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  1. Default Chicago to LA road trip April 2013- Need help

    I am looking for some info on doing a road trip for our honeymoon in April. I have around 21/22 days.
    We want to drive from Chicago to Dallas, then to Oklahoma then to Grand canyon and onto Las vegas before heading to LA.

    We will try to travel Route 66 as much as possible.

    Can anyone suggests must do's along the way. Also is the route do-able etc.

    Cheers :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Is this a round trip? If it is, you'll have enough time to do some sightseeing, but you'd have even more if this is a one-way.

    Route 66 has been decommissioned for years, with I-55 and I-40 taking its place most of the way. Sections labeled "Busn. Route 66" or "AZ-66" are sections of the highway still in use. There are some good books about following the route and seeing some of the old touristy places along the way.

    As for "must-do's", at RTA we really don't do those. Instead, what we recommend is taking a look at the RTA Map Center and see what's along the route that might interest you. Off-hand, though:

    Petroglyphs National Monument (NM) near Albuquerque, Rio Grande Nature Park in Albuquerque, some pueblos that have tours west of ABQ, some lava caves also west of ABQ closer to Grants and Gallup.

    Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona, is right along your route -- it's full of pieces of old, petrified trees. Meteor Crater and Sunset Crater are close to Flagstaff. Grand Canyon, South Rim, is the most accessible rim and the only one that will have facilities open in April. (North Rim doesn't open usually till May or June. You might be able to get there but there will be no facilities.)

    In California, there is Joshua Tree National Park along the way, along with other things.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Links.

    The route you have outlined could be driven in 5 days at a push, so you have plenty of time to explore along the way. As mentioned above, route 66 was replaced by Interstate many years ago and although sections still exist, some can be difficult to follow. RTA has a page dedicted to Route 66 links here, and one of my favourite sites is the very last one on that page.

    I wouldn't actually base my trip around a route number though, but around things that most appeal to me as an individual and that's the reason why we don't do 'Must Sees'. It's what you want to see that matters. You want to see Dallas and Oklahoma which is fine if it works for you, whereas I would be looking at the Colorado Rockies, the Red rock scenery of Southern Utah and the deserts of Arizona and the National parks among them.

    We can certainly help to 'Fine tune' your trip and make suggestions, but you should open up a good map of the US, research the RTA pages and see what else you come up with.

    On the way to Dallas you could check out St Louis and the Gateway Arch, or Memphis and it's music links, perhaps even both ! Donna has given you some other suggestions, but you could also look at heading north from I40 to the Four Corners area, perhaps Mesa Verde NP and a trip through Monument Valley on the way to Grand canyon. How about some Graffiti in Amarillo, and if you stay on I4O you might find sleeping in a Wig Wam appealing, or standing on a corner in Winslow. Between GC and LV a popular stretch of 66 runs through the town of Seligman which has some whacky and wonderful memorabilia stores.

    As you develop your trip, just keep asking questions 'as and 'when'. Last but by no means least, Congratulations !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Take It Easy

    As the Eagles sang regarding a day which started out "standin' on a corner in Winslow Arizona" (along Route 66 by the way) you have the time to take this trip at a very relaxed pace that suits both the occasion and the location. As Donna points out, you won't have quite as much if it's a round trip but even in that case you could do the driving in about 9 days leaving 12 or so for pure sight seeing (spread out, of course). So, your general route follows the old alignment of US-66 except for the detour down to Dallas.There are plenty of resources on the old Mother Road, and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore on some of its 'forgotten' segments. But all of that takes time and the ability to appreciate the subtler attributes of the road rather than just seeing it as a way to get from one 'must see' to another. Besides the obvious major tourist attractions such as the Arch in St. Louis, the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, the Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon National parks, and the Strip in Vegas, take some time with your bride to be and poor over some maps and guidebooks to find some out of the way spots that the two of you can make uniquely your own. As a starter set, here are some suggestions: Lewis and Clark's jumping off site, Grant's Farm, Branson the 'Las Vegas of the Ozarks', Oklahoma Native American culture, Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, Petroglyph National Monument, The aforementioned spot in Winslow, the Valley of Fire, London Bridge.... The list is literally endless, and those you find yourself will be even more meaningful. Best of luck.


