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  1. #1

    Default North Carolina to Las Vegas on I-40

    Hi - I'm new to roadtrip America, but looks like I will love it! My husband and I are planning a trip from North Carolina to Las Vegas, leaving on Friday of this week. We plan to take I-40 all the way and our first stop will be in Oklahoma City (Yikes! - the man wants to drive 16 - 18 hours the first day!!) I see his reasoning, in that we can drive from our home on day trips to see the sites as far as Nashville or even Oklahoma City. So, my question to you is: what are the most important sites along I-40 to be sure to see. Another question is - are there interesting places to eat along the way. Husband has been diagnosed with diabetes, taking insulin 3 times a day and I am worried that we may not have restaurants readily available. We are taking a breather after Okla City and so our next stop will be the Grand Canyon. On the way back, we plan to stop in Albequrque, NM. Any suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,885

    Default Recommendation Number One

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The single most important piece of advice we can offer here is to NOT believe the driving time estimates you get from MapQuest, Google Maps, or any other online software. It is over 1000 miles from Charlotte to Oklahoma City. That cannot be driven in one day - no way, no how. The estimate of 16 hours assumes that you will never need to stop for gas, that you will never need to eat, that you will never have to slow down for traffic (or even to the speed limit!), that nature will never call, in short, that everything will go perfectly and that you are supermen. In the real world, that is a two day drive. Trying to do it in one will just leave you exhausted and cranky at the outset of your trip and playing catch up for the rest of it. It is immaterial that you can see the places near you on day trips from home. This is about setting yourselves up for an enjoyable vacation later. Do NOT try to drive more than 550 miles or so a day, and don't plan on seeing much on those days that you do. The same thing applies to the drive from OKC to the Grand Canyon, that is another 2 day drive. If you insist on spending anything equal to or less than 4 days in getting from North Carolina to the Grand Canyon, it is pointless to recommend stops along the way - you won't have time.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default Jeanne 43

    Thank you for your response. I agree with you completely - and now must find a way to convince my husband that we are setting ourselves up for a horrible trip by driving too far the first day. My thoughts are to leave a day early and drive as far as Nashville the first day. That way, we could rest and start out early on Saturday and see some sites. Maybe you could recommend something to see that would entice him to do this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,477

    Default I-40 Atractions

    Here is list AZBuck compiled for all major Interstate Highways (scroll down the page to I-40) You can also check this A to Z list for all of the states you will be driving through.

    If you can stretch this trip into five days one way -- I would be happy to weigh in with my personal choices -- but if you can't allow that time -- then you will need to keep hammer down, because you will be on the road about 20 hours a day...

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,885

    Default A Wealth of Possibilities

    That will, of course, depend on your husband's interests. Major attractions would include the Great Smoky Mountains, Shiloh Battlefield, Graceland, the Ozarks, the Oklahoma City Memorial, Cadillac Ranch, Petroglyph National Monument, the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. But there are a host of other possibilities including the many lesser known low-key stops Mark pointed you to that would make the trip personal and more enjoyable than a death march

    AZBuck

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you for suggesting Shiloh as a stopping place. We now are leaving a day early and plan to drive as far as Memphis, see Shiloh the next day and then continue on to Oklahoma City. I appreciate your help!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    168

    Default Albuquerque

    On the way back, we plan to stop in Albuquerque, NM.
    Jeanne, here is a list of some restaurants in Albuquerque/New Mexico that might be suitable for you. Yanni’s and Barry’s Oasis are very good, and Richard’s is more health-oriented than most New Mexican-style restaurants. Here is a map of Albuquerque showing where some restaurants and local attractions are located.

    I hope you have a great trip!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,477

    Default Howard is our local expert!

    Howard,

    Thanks for another great post -- great resource for the Albuquerque area!

    Mark

    PS -- I never could figure out the answer to your off-line Google Maps query -- sorry

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