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  1. Default Australians driving from Los Angeles to New Orleans - December 2010


    Hoping someone can help with advice on interesting places to stop between LA and New Orleans?

    We are a young Australian couple who love kitsch Americana (and old American movies, blues and jazz music) - old gas stations/diners etc. and are hoping to see some amazing desert vistas/historic sites/frontier towns along the way.

    We leave LA on 13th December and have about about 14 days to get to New Orleans - I know this is quite a long trip so am concerned we might not have enough time? Some places we really want to see are:
    1. Joshua Tree NP (staying in Palm Springs)
    2. Yuma (prison museum)
    3. Calexico and cross border to Mexicali for a daytrip (is this worth it or is it cheesy/touristy)?
    4. Albuquerque to Santa Rosa along route 66
    5. Bisbee to stay at the Shadey Dell RV park (any other ideas on offbeat accommodation would be great!)
    6. Austin Texas for at least two nights to see some great music
    7. Some real Louisianan Cajun culture

    Any ideas and idea of time (how long would this take us - is two weeks enough?) would be most appreciated - we love this site and getting very excited already!!

    Julie and Josh

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Rest assured that 14 days is quite sufficient for a meandering, reasonably paced one-way drive from Los Angeles to New Orleans. Keep in mind that the United States and Australia are roughly the same size, but our road system is considerably more developed. Winter is an excellent time to be traveling in the desert southwest and deep south, but some of the places I'm going to suggest to you are either far enough north or at high enough elevation (or both) that snow or ice conditions are a distinct possibility, so try to build some flexibility into your itinerary.

    The main thing that's missing from your proposed route are two of the most amazing scenic attractions in the world, the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, both in northern Arizona. So, after seeing Yuma, Tucson (consider Old Tucson, a movie set west of town), Tombstone (I recommend The Birdcage) and Bisbee, you should head north up the Coronado Trail (US-191) to St. John's, then US-180 to Petrified Forest National Park and I-40 east to Flagstaff. Use US-180 to loop clockwise northwest and then east along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to Cameron, and then US-89/US-160 up into Monument Valley. From Teec Nos Pos you can use US-64/US-550 down to Albuquerque. Note that I have not mentioned Calexico/Mexicali. Travel into the border regions of Mexico is a bit on the dicey side these days with wars between the drug cartels, and with the Mexican government resulting in random gunfire on occasion. Also, it will not be possible for you to take ANY rental car across the border.

    Between Albuquerque and Austin, I'd suggest that you eschew the computer recommended I-25/I-10 for a bit more 'local color' by first heading east on I-40 and then coming down US-285 through Roswell (and its UFO mania) and past Carlsbad Caverns to I-10 at Fort Stockton. Then on your way to New Orleans, wander around a bit on the Creole Nature Trail in southwestern Louisiana.


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