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  1. Default Orlando, FL to Sacramento, CA - Let me pick your brain!

    Hello All,

    I'm new to these parts and wanted to pick your brain a little. My girlfriend and I will be driving from Orlando to Sacramento in January and would love any and all suggestions you have for our trip. Ideally, we want this trip to be as quick possible, as safe as possible and as efficient as possible.

    What suggestions do you have for two women, in our twenties, driving a 2011 Nissan Versa with no trailer - just a trunk packed with our favorite things? We'd love tips on where to stop for the night, what to expect in terms of weather and road conditions and overall any ideas that you can share for our knowledge.

    Thanks so much in advance!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Via fastest route, this is about a 2900 mile trip, which will take 5 days, weather permitting. We do not recommend driving more than 600 miles a day, and you should treat each day like a work day, leaving fairly early in the morning and stopping around dinnertime.

    It's impossible to predict weather and road conditions in advance.

    The most efficient route would be the Turnpike to I-75 to I-10. Take I-10 all the way to LA, but use I-12 to avoid New Orleans, use your judgment to get through or around Houston and San Antonio. To avoid major LA traffic, when you get to San Bernardino, take I-15 north to Hesperia, then US-395 to CA-58, take that to CA-99 in Bakersfield. You can either take CA-99 north to Sacramento, or cut across CA-46 to I-5.

    Suggested overnights, give or take some:

    Slidell, LA
    Seguin, TX
    El Paso, TX
    Blythe, CA

    I would recommend you join AAA. When you do, you can visit the local office and get free maps covering all the states you will be passing through. Do NOT rely solely on a GPS.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Winter Travel

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Probably the biggest thing to keep in mind, being that this trip is set for January, is that flexibility is important. Every cross country trip in winter, even ones that go across the southern part of the country have the chance of seeing snow or ice. That means it is important to have extra time available, and look at all of your options for routes.

    In your case, the most straightforward route is I-10 all the way across the country, and then I-5 up through California. It's a 2900 mile trip, which means you need a minimum of 5 long days on the road, but I'd have at least another day or two available, just in case there is weather or another issue that delays you.

    Even spaced stops would be near Gulfport MS, San Antonio TX, El Paso, and Blythe CA. Those are about the maximum you should plan to drive on any day, and if you see any significant delays, you'll need to add a day and adjust your stops as appropriate.

    There is one alternate route that is similar in distance, which you should also consider which would take you through Dallas (via US-98 and US-49 through Mississippi, or I-49 through Louisiana) and onto I-40 to California. The I-40 based route is a little shorter, but is also a little slower because it uses some non-interstate highways. It is also at a higher elevation through the west, so it generally sees more snow than I-10, but its an option if there is a storm along I-10 or it is just a route that looks more interesting to you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Hmmm....hubby and I went from San Diego to Orlando in summer 2012. We took I-8 to I-10, I-20 through Dallas, US-49 from Jackson MS down to Gulfport, then I-10 again to I-75. Our overnights were different than suggested above, because we had 2 stops with family and friends (one of two reasons we jumped up to I-20). If we had not stopped in Phoenix and a little town just northwest of Ft Worth, TX, we would have gone via I-8 and I-10 straight across.

    If you used I-75 up to I-10 and went straight I-10 to I-5 north, your overnight stops would be: (all of these days driving around 580-620 miles except the last one)

    Slidell, LA
    Kerrville, TX
    Deming, NM
    Palm Springs, CA
    Sacramento, CA

    Suggestion: To go around Phoenix and minimize traffic, when you get to Casa Grande, AZ, head west on I-8 until you get to Gila Bend. Then go north on AZ-85 up to catch I-10 again. It avoids a LOT of traffic this way.
    GLC suggested: " To avoid major LA traffic, when you get to San Bernardino, take I-15 north to Hesperia, then US-395 to CA-58, take that to CA-99 in Bakersfield. You can either take CA-99 north to Sacramento, or cut across CA-46 to I-5." That is definitely a good way to skirt around the LA traffic!!!!


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