UNITED STATES
COAST TO COAST
21 july - 20 august 2001

 

In the hope to be useful to whoever has intention to visit USA, I have thought to make available the report of the coast to coast trip I completed with my family between july and august 1995. 

I would like to start speaking of all those facilitations that exist in USA for the one that wants to organize the trip by themselves. 



American AUTOMOBILE CLUB

Triple A or AAA besides to furnish the normal services of road help, furnishes to the partners Free map and guides of every state and city but above all, the Triptik a kind of pocket road map. According to the select itinerary you are pointed out the better road with the times of route and the miles between the various places, the places where possible to eat or to sleep, the areas of standstill and the possible jobs in progress. 

The guides are well realized and they also point out even for the smallest places restaurants or motel with the relative rates. 

There are varied levels of subscription, we used the 90 $ one. 

The AAA is present in all the cities of a certain dimension and it results me that its services are furnished in terms of reciprocity to the partners of the analogous foreign associations. 



To sleep In USA 

There is not anything easier than finding an accommodation for the night, motels area everywhere; there are for all the pockets, in general the level is however good. A great convenience is that booking the room by telephone (the credit card is needed) there is the possibility to cancel it within 6 pm of the reserved day Without Penalties. 

When you book/cancel a room with this system, Always remember to have you given the number of booking/cancellation that there will be useful in case of wrong debit on the credit card. 

Besides the local motels, there are varied chains present on the whole territory, in the rooms or in the receptions you can be withdrawn the guides with the data of all the motels of that society. 

We almost exclusively used MOTEL6, spending 45$ average a night for a quadruple room. Other societies with good price/quality are: SUPER8, ECONO LODGE

TRAVELING ON THE ROAD 

For the ones that are accustomed to drive on the Italian roads :-(((, it seems to be on another planet: motorists and truck drivers slow down for having you introduced on the road, speed limit generally respected , on the mountain when a slow vehicle form behind a tail, approaches for having everybody passed. Generally the strip in the mean of the road is composed of reflectors and this is very useful in case of fog. 

Attention to the considering that traffic-lights are positioned after the intersection and not to side of the strip of arrest as from us, besides in all the states except New York can also be turned to the right when the traffic-lights is red. 

 

Route map (I part ~120 Kb)
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Route map (II part ~140 Kb)
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The trip touched the following places: 

Los Angeles

San Francisco

Sequoia National Park (CALIFORNIA)

Yosemite National Park (CALIFORNIA)

Death Valley (CALIFORNIA)

Las Vegas

Grand Canyon National Park (ARIZONA)

Arches National Park (UTAH)

Monument Valley (UTAH-ARIZONA)

Canyon De Chelly (ARIZONA)

Petrified Forest (ARIZONA)

Saguaro National Park (ARIZONA)

White Sands National Park (NEW MEXICO)

St. Louis

Cincinnati

Niagara Falls

Washington D.C.

New York

 

To get directions and distances between the places: Rand Mcnally

 

I will confine to furnish the impressions on those places I liked more. 

 

SAN FRANCISCO

It is one of the most beautiful cities in the USA, rises in one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Amazing the roads with dizzy inclinations to cross with the characteristic Cablecars, very characteristic also the houses in Victorian style, some are turned to Bed&Breakfast, they are a valid alternative to the usual motels. For a spectacular panorama, cross the Golden Gate Bridge (even in bicycle).

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LAS VEGAS link_foto.gif (1420 byte)

It is in strategic position in comparison to many national parks, besides in USA it is the most convenient city to eat, to sleep, to rent cars or other. 

A room for 4 persons in a 5 stars hotel like the LUXOR costs around 100 $, in a good motel 29 $. 

All the big casinos (Caesar's Palace, Luxor, MGM, etc.) offers a big number of attractions, offers further good buffet: breakfasts, lunches or dinners (the so-called ALL YOU CAN EAT) for an expense that is wandered on 10 $. 

Attention however in the weekends all the prices almost doubles. 

To reach the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas instead to use I40 from Kingman to Williams, it is worth the punishment to make a deviation along the mythical Route66 (it is one of the a few remained lines). Along the road you will find the Grand Canyon Caverns that it is not worth the punishment to see. 

 

MONUMENT VALLEY link_foto.gif (1420 byte)


The immense red rocks modeled by the wind that are in this zone have done from background as western movies. The park is crossed by a road excavated of red sand that can be crossed with the own auto. It is in the North-east Arizona to the border with the Utah in the Indian reserve of the Navajos. 



WHITE SANDS NATIONAL PARK 

This is perhaps the park that has liked me more, it concerns a desert zone of 768 kmsq of white dunes!!! 

Here it finds in fact the biggest chalk deposit of the world; it is a surreal show, there is the strange feeling to drive on a road covered of ice. it is very exciting to climb on the dunes (tall 5-6 meters) modeled from the wind for then to come down of it with some improper bobs). The park is in the South of the NEW MEXICO along the road that connects LAS CRUCES to ALAMOGORDO. 

Attention because a couple of times a year the government closes the whole zone to the public to effect missile tests!! 

Around 2 Km from the park besides there is a military airport, the base of the famous invisible airplanes Stealth. 

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Washington 

It is worth the punishment to visit this city for the varied monuments and museums that are all assembled in the area called THE MALL; a very good thing is that all the entries are Completely Free. To visit (only in the morning) the White House you have to present to the: 

White House visitors center 
building of the US Department of Commerce 
1450 Pennsylvania Avenue (around 500 mt from the White House) 



On the ticket the time and the place of meeting are suitable for the visit, after around half hour of line you can be enter in the house of the most powerful man of the world to see a small part of the building with the absolute prohibition to take photo. 

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NEW YORK link_foto.gif (1420 byte)

The visit in New York is reduced to Manhattan as in the other districts there aren't interesting things to see. It is the most expansive city between those I visited in USA, the level it is however comparable to an European city. 

For the lodging we have followed the suggestion of the office of the tourism of NY: 

EDISON HOTEL
228 West 47 St (50 mt to TIMES SQUARE) 
tel. 212/840.5000 or 1.800.637.7070 
quadruple room: 122 $ taxes included

Durind another trip I lodged to:

Herald Square hotel
19 West 31 St. (near the Empire State Building)
tel. 212/279.4017 - 1.800.727.1888

To book hotels to New York: http://new.york.hotelguide.net/

If you decide to go to Manhattan by car, you keep in mind that besides the chaotic traffic (comparable to that of Milan, Rome or Naples) the parking lot are very expansive: we spent 16 $ a day. 

If you want to have an idea of like NY is prepared, it is worth the punishment to do a boat-trip around Manhattan. The dock of departure is found at the end of 47 St. on the west side (that one on the New Jersey side), for a 3 hours trip we spent 18 $/person. 

To visit Miss Liberty Statue and Ellis Island the dock of departure is found on the south point of Manhattan; the ticket for the visit to the 2 islands costs 7 $. I must say that I have not liked this excursion a lot, a little bit because except a wonderful sight of Manhattan there is not a lot to see and then because is necessary to wait in the lines under the sun: the very precise Americans always pointed out a wait of 3 hours to climb up to the crown of Miss Liberty Statue and a possible difference of temperature of tens degrees between the inside and the outside. 

However the most beautiful thing to do in NY is walking and observe the different styles of life of varied communities that compose one of the more cosmopolitans cities in the world.

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Copyright 1999 Giuseppe Ruperto. All rights reserved.