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  1. #1

    Default Chicago to San Diego

    My friend and I are drive the 2200 miles from the Chicago land area to San Diego to visit a friend in a month or so. We are very experienced drivers and have driven on long roadtrips throughout our lives so we don't really need any tips on driving, but it would be nice to get some recommendations for where we should stay and do on a budget? Camping, motels, hotels, etc. We are outdoor enthusiasts and wanted to hit the Grand Canyon, but are a bit unaware of everything the southwest has to offer. Maybe you have a suggestion on what we can do while driving through Iowa, Nebraska, and those other boring states??? If there is anything else you can think of to make our drive more pleasant and enlightening it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    For our route just type in chicago to san diego we will pretty much be following our gps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Missing Out on the Best

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Two things about your post jumped out at me, especially from a 'very experienced driver'. The first was calling "Iowa, Nebraska, and those other(s) boring states". Boring, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It is NOT the states that are boring, but you who have decided they are boring. Yes, if all you do is blast through a state on the Interstate assuming it is boring rather than exploring it, then it is going to be boring. You decided that. The second was "we will pretty much be following our gps". Again, that will simply have you following the most direct Interstate route and will not bring you near the Grand Canyon or anything else "the southwest has to offer" because it won't take you through the southwest other than a bit of southern Nevada.

    The best advice I can give you if you want a "pleasant and enlightening" trip is that you're going to have to get involved in the planning and execution of your trip and not depend on the states to entertain you and your GPS to guide you to anywhere but where you tell it. You need to sit down with a good atlas, or even better an interactive trip planning/mapping routine and see what's between you and your destination. Try different routes. You need to decide where you're going and what you want to see, not some bit of germanium doped silicon, not us, you! There are plenty of other resources to help you out everywhere on this website. Poke around.

    One thing to keep in mind as you plan. Camping in January across the Plains, Rockies, Great Basin, or wherever else you end up going, including the desert southwest, is not going to work unless you have very serious cold weather gear.


  3. #3

    Default In need of enlightment

    Thanks AZbuck for your suggestions.

    I didn't mean to be offensive i just rushed that post off this morning and i didn't really think how my choice of words would come across as.

    I didn't mean to imply that Iowa and Nebraska are boring, i just meant we would have to go through them quickly and in a boring way. I mean, you were right in saying that if we don't spend anytime seeing the states then it would make them boring, but that is the dilemma we are having, since we have no choice but to drive through them that way (its a matter of timing).

    Also I made a via point in my garmin gps to take us through the Grand Canyon. Its all we really have time for, but maybe there are other places that would be worth an hour or less at (this is not the amount of time we will be spending at the grand canyon).

    I will definitely use this advice "You need to decide where you're going and what you want to see, not some bit of germanium doped silicon, not us, you! There are plenty of other resources to help you out everywhere on this website. Poke around. " I don't know what i am really looking for, but it sounds like i just have to do a whole lot more planning on my own.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Perhaps you could tell us how many days you have allotted for this trip?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Now's the Time to Daydream

    Yeah, the main point I was trying to make is that you will get out of this trip in proportion to what you put in. Just relying in the GPS won't really get you much. At best it's a tertiary (not even secondary) navigation device. Actually at this point, you're at one of my favorite parts of a RoadTrip, the daydreaming portion, where you're free to consider anything and everything on the way as a potential stopping point. For starters, here are a few places for enjoyable time outs.

    One thing you will need to take into account is that the North Rim if the Grand Canyon will be closed, meaning that you will have to circle around to the south. So rather than just follow what your GPS suggests (which would take you along the Old Oregon Trail in western Nebraska, through some gorgeous scenery across the Colorado Rockies, and past Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks) also consider following the Interstates that replaced old US-66: I-55/I-44/I-40 through St. Louis and Oklahoma City (which besides those cities would take you by Cadillac Ranch, Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon).


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Eye opener.

    Even with the Grand canyon as a waypoint you can still make your own decisions as to how to get there. For instance there is only an hour between going through Denver using I 80/70 and St Louis/Oklahoma on I 44/40, with both offering many different attractions and route options.

    You also ask about places to stay, but we don't know how long you are planning for the trip, only that you have time restrictions. Once you have looked around a bit and decided on your route, [ or share it with us if you already have] and told us how long you have to make the journey we can help fill in the blanks and make some meaningful suggestions.

    If you are in a hurry, you will be looking at 4 day's of driving. With a little time at the GC, 5 days would really be needed, you could make overnight stops at Springfield MO, Amarillo TX, Winslow AZ, visit GC then Williams/Kingman AZ, SD.

    The Northerly route would put you around Lincoln NE, Idaho Springs CO, Tuba city AZ, [through Monument valley] Williams via GC. Instead of heading West on I 70 to Idaho Springs you could head South a little to Colorado Springs for the night. Continue South and then West on US 50 or US 160.

    Any of these will give you many options for stops along the way, but even then it's only an indication, from each route you can create many variables, and alter your timing to how much you have.

    I hope that has helped open your eye's a little wider and to realise why it is important that you do some of your own research as Buck suggested.

    Enjoy the planning and get back to us as and when you need help with your itinerary,

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