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  1. Default Newark NJ to Los Angeles CA

    Hi all,

    I'm from the UK and next summer I am flying to America with my Dad for a cross-country road trip. It is something we have both talked about doing for a long time, and last month we found a great deal on flights so took the plunge and booked it.

    We are flying into Newark NJ on Friday 22nd May and flying out of Los Angeles CA on Saturday 6th June, which equates to 15 days of driving time. Ideally we would want longer so that we can spend more time relaxing, but we can both only take a maximum of 2 weeks off work at a time.

    This will be my second cross country road trip, I did a 4,700 mile one back in 2010 from North Carolina to Vegas. Below is the route. I did that in 21 days so I am used to going on at a steady pace.

    Previous route in 2010:

    This time round we will drive through the south, as this is one of the areas of the USA which I have never really explored. So below is our proposed route:

    Friday 22nd May: stay overnight in Newark NJ
    Saturday 23rd May: get the Amtrak to Baltimore MD first thing in the morning, and pick up rental car there
    Sunday 24th May: drive to Chapel Hill NC (311 miles)
    Monday 25th May: drive to Asheville NC (221 miles)
    Tuesday 26th May: drive to Birmingham AL (354 miles)
    Wednesday 27th May: drive to New Orleans LA (344 miles)
    Thursday 28th May:
    Friday 29th May:
    Saturday 30th May:
    Sunday 31st May:
    Monday 1st June:
    Tuesday 2nd June:
    Wednesday 3rd June: stay at Grand Canyon Village (South Rim) AZ
    Thursday 4th June: stay at Las Vegas NV (276 miles)
    Friday 5th June: drive to Los Angeles CA (269 miles), and drop off rental car
    Saturday 6th June: fly home from LAX

    Both me and my Dad can drive so we can split the driving up between us. Our route from New Orleans to Grand Canyon we are unsure about - we thought perhaps going up through Fort Worth then Amarillo then Albuquerque - does anyone have any input on this section? I figure we have enough time for a couple of rest days in the middle of the trip.

    I have already booked hotels for Newark (22nd May), Chapel Hill (24th May) and LA (5th June). I intend to also make bookings for Baltimore (23rd May), Grand Canyon (3rd June), Vegas (4th June). That way we will have our first 3 and our last 3 nights all booked which will give the trip some structure. For the 9 nights in between we will probably just roll up somewhere we like the look of, which allows us to remain flexible.

    Baltimore is on the list cos I am a huge fan of The Wire, and would like to see some of the spots. I know it's not got the best reputation but for me it's a must-see. Chapel Hill is there cos I went on exchange to UNC Chapel Hill in 2010 so wanna go back for the nostalgia! At the tail end, Grand Canyon and Vegas seem like natural break points in the way to LA.

    We both like eating, and drinking beer. And seeing beautiful scenery and talking to friendly Americans.

    If anyone has any input on the above, I'd be very grateful to hear it. Again, I know ideally we would have a bit longer than 15 days but that is the maximum we can have! And our flights are already booked so we can't change the start/finish points.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    What I'd recommend is you go from New Orleans to the Grand Canyon as quickly as possible, so you would have time to visit some of the southern Utah parks on the way to Las Vegas. This would mean you would need to book at the GC earlier. You should have time to visit Bryce Canyon and Zion.

    Nola to GC is a 3 day drive via Shreveport, DFW, and Amarillo - with overnights in DFW and Tucumcari/Santa Rosa NM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Or Take Your Time in the Middle

    It is certainly true that you can get from New Orleans to the Grand Canyon in three days, and that there are plenty of scenic national parks in southern Utah and elsewhere in the southwestern US, and that the middle of our country is often referred to by the derogatory term 'the fly-over states', but if you enjoy "talking to friendly Americans", then there is no better place to do it than the center of the country, on the Great Plains between the Mississippi and the Rockies.

    Without increasing your net mileage appreciably, you could include the bayous of southern Louisiana, one of the great live music cities of America, the home of Buddy Holly, a truly unique bit of American kookiness, ancient native American rock carvings, a millennia old petrified forest, and the site where Pluto was discovered. Besides the attractions themselves, you'd be traversing a part of the country little visited by foreigners, where the 'natives' will be intrigued by your accents, and with a variety of geography and personalities that should, in turn, intrigue you.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-30-2014 at 02:55 PM.

  4. Default

    Thanks a lot for the response guys. AZBuck that seems like a really interesting route, and fairly direct as well...would only add about 150 miles to the most direct route, and some of the stopoffs you suggest sound really interesting!

  5. Default

    Hi guys,

    I am back from this trip now and just thought I'd give you a lowdown. Had a great time, took a really good route.

    Fri 22nd May - flew into Newark NJ, stayed overnight there
    Sat 23rd May - Amtrak down to Baltimore MD, stayed overnight there
    Sun 24th May - picked up rental car and drove to Chapel Hill NC, stayed overnight there
    Mon 25th May - drove to Knoxville TN, stayed overnight there
    Tue 26th May - drove to Selma AL for the afternoon, then continued into MS and stayed in a WEIRD town called Laurel
    Wed 27th May - drove onto New Orleans LA, stayed overnight there
    Thu 28th May - another night in New Orleans LA
    Fri 29th May - drove on to Fort Worth TX, stayed overnight there
    Sat 30th May - another night in Fort Worth TX
    Sun 31st May - drove on to Lubbock TX
    Mon 1st June - drove on to Rosell NM, spent afternoon there, then continued to Ruidoso NM
    Tue 2nd June - drove on to Gallup NM, stayed overnight there
    Wed 3rd June - drove on to Tusayan (Grand Canyon) AZ, stayed overnight there
    Thu 4th June - drove on to Vegas NV, stayed overnight there
    Fri 5th June - drove on to LA CA, stayed overnight there
    Sat 6th June - flew back from to London, UK

    Clocked up 3,600 miles overall, spread across 11 days of driving. Here is a map of the route:

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

    Default Nice one.

    Hi Rory. Thanks for dropping by with the update, it's much appreciated. Pleased to hear you had a great trip !


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