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  1. Default Summer cross-country road trip ideas

    Hi all!

    In a few weeks I will be leaving for a 3 week road trip across the country. We are starting in North Carolina and making the stops below. Any suggestions for additional places to stop by that wont be too out of the way would be much appreciated. We're also interested in any great hotels, camping grounds, cheap restaurants, or attractions in any of these places. Since the road trip will be in July/August, we'd also love to hear about any summer festivals or markets. Please comment if you have any suggestions!

    Raleigh, NC
    Nashville, TN
    Kansas City, MO
    Denver, CO
    Yellowstone, WY
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Las Vegas, NV
    Grand Canyon, AZ
    Albuquerque, NM
    Austin, TX
    New Orleans, LA
    Atlanta, GA
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 06-30-2010 at 02:48 PM. Reason: State code change

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    When I see lists like this, the first thing I question is how was the list derived? Were there already some things that the list maker wanted to see that were in these specific communities? Was there another party who told the list maker "You have to go there"? Or are the places just general ideas of a route, capable of being molded and changed based on the users preferences? Since you've asked about places that aren't "too far out of the way", it appears that you are set on going to most if not all of these places. Is that correct?

    I think I would trim some places out of the mix so you'll have more time to explore the remaining areas you'd like to see. Yellowstone and Grand Canyon in the same trip is a bold move, but I can definitely understand the desire to see both. If it were me, I would leave out the Austin - Raleigh section at the end. This still means 10-11 days of full-day drives, however (experience has shown that the maximum realistic mileage in a day is 500-550 miles.)

  3. #3


    This sounds like a most interesting trip and I envy you. I have made this trip (in a couple trips and much of it several times too!)

    Without knowing what your likes and preferences are I will give you some suggestions that might even same a bit of time and enable you to see more scenic stuff....Just be sure to do research in advance..this is what makes a journey even more enjoyable.

    Note: I am from Hickory so I know a bit about North Carolina.

    After leaving Nashville I would head to Hickman, Kentucky and cross the Mississippi on a ferry. While in the area, be sure to eat at Lambert's Throwed Rolls in Sikeston, Missouri.

    After Kansas City, I would go to Yellowstone next (north of I-29 and then west of I-80). This way you can take in Wall Drug, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse before arriving at Yellowstone. Note: take US 14 into Yellowstone from Sheridan.

    If you really want to go to Denver, check the map for the best route...if you bypass Denver, take US 89 all the way through the Tetons and over to I-15 and take it to Salt Lake City and then down to Vegas.

    There are two good ways to leave Vegas that are totally different. For me, my favorite is go south to Lauglin/Bullhead city and then on to Oatman (narrow road but very scenic and a neat tourist town in Oatman. This is old route 66. Take the same road to Kingman and hit I-40 and the Grand Canyon. The best way to the Canyon is to turn in Williams and come back down to Flagstaff.

    From here on, you will be on the interstate most of the way. You might want to stop in Winslow, Arizona so You can "Stand on the Corner" (remember the Eagles song). At the Arizona/New Mexico stateline. Neat gifts shops and there is a kiosk that has the best Indian fried bread around.

    I would get off and take Central Avenue west of Albuquerque, NM and take it through town. It runs into I-25. You could stop at the old town.
    Just east of El Paso (Fabens) is a neat dude ranch and steak house-The Cattleman's. Even the Travel and Food Channels rate it as one of the best steakhouses in the country. (better than anything in Kansas City or Denver).

    I hope this gives you some things to think about. Have a great trip and enjoy every minute it.


  4. #4

    Default Can you elaborate on the ferry at Hickman?

    Hello again scotishbob,

    Your neighbor Foy from Raleigh chiming in here. Not to hijack this thread, but in < a week I'm headed West and am intrigued by the notion of crossing the Mississippi on the ferry at Hickman, KY. Since any elaboration helps the original poster, can you kindly:

    Estimate the crossing time.
    Speculate on the waiting time late on a weekday afternoon. Are there two ferries passing back and forth as with most of the NC coastal ferry crossings, or just the one?
    Opine on the quickest route from Nashville, TN to the ferry. It appears that staying on I-24 to KY, thence W-SW to Hickman is the way, and that allows me to keep my plan to stop over and see my soon-to-deploy nephew at Ft Campbell as I pass through the region. Otherwise I see leaving I-40 west of Nashville, through Union City on TN 22 looks direct.

    I located the ferry's website, schedule etc, and there are a number of videos on YouTube. This is right up my alley to incorporate a bushwhack and an offbeat mode of transportation.

    Any details appreciated.


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