East Coast USA Itinerary – Well an Outline Anyway!

Starting to get excited now – I know living in the “now” is a big thing is some corners of the Interwebs – but I love to dream and plan! It’s a cold, wet and miserable  Maundy Thursday as I write this, and we will be locking the door behind us on Easter Sunday – 3 more sleeps to go!

Wellington Train Station

Normally we start our trips by heading to the airport – but for the first time ever – we are heading to the train station and taking the train to Auckland. Whether I get pictures of anything more than rain and clouds is about a 50/50 chance at this point!

A couple of nights in Auckland are basically to minimize the risk of  missing the US flight – we got an amazingly cheap deal – but the connection in Auckland is at our own risk.

We then do the usual fun long-haul flight thing on Tuesday – arriving in LAX from Auckland before we leave, spending the day in Los Angeles and then the red-eye to Philadelphia.

We then have a few days with family in Philadelphia (first time we’ve been tot he East Coast), and then we pick up a rental car for 3.5 weeks.

This is where the trip is vaguer. I have worked out a spreadsheet – but it probably won’t happen like that. We’ll heading down the coast via the Outer Banks, Charleston, Savannah, Florida, Gulf Coast to New Orleans. There we are catching up with more family (yes it’s pretty weird for Kiwi’s to have 2 sets of relatives in the the US  – that’s why we thought we’d do the trip).

Thanks to the outrageous one-way fees in the US we are then returning to Philadelphia via Natchez, and the Appalachians, and quite possibly an overnight drive through if we’ve been too ambitious!

The road trip part is entirely un-booked – there seems to be plenty of accommodation to be had, particularly if  you are not fussy, between coupons and free WIFI I doubt we’ll end up with a problem.

After that we will be seeing Washington DC and New York without the car, and I have actually booked the last three nights in New York where we fly back to LAX in early June for the return trip including 3 nights in Tahiti to break the long trip home.

By the time we get home in early June after 7 weeks away, it will be really winter, dark, and I will need to start planning another trip! However, in the meanwhile – cue bad singing: “I’m leaving on a jet-plane train”.

Wellington Train Station

UPDATE: We drove 4300 miles covering: Philadelphia-Virginia-Outer Bamks-coast of North and South Carolina, Georgia, as far south as St Augustine Florida, then west across the Pan-Handle of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi to New Orleans. Heading north we followed the Natchez Trace to Nashville and then headed east  to the Great Smokies. Finished up by coming north along parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway to Charlottesville and Annapolis, Virginia, before returning the  car to Philadelphia airport 28 days after we hired it.


  1. Cy on April 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I grew up in the Appalachians. Be sure to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway if you can. It’s beautiful.

    • Elisabeth Sowerbutts on April 17, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Thanks CY – yes hoping to drive the Blue Ridge – it looks amazing.

  2. Irene S. Levine on April 18, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Having relatives or friends to meet in various cities sure as an added bonus when you travel!

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