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  1. Default Help to plan trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans..

    Hi

    We have 33 days to drive from LA to New Orleans.
    we are a young couple from Australia travelling with our 1 year daughter. We want to keep the time we drive to a maximum of 3 hours on the road.

    We want to go through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. We love food, the outdoors, architecture, people and the local culture.

    I have a rough plan but am unsure of where to stop and how long to stop at places for. Since we are travelling with a toddler we rather stay longer in places instead of moving every night. Below is my rough plan, let me know your thoughts.

    12/7 LA (arrive from Australia at 10:30am)
    12/8 LA
    12/9 LA
    12/10 LA
    12/11 somewere between LA/Phoenix (overnight)
    12/12 Phoenix
    12/13 Phoenix
    12/14 Phoenix -- should we also go to tucson for a couple of nights?
    12/15 Sedona
    12/16 Sedona
    12/17 Sedona
    12/18 Flagstaff
    12/19 Gallupe
    12/20
    12/21
    12/22
    12/23
    12/24 Santa Fe (we want to spend chistmad in Santa Fe)
    12/25 Santa Fe
    12/26 Santa Fe
    12/27 Santa Fe
    12/28
    12/29
    12/30
    12/31 San Antonio
    1/1 San Antonio
    1/2 San Antonio
    1/3 Austin
    1/4 Austin
    1/5 Dallas
    1/6 Dallas
    1/7 Lake Charles
    1/8 Lake Charles
    1/9 New Orleans
    1/10 New Orleans
    1/11 New Orleans
    1/12 New Orleans (next day fly to Miami)

    As You can see we have quite a lot of time, perhaps we need to spend more time in Texas aswell. The places listed are places we would like to visit but we are more than open to change! We leave in 2 months, I'm starting to freak out as we dont really know what we are doing.

    Thanks for your suggestion!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    What really stands out to me is that for someone who includes the outdoors as part of what you want to see, you've built a plan that is exclusively built around spending large amounts of time in cities. You didn't even list the Grand Canyon as a stop, much less, some of the many other national parks of the southwest.

    How have you come up with these places, what things do you know you want to see? You listed a very broad outline of what you want to do, and a list of cities, but the challenge for us is that you actually have so much time, narrowing things down is actually a bit difficult. To put things in perspective, you could drive from LA to NOLA in a few days (driving more than 3 hours a day of course) and you've got more than a month for this trip. Having all that time is a great thing of course, and if it fits your style, it leave you open to really just seeing where the road takes you and discovering whats on the way by stopping and talking to people.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Hints and Suggestions

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First of all, you should simply forget about finding places that will appeal to your young daughter. Everything will be new and exciting to her. You are doing exactly the right thing by limiting your daily driving and the number of times you uproot yourselves and move to a new location. So what might you like as you drive through the Southwest. So... some pointers for you.

    Roughly halfway between Los Angeles and Phoenix puts you in the middle of the Mojave Desert, so I'd suggest that you plan on stopping for the night around Indio CA which will give you a little more time to navigate the L.A. freeway system. Besides the Indio area has more lodging choices than the next possibility, Blythe, which is a little more than halfway.

    In the Phoenix area, there's a great little park your daughter might enjoy, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park with a child-sized train and a carousel. Phoenix (Tempe, actually) is also a college town so be sure to check what cultural offerings Arizona State University is offering. With only a few days in the Phoenix area, I wouldn't take the time to drive down to Tucson. It's not a particularly enjoyable drive and your efforts would be better spent in the Phoenix metro area.

    While in the Sedona/Flagstaff area, I hope you plan to spend at least one day at the Grand Canyon, but also check out Walnut Creek, Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments. Another very worthwhile stop as you head east into New Mexico is Petrified Forest National Park. Then from Santa Fe down to San Antonio, your nightly stops would be at roughly Fort Sumner NM (Billy the Kid and Navajo Long Walk territory), Lubbock TX (home of Buddy Holly), and Ballinger/San Angelo TX.

    The one other area you'll be driving through that I will mention and hope you look into a bit is around Lake Charles LA where the Creole Nature Trail provides access to some unique opportunities.

    AZBuck

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

    Default

    I will make one disagreement: Tucson is only a couple of hours from Phoenix, and there is a museum that all of you may enjoy: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It's mostly outdoors, with lots of desert flora and fauna on display.

    There are also ample opportunities for hiking; Sabino Canyon SP was, at one time, a great place for that.

    BTW, my girls were always great travelers. We easily went 350 miles in a sitting, as long as we remembered to get them out of the car for a stretch. At a year old, your daughter can start to get used to road trips. Ours did!


    Donna

  5. Default

    Thank you all for your feedback.

