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  1. Default Help us plan the route from Fort Lauderdale airport to San Francisco

    We are a couple from Norway with a plan to make a road trip from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco in 19 days ( from 6 th of April to 25 th) We have never been in the Southern states of the U.S. and we have only slight knowledge of most places. We need help to plan our itinerary. I planned our trip on Ducati for three weeks from Norway in the South of France and Italy in no time, we made 5 500 km without a slightest glitch, so if you need help with Europe, I can help you.Please, people! Be kind to us from the North !
    First thing to suggest:
    We land in Fort Lauderdale and we want to rent a car and drive along the coast to some cosy beach place ( Daytona Beach ? St. Augustine? Palm Coast?) which is not too big ( hence we are avoiding Miami) and warm our frozen bones in the sun drinking margaritas for three- four days, exploring the area. :-)
    Any suggestions?
    Second thing suggest:
    We head to New Orleans. What is the most scenic route and what is worth visiting on the way? We have no plans to visit museums, or places that require half a day. We want to get the feel of the place watching people, life and atmosphere. You know, when you park the car, go to the hotel, take the shower, change, hit the street, have a nice meal and a drink and watch the life happening just around you. :-)We would like to do the trip in two days. is it possible
    Third thing to suggest:
    We want to spend one day in New Orleans and hit the road to Texas.
    We need to spend a day or two in Corpus Cristi ( visit relatives). Which is the best route from New Orleans to Corpus Cristi? How much time do we need to get there ? We are landing 6th of April and we promised to my uncle to be there about 13-14 the of April.

    Fourth thing to suggest:
    We need the best route to Las Vegas- visiting Grand Canyon and the works! We would like to spend the night in Las Vegas and then hit the road to Los Angeles, if possible avoiding it, and going somewhere smaller.
    Fifth thing to suggest:
    We would like to have 7 days to explore the West coast. We want to make the coastal road Big Sur and spend the few remaining days in San Fransisco. Help us to plan it, please. Is it possible ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Five Easy Pieces

    Velkommen! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First Most of the Florida Atlantic coast is built up to one extent or another so finding some "cozy beach' is going to be difficult but not impossible. Actually what I'd recommend is that you had north to the Titusville area. While this area is best known for the Kennedy Space Center, you can also make use of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Canaveral National Seashore for some quieter moments. Staying along the Atlantic coast also puts you in shape to visit both St. Augustine and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge before turning east to follow the Gulf Coast to New Orleans.

    Second I-10 will get you started on your way to New Orleans, but for the things you want, you should consider leaving that main route at around Tallahassee and drop down to follow US-98 and/or US-90 along the Gulf Coast. This will be scenic and also get you into a number of small towns that will give you the chance to get out of the car for meals and short walks amidst the locals. If the going proves too slow, you can always hop back on I-10, or alternate between the two as the mood moves you. This is just one of the places along your route where a good road atlas or set of paper maps will prove invaluable. Do not rely solely on GPS, it will always put you on the Interstates.

    Third West of New Orleans is one of my favorite places to get 'lost' in local culture, the bayou country of southern Louisiana. Fortunately there is a well-connected set of scenic roads known as the Creole Nature Trail through this area, and that's what I'd suggest for the first part of your drive from New Orleans to Corpus Christi. After Houston, there are, unfortunately, no good roads along the coast and staying east of Houston to get on TX-35 south from Alvin is your best bet for the rest of that run.

    Fourth This is by far the longest driving stretch of your trip, and much of it is across high plains and southwestern desert. So unless you have some special destination along here, I'd strongly suggest that you just take I-37 north from Corpus Christi to San Antonio (home of the Alamo if you're interested) and get on I-10 westbound all the way to Phoenix. Most of the places I would recommend along this stretch are of the several hours to half day variety, so I won't list them. From Phoenix take I-17 north to Flagstaff and then US-89 north to AZ-64 through Grand Canyon National Park and then back down to Williams. From there I-10 to Kingman and US-93 will get you to Las Vegas.

    Fifth Sure it's possible. From Las Vegas it makes sense to see the coast first and then finish up in San Francisco. If you want to avoid Los Angeles, you simply take I-15 south out of Las Vegas to Barstow, CA-58 west from there through Bakersfield to I-5 north for a bit, and then take CA-46 west to the coast and simply follow the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH, CA-1) north along the Big Sur Coast and into San Francisco.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-19-2015 at 08:16 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I would be a little concerned about the beaches around April 6th. For some, the week of April 5th (Easter Week) will be Spring Break. Many are out either this week (16th March), next week (23rd March) or the following week (30th March), but some wait until after Easter to take their spring break. So it's possible that you may have some company. AZBuck had some good suggestions, though.

    BTW, there's a good tour of Kennedy Space Center, if you're interested in space history. The third stop on the bus tour is the Apollo Museum. Great place!


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

    Default 'Fifth thing'.

    As you want to avoid LA this is what I would suggest. On leaving Las Vegas you first drive through Death Valley NP and stop over on route to the coast, it's a great time to visit this park which gets so hot in the summer. I would also recommend trying to build in a visit to Yosemite NP, one of the finest in my opinion. Spring will be in the valley and the waterfalls flowing. The only problem is that the Tioga Pass [CA120] which enters the park from the east along the natural path from DV will be closed due to snow. That would mean you would have to travel up the west side of the Sierra Nevada and then head down to Cambria on the coast, or head to the coast and up to Monterey and then cut inland to Yosemite and back to SF. Yes it's a little inconvenient that Tioga Pass is not open but it's certainly worth considering and worth every moment in my opinion. If you want to spend 2 or 3 days of your last 7 days in SF then having an extra couple of days at the end of your trip to accomodate Yosemite would help.

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