tennessee and an afternoon at the Jack Daniels Distillery for a whiskey tour by a cowboy and then an evening in Nashville for a show of country singers and songwriters at the Bluebird Cafe. Waited three hours in line and it was worth every second once we got in. Small little place and amazing music. 

Onward to Memphis and a rainy day tour of Graceland, which is the best place on a rainy day because there was nobody! It's like we had the place to ourselves and I am still in amazement. Graceland alone was worth the whole trip. We left just a bit too late to make it to Sun Studio. The girl let us in, but we couldn't take the tour. 

We were basically eating our way to the south, stopping at amazing roadside diners and had some amazing southern cooking. We were just working our way up to our main purpose: Texas BBQ. 

About 7 days in and we reached Texas. Checked off all the typical things to do in Austin and got up nice and early one morning to stand in line for lunch at Franklins BBQ...four hours in line, (bring a chair)...and despite my general policy of never standing in line for anything, it was always worthwhile on this trip. 

hmmmm, Lone Star ....

We were lucky enough to get to visit the Cathedral of Junk which is just an incredible study in perserverance and a testament to the amount of stuff we just throw away. Worth a visit and a donation (but call ahead, we really did get lucky that we pulled up as someone was leaving and he let us in).

Can't leave Texas without a mention of Sealy. We pulled off at a random exit just to explore and we were greeted at every turn by such nice people. They gave us directions to lunch at Oathies, and to this day I am still looking for a strawberry milkshake to match the one I had. It was my first chicken fried steak experience and it might have been the best meal of the trip. 

Leaving Texas, we stopped in Baton Rouge for a dinner of crawfish and then more of Louisianna, did the bayou boat thing and stuck my hand out to a snoozing crocodile...the usual. A plantation visit at Oak Alley Plantation and a quick stop in New Orleans French Quarter before skipping through Florida to Goergia and a day in Savannah.

One loooong day of driving, one little car accident, and a new tire had us ready to head up to Washington DC for some American history. The White HouseMuseum of Natural History, Lincoln Memorial and a baseball game made two Canadian girls feel pretty awesome about America (go Expos forever!). 

We really got to see a nice chunk of the States and study the differences and history of each place, everyone was so nice to us and friendly.  I highly recommend road tripping to through the US east coast. You'll never be bored, or hungry!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (attraction)
  2. Jack Daniels (restaurant)
  3. Bluebird Cafe (restaurant)
  4. Graceland (attraction)
  5. Sun Studio (attraction)
  6. Franklins BBQ (attraction)
  7. Cathedral of Junk (attraction)
  8. Sealy (city)
  9. Baton Rouge (attraction)
  10. Oak Alley Plantation (attraction)
  11. French Quarter (restaurant)
  12. Savannah (city)
  13. The White House (attraction)
  14. Museum of Natural History (attraction)
  15. Lincoln Memorial (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Rod from Sydney

In March this year I drove from Vail,Co through Utah to Las Vegas then up to SF through Death Valley then down the down 101 to San Diego

3 weeks ago I drove from Milan,Italy to Marbella,Spain through the south of France then back to lake como through the base of The French Alps. This drive was amazing. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vail (city)
  2. Utah (attraction)
  3. Las Vegas (city)
  4. Death Valley (park)
  5. San Diego (city)
  6. Milan (city)
  7. Marbella (city)
  8. France (attraction)
  9. lake como (attraction)
  10. The French Alps (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Josh from Baton Rouge

How about Portugal to Malaysia?  It is possible!

I would change the route in order to explore ItalySloveniaCroatiaHungary, and once I go into Asia LaosVietnam, and Cambodia.

