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  1. Default Roadtrip Miami-Los Angles via SF, Any suggestions or comment

    Hi!

    I'm a father planning a roadtrip with my kids, 16 and 14 years from Miami to LA in Juli 2014.

    I'm planning to stay in NY the first five days, take a plane to Miami and drive from there. We have 27 days from Miami to LA.

    The kids want of course some clear, warm water, beach, some shopping. I hope to discover some good food, take some great photos. And the three of us want to discover the south of USA, both the tourist traps and some unknown treasures. We plan to stay at Inn's and some hotels.

    Here's my initial plan:

    Day 1: Miami, South beach

    Day 2: Key West

    Day 3: Disney

    Day 4: Disney

    Day 5: Drive to Apalachicola (5h), eat some oysters.

    Day 6: Apalachicola-New Orleans (6h)

    Day 7: Stay in New Orleans

    Day 8: Drive New Orleans-San Antonio (8h)

    Day 9 Stay in San Antonio

    Day 10 San Antioni-Carlsbad (9h)

    Day 11 Visit the Caves, drive to Las Cruces via Roswell (6h)

    Day 12 Drive to Sierra Vista via Tombstone

    Day 13 Drive to Monument Valley hotel (8h)

    Day 14 Drive to Las Vegas via South Rim, GC (7h)

    Day 15 Stay i Las Vegas

    Day 16 Drive to Bishop via Death Valley, Dantes view, Zabriskie Point, Devils golf (7h)

    Day 17 Drive to SF via Yosemite Valley. (7)

    Day 18 Stay in SF

    Day 19-22 Highway 1 to Hollywood

    Day 23 Stay in Hollywood

    Day 24 Stay in Los Angeles.

    3 Days to spare.

    Link to map: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/ed...g.kc4NbodCXFPs

    This has not Highway 1 because of Gmaps limitations.

    So, what do you all think? Is it safe to drive this trip with two kids? Is there anything else we must see? There is some days with lots of driving, but I have tried to have a rest day after those long drives. It would be frustrating if we drove all those miles and missed some great places.

    I would be very happy to hear if anyone has any suggestions.

    Regards

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default National Parks take time.

    Hi Tord, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Great trip you have planned, coast to coast. Should give your children some wonderful memories to take home. How old are the children? At each national park they have a program called Junior Ranger program, which may suit your children particularly if they are of school age. However, this program which teaches the children (and you) a lot about the parks, will take a little more time than I fear you have allowed. It will also give them some cool souvenirs to take home.

    It appears to me that the times you have quoted come straight off a computer mapping program. You need to add 20% to these times to get anywhere near reality. This recent discussion might be of interest.

    I would advice against driving in one day from Monument Valley to LV and visit the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon alone is worth a complete day, and an overnight stay if you can possibly manage it. It is a very large national park and there is much to see, as well as the aforementioned Junior Ranger Program. An overnight stay would allow you to witness a sunset or sunrise (or both) over the canyon. See the colours of the canyon walls change with the changing light of the sun. A wonderful sight.

    Similarly with your drive to San Francisco. You really will not get to see much of Yosemite if you just drive through it. You will want to make a visit to the many waterfalls, the valley, half dome and of course take time to drive up to Glacier Point. This is all after you have taken your time over the spectacular Tioga Pass, taken in the views and loaded the camera with unforgettable scenes.

    You might also consider the Everglades National Park, in Florida. A chance to see the alligators close up in the wild. A unique place of fauna and flora.

    With three days to spare, at a minimum I would add these to the National Parks, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and perhaps also Everglades.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 03-19-2014 at 02:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome!

    Lifey mentioned that you need to add some travel times to your plans. Orlando to Apalachicola is probably going to be more around 6 or 7 hours. Teenagers usually take a little longer to get back into the car after a stop, so stops will lengthen that trip. Apalachicola to New Orleans will be more around 8 hours, and New Orleans to San Antonio means traversing a large city (Houston) and 540 miles, so you're looking at 9-10 hours.

