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  1. Default First Roadtrip! Any help appreciated.

    I will be moving from Nashville, TN to Las Vegas, TN at the end of Septemeber. I was originally going to handle my belongings a different way but decided to take some leave time and road trip my way there. I am wondering the best places to visit along the way and the amount of leave that would be best to take in order to see all the attractions. Any help and advice would be more than appreciated!! Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A few questions first.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    How long do you plan to have for this trip? There is never enough time to 'visit all the attractions along the way'. What for you are the 'best places'? What in particular are your interests? Other than moving, what are you hoping to get out of the trip?

    Without such basic information, and anything else you can tell us, it is difficult for anyone to give you meaningful information.


  3. Default

    My intentions as of now are to take around a week of leave(can be adjusted if needed) to visit as many attractions as possible.

    I currently have:

    grand canyon of course
    Jacksonport State Park - Jacksonport, Arkansas
    Bricktown Water Taxi - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Zip Lines at Ouachita Bend - Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Painted Desert Visitor Center
    Petrified Forest National Park
    National Route 66 Museum Complex
    Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary
    Out of Africa Wildlife Park

    on my 'maybe' list.

    I am in the military and have not really seen a lot of sights throughout the US. This will be my first roadtrip and I have never done anything so I am currently simply reading around, looking at, trying to figure out any and all information, and experience people may have so I am prepared for this journey. I love all kinds of attractions especially ones involving animals or theme parks even if there are any. I want to fit in as much as possible on this trip and see as much as possible while I am travelling along that route anyway. :) As of right now I will be travelling alone, but it is possible I will have another individual with me for the jouney.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Too Many More

    I'm not going to suggest a lot of additional sites to see for a couple of reasons. First: You've already picked some of the best available along your route and Second: You're about full up on using your time so that many more additions and you'll have to start cutting back on places that obviously appeal to you. As we often note on such trips, trying to fit in too much is counter-productive. A relaxed trip with a few memorable and well-explored stops is infinitely preferable to a jam-packed and rushed trip with little more than a few minutes spent at each site.

    So, what are the places I think you might also want to make a little time for. Well, since you're going to be stopping in Oklahoma City anyway, a visit to the Oklahoma City Memorial is certainly in order. Outside Albuquerque, Petroglyph National Monument offers a unique window into Native American history. For your visit to Camp Verde I strongly recommend that you use AZ-89A/AZ-179 through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona for at least one of the legs down and back from I-40. Since the Route 66 Museum is on your list, you might as well drive the longest remaining stretch of the old roadbed, AZ-66 from Seligman through Peach Springs to Kingman. And finally, be sure to check for national wildlife refuges along your route for short nature breaks.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-06-2014 at 01:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Well done.

    I'd have to agree with Buck, you already have a marvelous trip planned, with all the places you want to see. Good on you.

    Here's wishing you a great adventure.


  6. Default

    Thank you so much! I was unsure of if that was a well rounded list. Would a week be enough time to enjoy all of the sites and not be rushed as you both are saying? That is the opposite of what I want obviously.

    I also want to stop by and see the meteor crater, has anyone been there? Is it worth the stop? I was also unsure of which side of the Grand Canyon to see. I don't know many people that have gone to the Grand Canyon and the few I do known have only travelled to the South Rim.

    Thank you for your suggestions! I will definitely be going that way now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The south rim of the Grand Canyon is the more popular side. It is easier to get to, and has many more services for travelers. Getting to the south rim from I-40 only takes about an hour, where you'd have to drive about 5 hours to get to the North Rim.

    The views from the North Side are a different, and it is a more quiet experience, but on this trip, I think it will be easier for you to stick to the southside. Plus - since you're moving to Vegas, the north rim can be a nice weekend trip for you in the future.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Week With Stops

    Yes, a week should do nicely for the trip you have planned. As it is, with various 'detours' to the places you want to see, you'll need just about four full days of driving time to make the trip. That leaves you right around three days worth of time to spend at all of the places you're going to visit. That is a very good ratio of driving to actually experiencing the land you'll be driving through.

    As to your specific questions: You really only have one choice of where to see the Grand Canyon, the South Rim. Fortunately, it has the most, and most varied, views of the Canyon from several viewpoints along about 10 miles worth of the East Rim Drive (AZ-64) as it follows the Canyon wall. So, with your other stops in the area, here's the routing I would suggest. Leave I-40 at Winslow AZ (backtracking a bit from Meteor Crater if you decide to go, and stopping to see the "Standing on the Corner" painting/statue) and take AZ-87 down to AZ-260 into Camp Verde. From Camp Verde continue on AZ-260 to Cottonwood and AZ-89A north. While in the Cottonwood/Clarkdale area, if time permits, you might want to check out Dead Horse Ranch State Park and/or Tuzigoot National Monument. AZ-89A will take you up through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. Take US-89 north out of Flag to AZ-64 west through Grand Canyon National Park. AZ-64 turns south at Grand Canyon Village and will eventually put you back on I-40 at Williams.

    As for Meteor Crater, that is a matter of personal preference. I do not have an unbiased point of view. I am a Planetary Scientist and while studying for my doctorate I got to actually hike down into the crater with Eugene Shoemaker and Jay Melosh, the world's two leading authorities on impact cratering. It was a unique and very memorable experience. I have heard many other people say that they were somewhat disappointed with their visits. The crater is privately owned, there is a fairly steep admission charge, and members of the general public can not enter or even hike too far around the crater - for liability reasons. At the end of the day, unless you are personally interested in planetary collisions and the mechanisms involved, Meteor Crater is not much more than a hole in the ground.


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