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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Tel Aviv, Israel, Israel

    Default HELP - Road Trip from Dallas To Atlanta OR from Dallas to LA - 3 weeks

    Hey Guys!

    I'm Linoy, from Israel, and in a week me and my boyfriend are coming to USA for a month.
    Please help me to plan a roadtrip!

    Our first destination is NY - I have family there so we will spend a week there.
    On the 21st of October we take flight to Dallas, for a seminar of Tony Robbins (so excited...), and from the 27 of October, we have almost 3 weeks (until the 16 of November), for our road trip!

    Our final destination should be Atlanta, since we have a flight from Atlanta to Cancun on the 17th of November.

    I was thinking about two options:

    1. A roadtrip from Dallas to Atlanta through Florida.

    2. A roadtrip from Dallas to LA, through the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and maybe San Francisco. (and then to fly to Atlanta on the 15th or 16th)

    PLEASE, I need your help,
    As I told we are from Israel, and barely know USA.
    Help me to plan a good road trip. We like nature, beautiful places, interesting places, so i would be thankful if you would help me to plan it daily (with points to stop and points to sleep)!

    Thanks a lot


    *By the way, If you plan a trip to Israel, Don't hesitate to contact me! :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Your choice, but mine would be west.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    It really is your choice to make as to where you go. To help you decide you should get a good paper map of the USA and do some research using the forums and trip planning pages above to gather information. If it was my decision to make, and I love nature and beautiful places, I would head west towards the Grand canyon, Vegas and drive across Death valley and Yosemite NP's on the way to San Fran. You would have enough time to consider heading into Southern Utah for it's beautiful red rock colours and National parks and/or head south from SF down the spectacular Pacific coast and perhaps fly out from LA. Do a little research and then when you have decided and have a few dots on the map, we can help to bring it all together and make suggestions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Cost

    While I whole heartedly agree with Dave that a tour of the west would let you see far more of what is uniquely American than a tour of the South, it is also incumbent upon us to point out that such a tour would come at a cost. Specifically, a Western RoadTrip would require roughly twice as much driving (around 4,000 miles) than would a Southern RoadTrip (about 2,000 miles). You certainly have the time for the longer drive, but covering that many miles may not fill you with joy (although it certainly does us!) You also need to be aware, in making your decision, that driving in the US is certainly not like driving in Israel or Europe. Here 500 miles is considered an easy day, particularly on the motorways of the wide open west. To give you an idea, I am currently finishing up a ten day RoadTrip during which I will have covered over 2,000 miles, and most of those ten days were spent in two places with no driving at all done on most days. All very easy.

    So first have a look at some good maps of the US and consider a trip west on I-10 (Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe Mountains, Kartchner Caverns, Saguaro National Park) north through Phoenix, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff (Lowell Observatory, Grand Canyon) and on up into Utah (Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, over to Arches, and back down to Monument Valley), across souther Colorado (Mesa Verde and Wolf Creek Pass), through Oklahoma and Arkansas (Ozarks), and finally through the mid-South to Atlanta. If that appeals to you and doesn't seem like too much driving, we can help you finalize a plan that looks something like that.

    On the other hand, if you'd like less driving or more Southern charm, magnolias, shoreline and mint juleps, we can help you arrange that as well. Your call.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Option 3.

    a Western RoadTrip would require roughly twice as much driving (around 4,000 miles)
    through Oklahoma and Arkansas (Ozarks), and finally through the mid-South to Atlanta
    Hi Buck. The plan for a road trip west was to end in LA and then fly out to Atlanta. Of course such a plan would be not as budget friendly and your suggestion of driving to Atlanta while visiting some attractions of the west is most certainly worthy of consideration.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Tel Aviv, Israel, Israel



    Thanks a lot for your answers!

    I did some research and came up with few places we really want to visit.
    It would be wonderful if you could help me "drew the line" between all of them, to build a route.
    If you could tell me also where to stop for the nights (cities or places) it would be great, since I know that to sleep in the national parks costs 3 times more then outside..

    I want to make a plan for each day (including start point, roads to take, places to visit the same day, and the last destination for the day which we will be sleeping in).

    Please help me to build a daily route for 19 days. Tell me if its possible to include all of these places in the trip (or if you think I should change/add/remove some places, I would love to get this advice also)
    *We want to spend 2 nights in Las Vegas. and 1 or 2 nights in LA.

    Here are the places I was thinking:

    Guadalupe Mountains
    Carlsbad Caverns
    Monument Valley
    Mesa verde n. p
    Arches N. P
    Capitol Reef N. P
    Bryce Canyon N. P
    Zion National Park
    The Wave
    Antelope Canyon
    Horseshoe Bend
    Lake Powell
    Grand Canyon
    Lowell Observatory
    Las Vegas
    Los Angeles

    Thanks a lot! :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A base to build from.

    You have come up with a nice plan there Linoy ! We can certainly help and make suggestions and answer specific questions, but as for your day to day planning and routes, that is something you should continue to work on so that you make it your trip as this is what seperates a roadtrip from a 'Fly-drive' type holiday where others pick for you. Don't forget the planning is part of the fun !

