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New York City, San Francisco, Badlands National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson (Wyoming), Cleveland, Chicago, Des Moines, Sioux Falls, Salt Lake City, Reno, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Buffalo, Detroit, Lake Tahoe

What are some must see stops between New York and San Francisco?

We (Girlfriend, Dog, and I) are hitting the road for a 2 week road trip across the country from NYC -> SF at the End of May. We are planning to stay on the 80 and 90 so a north sort of route. Only plans right now are to stop in Badlands/Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone, Tetons etc.

We are staying in Motels and some camping too.

Let us know if you have any suggestions for the midwest or other stops in between NYC and SF.

7 Answers

top answer by

To say that is a difficult question to answer is an understatement. There is so much to see. I'll just throw a few things out.

Consider Cleveland- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is actually interesting , as is The Cleveland Museum of Art and yes you could spend a few days there but you aren't going to.

Next maybe Omaha, a more interesting city than you might imagine.

If your'e on to the Badlands National Park go through the Nebraska panhandle and maybe check out Toadstool Geologic Park, Scottsbluff and Chimney Rock State Park- move fast!

Hit the Black Hills , maybe go to Deadwood. You are right to prioritize Yellowstone National Park.

Good luck!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cleveland (city)
  2. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (attraction)
  3. The Cleveland Museum of Art (attraction)
  4. Omaha (city)
  5. Badlands National Park (park)
  6. Toadstool Geologic Park (attraction)
  7. Scottsbluff (city)
  8. Chimney Rock State Park (attraction)
  9. Black Hills (attraction)
  10. Deadwood (city)
  11. Yellowstone National Park (park)
4 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

I will second Omaha.  Stay in the Old Market, stroll along the cobblestone streets, bar hop and decide where to eat.  Suggestions:  M's Pub, Twisted Fork Grill & Bar, Stokes Grill & Bar Wood Fired Foods and one of my favorite Indian restaurants, Indian Oven.  If going this route (I-80), you can take a detour to the Sandhills. You could turn off I-80 there and head north to the Badlands.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. M's Pub (restaurant)
  2. Twisted Fork Grill & Bar (restaurant)
  3. Stokes Grill & Bar Wood Fired Foods (restaurant)
  4. Indian Oven (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Talyn from Salt Lake City, Utah

You could always stop off in southern Utah for a lot of great camping. There is Goblin Valley State Park, Moab and Coyote Gulch. Moab has an amazing brewery by the same name -- Moab Brewery -- and Coyote Gulch offers a great breakfast in the town just outside. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Goblin Valley State Park (amusement park)
  2. Moab (city)
  3. Coyote Gulch (attraction)
  4. Moab Brewery (attraction)
3 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Larry from Chicago

One thing I highly recommend is the breakfast (brunch) at Jenny Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park. It is expensive at $24/person but you can order anything and everything on the menu. The buffalo hash is wonderful. It is basically buffalo tenderloin with potatoes, onions and peppers. Everything is great at my favorite park in the world. You can read what I wrote about Chicago in my other post.

A different alternative to your present plans would be, once you get to Chicago, get on Route 66 and follow it to California via a southern route. It's not easy but there are books and maps and online resources. Even though, when my wife and I followed it backwards from Oklahoma, we sometimes got lost but it was a lot of fun.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Jenny Lake Lodge (hotel)
  2. Grand Teton National Park (park)
3 thanks

answered by
louanne from Ohio

Back to Cleveland....after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum... or The Cleveland Museum of Art....on your way west... Stop at the West Side Market on West 25th street and stock up on goodies for eating.... then have lunch and tour Great Lakes Brewing Company.... Happy trails...

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (attraction)
  2. The Cleveland Museum of Art (attraction)
  3. West Side Market (attraction)
  4. Great Lakes Brewing Company (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Griffin from Riverton

I would stop at an In-N-Out Burger while you are driving through Utah, Nevada, and/or California. They have some really great burgers!

1 thanks

answered by
Paige from Shelby Ohio

If you happen to go through Cleveland stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum! Then if you hit Canton you have the Pro Football Hall of Fame!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (attraction)
  2. Pro Football Hall of Fame (attraction)
1 thanks

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