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Thread: LA to NYC Help

  1. #1

    Default LA to NYC Help

    Hello All. I'm new to the forum and have been doing alot of reading but still not finding a complete route across country for my move back east.
    We will be 2 drivers (and my dog). We are leaving late April/early May. We want to make it east in no more than 7 days, driving 500-600 miles/day. The only thing I'm sure about is we want to stop in AZ & NM so I'm thinking of taking the I-40 so we can make short stops in those states. No other sight seeing is planned. It looks like the next 2 stops would be in OK and TN. From there we are stumped. Where, what routes to start moving northeast.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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

    Default No one "complete route" for all.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    A drive across country provides many options for travellers, so there really isn't any one size fits all "complete route". As you want to head out on I40 and have no interest in stopping to sight see after NM, the quickest route would be to take I44 from Oky through St Louis [the Gateway Arch] to I70, however there is no signifcant difference in continuing on I40 to I81.

    From Albuquerque you have approx 4 x 500 mile days to NY, so it would be worth looking at your route options and see where you might finish up at the end of the day [between 400 and 600 miles] and see which of those places appeal to your tastes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    We just did a very similar trip this past July, going from San Diego to a place in NJ along I-80. You are welcome to read about it in this post.

    We stayed in the Phoenix area, then Santa Rosa NM, Sallisaw OK, Cookeville TN, Staunton VA, and then went into to NJ. Phoenix was about the shortest drive, but we stayed the first weekend with my parents. Most of the other drives were 500-600, except for the last day which was just a bit over 400.

    Along I-40 there are lots of places to stop: Grand Canyon, Painted Desert/Petrified Forest NP, the lava fields in NM, Albuquerque's Petroglyphs NM and the Smithsonian's Nuclear museum, Amarillo's Cadillac Ranch. One of the Apollo astronaut's home towns is in OK and there's a museum there -- it's on our list of places to stop some time since this past summer had a speed run through there. Memphis and Nashville of course are music cities. Great Smoky Mountains aren't all that far off I-40.

    When we headed northeast, we left I-40 at I-81. That takes you up the western side of Virginia. One could drive the Blue Ridge Parkway (we didn't) or the Skyline Drive (we did). It takes one close enough to Gettysburg in PA -- a planned stop on the way back west that never happened (see Day 11 of our thread). Hershey PA with all of its chocolate stuff is also within a stone's throw.

    Anyway, with 7 days you can't stop at everything -- but it would give you a start in seeing what's along your route.


  4. #4


    Thanks Dave & Donna
    I know everyone has a different slant on a "good" trip but hearing about other's journeys helps put a plan together...I especially liked the idea of stopping in Hershey! A good sugar rush will probably be needed! LOL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise


    If you're taking I-40, get off every so often to enjoy Route 66, which will take you as far as OKC.

    Then, I-44 to St. Louis and I-55 to Chicago. Route 66 is close to all these intersates.

  6. #6

    Default Help around Oklahoma City

    Hello All.....I am driving CA to NYC in the middle of May....I'm spending a few day in Flagstaff & Albuquerque and want to by-pass OKC proper and sleep just east of the city...we plan on "making-miles" from Alb to OKC so we will have more time spend in Tennessee, Arkansas and Virginia before arriving in NY....
    Any suggestions on the best way to avoid the congestion of OKC and some ideas of where to sleep east of the city would be greatly appreciated!

    Mod Note; Please keep all questions regarding this trip in one thread. Thank-you.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 04-23-2012 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Merged threads.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I've never really had any major problems with traffic in OKC, and I'd be quite surprised if you saw any serious issues, unless you happened to hit the city during rush hour. As with most cities, 3 digit Interstates that start with an even number provide a loop around the downtown of the city, and that is the case in OKC, where I-240 will let you avoid downtown by going south of the city.

    I'd probably looking at Shawnee for lodging, as there are lots of hotels there right off I-40, and its only 30 minutes past OKC.

  8. #8


    Thanks everybody....I was thinking Shawnee so thank you Midwest for confirming that...

    Anybody have any thoughts on Memphis or Little Rock? Of course in Memphis is the music.
    Would love to know if anyone can head us to some good venues for the real thing!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would advise a bit of extra caution in Little Rock - they have a few areas in the city that are getting pretty rough. Some local information should be helpful here. I would not consider Little Rock as a place with great nightlife. Memphis and Nashville have nightlife.

  10. Default

    Little Rock has the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum which is a short, easy distance from I-40. Passed by Oklahoma City many times and never saw "rush hour" traffic.


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