CA to FL Road Trip

Schtumple

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 13, 2007
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benkadams.com


So, in September, for my second trip 3 month to the USA, me and a uni friend are going to travel from California to Florida (to visit another uni friend), we already plan to visit the Grand Canyon (naturally) and a few other places on the way, but I figured I'd put it out to any Americans here if there's any places along that route that'd be great stop off points. Don't want to be travelling too far off route, the trip is already at nearly 6000 miles there and back including all our current stop offs.

Any good places to go? I'll have a DSLR so photogenic places would be cool, but not required, definitely needs to be something that won't cost a lot of (or any) money to visit or see.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
142
I moved from CA to NC but I was essentially following my moving truck so it was not a very leisurely trip. If I had to do it all over again and had no reason to be quick about it, I would hit up New Orleans for sure. Do you know the route yet? Are you taking Interstate 10 (keeping it southern)? If you take I-10 then you'll hit California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida of course.

Where are you starting in CA?

For kicks I just googled "trip along interstate 10" and got this from Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_10

Check it out, it's not going to tell you everything but it was a good read.
 

Schtumple

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 13, 2007
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benkadams.com
I moved from CA to NC but I was essentially following my moving truck so it was not a very leisurely trip. If I had to do it all over again and had no reason to be quick about it, I would hit up New Orleans for sure. Do you know the route yet? Are you taking Interstate 10 (keeping it southern)? If you take I-10 then you'll hit California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida of course.
I-10 route, New Orleans is on the map, as well as Texas.

Where are you starting in CA?
I'm going out for 3 months in March-June, then coming back to the UK to film some stuff, then the 2nd 3 month stint starts around September time, that's around the time my friend has free to do this trip. Want to spend about 10 days tops doing the full trip.

For kicks I just googled "trip along interstate 10" and got this from Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_10

Check it out, it's not going to tell you everything but it was a good read.
Thanks for the link, skimmed it for the moment, will give a proper read later, looks really interesting as what I'll be coming close to, thanks :)
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
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St. Louis, MO
If you're doing round trip, you can mix it up a bit. Do I-10 one way and take a more northernly route the other way to see more stuff.
 

mstrze

macrumors 68000
Nov 6, 2009
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San Antonio's River Walk is a great site to see (and a great place to party). Off the I-10 path, I'd suggest Big Bend National Park along the Rio Grande River in West Texas as well as Austin, TX for even more partying along 6th St!
Also, just northwest of San Antonio is the beautiful TX Hill Country with Enchanted Rock about 45 minutes north of I-10...the largest pink granite outcropping in the US. Like a mini Ayers Rock from the Australian Outback.

I live in Houston and I would recommend SpaceCenter Houston at the Johnson Space Center just south of town. They have a Saturn V rocket from the Apollo days plus a great tour of the JSC facilities. Bucnh of quirky things around town too like the Beercan house and the Funeral Museum.

New Orleans would make a great stop as well. If you have time, travel on some of the roads south of I-10 in Louisiana to experience the true Cajun country...if you like hot, spicy foods of course, tour Avery Island (not really an island, but a salt dome where the land is a bit higher than the surrounding land) where they make Tabasco sauces!

If you like gambling, Vegas of course, but also Lake Charles, LA, New Orleans and the Biloxi, MS area have casinos. Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula-Mobile-Pensacola have some nice beach areas (water gets clearer the further you get from the mouth of the Mississippi) and terrific Gulf seafood.

If you have any particular questions about Houston, Austin, San Antonio or any other of the places I have mentioned, I can add a lot more info. :)
 

rick snagwell

macrumors 68040
Feb 12, 2011
3,736
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alta loma, ca
where in CA are you starting? i suggest you start on the I-40...Grand Canyon is off that freeway. and the 40 goes all the way to the east coast.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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where in CA are you starting? i suggest you start on the I-40...Grand Canyon is off that freeway. and the 40 goes all the way to the east coast.
I agree. If you are going to the Grand Canyon, I-10 is WAY out of the way. I-10 takes you through Phoenix, which is roughly 5 - 6 hours south of the Grand Canyon. You can do it, but you'll hae to go up I-17 through Sedona to get there.. not that it's a bad thing, but it's become heavily commercialized as of late.

If you're starting in CA, Here's what I would suggest.

