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  1. Default DC to Dallas to San Francisco: Tips/Stops

    Hello. I'm moving from DC to San Francisco in May/June and trying to plan stops.

    I can usually drive 8 hours per day comfortably and push it to 11 or so if need be. But I think I won't be in a big hurry.

    From DC to Dallas -- I'm thinking stopping in Nashville looks right? What do you think -- ever drive DC all the way to Memphis?

    Then either Nashville or Memphis to Dallas.

    How would you divide it into two stops?

    From Dallas to San Francisco is a total mystery. I'm hoping to see the Grand Canyon and imagine this leg would take three days at minimum? No idea where to stop so suggestions are welcome.

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default In 8-10?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    8-10 hours per day is a good number to shoot for during a cross country trip. That means covering about 500 miles per day.

    That means even going to Nashville is farther than you'll want to cover. That's more than 650 miles, and you'd be looking at 12 or more hours on the road. At a more reasonable pace, you'll need two overnight stops to make it to Dallas. I'd shoot for Knoxville the first night, and then have a relatively easy day stopping in Memphis on night two. Or if you want to cut your trip down to 2.5 days, then you could easily push onto little rock on the second day.

    The same with the western leg. You could make the trip from Dallas to SF in 3 roughly 10 hour days, but that wouldn't include time for a side trip to the Grand Canyon. Just to make that trip with the one stop, I think you'll need 4 days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Adding days possible?

    Yes, I agree that you can cover the US in about 5 days, driving 8-10 hours per day for 500 miles. But I'm not sure that's the best way to do it. If you can, add a few days so you can lower your miles a bit each day. I really prefer to stick to around 350-400 miles so I can explore, mosey, and not feel like I have to hurry. If you can add days so you can do that, the more fun you'll have along the way.

    As for things to see, what kinds of things interest you? The more you can tell us about what types of things you like, the better we can give you advice that fits you.

    You might also get a map and just check out the various parks, etc. listed. Also cities. I'm sure things will jump out at you.

    One common route you might take is to pick up I-40 wherever convenient and scout out some Route 66 places. You'll probably be going that way at some point anyway so you might as well enjoy the kitsch!

  4. Default Thanks-- Here is more info . . .

    I think DC to Nashville is a bit ambitious as well. Knoxville looks good. Then Knoxville to Little Rock and Little Rock to Dallas.

    I'm not familiar with Little Rock, but would want to hit the Clinton Library when I was in town. I may check Jan and Michael Stern's Roadfood info to find some cool places along the way to eat with the locals.

    Basically, we like food, pretty and natural places, and cute towns.

    I'm thinking we want to try to hit Santa Fe (hits all of the above), then Flagstaff or staying closer to the Canyon, then Vegas, then San Francisco?

    I am so amazed at these forums. Wonderful people and full of information!

    Is this filling in a bit? Sound possible?

    Thank you so much!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Relax, Enjoy

    Well, there's lots of natural beauty and cute towns along the way. Just a few... 3 or 4 hours into your trip (lunch time!) check out Lexington, VA. Also take at least a short drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, perhaps after lunch between Lexington and Roanoke. Now between Knoxville and Dallas, I think I'd make my overnight stop in Memphis rather than Little Rock. It more evenly divides the two days' drives and would let you take a very relaxing, scenic and historic drive by taking the Natchez Trace Parkway southeast from Nashville and then US-64 across southern Tennessee, with a stop at Shiloh, to Memphis. Then the next day, depending on how much time you spend in Little Rock, you could also visit Hope. If you want to continue at a relaxed pace after Dallas, and see Santa Fe, and see the Grand Canyon, then you're going to need 4 days minimum. That would put stops in roughly Vega, TX; Gallup, NM; and Kingman, AZ. Between Santa Fe and the Canyon, be sure to take the time to see Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. Then from Flagstaff head north on US-89 and stop at the Cameron Trading Post before driving along the south rim of the Canyon on US-180/AZ-64 to Williams


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