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  1. Default From Maryland to Grand Canyon National Park

    Hi guys!

    This is my first message to this great site.

    We are planning to take a trip from Central Maryland to Grand Canyon National Park in either April or May.

    The back and forth would last for around 12-14 days. I have never been to those neck of the woods - so tp speak. I would love to know the major places that can be visited en-route. For one, I am thinking of Graceland.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Putting a few ideas out there.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It looks to be a round trip in of over 4500 miles, so 8 to 9 days of travel. There would be thousands of options to choose from so it would help if you were to do a little research and study a good map to see what appeals to you and your tastes. Just reading around the forums and checking the planning pages in the tool bars above can help greatly, such as the Map centre where you can create routes and find attractions. You might want to get out west quickly and have more time to spare out there, or even things out at a steadier pace all the way. [?]

    Taking two different routes out and back will have the advantage of seeing new things. You could take I70 on the way out through St Louis [Gateway Arch] and Denver [RMNP] into Southern Utah. I70 west of Denver is one of the most scenic Interstates and as you head into Southern Utah you could visit the wonderful parks of Arches and Canyonlands NP [near Moab] before driving down through scenic Monument valley to the Grand canyon south rim.

    Taking I40 on the way home via Memphis, you could stop at places like the Petrified Forest NP, Albuquerque, Cadillac Ranch nr Amarillo, Nashville, Smokey mountains, and Shenandoah NP to name a few.

    I'm not suggesting you should try and visit them all with your time, just putting a few ideas out there.

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

    Default Some Standard Stuff to Start

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Often, planning such a monumental RoadTrip, especially the first time, can seem like a daunting task, especially when you want to make sure that you get the most out of it. So the first thing to do is to break it down into manageable chunks. The first of those is to design your framework. This is actually pretty easy, but requires a bit of thought. Mainly think about what you want to get out of your trip. Besides the major destinations, there's also the pace of the trip, what you want a typical day to look like, how tied to a schedule you want to be, things like that. Your post indicates that this is to be a trip of discovery, taking you to parts of the country you've never seen. In that case I'd recommend two things: 1) Take different routes out and back to maximize the amount of new country that you get to see. 2) Take a good bit more than the minimum drive time indicated by on-line mapping routines so that you have time to actually stop along the way to see all the new country.

    So, let's deal with the first item first - taking different routes. Since your time is actually pretty limited for such a large drive, one route should be the shortest possible. That would be I-70 to St. Louis, I-44 to Oklahoma City, and I-40 to Flagstaff near the Grand Canyon. Along that route (which follows some historic old road alignments) there are some great cities such as St. Louis and Santa Fe which is a little bit off your route. Then the other route would be the longer, more southerly route that includes Memphis: I-81 down to Knoxville, I-40 through Memphis to Little Rock, I-20/I-10 through Dallas and most of Texas, and then a bit of 'surface roads' northwest through New Mexico and Arizona such as US-180/US-285/US-380/US-60/US-180(again). Besides Memphis, that route could include the Great Smoky Mountains, Dallas, Carlsbad Caverns, Roswell, and the Petrified Forest.

    Next would be the timing. The short route can be driven in four days, but schedule five so you have time for stops. Similarly, the longer route can be driven in five, so schedule six. That leaves you at least one day at the Canyon, plus a possible two more days to sprinkle around as you see fit.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It looks to be a round trip in of over 4500 miles, so 8 to 9 days of travel. There would be thousands of options to choose from so it would help if you were to do a little research and study a good map to see what appeals to you and your tastes. Just reading around the forums and checking the planning pages in the tool bars above can help greatly, such as the Map centre where you can create routes and find attractions. You might want to get out west quickly and have more time to spare out there, or even things out at a steadier pace all the way. [?]

    Taking two different routes out and back will have the advantage of seeing new things. You could take I70 on the way out through St Louis [Gateway Arch] and Denver [RMNP] into Southern Utah. I70 west of Denver is one of the most scenic Interstates and as you head into Southern Utah you could visit the wonderful parks of Arches and Canyonlands NP [near Moab] before driving down through scenic Monument valley to the Grand canyon south rim.

    Taking I40 on the way home via Memphis, you could stop at places like the Petrified Forest NP, Albuquerque, Cadillac Ranch nr Amarillo, Nashville, Smokey mountains, and Shenandoah NP to name a few.

    I'm not suggesting you should try and visit them all with your time, just putting a few ideas out there.

    Thank you for your message.

    I looked at your message and that of AZBuck. My aim would be to see as many places on the way back and forth so I definitely like your opinion on taking two different routes. I guess we got that settled. Since you guys are the gurus in this thing, let's try to figure out which one would be the better one to choose.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Often, planning such a monumental RoadTrip, especially the first time, can seem like a daunting task, especially when you want to make sure that you get the most out of it. So the first thing to do is to break it down into manageable chunks. The first of those is to design your framework. This is actually pretty easy, but requires a bit of thought. Mainly think about what you want to get out of your trip. Besides the major destinations, there's also the pace of the trip, what you want a typical day to look like, how tied to a schedule you want to be, things like that. Your post indicates that this is to be a trip of discovery, taking you to parts of the country you've never seen. In that case I'd recommend two things: 1) Take different routes out and back to maximize the amount of new country that you get to see. 2) Take a good bit more than the minimum drive time indicated by on-line mapping routines so that you have time to actually stop along the way to see all the new country.

    So, let's deal with the first item first - taking different routes. Since your time is actually pretty limited for such a large drive, one route should be the shortest possible. That would be I-70 to St. Louis, I-44 to Oklahoma City, and I-40 to Flagstaff near the Grand Canyon. Along that route (which follows some historic old road alignments) there are some great cities such as St. Louis and Santa Fe which is a little bit off your route. Then the other route would be the longer, more southerly route that includes Memphis: I-81 down to Knoxville, I-40 through Memphis to Little Rock, I-20/I-10 through Dallas and most of Texas, and then a bit of 'surface roads' northwest through New Mexico and Arizona such as US-180/US-285/US-380/US-60/US-180(again). Besides Memphis, that route could include the Great Smoky Mountains, Dallas, Carlsbad Caverns, Roswell, and the Petrified Forest.

    Next would be the timing. The short route can be driven in four days, but schedule five so you have time for stops. Similarly, the longer route can be driven in five, so schedule six. That leaves you at least one day at the Canyon, plus a possible two more days to sprinkle around as you see fit.

    AZBuck

    Please see my response to Dave. I am trying to figure out the best possible route and you both have given me great suggestions. I want to decided, with your help, in choosing the best possible ones.

    Thanks again!

    PS: This community is a treasure trove. I hope to be coming here for years and contributing as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Next Step

    Thanks for the feedback. At this point it's really up to you to pick your basic route(s) and timeframe. I actually like Dave's suggestion for a 'northern' route a bit more than the one I gave you as it's only about an hour longer in driving time, but does take you through the heart of the Rockies to Arches and Monument Valley. More importantly, it's up to you to determine how much time you can devote both to the trip and to sight-seeing. While there are a number of great places to visit, even with fourteen days you will not have enough time to see them all, so think about which ones you'll want to include and which ones you can forego. This is something for you and your travel companion(s) to decide, not us. We'll be glad to help you with particulars and general tips, but at this point it's over to you. Have fun planning.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default The more, the merrier.

    Quote Originally Posted by maestro96 View Post
    I hope to be coming here for years and contributing as well.
    That would be wonderful. It is always refreshing to get new ideas, and a new outlook on a trip, from new members. No one person has done it all / seen it all.

    Enjoy the planning, and the trip.

    Lifey

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