LA to NYC
My husband and I live in Queens, NY. We will be flying to LAX on 11/23, from where we will rent a car (booked a Nissan Maxima) and road-trip it back to NY. We have, technically, till 12/1/13 to complete the trip (but a day sooner will be better). Although we don't want to plan too much, we would like some idea of what states/cities we want to drive through (a general route). Would love to pass by natural beauties...plan on staying in motels/hotels along the way...
We have never done cross country before...but we have done all along the West Coast (last year) and all along the East coast (few yrs ago) one time each. so we aren't complete novices when it comes to long distance driving.
Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions you all may have, are most welcome.
p.s. we want to obviously avoid bad weather situations, so if there are places to def stay away from, let me know!
Making a start
Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !
You have about 5 full days of driving for a cross country trip so you do have a little time for exploring and/or to try and 'swerve' possible bad weather, or simply sit it out. This is of course unpredictable and you won't know what the weather will be untill 3 days [or so] in advance when you have the updated weather forecasts and road conditions to hand.
With a cross country trip you have many, many route combination options and thousands of attractions to consider and we can only really make meaningful suggestions when you have some dots on the map and an idea of those City's you want to drive through. Once you have got those dots I'm sure others can come up with suggestions to fill the gaps.
There are lots of natural wonders to explore between LA and Denver if you decided to make your way to I70. The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and up into Utah around Moab [home to Arches and Canyonlands] is a wonderful drive and I70 is one of the most scenic Interstates of them all, with lots of interesting places along the way. St Louis is always popular with the Gateway Arch and other attractions to enjoy. You might prefer staying on I40 to Albuquerque and Oklahoma and pick up parts of route 66, what takes your fancy ?
I would recommend you do a little reading around the RTA site with a good map to hand and start making a note of places you really want to see. Once you have done that you can work out how to link them together in a way that is manageable with the time you have. You could even work on a 'Plan B' in case the weather doesn't go in your favour with 'Plan A'. The good thing is that you shouldn't have any problems finding lodgings at this time of year, so you could just wait and see and wing it along the way without a set plan as you mentioned.
thanks for this....
i will begin thinking about the poss areas to see.
tell me this, i mapped LA to Moab, UT, and its a bit far - 725 mi, 10 hr 15 min via Rt 15. that's too long to drive in a day. i wanted to keep our drive time around 8 hrs if poss. is there a good place to visit before LA and Moab??
Dave mentioned several things, including The Grand Canyon and Monument Valley.
You could also head through Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capital Reef National Park. Several other state and/or tribal parks could also be included. If you take a look at a paper map you'll see many of these possibilities.
If you want to limit yourself to 8 hours a day - which make sense, since you'll only have 9-10 hours of daylight in late November - 500 miles is about the max you can think about traveling in a day.
'Real world' drive times.
You certainly do not want to do your drive times based around the unrealistic predictions of a computer program that does not need to stop to eat, use the bathroom, sleep, nor does it consider other real world details like possible construction and congestion delays, or weather for that matter. Eight hours on the road will average between 450 and 475 miles without any major sight seeing, just the basic stops. You could reach the Grand canyon south rim on day 1, or at least to the nearby towns of Williams or Tusayan. It would be possible to reach Moab next day, but wouldn't leave much time for sight seeing at the GC and Monument valley and that's where you need to work out your priorities. Keeping to 8 hours a day you will need around 6 days to drive home from LA so if you don't set out until the 24th you are already looking at the 30th before getting home with a day spare perhaps.
If you decided on I70 then Grand Canyon, Moab, Denver, Salina, St Louis and Columbus would make reasonable stops as in distance, giving you a slightly longer last day, or break it up into the following morning. Personally I would aim to take a slightly slower pace in the west at the start and then have a couple of longer days at the end of your trip, where you might be more familiar with the area, or are easier to visit from home during future trips.
this makes total sense. i think we will stretch it out a little more in the West...and when we reach East, we will take longer trips.
I've done a similar trip before -- New York City to Sacramento, so slightly more northerly and a few hours longer, but we took six days in order to have a bit of adventure time combined with reasonable hours. We did do the same thing as you're thinking and it worked well -- we took shorter days for the first four, then finished with two long days. We were rested enough after the easy first few days to make the final two completely manageable.
On a different trip, I added Moab in, and because it was too far for the first day, we stopped a few hours beforehand, then drove those few hours before spending the rest of the day exploring. We were able to stay the night there, but could have easily used it as an extended break and then gone a few more hours before stopping for the night. Could be an option if you really want to see that area (vs the many other possibilities!).
hey guys -
thanks for all your help. hubby and i have come up w/ a tentative route for the trip:
as you can see we have planned to explore the WEST much more...and drive longer days as we get East...bc a) not a whole lot to see and b) we can really explore it anytime/ have seen a lot east of Ohio anyway.
also w/ this plan we will be staying 6 nights in hotels/motels, essentially giving us an extra night (since we have 7 nights) to either just spend back at home in NYC, or in case anything happens, and we decide to stay an extra night somewhere West or along the way...
thought i'd share...
now the rest, we shall play by ear!!
oh and to clarify, we will land in LAX, but drive straight to Vegas and stay the night there, so wont be staying in LA at all...essentially buying that extra night ;-)
Why not fly into Vegas ?
I'm kind of wondering why you don't just fly to Las Vegas ? The flights are similar in price and if you have no plans to sight see in LA it seems a bit of a waste of valuable time.
I can't see much point in adding Page to your drive it will just mean you will have very little time anywhere else in the west and your present route by passes Monument valley, you need to take US163. I think you will need that extra day to break your trip up on the journey home, as it is you have 3 straight 10-11 hour drives.