    I have revised and will be driving from LA to Palm springs. We will visit Joshua National Park.The following day we visit Phoenix for a couple of days, then off to Tucson and up to Sedona and flagstaff. I didn't realise the Grand Canyon was 1.5 hours from Flagstaff. I will definetly be seeing it. Then from there we make our way to Santa Fe where we will spend Christmas. I'm starting to build a list of NP to visit and quirky places to see along the way. Thank you all again for the responses.

  6. Default Drive from Palm Spring CA to Phoenix AZ with a 1 year old Infant..

    Hi All

    I'm tying to decide if I should fly or drive.
    The options are
    1) Drive from Palm Springs to Phoenix.
    2) Fly from LA to Tucson.

    I looked on google maps and it says the drive from Palm Springs to Phoenix is 4.5-5 hours.
    My daughter will last at the most 1.5hours in the car before a break is needed.

    we could fly down to Tucson for $59 each parent. But the problem is it will most likely take the same amount of time, with having to arrive 2 hours pre flight, dropping rental car off and seating on a plane, hiring another car on the other side. You get the picture!

    My questions is... If I choose to drive from Palm Springs to Phoenix what is to see along the way? I read that the drive is pretty boring. Any suggestions where we can stop along the way? We could do the drive in 1 day, as long as we leave early enough.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  7. Default Drive through Texas with 1 year old infant..

    Hi All

    We are driving from Santa Fe, NM heading south to Texas.
    What is the best route to get to San Antonio. We are ultimately cutting though texas to end up in New Orleans.

    As the title says we are travelling with a 1 year old little girl, so want to keep driving to about 3 hours a day max (if possible).

    The plan so far is to leave Santa Fe headed south to Rosswell. Here we stay one night.
    Next day we head south again to Carslbald, stay one night.
    Next day we want to start the drive to San Antonio, but understand that this is a long drive. Where should we stop along the way? best town to stay overnight?

    I am open to suggestions. We love the outdoors, food, architecture.

    Thanks

    Mod note] Please do not start a new thread for each section of your trip, it is impossible for members to follow the planning and give the best advice. In future please keep all questions in this thread, Thank you.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-02-2011 at 04:15 AM. Reason: Merged the 3 threads started for this one trip

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    I'm not familiar with that stretch of highway, so this is my best guess: It looks like the next stop along your route after Carlsbad that would likely have places to stay is Fort Stockton (which does have a fort). Past that, it looks like quite a stretch until San Antonio, though I'm sure there are other places to stop along the way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default The picture is quite clear.

    Hi, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    I'm tying to decide if I should fly or drive.
    The options are
    1) Drive from Palm Springs to Phoenix.
    2) Fly from LA to Tucson.

    I looked on google maps and it says the drive from Palm Springs to Phoenix is 4.5-5 hours.
    My daughter will last at the most 1.5hours in the car before a break is needed.

    we could fly down to Tucson for $59 each parent. But the problem is it will most likely take the same amount of time, with having to arrive 2 hours pre flight, dropping rental car off and seating on a plane, hiring another car on the other side. You get the picture!

    My questions is... If I choose to drive from Palm Springs to Phoenix what is to see along the way? I read that the drive is pretty boring. Any suggestions where we can stop along the way? We could do the drive in 1 day, as long as we leave early enough.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Seems like you have already answered your own question. The logical thing would be to drive. And yes, you can easily do it in a day, even with the frequent stops to keep a one year old happy.

    But you are setting out with a very negative mindset. 'Boring' is a state of mind, not a road nor any area. Every single place has its own intrigue and interest. All you need to do is look for it. Do a little research on the route. Check out the attractions and the map centre tabs on the green bar above. And have a look at this thread for roadside parks and attractions.

    As an additional interest, you might like to take a map of each State, and mark your route, as you drive. Keep some notes of what you see, hear and do, and take a few photos to complete the journal. It will be something of interest to share with your child in future years, and when you go on the next trip.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default One dimensional.

    Spending a large part of the day in airport terminals or visiting the likes of Joshua tree NP, well I would take Joshua tree every time, as was the conclusion you came too in your other post.

    How is your research going ? By the amount of time you have booked in certain places and stating concerns of how much time you still have to fill, I am worried you are too focused on driving from A to B in 'straight' lines and haven't looked outside of the box. The Grand canyon being an example of this. Have you looked at other possible areas from GC before heading south and east ? Buck gave you some ideas earlier on in the thread, but what about Page AZ, [Lake Powell] Monument valley, Mesa Verde and the Hot springs at Pagosa Springs. Yes they are slightly North and east, but they would make a wonderful trip before dropping down into Santa Fe, while filling those blanks you have in your opening itinerary. If you spent a little less time in other places you could possibly include Moab and visit Arches and Canyonlands NP's from Monument valley.

    Please note that I have merged all 3 of your started threads and that we request you keep all further questions here. Hopefully you can now see why this is beneficial to all as it has refreshed your earlier questions that would appear to be unresolved.[/

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