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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Andover, England
    Posts
    11

    Default Washington DC to San Fran - 3 weeks

    Hi,
    We are planning a road trip next year as the title says from Washington to SF, i've tried to read as many threads on this route as possible but just wanted to get your knowledgable verdicts on it. Our first part of the route would be:

    Washington
    Nashville (via Appalachian and Great Smoky's)
    Memphis

    At this point we're not sure whether to head down to New Orleans for a day or so then head West from here and up to Santa Fe, or just carry on from Memphis across to Santa Fe. The final part of the journey will then be something like:

    Santa Fe
    Sedona
    Las Vegas (via Grand Canyon)
    LA
    San Francisco (trying to get to Death Valley and Yosemite somewhere along the way)

    Any input regarding the diversion to New Orleans would be most appreciated and obviously any hints or tips on must see's along the way.
    Thanks in advance
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    In your research you probably noticed a recurring theme - that it takes five days to travel from coast to coast. Now, the trip to New Orleans from Memphis is only 6-7 hours, so figure that would only add a day or two to your trip.

    With that said, is this a one way trip, or a round trip? That will help us provide you with points of interest along the way, and to help you develop a route plan.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Andover, England
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Hi and thanks for the quick response!

    This will be a one way trip and is a holiday so we're happy to take it at a leasurely pace with some longer relaxing stops at places we like. It sounds like the trip to New Orleans wouldn't be too much of a detour.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Andover, England
    Posts
    11

    Default Washington DC to San Francisco

    Hi,
    We're coming over from England for a road trip next month. I did post about it a while ago when we first had the idea but i can't find the original thread. Anyway, the flights are now booked, landing in DC 17th May and leaving SF on 4th June. We're going to spend a day in DC so won't pick the car up until 19, here's our rough route that we'll take:

    Washington DC
    Roanoke
    Nashville
    Memphis
    New Orleans
    Amarillo
    Santa Fe
    Flagstaff
    Las Vegas
    Death Valley (via Lone Pine)
    LA
    San Francisco

    I can't believe its come round so quick, we could do with a bit of advice around where to stay etc.
    Firstly, I'm not sure whether to stay in Roanoke or carry on a bit further to somewhere slightly smaller.

    You're experience and insight would be most appreciated.
    Thanks
    Chris
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-15-2009 at 05:42 AM. Reason: merged with original thread

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Andover, England
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Thanks for finding the original thread, as you can see we have refined it a little and booked the flights so we're on our way! I would like to know if Roanoke is a good place to stop.

    Looking a bit further along the trip we'll also need somewhere between New Orleans and Amarillo. Obviously Dallas is pretty much in the middle but would there be a smaller more picturesque place maybe?

    Thanks
    Chris

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you want to go farther than Roanoke, there are quite a few chain hotels in the Wytheville area where I-81 and I-77 join - or you can go to the "Tri-Cities" area of eastern Tennesee (Johnson City-Bristol-Kingsport). I would probably go as far as comfortable to give you the most time in Nashville.

    When you figure driving time, Dallas is past the halfway point from NO to Amarillo and might be a bit of a push. Not only that, Dallas can be difficult to get in and out of (and around) in rush hour, like any large city. I would probably stop somewhere before Dallas. I have never been there myself, but the closest town of any size to Dallas on the way in on I-20 is Tyler. I don't think it's particularly picturesque out there in East Texas. Perhaps something suburban to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex might be the best overall bet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Andover, England
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Well i was just wondering really whether Roanoke was a good place to stop or not, its had quite a few mentions.

    Do you think somewhere like Shreveport, Longview or Tyler would be good places between New Orleans and Dallas?

    I'm just trying to organise the car at the moment, we really would have liked to do it in a Mustang but it seems very hard to get a company to guarantee which car you can rent. I think we might just have to book something and ask when we get there, we can always upgrade. The one-way drop off fee is annoying!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default the whys

    Well, what do you find appealing about Roanoke? Is there something specific there that you want to see, or are you just looking for a place to spend the night and get back on the road the next morning?

    The "or similar" is standard operating procedure in the rental car industry. Your best bet is usually to contact the specific renting location directly and find out what cars they usually have available in their fleet. Also remember about one way fees, the rental car companies usually have to find a way to transport the cars back to their original location, so your one way trip does mean additional costs for them, they're just passing them along to you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Andover, England
    Posts
    11

    Default

    I think it will be just a place to spend the night and get back on the road in the morning, probably the same for the place between New Orleans and Amarillo. Just need a recommendation really.

    I have contacted the major car companies some do say they have Mustangs on their fleet but say i'd just have to book a car in that category and basically hope for the best, which seems a bit of a gamble. I appreciate they have to get the car back. Dollar seem to be the cheapest at the moment.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default in the fleet

    Are you contacting the corporate reservation numbers or are you specifically contacting the rental office where you would pick up the car? If you are talking to someone who would actually be helping you at the counter when you pick up the car, they should be able to give you a pretty good feel for how likely you are to actually get the car you want, and if you are nice to them, you could possibly get them to hold a specific model for you. Even that isn't a sure thing, but its about the best you can do, short of going with a company that offers a specialty line where you know exactly what kind of car you're getting, and pay a pretty penny for it too.

    If you are just looking for a place to spend a night, I'd drive till you think you are about ready to stop. It shouldn't be too difficult to find a place to stay in any of those areas.

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