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  1. Default Las Vegas - Memphis - Florida

    We are from Ireland and are considering driving from Las Vegas - Memphis - Punta Gorda FL, in mid November. Mapquest shows this around 37 hours driving.

    We have 10 days for the journey and would like to spend 2/3 days in Memphis so this would allow 7/8 days driving. There are 4 of our and we would hire a mid size SUV. I know about the drop charge but does the hire cars insurance cover for out of state driving?

    So we are thinking of around 5 hours driving a day. I'd apprecaite any information or recomendations anyone can give if they have driven this route before.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Allow more.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Mapping programs are hugely optimistic when it comes to travel times, they tend to forget that us humans need to eat, go to the bathroom and sleep, plus the car needs fuel and we can face delays such as traffic construction or delays because of congestion. Adding 20% to there prediction, or averaging around 57 mph on main routes with those stops etc will give you a more realistic travel time of around 44 hours, plus any detours into City's or other attractions. With the 8 days it will still be quite comfortable and under 6 hours a day before you get side tracked.

    There are many options that you could explore along the way, a short way from Vegas is the Hoover dam, you could hop on part of old route 66 from Kingman through Seligman, and then of course there is the Grand canyon, but all along the route possibilities will present themselves. With a good map to hand, take a look around the RTA site [check out the roadtrip planning and routes in the tool bar above] and look at what appeals to you along the way, for example Memphis has strong connections to Elvis, and if that is of interest to you, you might want to stop in Tupelo on US 78, Elvis's birthplace, as you head towards Florida.

    As for the car rental, check with the company you are hiring from to see what is and isn't covered, but generally speaking, the cover you have will cover wherever you travel.

    Enjoy the planning and if you have other questions, just ask.

  3. #3


    Memphis is fine, but consider driving through Middle and East Tennessee as well. If you're interested in country music Nashville is a must, but there are enough random interesting sites to merit an overnight for most anyone. If you like the outdoors (rivers, gorges, and canyons) and Southern history Chattanooga is well worth your time, but what with the urban riverfront and super awesome aquarium and art museum it's well worth an overnight as well. If you do decide to not take the easy way straight to Florida. Tennessee is a very rich state. In Alabama you've got a little more Deep South and some merits in Birmingham and such, but... yeah. Tennessee.

    Keep in mind the enormous variance of worthwhileness among the states. Kansas is great for farming and ranching and driving straight through. New Mexico is great for driving straight through. Well, I do a discredit there, NM has Carlsbad and Santa Fe. Besides that... So in the areas of less interest to you it might make sense to do a full day of driving just to pull through it, and then you can drive shorter distances in richer parts of the country and do more exploring. Like, I would try to do the latter half of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and part of Arkansas in one day if possible. Just to get it over with. Maybe you'd have to start that in Alberquerque to be doable. But yeah. They're called the Great Plains because they are large.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default I Couldn't Disagree More

    Céad Míle Fáilte!

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCuzco
    Kansas is great for ... driving straight through.
    Such generalizations, besides being in direct contravention of this web site's Good Neighbor Policy are simply not true. I have had some great adventures in Kansas precisely because I did not expect anything more from it other than that it be Kansas. Much more than just Great Plains, Kansas has a rich wildlife and an astonishing Old West and Cowboy heritage, is the center of a thriving and rich aircraft history and manufacturing base. and is home to some truly amazing people. Those who expect it to be boring, and simply derive straight through on the Interstate will find exactly what they expect - a boring drive. Don't fall into that trap regardless of where you go.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCuzco
    I would try to do the latter half of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and part of Arkansas in one day if possible.
    This bit of advice is simply suicidal. Besides requiring that you drive by (without so much as a glance at) a kilometer wide impact crater, petrified trees tens of millions of years old, ancient Anasazi petroglyphs, truly unique hands on sculptures involving rusting hulks of automobiles, a memorial to those who died in the biggest single act of domestic terrorism in US history, museums devoted to cowboys and Indians, and the only place in the world where you can dig for and keep diamonds (sounds like a 'rich' area to me), it would mean that you would have to drive 1600 miles in 24 hours and that is simply unsafe in anybody's book.

    So, take your time, explore the area you're driving through, and the rest will take care of itself. Even taking just 5 days between Las Vegas and Memphis would leave time for a visit to the Grand Canyon and a goodly sampling of the places listed above.


  5. #5


    ...the only place in the world where you can dig for and keep diamonds (sounds like a 'rich' area to me)
    Haha, absolutely! Like Vegas but with the stakes in your favor. And the fun of digging for diamonds.

    I included a whole paragraph about the subjectivity of determining the richness of any region but accidentally removed it. I guess this is what I get for not rereading my posts to make sure everything I want is in!

    Alberquerque to Fort Smith (sorry, wrote Fort Worth before), as I mentioned, is definitely doable. From Flagstaff definitely is not.

    Just for the clarification of my own opinion, I don't by any means posit that this part of the south/midwest is a desolate wasteland.

    Well, scratch that. It is a desolate wasteland, mostly. What I mean to say is that (at least in my research, small experience in one road trip, and your post, AZBuck) there are definitely things worth seeing there. However, the reason for my feelings on the region is just very low density of those things. With any group of activities some things'll hit and some'll miss. But in an area the size of the South I can count on my hands the number of places that interest me. In the South, just listing, I would continue for pages. Not because this other part of the country is bad. It's just a desolate wasteland or at least not super fertile land, which means fewer people and less history and culture. And (and again this is subjective) it doesn't have the ecology and landscape of some other unpopulated lands (Alaska) to be super cool just in itself. Which is the logic behind my hyperbolic suggestion to cross it in a day.

    [And thank you AZbuck for mentioning the Good Neighbor Policy. I'll be sure to make my posts much clearer in the future. As you can see, I'm still pretty new here and figuring things out. I'm a legendary figure (there's another hyperbole for you) on another travel forum so it takes some work to accustom oneself to the new culture.]
    Last edited by BlueCuzco; 07-04-2010 at 06:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Just Getting Started on Kansas!

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCuzco View Post
    Kansas is great for farming and ranching and driving straight through.
    Actually I was working on a Folks Art article for our Routes section just yesterday -- there are (probably) more examples of folk art in Kansas than just about anywhere and the very first natural monument was named in Kansas -- Do you know where it is?


  7. Default California-Memphis-Florida in November


    After our visit to Las Vegas we are planning on driving from Perris, Ca to Punta Gorda, Fl, via Memphis, TN in early/mid November. There will be three adults and 1 child, we have hired a standard SUV, Chevrolet Tahoe or similar.

    We are planning on taking the most direct route to Memphis and then onto Florida.

    My main question would be are we likely to hit any serious weather taking this route in November? I know you can never be sure with the weather, my wife thinks we will be fine, I am slightly more cautious.

    Thanks in advance for any help.


    Please keep all questions about this trip in this thread, Thankyou.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 09-05-2010 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Merged threads.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A bit of both.

    You have answered your own question and you are right, you can't be sure of what the weather will do, especially this far in advance.

    Both you and your wife are right, you will be fine with caution. As you are taking a "direct route," it will most likely be mainly on Interstate/main highway and those are the priority to keep open and the country moving. Allow enough time for your journey, keep in touch with the current weather forecasts while travelling, and in the event of a storm that you don't feel comfortable with just stop somewhere safe and let it pass by.

    This doesn't mean you should stick to Interstate, or shouldn't detour if you wish to do some sight seeing, just keep informed.

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