Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Default Atlanta to Los Angeles (21 days)

    Hi everyone

    I was impressed by the amount of support on this forum so have figured it would be a good option for me too!
    I apologise up-front if i miss anything obvious or this has been covered (i've done a tonne of reading and it just gets more confusing the more you read!).
    Anyway, i've never been to the States before and am over to look at some houses in Atlanta but figured I may as well make a trip out of it. I'm flying in to New York mid May and after a few days of sight seeing I will take the train to Atlanta. From there i'd like to drive my way to Los Angeles over 21 days. I have made a map but it's very basic and only allowed 8 way points.
    The section from Louisianna to Nevada is the difficult bit. Without wanting to offend, it looks pretty sparse so I have no idea where to go or how to space the drive. I've just selected average distances and thrown in Roswell just because it looks like it might be a laugh.
    My only must sees are Atlanta (not included in the time frame), New Orleans (3 days), The Grand Canyon (1 night) and Las Vegas (4 days) so i'd appreciate any advice. I'd go for quirky over nature (usually) and would like to see some small interesting towns.
    I'm a 41 year old Aussie guy travelling solo...if that makes a difference.
    Btw, Alamo seems to be the cheapest option for one-way rentals. If you know of anything better, i'm all ears!
    Appreciate your help.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default From one Aussie to Another.

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

    Glad to learn you are impressed with the forum. I understand what you mean. Sometimes reading lots about places with which you are not familiar, can become confusing.

    I am not familiar with much of your southern route, through LA and TX, etc. but can help you a little with the AZ, UT and NV part. I see you plan to enter the Grand Canyon from Tusayan. What I suggest is that you exit via the eastern entrance, along Desert View Drive with its many viewpoints and through Cameron Trading Post. From there you could head north and, depending on the time you would like to devote to this area, head up to Monument Valey, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Zion, (to name just a few) on your way to Las Vegas. Southern Utah is like nothing you will ever see at home.

    If you are planning to stay in the Grand Canyon NP - highly recommended, I suggest you get onto the website now, and see if there is a vancancy. What you will need to be aware of is that near the end of May (last weekend, I think) is a public holiday long weekend, and generally very busy in all tourist areas.

    If you are a member of RACV, make sure you take your membership with you. It will give you access to free maps and tourist information from the AAA. I suggest that in Atlanta you pick up maps of all States through which you will be travelling, as well as the major urban areas. Don't be tempted to rely solely on your satnav in areas which are not familiar.

    500 - 600 miles a day is a full day's driving, with stops only for food, bathroom and fuel. Less if you plan on doing sightseeing, or plan to take it a little easier. I prefer to plan for much less, allowing me to stop at any surprise sights along the way. And believe me, even in places which seem to look empty, there is a lot to see, if you keep your eyes, and mind, open. Particularly the south west. If you get a chance, I suggest you also check out Death Valley. That can be done in a day trip from Las Vegas.

    I'm sure someone will chime in soon to give you the good oil on the other parts of your trip.

    Lifey in Melbourne

  3. #3


    Hi Lifey
    Appreciate the quick and detailed response!
    I think the map was automated based on my waypoints so i'll definitely look at your Grand Canyon suggestion.
    I actually have 4 days that I haven't included to allow for those unplanned detours and stops. I think the longest day I have driving is 7 hours with most being between 4 and 6 hours. Hopefully that won't be too taxing on the body. It is that 'unknown' strectch between Louisiana and Nevada that has the longest driving time so maybe someone can offer some small town options to break up the drive?
    I think the route that got planned is mainly on major roads, are there anhy suggestions on backwater roads that are worth the effort and won't add a considerable time commitment?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default In that case... here's a lot more...

    Glen, whenever possible, I travel on the minor highways. You will find that the old highways, usually prefixed with US, run pretty much parallel with the Interstates. When taking the minor highways, and time starts to run short, there is the option to hop onto the interstates.