Would take at least 6 months to do it right.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Portugal (attraction)
  2. Malaysia (attraction)
  3. Italy (country)
  4. Slovenia (country)
  5. Croatia (country)
  6. Hungary (attraction)
  7. Laos (attraction)
  8. Vietnam (attraction)
  9. Cambodia (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
karaline from Victoria

I've always dreamed of driving/ferrying to Alaska ( live in Victoria, BC). Drive from Vancouver to Prince Rupert with plenty of stops for hiking and camping. The catch the ferry to Haines, then drive onward to Anchorage. From there drive SE to Edmonton and go back to Vancouver through the Rocky Mountains. So many parks, and so much wilderness!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vancouver (city)
  2. Prince Rupert (city)
  3. Haines (city)
  4. Edmonton (city)

answered by
Gita from Mumbai

Iceland That would be a dream come true because I'm not too sure I'd be able to handle the cold and hence hold off only for that reason.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Iceland (country)

answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

I would like to drive up Highway 40 from Florida through Atlanta through Chicago through Wisconsin.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Florida (attraction)
  2. Atlanta (city)
  3. Chicago (city)
  4. Wisconsin (attraction)

answered by
Will from On The Road

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Porto (city)
  2. Sintra (attraction)
  3. Odeceixe (attraction)
  4. Seville (city)
  5. Tarifa (city)
  6. Madrid (city)
  7. Santiago de Compostela (city)
  8. Bilbao (city)
  9. Barcelona (city)
  10. Biarritz (city)
  11. Valensole (city)
  12. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie (city)
  13. Cinque Terre (hotel)
  14. Tuscany (state)
  15. Florence (city)
  16. Rome (city)
  17. Positano (attraction)
  18. San Vito Lo Capo (city)

answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

The SF to Seattle coastal roadtrip is one of my favorites, but I do dream of roadtripping the entire Iberian Peninsula one day beginning in the French town of Perpignan continuing south along the coast through Geronam Barcelona, Valencia and Cartagena on the Mediterranean Sea, then continuing past Gibraltar hugging the coast all the way into Portugal and continuing north along the Atlantic coast back into Spain stopping to rest and eat pinxos in San Sebastian. It would be LONG, expensive, but this was a dream trip, so I'm dreaming big.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Perpignan (attraction)
  2. Gerona (attraction)
  3. Barcelona (city)
  4. Valencia (attraction)
  5. Cartagena (attraction)
  6. Gibraltar (attraction)
  7. Portugal (attraction)
  8. San Sebastian (city)

answered by
Heidi from Colorado

I have a life long dream of doing Historic Route 66 in a convertible. I adore Americana. I want to stay in little motels along the way and take lots of photos of run down gas stations, etc. 

And I'd like to do the route in its entirety. 

I have done part of the road trip you are planning.  You won't regret it. I think the Southern Oregon  / Northern California coastline is the prettiest in the world.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Historic Route 66 (attraction)
  2. Oregon (attraction)
  3. California (attraction)

answered by
Aizik from Bangkok

Are you kidding?
You are talking about California, just take road number 1  San Diego - San Francisco or the other way around.
I will never forget this trip...

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Diego (city)
  2. San Francisco (city)

answered by
Nam from Bangkok

My crazy dream road trip is Central Americaand South Americaroute by motorcycle.

I am Thai, living in Thailandwhere very far from that continent, can't speak Spanish and watched a movie about the road trip of Che Guevera "The Motorcycle Diary". I have been inspired by it.

I know this is just a dream, but it is an epic dream!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Central America (attraction)
  2. South America (attraction)
  3. Thailand (attraction)

answered by
Kate from Ohio

I think a 48 state road trip would be pretty amazing.  I often dream of flying off to far off places but there are some amazing places to see here in the USA.  Maybe start in Maine and finish with an epic west coast drive from Washington to southern California.  It would be amazing to see what makes each state special.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Maine (state)
  2. Washington (attraction)
  3. California (attraction)

answered by
Maria from Dublin

Patagonia (Argentina)

Route 40 to be precise! All the way down to Cabo Vírgenes How exciting would that be?

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Patagonia (Argentina) (metro area)
  2. Cabo Vírgenes (attraction)

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