Start in Santa Monica. Take the old Route 66 out of the LA Basin, and follow it as much as you can along I-40. It should drop you off about 20 miles south of it by the time you hit Needles, CA. Then take US-95 north until you catch it again going through Oatman, AZ.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_66
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_66_in_California
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_State_Route_66
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatman,_Arizona

You'll like it there; really nice kept-away tourist trap. Mind the donkeys: they run the town (no joke). Follow Route 66 there all the way through to Kingman, which you'll pass a classic 1950s/1960s gas station. (Side note: Kingman is only 100 miles south of Las Vegas). There's more of the classic buildings in AZ, as 40 follows 66 through Seligman, Williams, Flagstaff, and Gallup, NM. Williams and Flagstaff put you about 2 hours south of Grand Canyon.

From there you can stay on 40 through to Albuquerque and take a short trip up through Santa Fe and back. Here, you'd have a choice: I-25 south to El Paso and pick up I-10 to take it across the belly of Texas, or stay on I-40 to Amarillo, then take US 287 to Dallas to I-45 south. Either route lands you in Houston, which puts you at another beach/college town. From there, I-10 through New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, and on to Florida.

BL.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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That's about 250 miles a day. Almost like a bus tour. ;)
That isn't too bad.. that's roughly 4 hours driving at 60mph. It's 275 from Vegas to LAX, and I've done that in roughly 4 1/2 hours.

If you're looking at that, then you'll have some long driving if you stay on I-10 from El Paso to Houston. That run there is nearly 9 hours alone, if not longer. It took me 8 from Oklahoma City to Albuquerque, but that was when Texas still had a 55mph speed limit, where OK and NM both had 70mph.

BL.
 

Schtumple

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 13, 2007
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benkadams.com
Funnily enough, I will be going to the disneyland/world in florida, as my friend from uni is working there for the next year, that's the main reason for this trip, but we won't be going in there though :p Thanks for the suggestions so far, I guess 10 days was a bit too high of an estimation of how fast we could do it, 250 miles is probably quite easily do-able per day, but it would be more driving and less having fun, 2 weeks then :)
 

iJohnHenry

macrumors P6
Mar 22, 2008
16,532
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On tenterhooks
Funnily enough, I will be going to the disneyland/world in florida, as my friend from uni is working there for the next year, that's the main reason for this trip, but we won't be going in there though :p Thanks for the suggestions so far, I guess 10 days was a bit too high of an estimation of how fast we could do it, 250 miles is probably quite easily do-able per day, but it would be more driving and less having fun, 2 weeks then :)
Was going to suggest 14 days.

Much more leisure time for off-road touring.
 

Macky-Mac

macrumors 68030
May 18, 2004
2,592
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... the trip is already at nearly 6000 miles there and back including all our current stop offs..
....I guess 10 days was a bit too high of an estimation of how fast we could do it, 250 miles is probably quite easily do-able per day, but it would be more driving and less having fun, 2 weeks then :)
6000 miles divided by 14 days is more than 250 miles a day......428.57 miles a day actually, and that's 7 hours of driving at 60mph every day :eek:
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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6000 miles divided by 14 days is more than 250 miles a day......428.57 miles a day actually, and that's 7 hours of driving at 60mph every day :eek:
I missed that.. there *AND* back? definitely a lot longer. It's a little over 2550 miles from one end of I-40 (Barstow, CA) to the other end (Wilmington, NC) alone. That isn't taking into account any transitioning from I-40 to I-10 at any point. Bringing that in from coast to coast, you're definitely going to be longer than 6000 miles roundtrip. 14 days definitely won't be enough. I'd even allot for a month, especially if you're going to stop and see the sights.

BL.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,023
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Perhaps he is seeing the sights on the right side, in both directions. ;)

Why you would drive over the same route again is beyond me?? :confused:
Either route would be just as long; that's my point. Getting back to CA, you're only stuck with 2 options: I-10 from Jacksonville to Los Angeles, or I-40 from Wilmington to Barstow. It's at least 500 miles up from Jacksonville to Baltimore to pick up I-70, and that will barely drop you off 3 hours south of Salt Lake City. You're still looking at another 5 hours to Vegas, and another 4 back to LA.

Optimally, I'd say this. Since this may be happening in September, Take the I-40 route from CA to FL, then take the I-10 route back. Keep in mind you'll be just hitting Fall/Autumn. The trees/forests should be turning then, making it look really nice. Plus taking I-10 back, you'll avoid the bulk of the heat in the desert from the summer.