    If you really think you want to see Carlsbad Caverns and then drive to Roswell, look around there, and then drive to Las Cruces, then I would be at the Caverns when the Visitor Center opens. Get yourself into the caves early, or in line for a ranger-guided tour, to avoid the crowds that usually show up at national parks around 10 am. Then you may have time to make that 5-6 hour drive and still have time to see anything of Roswell.


    Donna

  4. Default

    Hi Lifey!
    Thank you for your suggestions. I will alter my plan according to your advice.
    i will do Everglades, skip one day at DisneyWorld (the teens is 14 and 16). Take one night in GC, and one in YNP.
    If Key West worth a extra day?

  5. Default

    Hi Donna!
    Thank you. Yeah, teens, adorable, aren't they? :)
    It is no must to see the Caverns, the reason for going that much south is to visit something like Tombstone city. Any other suggestion would be appreciated!
    So the caverns if just to do something in between San Antionio and Sierra Vista (or a nearby city)

    Tord
    Last edited by Tord; 03-21-2014 at 01:10 AM.

  6. Default

    This is my new schedule according to the advises I have got:
    Day 1: Miami, South beach
    Day 2: Drive to Key West, if we have time, visit Everglades
    Day 3: Early drive towards Orlando, visit Everglades if we didn't do it day 2
    Day 4: Disney
    Day 5: Drive to Panama City
    Day 6: Panama City-New Orleans
    Day 7: Stay in New Orleans
    Day 8: Drive New Orleans-San Antonio (10h drive, but I have rested the day before and will rest the day after)
    Day 9 Stay in San Antonio
    Day 10 San Antonio -Carlsbad, somewhere near the cave
    Day 11 Early visit the Caves, drive to Las Cruces via Roswell (6h)
    Day 12 Drive to Sierra Vista via Tombstone
    Day 13 Drive to Monument Valley hotel (try to arrive before sunset)
    Day 14 Drive to South Rim, GC
    Day 15 Stay in GC
    Day 16 Drive towards Las Vegas (really want to arrive at sunset :) )
    Day 17 Stay in Las Vegas
    Day 18 Drive to Bishop via Death Valley, Dantes view, Zabriskie Point, Devils golf (7h)
    Day 17 Drive to Yosemite Valley. (7)
    Day 18 Stay in Yosemite
    Day 19 Drive to SF
    Day 20 Stay in SF
    Day 21 Highway 1
    Day 22 Hightway 1 to Hollywood
    Day 23 Stay in Hollywood
    Day 24 Los Angeles downtown
    Day 25 Orange County

    2 days to spare.
    I have to book room at The view Hotel, Monument valley in advance, so that will be my checkpoint.

    EDIT: I just realized 4th July is either day 2,3,4 of my trip. Where should we stay? Miami ,Key West or Orlando. DW is probably h**l that day?
    Last edited by Tord; 03-21-2014 at 02:23 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default A possible 'bonus'.

    Looks as though you are in for a great trip ! You will be so pleased you allowed extra time for the NP's and Yosemite NP is an amazing place, one of my favourites in fact !

    As you have 2 days to spare you could 'snag' another amazing National park. From Sierra Vista drive to the Grand canyon south rim first and then go to Monument valley. From Monument valley you would then head to Vegas via Zion NP and I15. This is actually less miles than going from Sierra Vista up to Monument valley and back down to the GC on the way to Vegas. Zion is quite amazing too !

    Dave.

  8. Default

    Hi Dave!
    Thanks for the suggestions! I will recalculate my route to see how it fits in :)

  9. Default

    EDIT:
    Hotels are beginning to fill up :)
    The only solution was this:
    Booked hotel in GC two nights
    Stay in GC one hole day
    Drive to The view hotel, stay there over night.
    Drive to Bishop.

    This means I have one day to spare at the beginning, and one day short on the second half of the vacation :(
    Last edited by Tord; 03-21-2014 at 05:47 AM.

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