Los Angeles to Philadelphia

On my second trip across the USA I was accompanied by a good friend who flew out from Germany for the experience of driving across America. Our route was limited to some extent by the wildfires that were raging through Montana and Wyoming in August, but I think we mapped things out effectively going from the southern States up to the northern Midwest and into upstate New York before heading back south into Philadelphia.

Some statistics for the trip:

Days on the Road: 11

Miles/kilometers driven (including local driving): 3530 mi/5648 km

Gallons of Gas Purchased: 118.59

Total cost of Gas for the Trip: $186.39

Average cost of gas: $1.56 per gallon

Total cost of lodging for 2: $505 ($50 per night)

Money spent on food, attractions, and incidentals: More than we cared to count!



Day and Location

Distance driven

Travel time (with all stops)


(Hotel Name, City, State)

Day 1: Santa Monica, California to Las Vegas, Nevada

290 mi

5 hours, 50 minutes

Stardust Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Day 2: Las Vegas, Nevada to Albuquerque, New Mexico

581 mi

12 hours, 39 minutes

University Lodge, Albuquerque, NM

Day 3: Albuquerque, New Mexico to Taos, New Mexico

186 mi

11 hours, 42 minutes

Sun God Lodge, Taos, NM

Day 4: Taos, New Mexico to Denver, Colorado

322 mi

8 hours, 50 minutes

Melbourne International Hostel, Denver, CO

Day 5: Denver, Colorado to West Des Moines, Iowa

662 mi

15 hours, 43 minutes

Motel 6, West Des Moines, IA

Day 6: West Des Moines, Iowa to Madison, Wisconsin

321 mi

8 hours, 29 minutes

Select Inn, Madison, WI

Day 7: Madison, Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois

166 mi

11 hours, 26 minutes

Hotel Wacker, Chicago, IL

Day 8: Chicago, Illinois

Local sightseeing; no change in lodging

Day 9: Chicago, Illinois to Niagara Falls, New York

567 mi

12 hours, 36 minutes

Olde Niagara House, Niagara Falls, NY

Day 10: Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario

Local sightseeing; no change in lodging

Day 11: Niagara Falls, New York to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

435 mi

14 hours, 6 minutes

N/A (Home)


Epilogue: Atlantic City, New Jersey


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