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  1. Default Los Angeles to New York Early August

    A friend and I are driving from Los Angeles to New York in early August in a Prius. We have 6-8 days. We are driving to Sedona the first day. After that we will be following I-40 to I-81. What I am particularly interested in are specific places to get off the interstate and drive for a couple of hours on more scenic roads (e.g. Route 66 and Blue Ridge Parkway). For time purposes we have to largely drive the interstate so I am looking for suggestions for the best places to exit and then reenter the interstate for short side travels that will still keep us generally headed in the right direction. Many thanks. I have learned a lot from this website in planning the trip.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default 66, 64, Blue Ridge and Others

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You would need close to six days to make the drive just using the Interstates, so plan on taking all eight days that you have available if you really want to wander off onto the side roads, especially the Blue Ridge Parkway which can be a very slow drive with limited opportunities to escape it. Your best shot at US-66 is on the first day. Leave Los Angeles on I-15 north and then take I-40 east exit at Kingman and take the old Mother Road (now signed as AZ-66) through Peach Springs and rejoin I-40 at Seligman. This is the longest remaining stretch of the old highway, and gets you the farthest from the modern day superslabs. But with an early enough start from L.A. to beat the morning rush hour, you should still be able to arriv3e in Sedona by nightfall.

    On the High Plains there will be limited chances to take scenic alternative routes, but you can think about a few longer detours such as I-25 from Albuquerque up to Santa Fe and then USA-285 back down to I-40. Another longish scenic detour occurs in eastern Oklahoma. You can leave I-40 at Warner and take OK-2 south, OK-31 east and OK-82 south to Talhina and the start of the Talimena
    Scenic Byway into Arkansas. At the end, Mena AK, take AK-8/US-70 east to I-30 and rejoin I-40 at Little Rock.

    The next opportunity for a good alternative to I-40 occurs in southwestern Tennessee. If you leave Memphis on US-64 and take that east across the southern part of the state, you'll both pass near Shiloh Battlefield as well as connect with the Natchez Trace parkway just east of Waynsboro. Take the Parkway up into Nashville to rejoin I-40. Again just before you get to Knoxville, you should consider leaving I-40 and taking US-321 through Maryville to Pigeon Forge and cross the Appalachians through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You would then either join the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Asheville area or take I-26 up to I-81. I'd suggest getting on the Blue Ridge here and seeing how your time stands. If you're running short hop off and make your way to I-81 as best you can. (You will have good maps with you, no?)

    There is even a scenic alternative of sorts to I-95 from Washington to New York. Stay or get back on I-81 north up through Harrisburg and there get on I-78 into New York. Unfortunately, you won't have time for all of those scenic detours, but certainly you'll have time to take enough of them to make your RoadTrip rewarding.


  3. Default

    Thank you AZBuck. That is exactly what I am looking for. Auto Club loaded me down with maps and books (plus I have a GPS that gets traffic). Is there a second best option for Route 66? I considered the road between Kingman and Seligman but was planning to take I-10 the first day and then head up to Sedona just west of Phoenix (taking I-17 and 179) to avoid having to back track and to see the scenery. Your thoughts?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Easy Choice

    For me, given the option of approaching Sedona by driving through Phoenix rush hour traffic (coming north from I-10) or driving through gorgeous Oak Creek Canyon (coming south from I-40 near Flagstaff), it's a no brainer. Take the scenic route and skip Phoenix.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    You would then either join the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Asheville area or take I-26 up to I-81. I'd suggest getting on the Blue Ridge here and seeing how your time stands.
    Just a word of warning, a significant portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed from Asheville northeast to Mount Mitchell due to a failing portion of the highway. It is unlikely to be reopened anytime soon. This thread discusses the problem in more detail.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    What about getting off I-10 east of Quartzsite, then take US-60/AZ-71/AZ-89/Alt-89 to Sedona? This will take you through Prescott and Jerome. Then you can use Oak Creek Canyon to get to I-40 to continue your trip. Get off at Winslow and take old 66 through town and go stand on the corner.

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