The Selfish Guide to a Northern Cross-Country Drive

The Selfish Guide to a Northern Cross-Country Drive

Mr. Selfish and I took a very round-about route to drive cross-country since we were visiting various family members and friends. However, if you are contemplating driving cross-country in a northerly fashion, this guide still may prove useful. Here was our route:


We started in Virginia and then stayed the night at the following locations: (1) Willingboro, NJ, (2) Pittsburgh, PA, (3) Chicago, IL, (4) Sioux Falls, SD, (5) Cody, WY, (6) West Yellowstone, MT (7) Salt Lake City, UT, and (8), Carson City, NV. Our final destination was San Francisco. Aside from visiting loved ones, our primary goals were to see to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania were primarily stops for family and friends visiting. However, if you do drive cross-country in a northern route and you’re in the vicinity of Cleveland, I would recommend stopping at Hot Sauce Williams (located at 7815 Carnegie Ave) for some of the very best fried chicken ever!

USA 069

Along the same vein, I recommend stopping in Chicago. At the very least, you can get a deep dish pizza or a hot dog. Mmmmmm…

USA 083

South Dakota: Kitsch and Mount Rushmore

After driving through Wisconsin and Minnesota, you will come upon kitschy South Dakota. Enjoy the billboards and go to the Corn Palace.

SD Kitsch 04

Of course, you have to stop at Wall Drugs as well. Get ice cream and take some silly photos!

SD Kitsch 23

For a real sight, you can go to the Bad Lands. When we were there, it was utterly beautiful but incredibly hot.

Our next big stop was Mount Rushmore. It was actually quite a bit more epic than I thought it would be. Did you know that dynamite was used to primarily carve it? Bad ass-ery.

Nearby Mount Rushmore is Devils Tower, which we didn’t have time to climb but was still a worthwhile visit.

Yellowstone National Park

Mr. Selfish and I then spent two days at Yellowstone. Two days is a short amount of time considering the vast amounts of attractions and the horrible traffic due to the camper vans. We stayed at Cody, Wyoming and West Yellowstone, Montana to be on different sides of the park. The following are the highlights from Yellowstone:

We really enjoyed Uncle Tom’s Trail because you get a really good view of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

Even though Old Faithful is overrun by tourists, it is still a worthwhile stop. It’s so huge that you can still easily see it from behind the hordes of gawkers.

Biggie USA 353

You should also go to the beginning of the Fairy Falls Trail to see the Grand Prismatic Spring from a much better elevated angle.

Biggie USA 375

Grand Tetons National Park

Mr. Selfish and I only had a few hours on our way to Salt Lake City but we decided to stop at the Grand Tetons since it is so close to Yellowstone. We took a lovely hike at Jenny Lake and were so glad that we stopped.

Biggie USA 474

Lake Tahoe

Our final stop before SF was at Lake Tahoe. We went to Emerald Bay and took in the views.

Biggie 018

From there, we drove through Sacramento for some yummy Viet food and ended in SF.

How would you recommend driving cross-country? Next time, Mr. Selfish and I would love to go south to visit the Grand Canyon and stop by New Orleans for some beignets!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s