BL.
 

mstrze

macrumors 68000
Nov 6, 2009
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Btw: Texas has just raised the speed limits ( or will by the end of the month) to 75mph outside of the cities on the Interstates with I-10 between El Paso and San Antonio at a crisp 80mph! Since you were speaking about time and such, this should help make the passage through the longest state on your trip a bit more tolerable. :)
 

Schtumple

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 13, 2007
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benkadams.com
I definitely haven't put enough time into the logistics of this :p

Please bare in mind that this road trip is being planned very much in the background because of my impending trip in March, I'm not stupid etc, I just haven't had time to sit down and really think about this road trip.

Flying back probably will be cheaper than driving tbh, my friend will undoubtedly have to get her flight back to the UK from SFO or LAX (because of crappy one way US flight laws) and I doubt she'll be happy about paying for a return to LAX and then getting a flight home from FL.

ANYWAY, logistics aside, could we get back to just places to visit? :p
 

mstrze

macrumors 68000
Nov 6, 2009
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Here are the two routes I'd suggest to get you the maximum Americana!

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=los+angeles,+ca&daddr=35.19323,-101.7993+to:32.28956,-86.80076+to:Orlando,+FL&hl=en&sll=31.31134,-99.811555&sspn=31.50314,38.979492&geocode=FYqYBwIdm77z-CkT2ifcXcfCgDH0CEYlb98v4g;FY4BGQIdfKru-SlhHXf2Mk8BhzE4cdo18ZEImw;FRiz7AEdiIbT-inlXi3kalaOiDG1UzicPcjs0w;FeB1swEdXEAm-yl3vM3-2HPniDGev6U8BrLDCg&mra=dpe&mrsp=2&sz=5&via=1,2&t=h&z=5

I-40...Grand Canyon, Albuquerque, Amarillo (Cadillac Ranch sculpture), Dallas-Ft. Forth (stockyards, Dealy Plaza..site of JFK assassination), Shreveport, LA (casinos) ,Vicksburg, MS...(Civil War site and casinos), Jackson, MS, Montgomery AL (Selma nearby...the heart of the civil rights movement) then FL.

On the way back:
http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Orlando,+FL&daddr=los+angeles,+ca&hl=en&sll=31.31134,-99.811555&sspn=31.50314,38.979492&geocode=FeB1swEdXEAm-yl3vM3-2HPniDGev6U8BrLDCg;FYqYBwIdm77z-CkT2ifcXcfCgDH0CEYlb98v4g&mra=prev&t=h&z=5

(EDIT: You need to dip south a bit from this route to visit New Orleans, basically just stay on I-10 instead of following I-12 north of Lake Pontchartrain. I-12 is essentially a bypass around New Orleans.)

Gulf Coast sites I had already described in above post, Houston, San Antonio, (Austin?), El Paso, Tuscon, AZ, Phoenix, AZ...desert route this time instead of the mountains with I-40/RT 66) to Southern California.
 
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Macky-Mac

macrumors 68030
May 18, 2004
2,592
1,149
I definitely haven't put enough time into the logistics of this :p

Please bare in mind that this road trip is being planned very much in the background because of my impending trip in March, I'm not stupid etc, I just haven't had time to sit down and really think about this road trip.

Flying back probably will be cheaper than driving tbh, my friend will undoubtedly have to get her flight back to the UK from SFO or LAX (because of crappy one way US flight laws) and I doubt she'll be happy about paying for a return to LAX and then getting a flight home from FL.

ANYWAY, logistics aside, could we get back to just places to visit? :p
crappy one way US flight laws? Haven't a clue as to what you're talking about with that one, but when you actually get to the logistics of your trip your friend will probably find the price of a roundtrip ticket flying into SFO or LAX with a return from Miami or Atlanta will be not much different than booking her return from SFO or LAX so she wont need to buy an additional ticket back to the west coast.

They used to call this an "open jaw" ticket

anyway, please excuse my additional comment on your logistics

edit;
a quick search on kayak shows the "multi-city" route for LHR-LAX-MIA-LHR to be £10 to £20 different than a roundtrip of LHR-LAX-LHR (which would also need additional fare to get her back to LAX of course)
 
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tktaylor1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2010
787
0
Nashville, TN
My question to the conversation earlier, Who drives at 60mph? All of the interstates in my state are 70. Very rarely do they hit 55. Cops don't pull you over unless you are going 15+ over.