    If that map is not a specific route of your choice, then I would make a couple of suggestions. Dallas, where JFK was murdered. Cadilac Farm near Amarillo. In NM, as well as Roswell, you have Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque with a lot of Mexican and Indian history. Southern Colorado has the Great Sand Dunes NP, Mesa Verda NP and Pagosa Hot Springs (among many other attractions) and then there is four corners monument. The only place where four States meet. Something everyone should see ... even if only once. Just a great touristy attraction with lots of native arts and crafts from each of the States.

    Coming from that direction, you would enter the Grand Canyon from the east. However, if you would like to visit the southern UT parks, then visiting the North Rim might be more appropriate. Just as magnificent but far less developed and smaller crowds. I have to admit, I prefer the North Rim.

    You will notice that much of my posts are national parks focused. That is what is so stunning in the South West of the States.

    It might be an idea to get a good (large) map of that area, or of the US, to help you put it all in perspective. Something which is difficult to see within the confines of a monitor. If you are taking driving times from a computer mapping program, make sure you add about 15 - 20% for real world driving times.

    And btw, the above is by no means an exhaustive list of sights to see and attractions to visit. But you don't have time to visit them all.

    Enjoy the planning.


  5. #5


    Fantastic :-/ now i have to contend with wondering if i should head further north! Not a bad problem to have really...
    I had a look at Grand Canyon accomodation and you were right, it is already pretty close to full up! Best get cracking on that one.
    All jokes aside, i appreciate your advice. It has given plenty of direction.

    Much appreciated

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default For your consideration.

    Glen, there is much to see, no matter which route you take. When you get a good map, lay it out. Use the map centre to find more attractions along the route you are considering. Then come back here, and there will be someone to help you fill in the blanks, and fine tune it.

    Some of the areas where I have spent a bit of time: in Colorado, Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado Springs and the Sand Dunes, and of course all the surrounding attractions. There are so many fantastically scenic routes around. A road atlas, and AAA maps have these all marked with dotted lines. US50 and 160 through CO are both stunning drives. And no! you can't do both, unless you backtrack. I'm just throwing them up for you to consider.

    Mesa Verda is worth at least a full day, if not more. It is essential to do the ranger led tours of the major attractions. Pays to call a day or two before hand, to book. Monument Valley, in UT is an iconic landscape you will soon recognise from photos you will have seen. Interstate 70 through UT is probably the most scenic interstate in the country, and 128 into Moab is spectacular, driving along the Colorado River. Highway 95 from Monument Valley through White Canyon to Hanksville; 24 through Capital Reef NP to Torrey; and 12 to Bryce Canyon NP, are roads which beckon every mile for yet another photo. Allow yourself time to enjoy them.

    From Zion, you could take 89 through Kanab, and alt89 through Vermillion Cliffs, over the Navajo Bridge and to the east entrance of the South Rim. This puts most of the parking areas and view points along Desert View Drive on your side of the road. Make sure you catch a sunset and / or sunrise over the canyon. Unforgettable experiences. Next is Vegas. You could drive straight there, or you could detour over some remnants of historic Route 66 and / or the Hoover Dam.

    Once you start digging there is no end to how much more there is to see, and most other States have almost as many, albeit different, attractions. I throw all that out there for you to consider, but it is by no means all. Do your research, and see which attractions you will include, and which you will bypass. You won't be able to see it all. But you will come home with lasting memories, thousands of photographs, and most likely a definite plan to return.

    Most do!


Similar Threads

  1. Atlanta to Los Angeles
    By rach1354 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-28-2010, 06:29 AM
  2. Seattle - Los Angeles or Atlanta - Los Angeles in 21 days??
    By krish81r in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-16-2009, 11:04 AM
  3. Roadtrip from Atlanta to Los Angeles? Oct/Nov
    By CHaagensen in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-11-2008, 01:18 PM
  4. Los Angeles to Atlanta
    By W6FO in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-11-2006, 06:53 PM
  5. Atlanta to Los Angeles
    By e.m. in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-30-2003, 07:14 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name