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Moving from NYC to San Francisco, advice on places to see along the way?

Myself, my Fiancé and our two dogs are driving from NYC to San Fran next week and looking for a couple cool places to see or stop in along the way.  We are stopping to spend some time with family in St. Louis but other than that we don't have any plans and are up for anything!  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

5 Answers

top answer by

Shenandoah National Park, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Nashville, Tenn.,. Memphis, Tenn., from I-40, The Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas (everyone has to see it once), Death Valley, then up the coast of Calif. to see Hearst Castle & Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel by the Sea, then up to San Francisco.  That should keep you very busy!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Shenandoah National Park (park)
  2. Great Smoky Mountain National Park (park)
  3. Nashville (city)
  4. Memphis (city)
  5. The Petrified Forest (attraction)
  6. Meteor Crater (attraction)
  7. Grand Canyon (attraction)
  8. Las Vegas (city)
  9. Death Valley (park)
  10. Hearst Castle (attraction)
  11. Big Sur (city)
  12. Monterey (city)
  13. Carmel (attraction)
  14. San Francisco (city)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Heather Ann from Stamford, Connecticut

From Saint Louis - take the old Route 66 and drive up the Coast from LA to SF

Along the way:

Cadillac Ranch

Grand Canyon

Hearst Castle

Big Sur

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cadillac Ranch (restaurant)
  2. Grand Canyon (attraction)
  3. Hearst Castle (attraction)
  4. Big Sur (city)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Scott from Fort Collins

Hello Mike!  I'll assume you don't have a lot of extra time, with a stop in St Louis, so I'll try my best andd do it from the angle of something unique, important, or fun/interesting to each state or stop.  Take I 78 out of New Jersey into Pennsylvania.  When you get to Harrisburg, turn on Highway 15 and go see Gettysburg National Military Park.  They have a new visitor center and the whole experience is incredible.  From there, you can take several different highways that will link you back up to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which will take you just south of Pittsburgh.  If you need a sandwich, find a Primanti Brothers and make sure you and your wife share driving duties, as their sandwiches are sleep inducers.  If you feel like shooting a bit north you can head up to Canton (Ohio) for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, or just continue on I 70 to Columbus.  If it's eating time, try The Thurman Cafe, or Schmidt's Sausage Haus

Then, I would take I 71 southwest to Louisville.  If you like Bourbon, this is the place.  You can also check out Churchill Downs.  From there you can take I 64 into St Louis.  The drive through Missouri is pretty nice and if you need a bite to eat in Kansas City, try Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que.  Unless you want to head way south, the drive through Kansas is your best option.  Just have plenty of caffeine.  Not much to see here.  One stop you could make to break up your trip is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum.  Other than that, not much to see until Denver.  The drive up I-70 into the mountains of Colorado is beautiful, but can be treacherous this time of year.  Have a plan in place and try to drive during daylight hours.  Many, towns you can stop along the way.  If you ski, stop somewhere for a night.  If you don't stop somewhere for the night and enjoy the après ski atmosphere, probably in Vail.  I would say that a neat little detour would be to shoot up Highway 13 in Rifle to Highway 64 west towards Rangely and Dinosaur.  A unique and stop is at Dinosaur National Monument.  From there , take Highway 40 to Park City And into Salt Lake City.  Great stop for an overnight in a beautiful city.  Continue on I 80 and take a quick stop near Great Salt Lake.  On your way out of Utah,take a peak at the Bonneville Salt Flats.  The drive on I 80 in Nevada is desolate, but beautiful and rugged.  This will bring into the Reno/Tahoe area, where I would spend a night somewhere around Lake Tahoe.  From there, hook back up with I 80 and mosey into your new home.  One of our country's great cities.  Treat yourself to a fine Napa, or Sonoma wine, or an Irish whiskey at The Buena Vista Cafe and toast your trip!  Whatever route you choose, safe travels and enjoy the journey!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Harrisburg (city)
  2. Gettysburg National Military Park (attraction)
  3. Primanti Brothers (restaurant)
  4. Canton (Ohio) (city)
  5. Pro Football Hall of Fame (attraction)
  6. Columbus (city)
  7. The Thurman Cafe (restaurant)
  8. Schmidt's Sausage Haus (restaurant)
  9. Louisville (city)
  10. Churchill Downs (attraction)
  11. Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que (restaurant)
  12. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum (attraction)
  13. Vail (city)
  14. Dinosaur National Monument (attraction)
  15. Park City (city)
  16. Salt Lake City (city)
  17. Bonneville Salt Flats (attraction)
  18. Lake Tahoe (attraction)
  19. The Buena Vista Cafe (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Joshua from Cape Town, South Africa

This really depends on directly you want to drive and how much time you have.

If weather permits and you're up for a bit of an adventure you could take go north and stop in Badlands National Park and  Yellowstone National Park

Otherwise, I'd also recommend going to LA or San Diego and heading along the coast to San Francisco. Santa Barbara is a great stop along the way. Also, I'd agree with the recommendations for Big SurHearst Castle and Monterey.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Badlands National Park (park)
  2. Yellowstone National Park (park)
  3. Santa Barbara (city)
  4. Big Sur (city)
  5. Hearst Castle (attraction)
  6. Monterey (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Kelli from Salt Lake City

This may be too far south than your route, but Moab (home of the famous Utah icon, The Delicate Arch) is a beautiful and relaxing place.  Even farther south is Bryce Canyon National Park, which is stunning.  Or you could always hit Salt Lake City (we have a surprisingly good food scene here) or even Park City, full of great food and bars (and even a whiskey distillery, High West Distillery & Saloon, one of the best craft whiskey distillers in the country).  If you do go the Salt Lake City/Park City route, I have plenty of restaurant reviews on my blog, (or message me for specifics!).  

Enjoy your cross-country drive!  It sounds like an adventure. 



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Moab (city)
  2. Bryce Canyon National Park (park)
  3. Salt Lake City (city)
  4. Park City (city)
  5. High West Distillery & Saloon (attraction)
2 thanks

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