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  1. #1

    Default San Francisco to New Orleans

    Hi everyone

    Hoping you may be able to give me some advice on a roadtrip my fiance are planning for our honeymoon in May 2015. We are wanting to go from San Fran to New Orleans, and get in LA & Vegas along the way. We will have around 3 weeks - will this be enough time? What route/itinerary would you suggest?

    We are from Australia - I've been to the USA once, to New York & Boston, so don't know these areas well, and haven't done a roadtrip before. But, we love roadtrips, and want to give this a shot if we have time!

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2


    Excuse the typo - just saw it and it's bugging me, but can't seem to change it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Yes, going from San Francisco to LA to Las Vegas to New Orleans is definitely do-able in three weeks time. San Francisco to LA is a one day drive via the fastest route, 2 or 3 days if you take the Pacific Coast Highway (gorgeous) with its coastal views. LA to Las Vegas is about a 5-6 hour drive by the quickest route. Las Vegas to New Orleans are the furthest apart, about 1750 miles. That would equate to three very long days on the road, or more if you choose to stop along the way. This is just a general outline for you -- there are so many routes, and this is YOUR trip. We can suggest routes and itineraries, but your trip will be so much more fun for you and your new hubby if you both decide.

    While you're in the planning stages, get a paper map of the USA and start flagging things that you'd each like to see -- pretty soon, the most logical route will start to form. There's so much in the west to see. Once you've done that, you can come here and we'll help you fine-tune your trip. This is what my husband and I do when we are planning a road trip. Sometimes our plans get crazy; it's the nature of things!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Things I'd Include

    Donna is absolutely right both on the timing of your basic drives and on the fact that the basic and ultimate beauty of a RoadTrip is the ability to tailor it specifically to your own needs. However, I can also appreciate that it can be a daunting task to figure out which sites you should include as some of the major tie points in building your itinerary. So let me suggest a few.

    As Donna has already hinted, the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles (takes a good bit longer than the motorway, but well worth it), Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, and Petroglyph National Monument. Those are on the more or less direct route from Las Vegas to New Orleans. You could also take a bit of a northern detour after the Grand Canyon and hit Monument Valley, Mesa Verde National Park, Wolf Creek Pass, and Capulin Volcano National Monument before returning to the 'main' route at Amarillo. Or you could take a southern detour after the Grand Canyon and see Kartchner Caverns, Tombstone, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and Carlsbad Caverns before using I-20 or I-10 as your basic route to New Orleans. In southwestern Louisiana, the Creole Nature Trail will take you into some of the more seldom visited areas of the Bayou.

    And as always, once you've picked a basic route that suits your tastes, we can suggest further, smaller venues to help keep each of your days on the road rewarding.


  5. Default

    Yosemite National Park is about 200 miles east of San Francisco so it's a considerable diversion but an extremely worthwhile one I think. It's one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

    Another big thumbs up for the coast road, especially between Monterey and Morro Bay.

    After Las Vegas, you can go south of the Colorado River via the Hoover Dam and the south rim of the Grand Canyon and that's great. But you could alternatively go north of the river via Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Zion and Bryce are wonderful places. There's very limited accommodation at the north rim of the Grand Canyon so you might want to do it en-route from southwestern Utah to Page.

    Eastern Utah has Monument Valley (huge isolated sandstone buttes, where the classic John Ford westerns were filmed) and a cluster of goodies near Moab: Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Dead Horse Point State Park, and UT128 between Moab and I-70 which runs in a canyon alongside the Colorado River.

    Southwestern Colorado is another wonderful area. Not only Mesa Verde (ancestral pueblo people/Anasazi cliff dwelling ruins, and great views), but also the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (old time western steam train through the immensely scenic San Juan Mountains), the San Juan Skyway (a triangle of very scenic mountain roads, including the Million Dollar Highway) and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Montrose.

    The problem is having far too many wonderful places to choose from, especially in the west. So you'll need to do some considerable planning and prioritising what you most want to see.

    Hope this helps - whatever you decide it'll be a wonderful trip!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Detailed maps.

    Hi Janelle,

    Congratulations on your forthcoming nuptial.

    Getting good detailed maps of the States through which your roadtrip could potentially go, is probably the most difficult part of the planning when in Oz. I will be going back to Oz for a week next month, and may be able to help you. If you would like some detailed maps of the southern States from CA to LA, send me an email and we could arrange it.


  7. #7


    Thanks everyone - thats an awesome start.

    Lifey, I may take you up on that as I have yet to find great maps (but also haven't looked that hard). I will get in touch if need be.

    Please, keep the suggestions coming - just some ideas of what is worth including (and what is not) is a big help, because as mentioned - so much to see and do, and not a lot of time!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    I will need to know by the end of June. Just click on my name and look for the email link.


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