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  1. #1

    Default Chicago to Dallas to Miami

    Hello! My Boyfriend and I will be driving to Dallas for a Bears Cowboys game at Cowboys Stadium. The only things we know for sure is that the game is at 7 or 8pm on Monday Oct.1st, that we want to go to Miami and that we have to be back in Chicago by late Tue. Oct. 9th or Early morning Wed, Oct. 10th.

    We have done a couple of mini road trips to Wisconsin, Indiana and Southern Illinois. In 2009 We drove from Chicago to Las Vegas in 2 days and then stopped at the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, and Memphis on the way back from Las Vegas. for a total of 15 days.

    We like sight seeing so I think on our way back to Chicago We'll stop in Gatlinburg Tn, if we have time. We also like historical things like old cemeteries and old towns, but we don't really want to spend our day at a museum. We like to drink and party but we also don't want to spend $12 on a beer.

    Here is a rough list of what we think we want to do but are open to suggestions.

    Sun-Sept. 30th - Leave Chicago

    Mon-Oct. 1st - Arrive in Dallas and sleep until its game time. (Does anyone know where to stay and drink near the stadium, bars, clubs, etc..? Anything we should see while where in or around Dallas the next day? Places we should get great food? We are interested in the spot where Kennedy was assassinated but that's all we know about Dallas.)

    Stop in Pensacola (My friend told me about a nice bar on the Beach called Florabama I guess half of it is in Alabama and the other half is in Florida, Any tips on this area?)

    Drive to Orlando (Anything anyone suggests there besides Disney? I'd like to stop there but my boyfriend doesn't want to do the Park thing)

    Stay in Miami (I've been here but my boyfriend hasn't, Anywhere anyone particularly likes in Miami?)

    Maybe Drive to the Keys one day?

    Drive Home (Is there anywhere in the Rockies anyone suggests to visit? I was thinking Gatlinburg but I haven't been there in 10 years, any suggestions on where to stay or things to see there?)

    Thanks! Adrianna

  2. #2

    Default

    I forgot to mention we like outdoor things, for example in Cancun last October we did a jungle tour where we drove through the jungle on atvs, visited old mayan ruins rode ziplines, swam in a cenote and had dinner on the beach all in one tour! We would love anything like this, Even maybe like a swamp adventure? I'm not sure what kind of things are out there but if anyone has any suggestions we would love to know!

  3. #3

    Default

    OOps one more thing it's the Smokey Mountains not the Rockies!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,272

    Default

    Welcome!

    Chicago to Dallas is over 900 miles, and you should ABSOLUTELY NOT try to drive straight through. It's no problem making it in 2 days, but you need to leave early Sunday morning and spend Sunday night somewhere. I would suggest I-55/I-44/US-69 - and right here in Joplin would be a very appropriate overnight. We have a whole slew of chain hotels right off Exit 8, everything from a Motel 6 on the low end to a Drury Inn at the top end (just don't go to the Sunrise, it's cheap but a TOTAL dump - bedbug and cockroach city). It will take you about 10 hours to get here, then another 6 or so to Dallas.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you! That helps and thanks for the tip on not where to stay!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,202

    Default

    Dallas to Pensacola is about 650 - 700 miles, depending on whether you try to go through New Orleans or if you head to Jackson MS and then down US-49 to I-10. Once again, this is a very long day on the road.

    Orlando has things to offer it besides theme parks. Just east of there, about 50 miles, is Kennedy Space Center. In Orlando itself --- many water parks, Discovery Cove, museums, drive up to Daytona Beach, go on an airboat ride in Kissimmee. (The latter might interest you since you said you like outdoor things.)

    Going to Great Smoky Mountains National Park -- Gatlinburg is its doorway, I believe -- might also interest the outdoorsmen in you!


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,804

    Default The Odd Comment

    In Dallas: The place you are thinking of for the Kennedy assassination is Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum. And although Dallas is not as well known as other Texas locations for its barbecue, there are a couple of local joints that might be worth checking out, such as Off the Bone BBQ in Forest Hill southeast of Fort Worth, or Randy's in Red Oak.

    Next up, the bayous of Louisiana: While they lack the artificial thrills of ziplines and such, one place to explore for your 'swamp adventure' would be in the area served by the Creole Nature Trail. Making the slight detour down to this area instead of taking the 'direct' route through Jackson and Hattiesburg MS would also out you in position to visit New Orleans, a party town if ever there was one. But it will also mean that you can't make it from Dallas to Pensacola in one day.

    If the Orlando theme parks aren't your boyfriend's cup of tea, perhaps you could head over to the nearby coast and visit the Kennedy Space Center. And finally, another spot where you might need more time than you think is the 'day trip' out to the Keys. If you were thinking of going all the way from Miami to Key West and back in a day, that is theoretically possible but not in practice. There is a single 'highway' across the keys and in large part it is a two lane bridge with limited passing opportunities that is trying to handle all the local and tourist traffic. Don't plan on averaging much more than about 30 mph over any appreciable distances.

    AZBuck

  8. #8

    Default Frugal Traveling Chicago to Dallas to New Orleans

    Hi! I am planning a trip to Dallas from Chicago and then to New Orleans is the plan. We origianlly wanted to drive but realized it will be really expensive. We looked into Amtrak and that was even more expensive than flying! Has anyone traveled using the Mega Bus or does anyone have any tips or advice on saving on this trip. We have to be in Dallas October 1st for the Cowboys/Bears game and we only have 7 days but the 7 days all have to be before the game or after. There are two of us traveling, we are in out 20's and are open to different types of travel like partial driving/renting, bus train, flying.

    Thanks,
    Adrianna

    (Although the scope of your original thread has changed, by our posting rules, this is the same trip and so I've merged your two threads together)...
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-24-2012 at 07:22 PM. Reason: merged threads

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,410

    Default Drive-Away... Maybe

    There are options where you can drive for free and, in fact, sometimes make pocket change. These options are for companies called Drive-Away. Here's some information about how this works.

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,805

    Default

    Megabus can be a great way to travel cheap, if you are going relatively short distances, like Chicago to pretty much any other city in the midwest. They, however, are really not an option for true long distance travel, as they really only operate on a hub and spoke system and they don't even let you directly book trips that would require a connection or transfer.

    For example, there is no direct service from Chicago to Dallas, although both cities are now hubs. It looks like Memphis is a common point, so you could try to book one trip from Chicago to Memphis and then a second trip from Memphis to Dallas. However, you could be looking at long connection times or if you have a short turnaround, and your first bus is delayed, you could miss your 2nd bus. Since the 2 bus tickets would be different trips, Megabus wouldn't be obligated to put on the next bus or honor the ticket for your missed trip. Megabus also doesn't have their own stations, the stops are often just spots on a sidewalk where the bus pulls over to load/unload, so your options for places to wait for a transfer could be limited too.

    The bigger question perhaps is what is your definition of "really expensive?" Driving is likely going to end up being the cheapest options for two people. Sometimes if you are really creative you can find a combination of modes that will be a deal, but typically the more tickets you have to buy or transportation options you need, the more your costs are going to go up.

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