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  1. #1

    Default Florida to California

    We are planning a trip from Northern Florida to Northern California. We would like to take a northern route to be able to travel to Mt Rushmore area. We would like to leave Florida and start traveling North/West. Not interested in heading up through the Carolina's way. Our plans are to spend a total of about three weeks from start to finish. Once we reach California then we want to travel from San Fran down to Montaray (do the 17 mild drive, Aquarium) then a bit further south before starting the trek home. Any suggestions and must see places on the way to and fro would be greatly appreciated!! Hopefull, this adventure will be in late May/early June, 2012.
    Thanks

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

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by updegraff View Post
    We are planning a trip from Northern Florida to Northern California. We would like to take a northern route to be able to travel to Mt Rushmore area.
    You'll want to get a really nice USA map and start to plot the route you want to take. One suggestion would be to go up through the Great Smoky Mountains - a beautiful drive - and hit I-80. The Rushmore area has a lot surrounding it. From there you could also "do" Yellowstone, Flaming Gorge, Dinosaur National Monument, or Salt Lake City.

    Once we reach California then we want to travel from San Fran down to Monterey (do the 17 mile drive, Aquarium) then a bit further south before starting the trek home. Any suggestions and must see places on the way to and fro would be greatly appreciated!!
    The coastal trip is really gorgeous, and taking it from north to south allows you to take some of the pull-outs without crossing traffic to do so. You could also head back over the coastal mountains and see Yosemite before you head home.

    When my husband and I travel, we always TRY to take a different route home than the one we took to our original destination. Seems to me that you could take I-40 east and then head south somewhere along the line!

    Hope this is helpful - once you get your route fine-tuned, we can help by suggesting other things you might not want to miss.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default watching the clock

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The biggest thing you're going to have to be concerned about is your time. 3 weeks isn't much time for a trip like this. Just a rough outline of what you've proposed doing is about a 7,000 mile trip, which means about 14 full days on the road all by itself. That's before any sightseeing or other little detours that will add more time to your trip and inevitably mean that you'll end up driving a couple thousand miles more.

    You might also think about reversing your trip, simply to take advantage of the weather. While may/june can be a nice time to travel, it still is basically the end of winter in high elevation areas. There will be several areas that simply don't reopen until June, with Yellowstone being one big example that I'd suspect you'd want to include. By shooting across the south to California first, you'd be more likely to find those areas fully reopened, plus you'd likely be more comfortable, being in the south in May and the north/mountains in June.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default So much will depend on when the passes open.

    Hi, and Welcomd to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    As already suggested, a good place to start is to lay the route out on a large map. Once you get to I-90 (I think that is what Donna meant), there is a lot to see along the route west to Yellowstone. You might like to check out the Corn Palace in Mitchel, WallDrug in Wall, Badlands NP, Custer SP and surrounding attractions, Devils Tower and the Centre of the Nation at Belle Fourche, as well as Mt Rushmore which I think is best viewed from a distance.

    As you head further west a short detour would take you over the Bighorn Mts (alt14) and Bighorn Canyon as well as the Medicine Wheel. And if the road is open, taking 212 into Yellowstone, Beartooth Highway over Beartooth Pass - a breathtaking route. Be sure to stop at the Top of the World Store along the way.

    The routes you will take through CA and back out east will greatly depend on how long you want to spend at each destination. So lay out the route, and decide which major attractions you wish to visit, and the experts here will help you refine the route.

    You could take the PCH to around Cambria, and head inland to some of places like Sequoia and Yosemite. If Toiga Pass is open, this would take you over the Sierras and through Death Valley to LV. If not, you will need to go south around the mountains. Of course further along the route are many more attractions, of which the Grand Canyon is just one. But like all roadtrips, you can't see it all. Just check the map and see what's there, and then decide which are your priorities.

    Enjoy the planning.

    Lifey

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