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  1. Default Denver -> Memphis: best route?

    Which is better - Denver to Wichita, Tulsa, Little Rock, to Memphis? Or Denver to Kansas City, St Louis, then south to Memphis? I'm looking for scenery and nice driving, not so much things to do along the way, unless there's a great National Park or something like that.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default 'Best' is a Greased Pig

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you read enough of people's opinions on these forums, you'll find one (wo)man's best is another's worst. Only you can decide which route is best for you. That said, let's examine the differences between the two routes. The second routes is longer than the first, but only by about 30 miles, hardly a major consideration in a two day drive. The second route goes through larger cities, but by the same token you might find more to do in Kansas City and St. Louis than in Tulsa and Little Rock. Either of those routes could be driven relatively easily in two days, and I'd be inclined to give the nod to the St. Louis route since I have had great times in Kansas City (Truman's Home) and St. Louis (Jefferson Westward Expansion Memorial) as well as the old river town of Ste. Genevieve.

    But if you're looking for relaxed driving and possible parks and have a third day available , then perhaps you might want to look at something non-Interstate defined such as: US-40/US-287 southeast from Limon, CO to US-50 east through Kansas. At Dodge City take US-400 to US-54 and Greensburg which is rebuilding itself from the ground up after a devastating tornado a few years ago. After Wichita, a great stop if your an airplane buff, stairstep southeastward on US-54/US-400/US-59/OK-10/MO-43 to US-60, Newton County HH and Barry County B to Purdy, MO. (You did say you wanted scenery and nice driving, did you not?) Finally, MO-37/MO-112/MO-76/MO-86 through the Cassville area will put you onto AK-143 and US-62 through the Arkansas Ozarks to Walnut Ridge, and US-63 the rest of the way to Memphis.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-17-2010 at 04:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The fastest route is I-70/I-135 to Wichita, I-35 to US-412 (Cimarron Turnpike) to Tulsa, then the Muscogee Turnpike to I-40. There are toll roads involved. This is a full 2 day drive with an overnight around the KS/OK border. Going via St. Louis adds about 45 minutes, overnight would be in the Kansas City area. How many days do you have allocated to make this trip? To get off the beaten path, you will have to add a day.

  4. #4


    If you have the time to make it a 3-day trip, there are three places along the second route that would be great to visit. In Kansas City visit the Steamboat Arabia Museum. Drive the 4 hours to St Louis and go up in the Gateway Arch. Then take a couple of hours to tour the Anheuser Busch Brewery. You get to see some of the Clydedales there, too.

    The drive from St Louis down to Memphis is only about 5 hours, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it after sampling two of the brews. Overnight in St. Louis instead. Make day 2 your touring day in KC and St Louis, and then make it a liesurly drive down I-55 to Memphis.

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