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  1. Default California to Orlando in 7 days

    I will be taking a trip with my two daughters, 13 and 14, this summer from Southern California (Temecula) to Orlando, FL, where we'll be meeting up with family for a week at Disney World (including my wife, who will be flying – she couldn’t get the extra time off work).

    My return trip needs to be short (about 4 days), but we can spend a little more time on the way there – we will be driving from Saturday to Saturday, and we'll be leaving on the first week of July.

    I came across this site when trying to plan a route and fun things to do -- I've driven to FL before via the 10, which was overall uneventful (boring), and wanted to add a bit of fun to the trip.

    So, I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on either routes or attractions. We’re considering the Grand Canyon, but I know that would take us out of the way and perhaps take a day out of the trip. Any feedback is welcome.

    Thanks!


    Doug

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A four day transit?

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniTrippers
    I will be taking a trip with my two daughters, 13 and 14, this summer
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Temecula to Orlando -- that is a long drive. {I have to ask -- do you frequent the Temecula Pizza Company? Still the best place I have ever found for Stromboli} but I digress.
    My return trip needs to be short (about 4 days),
    Yikes! That is faster than professional drivers can go, I have done it in three days, but I would never recommend that to anyone!
    but we can spend a little more time on the way there – we will be driving from Saturday to Saturday, and we'll be leaving on the first week of July.
    This is a far more reasonable pace.
    I came across this site when trying to plan a route and fun things to do -- I've driven to FL before via the 10, which was overall uneventful (boring),
    The concept of "Boring" doesn't exist on this Forum
    and wanted to add a bit of fun to the trip.
    Which would be of more interest -- scenic views or interesting shopping locations? Do you prefer short hikes or long drives? How many hours per day would you like to be on the road? Would you like to stay over-night in small towns or major cities. Which is more appealing flowers in the desert or shield formations in a cave? I can think of at least 500 different places to stop and wander along your route. What kinds of things interest you and your daughters?

    Mark

  3. Default

    {I have to ask -- do you frequent the Temecula Pizza Company? Still the best place I have ever found for Stromboli}
    As a matter of fact, I do, quite, uh, frequently!

    Which would be of more interest -- scenic views or interesting shopping locations?
    Scenic views, definitely.

    Do you prefer short hikes or long drives?
    We like both, but I imagine with all the driving, the occasional hike would be nice.

    How many hours per day would you like to be on the road?
    Anywhere from 6 to 14, I'd guess, depending on how many stops and the length of the stops.

    Would you like to stay over-night in small towns or major cities.
    I'd much prefer the small towns.

    Which is more appealing flowers in the desert or shield formations in a cave?
    I would prefer the cave, but the occasional flower would be fine.

    I can think of at least 500 different places to stop and wander along your route. What kinds of things interest you and your daughters?

    Mark
    Let’s see – Our interests would probably encompass science, historical sights, nature, and museums.

    We'll be driving in a convertible - I'm not sure if that helps for input, but it gets us closer to being "outside" in a way.

    We're on a little bit of a budget, but not too tight. We'd rather sacrifice a really nice hotel for a really memorable excursion.


    Thanks!

    - Doug

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,059

    Default Convertible RoadTrip!

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniTrippers
    As a matter of fact, I do, quite, uh, frequently!
    One more digression -- is Felix Lopez still the chef there?
    Scenic views, definitely.
    For everyone in the car?

    Did you know that the Las Vegas strip is an officially-desginated scenic byway? OK, this is what I would do... I would kick-start the mountain-driving-convertible-aspect by heading east on SR-79 and cut north on County road 371 so you can drive the incomparable SR-74 over the top of Seven Level Hill before descending into Palm Desert. Jump on I-10 and head east to Desert Center and take the "short cut" SR-177 up to SR-62 and check out the roadside "rock art" as you head for the River. When you reach the Colorado River cross over and turn north on SR-95 (this is one of the prettiest sections of the River and you can only see it well from the Arizona side). Grab a couple of photos at London Bridge and the zoom up to I-40. Surprisingly, turn west to exit 1 and go north -- you will now be on the historic Route 66 -- travel up the highway and pay your homage to the burros at Oatman.


    If you are not too tired, you could head north on US-93 and cross Hoover Dam and stay the night at Las Vegas -- hey crusin' the strip at night in a convertible? Pretty darn cool!

    But probably in the interests of a safe 7 days of travel you should call it an early day and stay the night at Kingman. Kingman is growing like crazy -- hint don't get off at the first exit (Beale) the newer motels and shopping is at Andy Devine Avenue on the eastern side of town. The next day you could swing by the Grand Canyon, but it will take most of the day with summer-time crowds. I would save this trip for a dedicated Canyon run if you can later.

    Instead I would suggest trying to squeeze in Monument Valley via US-160 and US-163 and then zing eastward on US-550 back to Albuquerque and I-40 and then zip back to Las Cruces on I-25 (walk around old town) and thence into Texas.

    I don't think the timing works out this trip -- but sometime you might want to pencil in a dinner stop at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua and maybe a soak or two in the area's hot springs.

    If you didn't do the run to Las Cruces -- you could have turned east on I-40 at Albuquerque and followed sections of Route 66 eastward. Here is an excellent site for finding some of those great convertible crusin' places.

    Gotta make some time up and so have to bypass a few hundred cool stops, but your daughters might get a kick out of the "treatment" and get bathed by a professional at Hot Springs NP in Arkansas. And then I would follow the Mississippi River south on US-61 and then follow US49 to US-98 into Mobile and zip down to Pensacola. Once you reach Florida, you might want to check out Dave Hunter's latest book, it is the road bible I use when I am sleuthing out new stuff in the Sunshine State.

    Hope this is a good start of your planning.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-17-2006 at 09:56 AM. Reason: Finished my comment

  5. Default

    One more digression -- is Felix Lopez still the chef there?
    I don't know, but I'll check the next time we stop in.

    Thank you very much for your suggestions. I will definitely be using the CA/NV/AZ route to Vegas more than once - we had to Vegas about once a year, and that route sounds like a blast. Additionally, we have friends in Phoenix that I'll be visiting a couple of times a year. With that in mind, in addition to a future trip to the Grand Canyon, would you recommend saving time on the west coast and spending more time on the central / eastern region? Don't get me wrong - I love the route you've set out so far - it looks great.

    - Doug
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-17-2006 at 05:05 PM. Reason: removed a couple extra spaces

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Re-Wind and Zip Forward!

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniTrippers
    With that in mind, in addition to a future trip to the Grand Canyon, would you recommend saving time on the west coast and spending more time on the central / eastern region?
    Doug,

    Sure! if you are gonna do this section again in the near term. OK, given that parameter... I would zip my way to Yuma -- stop and get some silly vacation photos at the Territorial Prison. Make time to tour Kartchner Caverns and drive through Saguaro NP. If you are hankering for a scenic detour, I would take SR-80 at Benson and go through Tombstone, Bisbee and Douglas before rejoining I-10 near Rodeo, NM.

    Las Cruces would still be my choice for over-night destinations

    Mark

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