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  1. Default Los Angeles to New Orleans in December

    Hi everyone,

    I'm from Sydney, Australia, and I'll be visiting the states in December this year with my partner. We're really keen on our road trip and have already booked a hire car from Los Angeles to New Orleans for 14 days. At the moment, we are trying to plan our route and trying to decide on which cities to drive through! Any tips and ideas would be GREATLY appreciated as neither of us have much idea about any of the states that we might pass through.

    So we are starting in LA for about 3 days, and making our way across to New Orleans, and definitely planning on making a stop in Austin. As for anything in between, we haven't decided at all! We definitely wanted to visit some smaller towns as well, e.g. Amarillo and Lubbock, in TX but other than that we aren't sure if we want to pass through places like Albuquerque or Phoenix.

    We also wanted to visit either Death Valley NP or Grand Canyon NP, and I think we will only have time enough for one of them.

    We are hiring a car from LA, so it won't be an SUV or anything like that, so any drives on unsealed/dirt roads is probably not a good idea, unfortunately.

    The main things I think we would like are:
    - incredibly scenery, scenic drives
    - places that offer unique and amazing food experiences
    - small towns and large cities

    In any case, we are very flexible and open to any ideas you might have! Sorry if my post is kind of vague :) but I've realised i don't know very much about the drive between the main cities, so I'm here for some ideas. Thanks so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    You could travel from LA to NOLA in 4 days quite comfortably, so you have time for Death valley and Grand canyon plus much more if you wanted too ! You seem to be mainly focusing on City's and small towns, I'm not sure if that's just for planning purposes or not, but there are some great natural wonders north and south of 140 as well as along it. You have time to wander more than a little if you wanted to, so I would keep studying the map and reading around the forums to see what it is that appeals to you and then think about creating a route. Near to Grand canyon is Monument valley and Four corners, you would have time to head up into southern Utah where you will find some great National parks and amazing scenery, Mesa Verde NP in Colorado wouldn't be out of the question and perhaps through Durango, Pagosa Springs to Santa Fe. You could head further south towards Tuscon, Tombstone and around the Roswell area where there are also White sands NM and Carlsbad Caverns.

    Once you have figured out a basic route based on your interests we will be able to help tweak it and offer other suggestions, but it's a little 'wide open' right now to make meaningful suggestions.

    As for the car, even if you had an SUV you would not be able to take it off paved roads without breaching your rental contract agreement so a normal sedan will be just fine.

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A little hint.

    If you are a member of NRMA, make sure you take your membership card with you. This will give you access to free maps and tourist information, including accommodation guides, at the AAA. There are offices of AAA in Los Angeles, so while you are there, make sure you pick up maps of all the States and larger urban centres through which you think you may be travelling and visiting.

    Follow Dave's suggestion and study a good (paper) map to see all the options you have in routes and the amazing national parks of the south west nearby. By leaving your trip flexible, you will see on the maps you pick up from the AAA which are the scenic routes. There are many. Far more than you will be able to travel.

    If you do not wish to take them home, leave them in a place where other tourists may pick them up.

    Alternatively you can purchase a Rand McNally atlas which has all of that information as well. Check out the shop tab on the green bar above. You still have time to order one and have it well before you leave. The 2013 edition has been out for some months now.

    Unless you have very specific requirements, or you will be travelling over Christmas/New Year, you should not have to book accommodation at that time of year.... except maybe for inside national parks.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    Here's an idea for a 14 days trip.
    1,2: Los Angeles
    3. LA-Death Valley NP
    4. DVNP-Las Vegas
    5. Las Vegas-Grand Canyon south rim (make a reservation)
    6. GCNP-Sedona
    7. Sedona-Tucson
    8. Tucson-White Sands-Alamogordo
    9. Alamogordo-Carlsbad. Afternoon visit to the caverns
    11. Carlsbad-Austin (long drive)
    12. Austin
    13. Austin-New Orleans (very long drive and Houston traffic can be horrible)
    14. Nola.
    As you can see this is a rushed trip and you won't have time for the great city of San Antonio and only limited time for Tucson
    Alternative is to drive from GC via I40 via ABQ to Clovis, Lubbock and to Austin after that. In Lubbock not much to see other than Buddy Holly museum. Keep an eye on weathercircumstances that time of year. Can be snow towards GC and at the rim and on the eastbound drive on I40 and also between Alamogordo and Carlsbad via Cloudcroft.

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