  5. Default Great advice thanks :-)

    Thanks for all the great advice! It will be a one-way trip so we may include a drive to colorando to see the mountains.

    I'm glad we have plenty of time. It's hard to know as there are a lot of mixed reviews on the forums about how long you should take.

    We are happy to have a basic plan and if we like a place we will stay and if we dont we will keep going.

    Thanks again!

  6. Default LA- Round trip via Las Vegas, Colorado, Nashville, New orelans, Austin

    Hi all,
    I am in the process of planning a trip for next April 2013 for 3-4 weeks.

    I was orginally thinking of going from LA to Chicago one-way then flying to LA again. However it looks like car rental one way is very expensive.

    So I have decided to rent a car from LA for 25 days and do the following:

    LA- Las Vegas (2 nights)
    Las Vegas to Colorado (3 nights with a stopover along the way)
    Colorado to Santa fe (2 nights)
    Santa fe- Oklahoma (2 nights)
    Oklahoma- Memphis (1 night)
    Memphis- Nashville (2 nights)
    Nashville - New Orleans (3 nights with maybe a stopover along the way)
    New Orleans- Galveston (2 nights)
    Galveston- San Antonio (2 nights)
    San Antonio- Dallas (2 nights)
    Dallas- Albuquerque (2 nights with a stopover somewhere along the way)
    Albuquerque- Grand canyon (2 nights)
    Grand Canyon to LA

    I am looking for opions or other suggested routes! Is there anything obvious not to miss places that we are missing. I have worked it so there is no more than 6 hours driving at a time. We fancy a bit of everything hence the various places.

    Any suggestions grateful

    Cheers :-)

    Merged with previous discussion. Please do not start multiple threads for the same trip.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-03-2012 at 12:03 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Your trip.

    I'm glad we have plenty of time. It's hard to know as there are a lot of mixed reviews on the forums about how long you should take.
    That's kinda what makes RTA unique. We don't try to tell you how long you should take, we just try and help you figure out all those bits, make sure it's possible and add suggestions to your trip. It's your trip and the great thing about hitting the open road is getting to decide where you should go and at what pace for yourself, not based on other peoples idea of the 'best'. What's best for one person, could be the ultimate nightmare for another ! lol

    As I mentioned, we are here to help you plan your trip and try in every way to improve it, to ensure you get the best from it, so as you continue with your planning keep asking questions based on your ideas and we will keep answering the best we can.

    Planning is half the fun, so enjoy !
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-03-2012 at 12:03 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default All Over the Map...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    ...and that's a good thing. Your itinerary will certainly take you to a lot of different areas and can be done at a fairly relaxed pace over several weeks. But there are a few places where it might be improved. the most obvious (to me at least) is your placement of Santa Fe within the eastbound leg. It more naturally fits in the westbound leg along with its near neighbor, Albuquerque. That would free you up to take a more direct route to Oklahoma by way of the high plains using, say, US-50 which has a number of Old West sites along it such as the Koshare Indian Museum and Kiva, Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, the Finney Wildlife Area and Bison Range, Dodge City, and any number of local Pioneer/Historical Museums. Going that way also saves you a couple of hundred miles of driving.

    Another suggestion, since you are basically going from one end of it to the other, is to take the Natchez Trace Parkway all the way from Nashville to Natchez and then complete the drive to New Orleans along the Great River Road, US-61. The Natchez Trace is part of the National Park System and is a unique two lane, controlled access road with nothing but gorgeous scenery and historic sites along it. It follows the overland route that farmers and boaters used to return to the Ohio River from New Orleans after floating their cargos downstream in the days before steam riverboats.

    There are also a few stretches where you're going to be hard put to keep to your stated goal of driving no more than 6 hours a day. Las Vegas to Colorado is one that pops out at me. Depending on where you're going in Colorado, that could be as much as 800 miles meaning that you couldn't do it in 12 hours. And even if you could, you could only do so by driving right past some of the world's great scenic wonders without so much as a look-see. You need to put an extra day in there to enjoy, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches and other national parks and monuments en route.

    So, with those specific suggestions in mind, have another go at tweaking your plans. After all, you've got plenty of time before your trip and now is the time to daydream a bit and work on getting it right.


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