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  1. Default Advice for Northern VA to Phoenix AZ roadtrip. First-timer

    Hi everyone!

    I have tons of experience traveling, but this is my first ever roadtrip. My brother is moving cross-country from Northern, VA to Phoenix, AZ and we'd like to make a roadtrip out of it. We'll have a car full of stuff and a turtle (ha!).

    We're late 20's and we don't have room in the car for camping stuff. So we'll mostly stay in m/hotels. (Plus, we have the turtle.)

    Mostly, I need suggestions for routes and cool places to stop and sightsee. Plus any other advice that you think worthy. We have six days to complete the trip which should allow lots of time to see things.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    6 days is a nice amount of time that will give you a chance to see quite a bit. However, I will caution that you're already looking at a trip that will take 4-5 full days of driving, so don't underestimate how big this country is as you make your plans.

    The most direct route would be to take I-81 to I-40 all the way across. A few of the things along the way could potentially include the Smokey Mountains, Nashville and Memphis, Hot Springs Arkansas, the OK City Bombing Memorial, the remnants of Route 66, Albuquerque/Santa Fe, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, and the Grand Canyon.

    I mention the Grand Canyon because it sounds like you are just going along for the trip and then will fly back east. If you are both staying in Arizona, I'd probably save that one for a weekend trip in the future, since it is about a 1.5 hour detour each way and such a big place, it would chew up nearly all of your "extra" day on the road. However, it is also a magnificent place and if you won't be returning to AZ anytime soon, its a detour I would strongly consider.

    Of course, that's just the direct route, with the time you've got, you do have plenty of other options and there are several other routes you could consider if there are other places you've always wanted to see.

  3. Default

    Awesome Advice! Thanks so much.

    Now that I'm further along in planning, I have a few follow-up questions:

    Do you think the Hot Springs are worth seeing in AR, if it's...umm...super hot, midsummer?
    And where can I find more info on Route 66. I've been searching around online and I haven't found a decent resource. Where exactly ARE the remnants of the Route? Thoughts?

    We're definitely stopping in Nashville, Memphis, OK City Bombing memorial, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Forest and Desert. Plus we're diverting for the meteor crater, Los Alamos and Acoma Pueblo. Oh and we're planning to stop for a good steak in Texas. Anyone know a place? We're going to drive rather quickly through AR and OK cuz it seems like the best stuff is in NM and AZ. yay!!! We're saving the Grand Canyon for another trip. That deserves some time. :)

    Thanks again for your advice.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not just a forum.

    You will find a wealth of info looking around the rest of the RTA travel pages in the tool bars above, including this page of Route 66 links.

    Enjoy !

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Starseed View Post
    Oh and we're planning to stop for a good steak in Texas. Anyone know a place?
    There's the Big Texan in Amarillo (which you should pass right through) that is home to the famous Free 72 oz steak if you eat it in an hour.

    but if you go there, make sure it's at an off-peak eating time because it tastes much better then.

    Also, if you're open to other states for satiating your steak needs... check out Cattleman's in OKC's Stockyard City (a district that sells all the cowboy hats, saddles, and equipment you could possibly want as rancher).

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