    Some thoughts so far; You can certainly make it out to Guadalupe mountains / Carlsbad caverns in a day from Dallas and possibly tour the cave that afternoon/evening. You then stay in the area and visit the mountains next day and then you could stay another night in the area, or start making your way towards your next stop. I would consider driving to Monument valley after Lake Powell and on the way to the Grand canyon south rim and not next up from Carlsbad. It will make it an easier option to drive through the mountains to Arches NP. More on that in a minute. So after visiting Carlsbad I would look at Albuquerque or Santa Fe to overnight.

    From Santa Fe /Albu you could then head to Mesa Verde NP via Pagosa Springs on US160. Cortez is the nearest town although there are other options. Nearby Durango is home to the Durango/Silverton railway and is a wonderful ride up to this old western town. So you could spend a couple of nights here as the tours in Mesa Verde do take up time.

    To get to Arches [Moab] you could take the spectacular drive up the 'Million dollar Highway' [US550] through Silverton and Ouray and take US50 towards Grand junction. Nearby you will find Colorado National Monument with wonderful views from the rim drive through the tunnels. You could make it Moab or stay in Grand junction/Fruita the night. As you make your way to Moab, [A good base for exploring Arches and Canyonlands NP's] take exit 214 onto UT128. It's a lovely detour through Castle valley, following the river through red rocks and it hardly costs any time over UT191. You will really need at least another couple of nights here to explore the parks.

    Next up you will go back to I70 for a short while and then take UT24 to Hanksville and onto Capitol Reef NP. There are lodging options in Torrey that a more budget friendly, or there are a couple of options nearer the park, one being a very nice Best Western resort. You will have time to explore areas of Capitol Reef the day you arrive and before you depart the following day.

    Next up, make your way to Bryce canyon via Utah scenic 12. Tropic has lodging but there are some closer, Ruby's Inn the nearest and very popular. After visiting the park you could then make your way to the wonderful town of Springdale which is located right by the entrance to Zion NP. I would recommend 2 nights here to explore the park.

    I would think 2 or 3 nights in the Page/ Lake Powell area to explore the things on your list, although the Wave is very limited in how many people can visit. You should look into the detail. You could include a visit to the North rim of the Grand canyon on the way to Page where there are lodging options at Jacob Lake [good value cabins available] or Marble canyon.

    After exploring the area you could head to Monument valley for the day and spend the night in Kayenta or at the interesting Cameron Trading post which is in a good location for entering the south rim. Spend another couple of nights in the area, perhaps Flagstaff for the following night. After this it's off to Vegas with a possible detour to the old route 66 towns of Seligman and Kingman and a stop off at the Hoover Dam. After a couple of days in Vegas you could make your way to LA via either Death valley or the Mojave National preserve.

    Remember these are only suggestions for you to work with so see what you think and 'tweak' it to your tastes and let us know what you come up with.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Default Southern / Central New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave
    Some thoughts so far; You can certainly make it out to Guadalupe mountains / Carlsbad caverns in a day from Dallas and possibly tour the cave that afternoon/evening.
    They would have to get a pretty early start from Dallas to do that. Carlsbad Caverns closes earlier during the Fall/Winter season than it does during the summer. They’d have to make it all the way from Dallas to Carlsbad Caverns NP - 475 miles – by 2:00 p.m. to go in through the natural entrance, or by 3:30 p.m. to catch the last elevator down into the cave.

    From the Carlsbad Caverns website Plan Your Visit page

    Carlsbad Caverns National Park is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

    Fall/Winter Hours: These hours will be in effect until May 2015.

    Visitor Center Open: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Cavern Times:

    Natural Entrance and elevators into cave open at: 8:30 a.m.

    Natural Entrance (hike-in) closes: 2 p.m.

    Natural Entrance (hike-out) closes: 2:30 p.m. (must be on the surface, out of the cave by 4:00 p.m.)

    Last elevator into the cave: 3:30 p.m.
    While we’re on the subject, due to some serious recent flooding, there are some places in Carlsbad NP that are closed at the moment. (This does not affect the Main Cave.)

    Also from the Carlsbad Caverns website

    Scenic Loop Road Closed ----- The 9-mile scenic Loop Road (Desert Drive) is closed due to flood damage. The road will reopen as soon as repairs are done. This scenic road does not affect access to the visitor center or the cave.

    All Camping and Backcounty Caving Suspended Until Further Notice

    All camping and backcountry/recreational caving in the park has been suspended until further notice due to flood damage on backcountry roads and trails.
    Might be better to drive from Dallas to Carlsbad one day, then visit the National Park the next morning.

    Once you’re done with Carlsbad and the Guadalupes, some other places you could see as you start to head north include: White Sands National Monument, Lincoln State Monument, and as you get closer to Albuquerque, the Salinas Pueblo Missions.

    You also might like the Turquoise Trail, the “scenic route” from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.

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