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  1. Default Richmond,VA to San Fran, CA

    My husband and I are moving from Richmond, VA to San Francisco, CA right after Christmas. We are a little concerned about the weather and don't really want to drive through a ton of snow but would also like to do some sightseeing along the way. We have up to 2 weeks to complete the trip. Movers will be taking our "stuff" but we will be driving the car, a fairly new SUV.

    Any recommendations for a route to minimize weather concerns and any "must-sees" along the way? We have done a few fairly long road trips in the past (Salt Lake to Yellowstone to Glacier and back to Salt Lake; San Francisco to Yosemite to Napa and back to San Fran; Virginia to Charleston/ Savannah to New Orleans to Nashville back to Virginia) but this is the first cross-county trip for us. Thanks for any advice you can give.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Setting Up a Basic Plan

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are a couple of advantages that come with having two weeks to make a cross country drive that could be done, comfortably, in five days. The first is obviously that you'll have time to visit more than a few attractions along the way. The second, and equally as important in the winter, is that you'll have time to wait out any inclement weather you should run across.

    There are some general things to keep in mind as you plan. No route is guaranteed to be free of ice and/or snow. Even I-10, the southernmost of the major east-west Interstates, is subject to occasional snow, sleet, and ice. But as a rule the Interstates are also the last roads to close and the first roads to be reopened in any storm. In fact, the northern routes are often kept open throughout a storm while southern routes are closed simply because there is more road clearing equipment where snow is more frequent. In any event, you shouldn't plan your trip around the likelihood of snow closures to roads, just budget a possible day or two to account for any weather delays and 'enjoy' them should you need to use them.

    What you should plan for is the closure of some of the major national parks. For example Yellowstone, for all intents and purposes, closes for the winter. Most of the visitor centers in Rocky Mountain National Park close for the winter, Tioga Pass over the Sierra Nevada which allows access to Yosemite from the east is closed for the winter, The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is inaccessible for the winter. So, with all those closures in mind, as well as the parts of the country you've already seen, I'd be looking at, very roughly, taking I-85 down to Atlanta, then I-20 to Birmingham, US-78 to Memphis, and I-40 to California, finishing with CA-58 to I-5 north to San Francisco. There are plenty of worthwhile sights along that general route, and even more if you decide to make a few detours. If that seems to work for you, let us know what your interests are and maybe we can point you to a few.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Winter is a perfect time to see Death Valley, and may be a good time to drive up the PCH and take a Hearst Castle tour.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the help so far. I think we will take our time so hopefully weather won't be too much of an issue. We've done Yellowstone so we're okay with missing that but is it still possible to see part of the Grand Canyon in January. I like the suggested route "aking I-85 down to Atlanta, then I-20 to Birmingham, US-78 to Memphis, and I-40 to California, finishing with CA-58 to I-5 north to San Francisco". Any suggestions for fun things to see? I love history and we both love nature/outdoors. We also just love quirky/ unusual things and eating so any strange sights or can't-miss restaurants along that route? Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The Grand Canyon South Rim is open year-round.

    If you are in Amarillo TX at dinnertime and you like good steak, go to the Big Texan.

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