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  1. Default San Diego to NYC- 12 days

    Hello,

    My boyfriend and I are buying a car in CA. We have 12 days at the end of July to drive the car back to NYC.

    We are planning on driving through AZ, NM, TX, LA, MS, TN, WV, PA. We have a few stops planned: Austin/Houston to visit friends, New Orleans and the Smoky Mountains.

    The rest of the trip is very open and we'd love some advice on best routes and interesting places to visit/stop along the way. We're interested in small, off-the-beaten-path locations, national parks, etc.

    We appreciate any advice or information you can provide!

    Thank you,
    S

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    The good news is: I'm currently ON that same trip, and it seems like perhaps the same route. I'm writing a road trip report as we travel; it's over in the Road Trip Reports forum labeled "West Coast to East Coast, July 2011". We left San Diego yesterday.

    If you're going via I-40, Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest National Park are right along that interstate on the east side of Arizona. Grand Canyon is on the west side of Arizona, 50 miles north of I-40. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is in Tennessee, not far from that route. Once you are on I-81 (if this is the route you're taking), a side-jaunt that's available is from Waynesboro VA north - it's called the Skyline Drive, part of Shenandoah National Park.

    You might also poke around this website further and see what things you can find along your route, or on an alternate route. Then come back here and we can help you fine-tune your route and plans.

    BTW, 12 days is a wonderful amount of time to dedicate to the trip. You'll have time to visit quite a few places!


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA forums !

    With 12 day's available you certainly have time to do some 'wandering,' but driving across country means that there are thousands of routes and attractions to choose from. As Donna said, dig around the forums and use the road trip planning links in the tool bars above. In the Map centre you can create routes and find attractions along the way and you can get some lodging costs and ideas for places to stay in the 'Hotel' link. On multi day trips we don't recommend trying to cover more than 5-600 miles a day when looking to 'make up time,' with only short breaks for food, gas and bathroom breaks but no major sight seeing. So you will also need to consider how much time you are planning on staying with your friends and in New Orleans etc. Of your 12 days you can expect half of that time to be accounted for in the car, the other to go as and where you please.

    Once you have worked on your trip and other questions crop up, just ask and we will help to fill in the blanks

  4. Default

    Hi Donna and Dave,

    Thank you so much for your quick replies!

    To answer a few of your questions, we're planning on driving from San Diego through Tuscon to Austin and then Houston. More of a southern route than what you mentioned, Donna. From there we will continue to New Orleans. We're planning on spending 1 or 2 nights maximum in Houston and New Orleans.
    I guess I was wondering for that part of the trip if there were any special sights, towns, or attractions you would recommend? (Especially in Arizona, NM, and Texas).
    Once we leave New Orleans, we plan on driving north, perhaps along the Mississippi river for a while and then into TN up through the Smoky Mountains and back to NYC. We are very open for this portion of the trip so any especially scenic routes, any charming towns or attractions to visit.

    Thanks again for your replies and advice thus far!

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is in Tennessee, not far from that route. Once you are on I-81 (if this is the route you're taking), a side-jaunt that's available is from Waynesboro VA north - it's called the Skyline Drive, part of Shenandoah National Park.
    Donna
    Yes- we are planning on taking I-81. Thanks for this side trip idea!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    After leaving New Orleans, I'd recommend taking the Natchez Trace Parkway from Natchez to Nashville.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Tucson has the Saguaro National Monument. The ones on the east side are the older ones. The west side has the thicker forest type grove. (Or do I have that reversed?) There is also a fantastic museum, called the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. (Don't try to take an RV over Gates Pass to get there.) Nearby to the museum is Old Tucson, a western desert movie and TV lot. It's rather "touristy", so be advised.

    In NM, along the southern route, there's Faywood Hot Springs and Silver City. My parents absolutely loved Faywood for years, until they took the RV park and changed it a lot.

    Houston - - if you're interested, the NASA Houston Space Center has a tour available.

    Another thought is to go to the RTA mapping center, map out your route, and then there will be these little dots that pop up and tell you what else there is to see.


    Donna

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