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  1. #1

    Default Summer road trip Denver - Miami


    Im planning a road trip with my wife next summer and would like some tips from the professionals :)

    The trip will start in Denver and end in Miami. We have 4 weeks or so in July/August..

    This is what I have come up with:

    Day 1 Denver - Rocky mountains - Cheyenne
    Day 2 Cheyenne - Deadwood - Devils Tower monument - Rapid City
    Day 3 Rapid City - Mt Rushmore - Crazy Horse - Badlands - Sioux Falls
    Day 4 Sioux Falls - Des Moines
    Day 5 Des Moines - Chicago
    Day 6 Chicago
    Day 7 Chicago - Cleveland
    Day 8 Cleveland - Niagara Falls
    Day 9 Niagara Falls
    Day 10 Niagara Falls - Scranton
    Day 11 Scranton - Philadelphia
    Day 12 Philadelphia - Washington
    Day 13 Washington
    Day 14 Washington - Shendoah National Park
    Day 15 Shenadoah - Blue Ridge Parkway - Roanoke
    Day 16 Roanoke - Blowing Rock
    Day 17 Blowing Rock - Asheville
    Day 18 Asheville - Charleston
    Day 19 Charleston - Savannah
    Day 20 Savannah - St Augustine
    Day 21 St Augustine - Clearwater
    Day 22-23 Clearwater
    Day 24 Clearwater - Sarasota
    Day 25 Sarasota
    Day 26 Sarasota - Sanibel Island
    Day 27-29 Sanibel Island
    Day 30 Sanibel Island - Miami Beach
    Day 31 Miami Beach
    Day 32 Miami Beach - Stockholm :(

    So what do think? Is it an ok plan? Do you have any tips on things to see on the way, good hotels,restaurants and so on?


    / Carl
    Last edited by CarlB; 11-22-2011 at 04:08 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Slow going on the Blue Ridge Parkway

    Hello CarlB,

    While I haven't attempted to check any distances except for the Roanoke to Asheville segment on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP), it looks like the plan for distance traveled that day is something of a stretch. In bad weather, it may be impossible.

    Roanoke is at about Mile 120 on the BRP while Asheville sits at nearly 400. The 280 mile distance in between is posted with speed limits of not more than 45 mph and some sections are 35 mph. One would have to average 35 mph, including stops, for 8 hours to cover 280 miles. There are literally dozens and dozens of scenic pull-outs and stops along the way, and averaging 35 mph during the peak of the summer travel season is unlikely. If fog sets in, a frequent event, all bets are off, as travel can slow to a crawl. In addition, traversing the whole of the Shenandoah National Park along the Skyline Drive and adding the BRP to that means a total of 570 miles of slow and very curvy driving, a situation which may be regarded as "too much of a good thing". If I were to do the whole 570 miles, I'd plan a stop along about Blowing Rock, NC in between Roanoke and Asheville. Blowing Rock is a nice little town and is wholly geared towards BRP tourism. You'll definitely want to take the short spur route to Mount Mitchell if the weather is clear, and that alone will add an hour or two to your trip, and Craggy Gardens and the whole of the area between Mount Mitchell is pretty intense in terms of dramatic topography.

    Have fun planning and taking your US RoadTrip!


  3. #3


    Hi Foy!

    Thanks for the reply :)

    You are right, 570 miles sounds like to much fun maybe. Maybe I should skip a portion of the "curvy driving"-part of the trip? I will plan for a night in Blowing Rock. Thanks!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A rushed trip.

    You might like to look at the first three days again. (I didn't get any further in your itenary.) There is so much to see in this area, you may regret whizzing through it all at speed. For one thing, to explore the spectacular Badlands NP and make it to Sioux Falls on the same day, is going to be very rushed... or won't leave you time to see anything much. Neither will it allow you any quality stops at other attractions along the way.

    I would be looking at putting Mt Rushmore into Day two. And frankly, for me, Crazy Horse was not worth the time.

    And that's not overlooking RMNP. You have the scenic drive from Denver to Estes Park and onto the NP. You need at least a little time, like a few hours, to even explore a tiny corner of this NP. To drive the Trail Ridge Road, a magnificent experience, would take much longer. And then on to Cheyenne, via Loveland and through the amazing Thompson Canyon. You'd want to stop at the roadside memorial of those who lost their lives in the big floods of the seventies.

    And is day one, the actual day you arrive in Denver? If it is, it may not be wise to undertake as much as you plan, after a long haul flight.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 11-22-2011 at 05:01 PM.

  5. #5

    Default You can have it all, in a sense

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlB View Post
    Hi Foy!

    Thanks for the reply :)

    You are right, 570 miles sounds like to much fun maybe. Maybe I should skip a portion of the "curvy driving"-part of the trip? I will plan for a night in Blowing Rock. Thanks!


    Being a native North Carolinian and an graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, I am a biased reporter. That said, there's no challenging the fact that the most dramatic topography along the BRP is within North Carolina, and there's a strong argument the most visually pleasing section within NC is Blowing Rock to Asheville.

