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  1. Default New Member Looking for Help from Experienced Road Trippers

    This site looks like exactly what I'm looking for. I'm so glad to have stumbled on it. My husband and I are in our early 60s and recently retired. We live in Tallahassee, Florida; our daughter and grandchildren live in Los Angeles, CA. Usually we fly out to visit, but we're thinking, since we now have the time, that a road trip to CA and back would be fun. We are thinking of driving 4-5 hours a day, maybe more some days, maybe less. We would like to return by a different route than the one we go out by. We would like to visit some fun, interesting and hopefully new, to us, places.

    We did take the station wagon trip with the kids out west twice during the late 1980s. Those were great trips. We've been to the Grand Canyon (hiked down, camped overnight, hiked out - in July!! That was not great timing; it nearly killed us!!) ,North Rim of the Grand Canyon Yellowstone, Bryce and Zion, the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, the Grand Tetons, Yosemite, an extremely cool place in Montana called Big Sandy that was way off the beaten track. You get the picture. We've seen the big highlights; not that they're not worth another look, but we're wondering what we've missed. Smaller, but still worth seeing, locations.

    I'm hoping that you folks have some ideas, some "Oh, you really ought to see.." places that you can suggest. Maybe some insider info. Thanks you in advance for any ideas you'll share with us. This trip will probably take place early 2014 so we have plenty of time to plan. Oh, our camping days are behind us, hot shower and soft bed at the end of the day, please.


    PS This is my first forum post ever. My husband says there's etiquette. Hope I'm being properly polite.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-19-2013 at 10:07 PM. Reason: added some white space

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default How long a trip?

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Since you'd like to spend about 4-5 hours traveling per day, it will take about 10 days to travel from your home to Los Angeles and depending upon the route, about the same to go back. Do you have a length of time in mind?

    Your post is very polite -- no issues with that -- generally we prefer to keep all posts about a given trip in one thread, but your comment on the "Recommendations" thread won't get moved this time.

    There are quite literally thousands of places to discover and explore along a southern route.

    To get started, you might look at this page of routes and see if any of those places appeal to you.

    Likewise, if you go the Map Wizard page and create a route from your home to LA and then add some of the RTA attractions found along that route -- you might find some of those places interesting.

    And there are plenty of nice places to stay overnight --

    Perhaps you could share with us -- do you prefer natural locations? great shopping? resorts, festivals, live music, etc.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Sounds Familiar

    My wife and I find ourselves in much the same boat. Having traveled extensively and seen all the 'major' attractions, we find ourselves wanting to slow down a bit, stop and 'smell the roses', and poke into some of the lesser known and seldom visited sites that everywhere has to offer. We actually find these mostly at least as rewarding as the sites that the majority of tourists flock to, often more so simply because the tourists aren't showing up in droves. A few general types of places that we have found most rewarding include local historic sites/societies, national wildlife refuges, formal gardens, period homes, state parks, etc. Some specific sites along I-10 would include Gulf Islands National Seashore, the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion in Mobile, the Creole Nature Trail, the LBJ state and national historic parks, Fort Lancaster State Historic Park, Old Mesilla Village in Las Cruces NM; Kartchner Caverns, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Yuma Territorial Prison, and Joshua Tree National Park. There are, of course, many more, but those should do for a start.


  4. Default

    Looks like I've got plenty to keep me busy planning. Many thanks to Mark and AZBuck. I'll be back after I've done my homework.

  5. Default

    We've been to the Desert Museum. It was extremely cool, figuratively not literally. The others are all new to us. I'll be checking them out. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  6. #6


    I can't wait until my DH retires (probably 10 more years) and we can hit the road and just explore together - I swear I have gypsy in me - for now I keep content doing road trips with my kids and exploring the US with them!

    There are literally thousands of things to see that are off-the-beaten path, and even on the beaten-path that many miss when they go see the bigger attractions. For example, on our way to Grand Canyon, we spent four days exploring the Flagstaff area - not originally planned, but when we stopped for a break, I realized there's Tuzigoot, Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon, Waputki, Montezuma's Castle, we enjoyed seeing those and then got up to Grand Canyon. So if you like National Parks, there are hundreds to go see, some really small and off the radar of many or located in areas with not much else (ie. Fossil Butte).

    When I'm planning road trips I like to do loops, so my return isn't the same as my departure - not always possible, but most of the trip drive can be done that way. That gives you things to do out and back that are different.

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