i am planning a RoadTrip from New Orleans to San Francisco in Mid-March. I'll be driving with my girlfriend. We are from Germany, both 27 and experienced drivers.
We have a quite good idea about the itinary by now and have drawn the route. We are just looking for some more advice from the experts, in case we have forgotten some major must-sees or if some day-trips would take too much time and if we should skip more.
Start will be in New Orleans the 12th of March and we'll have exactly 12 days for the trip west to San Francisco. We have already booked a midsize SUV.
We've been reading in other posts, that the maximum, still enjoyable drive should be 500 miles per day. So we considered this. Our goal ist to see as many cool places as possible, we are aware that we have to skip some great sights/ NPs and that we won't have a lot of time hiking/ staying in one place. Also we are aware that weather and snow might be an issue in some of the places, we try to be as flexibel as possible.
Here is the (rough) itinery, we tried to arrive in a city at night, so we might be able to do something after sunset due to the fact, that the sunset won't be on our side in March.
Day 1: New Orleans - San Antonio (with a short stop in Houston). This will also be the longest drive
Day 2: San Antonio - Alpine, TX
Day 3: Alpine, TX - White Sands, NM
Day4: White Sands, NM - Santa Fe, NM
Day5: Santa Fe, NM - Durango, CO
Day 6: Durango, CO - Flagstaff, AZ (via Monument Valley). We decided to skip all the National Parks north of Page/ Utah. Our next RoadTrip will be further North and more in the summer, then we want to cover all the NPs like Bryce, Arches, Antelope,...)
Day 7: Grand Canyon South Rim
Day 8: Flagstaff - Las Vegas, NV
Day 9: Las Vegas
Day 10: Las Vegas - somewhere in California, maybe near Bakersfield. via Death valley. We have seen Yosemite, so we decided to skip it this time, also weatherwise.
Day 11: Highway #1 starting in San Simeon and going up to Monterey, CA
Day 12: Arrive in San Francisco
We are looking forward to hearing from you and hopefully we can get some advice if there might even be a better route to head west from New Orleans and if we could miss something, which we might regret later.
Thank you very much!
best regards from munich, Germany,
p.s. great forum and we already learned a lot here!