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  1. Default knoxville, tn to san francisco, ca (3500 miles)

    hey guys,

    i'm moving into san francisco on june 7, and i've been debating whether i should ship my car (a 2003 honda accord) over and fly or if i should attempt the cross-country jaunt. either way, my two parents are also coming along. none of us have ever attempted such a feat.

    the basic plan is to go on i-40 and then head north on i-5. no one destination (besides san francisco) en route is indispensable, but we would like to see the grand canyon and some historic new mexico if possible.

    day 1 - knoxville to little rock
    day 2 - little rock to amarillo
    day 3 - amarillo to albuquerque
    day 4 - hang out in nm?
    day 5 - amarillo to flagstaff (or maybe somewhere closer to grand canyon? never been out this way)
    day 6 - hang out at the grand canyon? i don't know anything about north rim/south rim so any words of wisdom regarding the grand canyon and lodging, etc. would be awesome.
    day 7 - flagstaff to bakersfield
    day 8 - to sf

    there isn't much sightseeing involved here, mostly because i don't know much about this area. i think we could devote possibly 10 days to this trip, so a few more destinations would be fine.

    any help is much appreciated!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Fly Low

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Knoxville to San Francisco is just under 2500 miles by the route you're taking, and so could be done comfortably in 5 days. With 10 days, you'll have quite a lot of time for detours and exploring natural and historic wonders. Around here, we tend to think that you get a better view of the countryside from 0 rather than 35,000 feet.

    Since you asked specifically about New Mexico and the area around the Grand Canyon, I'll concentrate on those. Taos and Santa Fe have a whole lot of history and charm tied up in them. A few of the places I've enjoyed are:

    The Kitt Carson Home and Museum
    Taos Pueblo

    On the way between Taos and Santa Fe:
    The High Road
    El Santuario de Chimayo

    Santa Fe
    Palace of the Governors
    St Francis Cathedral

    Petroglyph National Monument
    and south of town
    Salinas Pueblos

    On the drive from Albuquerque to the Grand Canyon:
    El Malpais National Monument
    Petrified Forest National Park

    As for the area around the Grand Canyon, there are a lot of places to see and things to do. Check out this post for just some of them. And one final post listing a few of the other historic stops along I-40.


  3. Default thanks


    Thanks for the links. We ended up driving to Flagstaff via I-40 with detours in Santa Fe and Petrified Forest, and then we went to the North Rim, Bryce, and Zion, before passing through to LA via I-15. We stayed a few days there with family and then headed up to San Francisco via Gilroy as there was an accident on I-580 that morning.

    Where we stayed:
    Day #1 Ft. Smith, AR. We had brunch at the Old Country Store and saw (but didn't enter) Casey Jones's old house about an hour east of Memphis.
    #2 Tucumcari, NM. Some good Rte. 66 nostalgia.
    #3 Santa Fe, NM. I loved Santa Fe. One of my new favorite cities. The historic downtown is amazing, and my first sopapillas was great.
    #4 Flagstaff, AZ. Um, some more Rte. 66 stuff -- we ate at Ms. Zip's diner which featured some good pie. And Jay Leno had been there before us, apparently, as his picture was on the wall.
    #5 Kaibab Lodge, AZ. We spent part of the day at the North Rim, which was gorgeous. My parents aren't much into hardcore hiking, so we hung out at the Lodge (breathtaking view along with overpriced lunch) and went to Bright Angel and Cape Royal points.
    #6 Jacob Lake, AZ. Mule ride during the day to the Supai tunnel -- scary but fun. Jacob Lake wasn't so great, as we had a bad experience with dinner (tried to serve an egregiously rotted baked potato -- i don't think so!) and then unpleasant negotiations over lack of shampoo. In my mind, if you claim to have "run out" of small bottles of shampoo, and your store sells large bottles, you have the obligation to get shampoo to your customer, even if it's only opening a large bottle and dispensing just a little. Guess what they wanted us to do? We won't be back.
    #7 Pioneer Lodge in Springfield, UT. Spent the day at Bryce Canyon. Hoodoos totally rock. Rte. 12 in Utah rocks.
    #8 Las Vegas, NV. Spent the day at Zion National Park, which was big and not too hot in the morning. Then it got hot, and that's when we left for Vegas.
    #9 Los Angeles, CA. We stayed with family.

    Again, thanks for all the suggestions. The trip was a blast, and the total driving (including to SF) was almost 3,500 miles. All great places, except for Jacob Lake.


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