We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Road trip, national Parks experience a real America

Stellenbosch
10 posts
Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

Hi everyone, a big thank you in advance for any suggestions and information!

We are a South African couple in our mid 60’s, we live in the Cape Winelands are active, curious about life, enjoy nature and what cities have to offer.

We want to do a rental self drive small camper tour for about 6 weeks after your peak season in 2023. We will fly with Emirates via Dubai ( most reasonable), so we have many options as a starting point.

We have done New York and Florida and the West Coast including Yosemite and Big Sur, but apart from that, we are sitting with a blanc page and are very much intimidated by the choice of the wonderland of your parks.

Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you 😽

52 replies to this topic
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
8,374 posts
1,603 reviews
552 helpful votes
1. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

If weather permiting, you could consider

Glacier NP 4 days

Yellowstone NP 3 days

Grand Teton NP 2 days

5 Utah NPs including Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion

Grand Canyon 2 days

Edited: 08 August 2022, 21:27
Stellenbosch
10 posts
2. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

Thank you!

Stellenbosch
10 posts
3. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

We do not need to experience only National Parks. We will enjoy a broader experience- a city, unique and quaint towns, interesting roads etc. Thank you!

Naalehu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
5,037 posts
91 reviews
50 helpful votes
4. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

What do you mean "after your peak season"? Are you thinking of coming in the Fall (September/October)?

Wilmington, North...
Level Contributor
3,962 posts
2 reviews
1 helpful vote
5. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

There are parks on the eastern side of the US as well such as Great Smoky Mountains NP, New River Gorge NP, Shenandoah NP and Acadia NP. New York has some very beautiful state parks and there's plenty of other nice scenery in New England and other eastern states. There are more great cities to explore and plenty of cute/quaint small towns.

Only you can determine if your travel style would allow you to see parks in both the east and the west (you could fly between the two) or if you might consider separate visits.

Have you done an RV/camper trip before? They can be quite the pain, especially in cities, so require extra time and logistical planning than the car/hotel option.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
6,251 posts
281 reviews
290 helpful votes
6. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

This country has a substantial system of National, State, County, and City parks which are enjoyed by all and sundry. In addition, there are other state and Federal agencies, like the Bureau of Land Management, or the TVA, that have places worth visiting that many overlook.

Suggest you begin with the websites of those jurisdictions listed above to fully understand all that is available to you. Skimming TA is a good place to start. Regional geographic differences will affect what it is you may wish to see: New England and its rocky coasts; the Tidewater of the Mid-Atlantic; swamps of the Gulf Coast; the Appalachian mid-lands; the Great Lakes and their pine forests; the mountainous West; and, the Pacific Coast all have variations unique unto themselves. While many only see the National and State parks as destinations, county and city parks hold gems of equal amazement, particularly museums and historical places which is another place to search, our registers of historical, architectural, and significant places.

Only concern is that beginning in mid-September it is off-season and many of the licensed vendors at National Parks close up shop for the year and thus eliminating facilities you would expect to use.

Also, in certain mountainous regions of the American West, its not unusual to see snow in late Sept., early Oct., the area of Yellowstone being an example(that park is also rebuilding from floods and may only be partially open, so check).

God blessed us with a wonderful land on which to live - search well so that you don't miss something you'll regret not seeing later.

Welcome and enjoy.

Stellenbosch
10 posts
7. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

We were considering late August, September and early October

Stellenbosch
10 posts
8. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

Thank you for your most generous reply! Yes, I must say I have started reading up about some of your suggestions and they seem very appealing - the softer landscapes and beautiful towns and the seafood!!

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell, Utah
Level Contributor
43,523 posts
62 reviews
15 helpful votes
9. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

I can tell you that if you want "off season" in the national parks of the US West (Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and others), August, September and the early part of October is not off season by any stretch of the imagination. Off season in those places is November thru February. But that presents other problems - winter weather, and shorter hours of daylight.

Stellenbosch
10 posts
10. Re: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Save

Dear Bassbum thank you for your lengthy reply! Excuse my ignorance what do TVA and TA stand for?

Reply to: Road trip, national Parks experience a real America
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
© 2022 Tripadvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Hong Kong. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.