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  1. Default Two young adults wanting to travel west

    I am 21 and my brother is 18, and we are both about to graduate from college and highschool. We want to take a roadtrip this summer from FL towards the west. I dont think we have really more than about 8-10 days and we'd like to be thrifty with our money. What are good sites along the way? a good destination? Our goal is to bond more before we both move away from each other next fall, and we just want to have fun. Any tips, advice, ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default Try the Land of Enchantment

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Congratulations to the two of you taking this opportunity before life inevitably pulls you down separate paths. Eight to ten days is kind of the bare minimum to get from Florida (I assumed Orlando for its central location) and the "west". Also you don't want to be spending all your time in the car. While that will be a good time to talk, a set of shared experiences will do better to help you bond, so don't try to do much more than say 400 miles a day, and take the time to see two or three sights a day. Walk. Observe. Compare Notes.

    With all that in mind, I'd suggest that you pick the Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque area as your destination. It's certainly western and as different from Florida as you're going to get with your time constraints, and there are a lot of things to do along the way, with multiple options for routes so that you don't have to take the same roads out and back and each day can be a new adventure. I'll be happy (as will others) to suggest stops along the way if you end up going to New Mexico, but an idea of you and your brother's interests would help.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Compatibility Quiz

    Quote Originally Posted by melissa513 View Post
    Any tips, advice, ideas?
    Even though you are siblings and probably keenly aware of each others personality traits, you still might find this quiz helpful in creating the parameters of what kind of roadtrip adventure will appeal to both of you.

    AZ Buck's suggestion is a good one -- another possible destination would be the Big Bend NP area -- lots of cool hikes and nice hot springs in the area. Here is an overview of the area (the article was written for older adventurers, but the underlying attractions appeal to all ages).

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default Carlsbad Cavern

    If you are in the area of Southern N.M., make sure you plan 3/4 of a day at Carlsbad Cavern. I have been to several caverns, most recently, Howe Cavern, NYS. Carlsbad, however, is the premier Cavern (cave) in this Country. It is both extensive with a multitude of stone formations as well as very informative. If you do have the opportunity to enjoy this great work of art, by nature, plan to be there at dusk for the viewing of thousands and thousands of bats as they leave the cave. It is something not to be missed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default The 1/2 day crawl tour is fun

    Quote Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
    If you are in the area of Southern N.M., make sure you plan 3/4 of a day at Carlsbad Cavern.
    Another fun thing to do is join a ranger for one of the 1/2 day crawl tours -- they are not too strenous and very memorable!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-20-2007 at 11:22 AM. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default An Outline

    As I said earlier, there are different ways to go and many things to see, but that doesn't help much. So let's try some concrete examples of a trip to Taos/Santa Fe/Albuquerque. The shortest route is I-75 to Atlanta, I-20 and US-78 to Memphis, I-40 to Amarillo, and finally US-87 and US-64 to Taos. At around 1850 miles, that means you'd have to cover a shade over 450 miles a day to make it in 4 days. That leaves a bit of time to get off the Interstates and do some exploring at places like Warm Springs, GA, Mud Island (besides other attractions in Memphis), the Arkansas River Valley, the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Capulin Volcano National Monument and Cimarron Canyon State Park. There's more, of course, but that should give you a general idea of what's available.

    While in New Mexico, be sure to check out the Taos Pueblo, and Kitt Carson's home in Taos; El Santuario de Chimaya on the back road down to Santa Fe; the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe; the Turquoise Trail down to Albuquerque; Petroglyph National Monument, the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, and the Sandia and Mountainaire districts of the Cibola National Forest around Albuquerque. Again, those are just for starters - there's tons more - way more than you can do in the two days available to you.

    Finally, a different, but not too much longer way back. Take I-40 back to Amarillo, but then 'backroad' it a bit by taking US-287 to Dallas, I-20 to Jackson, MS, US-49 and US-98 to Mobile, AL, and finally I-10 back into Florida. Again, this would take four days of about 450 miles a day and just a partial listing of available things to see and do would include Caprock Canyons State Park in Texas for one last bit of Southwest hiking; the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas; you can even visit the site of the gunning down of Bonnie and Clyde in Gibsland, LA; and one of our great Civil War sites in Vicksburg, MS.

    As I say, that's just an outline. There's more, and you can either search the web before you go, check with welcome centers as you enter a new state, serendipitously follow your nose when you see an interesting sign or intriguing looking road along the way, OR do something entirely different!

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Southern route?

    If you plan to stick pretty much to the southern route, here's a post with many suggestions.

    I agree with Buck and the Editor, Big Bend NP is worth the detour, especially if you like to "get away from it all" and it is an area of incredible natural beauty. Beware of animals on the road and, incidently, abondance of roadkills. Don't miss the Prada artsy window display on U.S. 90 near Valentine.

    Gen

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