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  1. Default Solo drive from va- Phoenix Arizona, need advice etc!

    Hello all, new to the site, its very interesting. I'm a 26 year old male, and am moving to phoenix Arizona leaving Williamsburg Virginia. I'm driving alone, aside my trusty dog! I'd like any helpful advice on a long solo trip such as this, I have never been on a road trip! I'm not really on Tine restraints, I'm shooting for about 4 days. The maib reason I'm posting here is I'd like help on the route, looking at a map I see there are multiple routes that venture through different states as the others. Being I've never driven cross country I'd like to plan out a beautiful scenic route with some low cost things to check out along the way, just cool places to get out, rest and soak in the atmosphere. If any otf you road veterans have made a similar journey or are familiar enough with the in between states I'd love some info on what route to take and some cool things along the way.. any help will be greatly appreciated, I haven't done much traveling in my days and would enjoy making this an experience I will never forget!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Williamsburg to Phoenix is going to be a 4-day trip. Leaving that area, you can take I-66 (I think) over to I-81, then south to I-40 West. Take that to I-17 south (at Flagstaff) which will drop you into Phoenix's heat. Honestly, we felt that this route was beautiful in itself. The Appalachian mountain view, into the rolling hills of TN and AR, kept us focused last summer as we drove this in the opposite direction.

    You aren't going to have a whole lot of time to get out and sightsee, but there will be time to do some quick views. Along that route, you cross through Nashville where you may want to walk in the area of the Grand Ole Opry and recording studios. Memphis, with Elvis' home Graceland, might be interesting. In AR and eastern OK, there are places where you can great meals of catfish if you like that. In OKC there is a big memorial, and then near Amarillo there is the Cadillac Ranch. Eastern Arizona has the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, but if you are living there, it's within a 5 hour drive of Phoenix so you could do that on a weekend. (It's worth 1/2 day or more of your time.)

    Solo travel with dog -- of course, prepare for The Pup's travels by including his comforts. I believe La Quinta Inn is pet-friendly. For you, have your favorite music handy, plus a cooler of your favorite drinks unless you want to buy those along the way.

    Our overnight stops out of Phoenix were Santa Rosa NM (around 600 miles), Sallisaw OK (around 600 miles) and Cookeville, TN (550 mi) before arriving in Staunton VA (400 mi). You could use the same overnights but in reverse -- Cookeville (probably 550 mi from Williamsburg), Sallisaw, and Santa Rosa.

    Where we stayed - Cookeville: America's Best Value Inn (would not repeat the experience, though no big issues it just was run-down); Sallisaw: Day's Inn (small rooms but extremely clean), we ate at Shad's Catfish Hole 7 mi south of town and it was SUCH great food!; Santa Rosa: Quality Inn (good experience) and dinner at the Santa Fe Grill (yum).


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Time Is a Constraint

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While four days is enough to make the drive safely and in a modicum of comfort, it is just enough to do so. You really don't have a lot of time to go wandering off on detours to check out things. That's not necessarily a killer on a trip such as this, but it is a constraint. So is having the dog as he will need to be exercised every few hours over those four days. Your stops will have to be short and near whatever route you take. The quickest route is to head west on I-64 to I-81, take that to I-40, and follow that to Flagstaff and I-17 down to Phoenix. Your other options such as taking I-85 down to Atlanta, I-20/I-10 to Phoenix don't add a lot of time, but they do add time. And this is a case where even a few more hours will take away from your ability to make meaningful stops along the way and still arrive in four days. Whichever way you end up going, keep your eyes out for convenient, cheap stops which your dog can also enjoy. Such stops don't add much to your travel time, but will make the drive so much more pleasant in the long run.

    One side trip you can consider if you have done well and arrive in Arizona with an hour or two to spare is to leave I-40 at Holbrook and take AZ-377/AZ-277/AZ-260/AZ-87 down through Heber and Payson for a scenic entry into Phoenix by way of the White Mountains.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    I'm sorry when I said 4 days that was meant a rough estimate.. 5 is no problem I am in no rush to get there. I want to give myself plenty of time for comfort safety and enjoying the trip! I'm glad you mentioned restaurants because I am a chef by trade, I pick up a lot of ideas and inspiration from hole in the wall restaurants! It's a safe bet to say that I will make every meal along the way in them as I find them! I don't want to venture too far off my pants to go see anything unless it is an absolute must see, but short detours are no problem at all I am in no hurry! I am also an artist on the side and build a lot of off the wall creations, so any cool things relating to that along the way I would love to hear about! Thank you for the replies they are very helpful

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    One side trip you can consider if you have done well and arrive in Arizona with an hour or two to spare is to leave I-40 at Holbrook and take AZ-377/AZ-277/AZ-260/AZ-87 down through Heber and Payson for a scenic entry into Phoenix by way of the White Mountains.
    That actually cuts off quite a few miles and may even be a bit faster if you are going to the eastern side of Phoenix. It's definitely very scenic!

    If you want a good steak dinner and you are in Amarillo around dinnertime, the Big Texan is worth it. I recommend the ribeye, whatever size you feel you can handle. The on-premises motel is all done up in Old West decor and it's reasonably clean - it's about Super 8 quality. I do not know what their pet policy is. Amarillo also has the Cadillac Ranch.

    If you are on a lodging budget, Motel 6 has a chain-wide one pet per room free policy. La Quinta is also a pet-friendly chain, but of course it's more expensive.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    One side trip you can consider if you have done well and arrive in Arizona with an hour or two to spare is to leave I-40 at Holbrook and take AZ-377/AZ-277/AZ-260/AZ-87 down through Heber and Payson for a scenic entry into Phoenix by way of the White Mountains.

    AZBuck
    I'm also moving to Phoenix at the end of july and i was debating on whether to take I-17 or this route.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Which route you take ... I-17 vs the AZ-routes of 377, 277, 260 and 87 ... depends on how much time you have. I-40 to I-17 south is much faster. The other route is very scenic.



    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    I-40 to I-17 is not really any faster, because it's 45 miles longer. If you are going to the eastern side of Phoenix it's actually faster to take the shortcut.

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