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  1. Default SouthWestern Road Trip

    My husband and I are taking a road trip from Miami to Las Angles. The following is our itinerary. We need advice for the cheapest car rentals, where it is worth it to take airfair/train/bus, and is there anything missing on our itinerary or any places that are just not worth it. Neither of us have been down south and I have never been to West Coast so any and all advice is greatly appreciated!!!

    THANKS!!! :)

    Miami, FL
    Jacksonville, FL
    Montgomery, AL
    Mobile, AL
    Jackson, MS
    New Orleans, LA
    Houston, TX
    Austin, TX
    San Antonio, TX
    Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
    Albuquerque, NM
    Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
    Grand Canyon, AZ
    Hoover Dam
    Las Vegas, NV
    Los Angeles, CA
    Pheonix, AZ

  2. #2


    As long as you are going to be in the Carlsbad Caverns area, I would add White Sands Nat'l Monument to your agenda.

    If you take the very scenic US 82 from Artesia to Alamogordo, the little town of Cloudcroft, New Mexico is an interesting stop.

    The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in Carlsbad is also a great stop. Some of the desert plants are simply amazing.
    Last edited by Charlie H; 11-26-2013 at 09:17 PM.

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    How much time do you have for this trip? When will you be traveling?

    There is no one car rental company that is always going to be cheapest, it will always depend upon exactly where you are starting and ending, and when you are traveling. What I can tell you is that you will pretty much always pay more to rent a car one way. Because of that, using air/train/bus at all likely would not be a good choice anywhere. It would be better just to rent one car and use it for the entire trip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    It's about 6-7 days of driving without any lengthy stops from Miami to LA, and another 7 hours back to Phoenix. Hopefully you have lots of extra time to see the things you've mentioned plus others. I noticed you mentioned a lot of cities - were there things in the cities that interest you, or are those mentioned just because they're along the route?

    Between Miami and Jacksonville is Kennedy Space Center. A tour there would show you the pads where all the Apollo missions lifted off, and a huge museum dedicated mostly to the Apollo missions with Mercury and Gemini in it as well. We allowed 5 hours and should have allowed another 2 or 3.

    In Houston is the Johnson Space Center. I haven't been there in about 37 years, so I can't speak for the current tour. But we are planning this for a future trip and I'm excited about it.

    Albuquerque has a lot going for it: Petroglyphs National Monument, Rio Grande State Nature Park, the National Nuclear Museum, and a trip up that mountain on a tram if you're so inclined (pun intended).

    Allow 2-3 hours for the trip through Petrified Forest, and at least a half day (if not a full day) at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. (I'm not sure when you're planning this trip for, but you put it in the Fall-Winter forum. The North Rim generally closes down most services in September and the roads will close due to snow in Oct-Nov, I believe.)


  5. Default

    Thanks for the recommendations Charlie! Those places sound really cool, we will definitely add them :)

  6. Default

    thanks for the welcome Michael!

    We have a month from Dec. to Jan. :)
    We are going from Miami to LA to Phoenix

  7. Default


    So the trip is partially a business trip for my husband so some of the cities are places we have to stop for that. Others are just along the way, we are for sure looking for lost treasures! We are into everything really! We did a trip this past summer down the east coast and we did nature, history, and cities! It was amazing! We are looking to replicate that here during this trip!

    Also, we were recommended to skip the Petrified Forest, what do you think??

    Thanks so much for the ideas! We are like super excited and I am itching to start booking stuff!!! :D


  8. #8


    Since you will go right through Petrified Forest Nat'l Park on the way from Albuquerque to Grand Canyon, I would definitely take the drive through the Park. It would probably only take three hours or less. In addition to the Petrified Forest, you will also pass through the southern end of the Painted Desert which is beautiful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Not only would I not recommend you skip the petrified forest, I wouldn't recommend skipping anything at this point.

    When you are early in the planning process, you are better off getting more information about more places than you could ever use. As you do more research, you might discover places you'd rather spend your time -for example maybe instead of I40 past petrified forest, you'll discover you want to head up to mesa verde and monument valley on your way to the GC, but make those decisions based on what looks interesting to you.

  10. #10

    Default No Shortage Of Places To See And Things To Do!!

    Some other places you might consider are Sedona, Arizona and Jerome, Arizona. On the way to Sedona, a stop at Slide Rock State Park is well worth the time.

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