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  1. Default Road Trip from Chicago to Huntington Beach CA.

    Any help on this would be great! This is my first post and from reading others this looks like there are a lot of people with some great stories and ideas for a trip like this. Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

    I am taking a quick road trip out to Huntington Beach CA with a buddy of mine who is moving there from Chicago. This is going to be a quick trip and one point along the way that we have to stop at is Phoenix AZ. So any ideas from Chicago to Phoenix and Phoenix to Huntington Beach, CA.

    The trip begins Wednesday June 15th 2011!

    Below are a few things that I would enjoy to get out of the trip:

    1. I love food, I watch the travel channel and would like to stop at any notable places along the way. Diners, Dives, anything goes.

    2. Miscellaneous stops that are quick and easy to access from main roads.

    3. Must see nature... any places that are must sees.

    Other than that I am open to any suggestions. This is kind of an off the cuff trip with no real plans other than an end destination. Hope to hear anyone's thoughts and tips!


    Last edited by Cjones; 05-13-2011 at 12:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Define 'Quick'

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    When you say that this will be a quick RoadTrip, just how long do you have for it. If you have four days one way, then you only have time to make the drive by the most direct route possible - I-55/I-44/I-40/I-17/I-10 - and no time for anything but the most handy of stops. With a few more days at your disposal, you can start to think about some detours and time-outs at some of the incredible natural wonders, great historic sites, and intriguing museums you'll otherwise just have to drive right past.

    Unfortunately, we really can't help you much on finding restaurants. There are simply too many of them and they change hands and chefs too often for a recommendation older than a few months to be meaningful. Your best bet, as always, is to "inquire locally" and ask people where they would eat in town if they wanted 'great barbecue', 'something they couldn't get elsewhere', or some such.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Restaurants off the top of my head which are "unique:

    1. Lambert's Cafe - Ozark, MO (NOTE: No credit cards, always crowded, plan to wait).
    The Travel Channel ranked them as the "World's Best Place to Pig Out".

    2. Big Texan - Amarillo, TX

    Both these would fall right in to your dinnertime. It's about 9 hours from Chicago to Ozark and from Ozark to Amarillo. The Big Texan also has a motel on premises and I even got a free breakfast buffet with the room when I stayed there. It was ranked as #10 on the same Best Places to Pig Out show.

    A shortcut to Phoenix from I-40: Get off at Holbrook, take AZ-77/377/277/260 to Payson, then AZ-87 to Phoenix. This cuts off 40 miles and is very scenic.

  4. Default Thanks!

    Thanks for the advice. I am going to be doing this in 4 days total. Tight schedule, but leaving Chicago we are going to go from Chi to STL, through STL and straight across MO and KS.

    Spending some brief time in CO and going through the Rockies. I have always wanted to see CO and this will be a great opportunity to drive through the mountains. After leaving CO we are going through the most eastern part of UT and hopefully stopping in the Canyon lands to camp for the night.

    Friday morning we are headed to Phoenix, AZ. If anyone knows some good stops along that trail, please let me know.

    Thanks for the advice so far and I look forward to hearing more!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'm sorry, but you really are trying to do more than is reasonable.

    It's 1500 miles from Chicago to Moab via St. Louis, and that is just far too much to reasonably to do 2 days. That alone really is 3 full days. Trying to it in 2 days would mean you'd have to be on the road for at least 14 hours a day each day - which is too much to do safely, much less have time to see things and/or doing any camping.

    If you want to have any time to enjoy the mountains, then first you need to plan to go a more direct route - via I-80/I-76 across Nebraska. That alone will save you more than 100 miles, although even that is probably too much to do in 2 days if you are trying to camp at the end. If you want to camp, you might be better off looking around The Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction.

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