Planning an Epic 5,400 mile June 2015 Roadtrip (DFW to Nova Scotia) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Planning an Epic 5,400 mile June 2015 Roadtrip (DFW to Nova Scotia)


Well-Known Member
September 22, 2013
Reaction score
City, State
Dallas, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Ford Explorer XLT
As of now, we're in the planning phase for our early June 2015 anniversary road trip. I've attached a rough idea of where we plan to stop: numerous national parks, misc. tourist attractions, and more.

Initially we planned to fly into Boston or BWI before renting a car, but airfare and a rental car alone ranged anywhere from $1,000 to $1,300. Mind you, this doesn't include gas, so the math says driving the Explorer will be a break even proposition, or likely better - assuming it doesn't break down!

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions let me know!


Last year we drove 5,000 miles in ten days:

Dallas-->Santa Fe-->Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam-->Las Vegas-->LA-->San Francisco-->South Lake Tahoe-->Salt Lake City-->Zion National Park-->Santa Rosa, NM-->Dallas

Here are a few pictures:

Sante Fe, NM:


Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam:




Las Vegas:








San Francisco:






South Lake Tahoe:




Salt Lake City:



Zion National Park:



Can you image all of the photos from New England with the Explorer in the background!? It's going to be sweet!

P.S. This go around we're planning to save money on lodging, so we'll likely sleep in the Explorer and/or camp a few times throughout our trip. Any good camping spots along the way?


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I would plan a day in Washington D.C. our nations capital. Tons to see and do.


Looks like it will be a hell of a time.

...Subscribing also..:popcorn:

Pretty much all my recommendations will be on the Canad side :)

It's a shame to go all that way and not go to Newfoundland, though it would add a fair bit of time since the ferry crossing is quite lengthy. Bu tit's a beautiful island, really friendly people. Gros Morne Park is fantastic.

A little closer to your planned route, head up to the northern part of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia along the Cabot trail. Great drive, very scenic, there's camping up that way too.

Niagara Falls and winery tours. Fundy National Park - some of the highest tides in the world.

If you want to avoid back tracking in Nova Scotia a bit you can drive to Digby and take the ferry across the Bay of Fundy to St. John. From there you drive down to St Stephen and cross the border back into Maine.

Thousand Islands Parkway is a nice scenic drive. A nice break from the monotony that is the 401. Also Thousand Islands boat tours are a nice way to spend the afternoon

Niagara Falls

Let me second Niagra Falls.
If you visit the U.S. side there is a tour that takes you to the bottom of the falls. I am NOT talking about the Maid of the Mist boat tour, this is a walking tour where you walk to the bottom of the falls.
It is so completely amazing the the intense energy and power of the water coming over the falls. Just that experience is likely something I will remember the rest of my life.

Heck yeah. I hate flying places. I don't hate "flying", I am fine with the hole concept of lift/drag/thrust/turbulence, I just hate the process of flying. You give up your freedoms to be treated like cattle. Screw that.

Great American Road Trip!

I drove from Denver to Tampa 2 Thanksgivings ago in my Mariner. By myself. It was great. 2 days down, 2 days back. Plus a week in Tampa. I had a little bit of a timeline so I couldn't stop too much. But I did stop by some Walking Dead (in Georgia) and Break Bad (in New Mexico) filming spots on the way back.

Places to stop:
The Tail of the Dragon. It's a section of road in Tennessee. I think. Very twisty and scenic. The Explorer isn't the best vehicle for it, but if you like a good driving road, then I've heard this one is great.

The National Mall in DC. Lots of cool open air monuments.

Cheesesteaks in Philly. I went to Genos. It was ok. Do some research on what's better.

Independence Hall and what not in Philly.

If you go through Detroit around lunch or dinner time, there's a great BBQ place on the south side called Slo's BBQ. If it's daylight, it's not bad. If it's dark out.... go to Applebee's on the north end of town. It was mentioned on one of Food Network's shows where they go around to different areas. If it's Friday or Saturday night, there could be a 2 hour wait. Good beer here too.

I wish i didnt drive for a living i would love to go on roadtrips more often! LOL

Looks like a good time for sure

Skyline Drive in Virginia has some of my favorite camp grounds and some super spectacular views.

I second this. One of my favorite places in the world.

Places to stop:
The Tail of the Dragon. It's a section of road in Tennessee. I think. Very twisty and scenic. The Explorer isn't the best vehicle for it, but if you like a good driving road, then I've heard this one is great.

Being from the area formerly and having been on the Tail of the Dragon many times, this is a great stretch of road but you may not get the full effect in the Explorer. I had a better explanation but you'll just want to do research if it's of any interest. Take that Camaro and you'll have a blast.

Cheesesteaks in Philly. I went to Genos. It was ok. Do some research on what's better.


DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT fall for the Genos / Pats tourist trap.

I went to both, and both were completely unimpressive. Wile Pats was ever so slightly better than Genos in my opinion neither lived up to the hype and will never be revisited by me.

That said, if you are hungry and in Philadelphia DiNics has THE MOST AMAZING brisket sandwich in the whole world.
Eat that and thank me later.

Time to get packing (and prepared!) Any road trip tools/utensils people suggest? Also, any last minute pre-trip vehicle checks before we hit the road? New brakes, new tires, new coolant system, thermostat, etc. . . Oil change. . . Pretty much everything is complete already. Trying to think of anything I'm missing.

A cheap code reader at minimum.

Extra serpentine belt, cigarette lighter air compressor, plugs for tires, basic hand tools, cheap floor jack.

Id change out the fuel filter, plugs, and wires.

You're going to be driving through, or around Gloucester Ma (think The Perfect Storm). Be sure to swing by and check out the Fisherman's Maritime Memorial. If you have time, take the Cape Ann's Whale Watching Tour.

We typically stay at Cape Ann Marina Resort when we are there.

Enjoy your trip!


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