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  1. Default New Orleans to Vegas - 14 Day Road Trip

    Hi all,

    I am planning on flying to New Orleans from London in September with 2 friends.

    We want to do a road trip from NO to Vegas over a 14 day Period, with stop overs in the following. (I know car rental one way fees are expensive, but this is all sorted, all that is left is the places to visit and stop over at)

    New Orleans, LA
    Houston, TX
    Dallas, TX
    Roswell, NM
    Santa Fe, NM
    Albuquerque, NM
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Grand Canyan
    Las Vegas, NV

    Never been to South West US before, so we really have no idea, and just picked random cities we have heard of that fit along the way to make it a adventure, but wanted to post here to get peoples advise on what is best to see, cities to stay over night. NO, Houston and Vegas are are our main reason for this trip and everything in between is a bonus.

    Plan to stay 2 or 3 nights in each of NO, Houston, Dallas and Vegas, and then devide the remaining time between the others.

    Advice (positive or negative) is more the welcome.

    Cheers all


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

    Default Mix it up.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your trip is certainly doable and at quite a relaxed pace, although with a couple of days in each City and plus you will need 4 days of drive time it leaves you couple of days to 'play with'. We don't do 'best' really as it is up to the individual to decide what best suits their tastes and you will find no shortage of info to help you decide by searching around the RTA site. It would seem you have based your trip mainly around Cities and to 'mix things up' a bit, I would consider heading to the Four corners area from Santa Fe and enter the Grand canyon from the East via Monument Valley, perhaps stopping there the night. That would give you a feel of the desert Southwest and some 2 lane highways away from Interstate. Other places of interest could include Carlsbad Caverns, Taos Pueblo, Mesa Verde and Canyon De Chelley.

    Have a look around and if you have any specific questions, please ask.

  3. Default


    thankyou for your quick reply. Your suggestions are great, and your absolutely right that we should mix it up to really experience all aspects of the states rather then just the big cities.

    I will do some research on the four corners area as you mentioned. and the rest.

    Will get back to you if any other question.

    Many thanks again

  4. Default

    Hi, I have drawn up a rough route. Let me know what you guys think and if its do-able in 14 days?

    I know the longest drive between Austin and Carlsbad Caverns, so would look to probably stop over night between them.

    Plan to stay 2 or 3 nights in each of NO, Houston, Austin and Vegas, and then devide the remaining time between the others.

    Distance/Time based off googlemaps

    Planned Route – 2,280miles – 1day 19hours
    A) New Orleans, LA 349 mi – about 5 hours 41 mins
    B) Houston, TX 161 mi – about 2 hours 55 mins
    C) Austin, TX 515 mi – about 9 hours 35 mins
    D) Carlsbad Caverns 111 mi – about 2 hours 44 mins
    E) Roswell, NM 193 mi – about 3 hours 46 mins
    F) Santa Fe, NM 73.9 mi – about 1 hour 35 mins
    G) Taos Pueblo, NM 263 mi – about 5 hours 19 mins
    H) Mesa Verde Park 161 mi – about 3 hours 14 mins
    Four Corners (AZ, NM, UT, CL) (QUICK STOPOVER)
    I) Monument Valley 176 mi – about 3 hours 26 mins
    J) Grand Canyon 276 mi – about 4 hours 49 mins
    K) Las Vegas, NV

    Thanks in advanced

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You should add about 20% to the computer generated drive times to reflect reality. Once you do that, make your own decision as to whether the trip is realistic!

    However, if you are planning on spending "2 or 3 days" in each of 4 different cities, I don't think 14 days will be enough, you may want to cut your time in each city back. Attractions such as (and especially) the Grand Canyon can't be seen in just a couple hours.

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


    All your drive times are optimistic as said above, but each individual journey is doable. You will need all of 4 full days for the driving alone so you will mainly be limited to the "2 nights" option and at least a full day [depending on arrival and departure times] in the Cities to have time to enjoy other spots on your list.

  7. Default

    Yes, we may have to look at cutting some of those places out to allow us more time to see other things. I think the 2 night option is the way to go
    A Few question if you dont mind

    1) 2 or 3 days in each of Houston or Austin?

    2) Carlsbad Caverns or White Sands National Monument. And How many hours roughly is needed at either?

    3) Best place to stopover for a night between Austin and Roswell. Looking for some country town to show us the real texas.

    4) Would it be better to go Roswell - Albuquerque - Mesa Verde Park rather then via Santa Fe and then Taos Pueblo. This would save some time and a day sleep over.

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default By the Numbers

    1) Either, Or, or More or Less. It's entirely up to you.

    2) The shortest Ranger-led tours at Carlsbad are about 2 hours long and go up to 4. You will need to arrive early and make sure that you have a reservation. Similarly, there is a three hour Ranger-led tour of the White Sands Playa, but there are also shorter 20 minute interpretive talks. Otherwise, what holds true of all National Parks holds true at these two. You can spend as little as two minutes at the entrance to get your picture with the sign, or spend days in the park really exploring. See (1) - It's entirely up to you.

    3) Your choices are somewhat limited. fort Stockton would be the best choice, considering dividing your time (assuming you're going to stop at Carlsbad on Day 2) and best choice of accommodations, Your only other real choice is Pecos.

    4) See (1) - This is entirely up to you. Really, no one can tell you the best way to apportion your time among your interests except you.


  9. Default

    Just wondering what the draw is for Houston as I don't think of it as much of a tourist destination. Personally, I'd much prefer time in Austin vs Houston, but I'm sure there are interesting places that Houston locals can point you to if you've got friends or family there. You might want to take a trip to Galveston while you're down that way or get to the coast at some point.

    That drive across West Texas was long and flat and broken up by K-Bob's steakhouses and gas stations and oil derricks and mesas and buttes and not much else the last time I drove it which, admittedly, was a long time ago. It's interesting country, though, and very different from my native soil so while I wouldn't call it scenic necessarily (in a "purple mountain's majesty" sense) it was different and captured my interest for as long as it took to drive across it. I can't really think of anywhere to stop. I think I just drove until I needed to eat or use the bathroom. I did White Sands and I think a couple of hours was about what I spent there. Maybe 3? Never been to Carlsbad, but I might do that one if I had a choice between the two next time. Watch what you wish for on the country town in Texas thing. I thought, 'Oh, I'll stop in Pecos to have something to eat' and I had two choices a steakhouse (maybe a K-Bob's) and Pizza Hut. Those West Texas towns are teeny and I doubt seriously if every one has a hotel or place for you to stay.

    I think I would consider spending the night in Sante Fe rather than Albuquerque, skipping Taos, and on to Durango (spending the night there, or in Cortez) to Mesa Verde then to the Grand Canyon. Durango is amazing, especially after that West Texas scenery. It will be very different from all the other SW landscapes. Google for pictures. Sante Fe is beautiful and I think you will have the opportunity to see more American Indian/Native American towns. I believe there may be other opportunities for seeing pueblos and I know you will be going through the Navajo Nation and/or Hopi Nations on your way to the Grand Canyon. I think the Taos Pueblo is very interesting, but you're going to be seeing a lot of similar stuff, so I think I'd make a little time for Durango if you can since it will be different from the rest of the SW sites.

    I think the rest sounds do-able.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Durango is one of my favorite towns in the area. I think it's a lot nicer place to stay than Cortez.

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