    With that stipulated, you can consider a faster (but still scenic) route from Washington to the BRP joining it at Deep Gap, where US 421 crosses some 15 miles north of Blowing Rock, eliminating the Shenandoah NP/Skyline Drive and the whole of the VA portion of the BRP. That could involve either of two routes: I-66/I-81/I-77/US 421 or US 29/US 158/I-40/US 421. The former passes through the very scenic Shenandoah Valley and is pleasantly hilly and pastoral, with the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east and the Allegheny Mountains to the west, but can be somewhat troublesome due to heavy truck traffic along I-81. The latter is non-Interstate (albeit 4-lanes divided virtually all the way) and passes through a number of towns and cites along the way, with Charlottesville being the most congested. US 29 carries its share of truck traffic, too. This US 29 route closely follows the Blue Ridge along its eastern foothills and is quite scenic, is shorter, but to me is a little less scenic than "the Valley", as the Shenandoah is called in these parts. The former route does include a dramatic and visually striking drop-off (but entirely safe--Interstates are designed with minimal sharp curves and no steep grades) from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Piedmont at Fancy Gap, VA, along I-77, picking up some Blue Ridge scenery as you pass from the Valley back to the Piedmont enroute to US 421.

    By either route, I can envision a scenic day's drive from DC to Blowing Rock, allowing a full day to Asheville, and not causing addition of a day to your itinerary.


  6. #6


    Hi Foy an Lifemagician!

    Foy :Thanks for and all the help you are giving me :) That sounds like a perfect plan. I think the first route will be great! Thanks!
    Lifemagician: You have given me something to think about :)

    I knew it would pay off to ask you guys :)


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


    I'd say your plan looks fairly uneven.

    You've got a few areas where you really need more time, like the ones that Lifey and Foy have pointed out. However, you've also got a few areas where you really are spending more time than you'd have to.

    For example, as Lifey pointed out, you've got an extremely full day, trying to cover the 400 miles from Rapid City to Sioux Falls and hitting some of the amazing parks and places along the way. But for the next two days, you're covering only 300 miles going to Des Moines and then Chicago over legs that you haven't listed anything special you've got planned. If you wanted to push it, you could get from Sioux Falls to Chicago in one long day.

    That's not to say that doing 300 mile days is at all a bad thing, as that will give you lots of time to explore and get a feel for things along the way, it just seems in stark contrast to some of the overly busy days you've got elsewhere.

  8. #8



    It seems I cant edit my first post. I have updated the travel plan a bit.

    Day 0 Stockholm - Denver
    Day 1 Denver - Rocky mountains (I 70/ US 40 / US 34)
    Day 2 Rocky Mountains - ?
    Day 3 ? - Mt Rushmore Crazy Horse- Deadwood - Devils Tower monument - Rapid City
    Day 4 Rapid City - Badlands (Badlands Loop Road)- Chamberlain (?)
    Day 5 Chamberlain (?) - Des Moines (Not sure if this is the way I want to take to Chicago, if you have a better sugestion let me know) :)
    Day 6 Des Moines - Chicago
    Day 7 Chicago
    Day 8 Chicago - Cleveland
    Day 9 Cleveland - Niagara Falls
    Day 10 Niagara Falls
    Day 11 Niagara Falls - Scranton
    Day 12 Scranton - Philadelphia
    Day 13 Philadelphia
    Day 14 Philadelphia -Washington
    Day 15 Washington
    Day 16 Washington - Roanoke (US 29/US 158/I-40/US 421 as Foy suggested)
    Day 17 Roanoke - Blowing Rock
    Day 18 Blowing Rock - Asheville
    Day 19 Asheville - Charleston
    Day 20 Charleston - Savannah
    Day 21 Savannah
    Day 22 Savannah - St Augustine
    Day 23 St Augustine - Clearwater
    Day 24-25 Clearwater
    Day 26 Clearwater - Sarasota
    Day 27 Sarasota
    Day 28 Sarasota - Sanibel Island
    Day 29-31 Sanibel Island
    Day 32 Sanibel Island - Everglades - Miami Beach
    Day 33 Miami Beach
    Day 34 Miami Beach - Stockholm :(

    Midwest Michael and Life Magician, what do you think about the fist part of the trip?

    What about Siux Falls to Chicago? Anyone have nice route to share with me?


    / Carl

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A reason for that.

    It seems I cant edit my first post. I have updated the travel plan a bit.
    There is a time limit to edit a post and that's done for a reason. You shouldn't alter the content of a post after it has been responded too, other than to fix typos/spelling corrections. If you were to do so, the responses to your original post would no make sense, making the thread useless for other members to try and follow and those that have answered, appear silly.

    Estes Park is a popular town for RMNP. Your proposed route takes you over the Trail ridge road and finishing in Estes would be a good day. Next morning you could explore the Bear lake road where there are some good walks and wonderful scenery. Depending on the time you leave RMNP could depend on how far north you travel, Cheyenne or beyond perhaps.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-24-2011 at 03:01 PM.

  10. #10


    Hi Southwest Dave,

    Thanks for the tip about Estates Park!


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