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  1. Default Road Trip From Tn. to Redwood National Park, Calif

    Hi! My husband & I are planning this trip from Chatt. Tn to the Redwood Ntl. Park around July to Sept 2014. We plan on pulling a toy hauler (we have a Goldwing 1800 trike). We want to take the shortest route with the best scenery / attractions along the way. We like quaint, historic towns, yard sales, flea markets, theme parks...out of the way jewels. We are not really 'beach' people as far as spending time sunning on the beach etc. We are retired 'young' seniors lol. We will stay in campgrounds mostly of course, although I would like to stay in a recommended B & B at least once. We have NO IDEA of which route to take or WHAT STATES have the best attractions so ANY suggestions would be appreciated. Actually, why not just plan our trip for us? Thanks!

  2. Default

    Wow, that's quite a trip, well over 2000 miles each way.

    My map suggests I-40 > I-5 > US101 so perhaps let's try that as a first attempt and see what we get:

    Nashville and Memphis: music!

    Arkansas: the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains.

    Texas panhandle: near Amarillo there's a very good state park - Palo Duro Canyon.

    New Mexico: you might want to divert off to Santa Fe.

    Arizona: the south rim of the Grand Canyon is the obvious choice, but there are also a number of interesting national monuments near Flagstaff that are definitely worthy of consideration including Montezuma Castle, Wupatki and Walnut Canyon. You might also like Sedona.

    Between Seligman and Kingman you might like to take Az66 via Peach Springs, the longest surviving stretch of Route 66. There's another Route 66 stretch between Kingman and Needles via Oatman but it's a slow and somewhat tortuous mountain road.

    California: you can use Ca58 from Barstow to Bakersfield to avoid Los Angeles, if you wish.

    You might like to divert off the direct route eastward to Sequoia National Park, and/or Yosemite Valley - or westward to the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Then San Francisco is an obvious choice.

    Finally there's the choice of the inland US101, or the coastal and more scenic Ca1 (but the northern end of Ca1 over the coastal mountains to Leggett is slow and twisty).

    I must stress that the above route is only one of a huge number of possibilities, and the places that I've listed are only a few out of many.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-22-2014 at 08:37 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default That's not what we do here

    Quote Originally Posted by jjppx View Post
    Actually, why not just plan our trip for us? Thanks!
    Because that's not something we do here. There are plenty of resources for planning your own trip and, of course, you can receive tips and suggestions here from the membership, but you will be doing the heavy lifting.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    We love to help, but as Mark has suggested, it's your trip. Planning a trip is half (or more) of the fun! That said, though, I know that planning a long trip can be overwhelming at first. So here are some ideas to help get you started:

    First, get out a good road map of the USA or an atlas. See what's between you and your destination that looks interesting. Flag them in some way. Pretty soon, a route will become obvious. (John has given you a few suggestions.)

    Then comes the nitty-gritty details. Where will you stay overnight? Try not to drive more than 450-500 miles per day when you're towing and have to set up a campsite (and then tear it down the next morning.) That means 9-10 hours on the road, including your food-fuel-rest stops but not including any sightseeing stops. If you look at maps of each individual state, you'll see a Tent sign where there is a state park or national forest campground. For commercial ones, you'll have to consult a Good Sam, Woodall's, or other campground/RV park directory.

    How long should you spend in each place? National Parks *usually* mean at least a full day, and some command more than one day!

    Hopefully that will get you started in planning your trip.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default It's your (unique) trip.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjppx View Post
    We want to take the shortest route with the best scenery / attractions along the way. We like quaint, historic towns, yard sales, flea markets, theme parks...out of the way jewels.
    Have you thought to draw a straight line on a map of the USA, and see where that goes. Following close to that will most likely be the shortest route, but it will not necessarily be the fastest. To get some idea of the best scenery, follow Donna's advice and get maps of all the States through which you think you may be driving. Maps such as those produced by AAA (if you are a member, they are free) or Rand McNally have the scenic routes marked with a dotted line. That will give you some idea of how many scenic routes will be close to your shortest route.

    With very few exceptions, I-70 through CO and UT being one, your interests will be fulfilled by staying off the interstates. Along the secondary highways and byways is where I have most frequently seen historic towns, yard sales, etc. But these tend to be things you chance upon, rather than strictly planning ahead. So keep your stops flexible. Being alert with your eyes wide open there is no knowing what gems you may chance upon.

    Actually, why not just plan our trip for us? Thanks!
    Now, why would you want to drive someone else's roadtrip, with someone else's interests and attractions? The idea of a roadtrip is that you can tailor it exactly to your needs, your interests, your budget and your style of travelling. My preferred way is to simply hit the road and head in a direction, purely to see what is there. It is the way I have stumble upon many gems. It is a luxury of being retired.

    You may also find this article useful.


  6. Default

    I'm just throwing out some more ideas here that you might like to consider.

    A more convoluted northerly route could include:

    St Louis - mainly for the Gateway Arch (Jefferson National Expansion Memorial).

    Bent's Old Fort near La Junta, Colorado. (Reconstructed "wild west" frontier post.)

    Southwestern Colorado, for the wonderfully scenic roads in the San Juan Mountains, the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (old time western steam train), and Mesa Verde National Park (Anasazi/ancestral pueblo people cliff dwelling ruins).

    The huge wide open spaces of the Navajo Nation, and Monument Valley.

    The north rim of the Grand Canyon.

    The wonderful national parks of southwestern Utah: Zion and Bryce Canyon (and Cedar Breaks National Monument).

    Las Vegas.

    Death Valley.

    Owen's Valley.

    The Tioga Pass through Yosemite's high country, then Yosemite Valley.

    Lake Tahoe.

    Then your choices for the last part of the trip are much the same as before.

  7. Default

    Thanks to everyone that replied. Your suggestions & advice WAS helpful! jjppx

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Please come back and let us know what you've decided -- if we can be of any further help in planning, we can help (just won't do the whole thing for you).


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