Many people wonder, how long does it take to drive cross country? The answer to this questions depends on several factors. How fast do you drive? How often do you need to stop? Do you want to cut straight across the middle, or do you want to zigzag around to see the sights? Are you planning on traveling East to West or North to South? The following cross country road trip plans assume you'll drive the speed limit and want to see some sights along the way as you explore this grand country of ours from East to West.
Start in Portland, Maine
You'll start in Portland, Maine, where the waters are cold and the lobster is superb. Celebrate your first day with a seafood dinner on a dock before you head South to New York, New York. Drive time that first day: Six hours.
New York, New York
Make sure you leave time to check out Chinatown, SoHo and the charms of Central Park. When you've explored all you wish to see in the Big Apple, hop back in your car and head West to Niagara Falls, New York. You'll drive for seven hours to get there.
Make sure you check out both sides of the falls while you're there. You'll need to bring a passport if you want to head over to the Canadian side of the falls. When you're tired of mist and waterfalls, get back in your car and head Southwest to Columbus, Ohio. It should take you about six hours.
Check out the rolling farmland and an Ohio State football game while you're in town. Or you can stop off in Cleveland for an afternoon tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. When you get tired of Midwestern charm, hop back in your car for another six-hour drive to the Windy City.
When you get to Chicago, you will want to check out the fabulous entertainment and the skyline. When you feel the wind is at your back and you're ready to move on, drive five hours North to Door County, Wisconsin.
Door County, Wisconsin
Known as the New England of the Midwest, Door County is famous for its cherry pies and fish boils. Chow down and enjoy the gorgeous sunsets over Lake Michigan. Then hop back in your car and head West for six hours until you hit the land of the Vikings.
Don't forget to check out the Mall of America and at least one of the 10,000 lakes. Alternately, you can head south from Chicago and pick up Interstate 80, which will take you straight past the St. Louis Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. When you decide you've had enough of Minnesota nice, drive West for nine hours to Rapid City, South Dakota.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Before you hit the city, make sure you stop and check out the amazing badlands. Once in Rapid City, you'll want to hike around Mount Rushmore and Chester State Park, where you'll see wild buffalo that still roam the plains. When you're done there, settle back in your vehicle for a seven hour drive to the wild, wild West.
Once in Bozeman, you'll want to look for a working ranch and a chance to ride horses and eat out under the stars. When you've exhausted the cowboy within, move on for a six-hour drive through the mountains.
The drive from Bozeman to Spokane can take all day if weather conditions aren't great, but the drive through the mountains will take your breath away. Once in Spokane, enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains. Maybe after all that time in the car, you'll be ready for some hiking. When you're ready to reach the West Coast, strap on your seat belt and head West for five hours.
Ending Point: Seattle, Washington
Take a well-deserved rest in the perfect place to celebrate with a premium cup of coffee as you look out at the Pacific Ocean. Total driving time: 63 hours.
Cross country driving requires some extra safety precautions, both before you leave and while you're on the road.