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  1. Default Florida to California Road Trip Need Help!!!

    Hey Everyone,

    I am moving to the Santa Rosa area in California and I am driving from Tampa Bay Florida. I'm hoping to make an adventure out of it and am having a difficult time planning it as this is my first road trip ever. I'm trying to figure out the best places to stop and stay and natural parks, museums, etc, that I should stop on the way. Hopefully someone on here has some good advice on how to conquer this 43 to 50 hour drive!!! Thanks for the help :) They've suggested taking either I-10 or 1-40 if that helps.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    To start with, you have many more options besides I-10 and I-40. As well as that a trip of this length is planned by days, not hours. It will be significantly more than what a computer program will tell you. Remember, the programs assume that you will be driving at or above the speed limit every mile of the way, and never need to stop for fuel, food, etc. They also assume that you will never see construction or congestion. Computer mapping live in cyber space, where as you will be required to take this trip in the real world with real needs.

    However, to get you started, I suggest you note this paragraph recently posted by one of the senior members of this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes and along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    How long do you have for the trip? You will find many of the attraction for which you are looking, are marked on good maps.

    Enjoy the planning.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It's what's best for you ?

    As mentioned above, you can not measure this trip in hours. You will need a minimum of 5 overnight stops along the way and even then you would be on the road for everyday for 9 to 10 hours with no time for anything else other than regular rest breaks and to eat and re-fuel. When and where you stop will come down to how much time you have and what you would like to see, once we have this type of info we can help you put it together and make suggestions, but what's 'best' is what works 'best' for you. So, time to get the maps out and do a little research.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the help and for the welcome everyone!!! I can have as much time as possible to do the road trip and I was thinking at most two weeks maybe three. I just have to be conscience of my budget which is going to be between 2000 and 3000. I'm not sure how much it will be to travel with two people though. I'm a teacher and so is my friend so I hope to go to museums, natural parks, and really cool things that I can share with my students. There is so much to see between Florida and California I'm having a hard time figuring out where to start. I just know where I'm starting and my destination at this point. It's a tough decision to pick going through New orleans and texas and going through the southern part or going a little further north where I know there some amazing museums and natural parks. I want to make the most of my trip and see as much as possible to make this trip a once in a lifetime experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Back to the maps.

    So get out your maps, as mentioned above, and mark all the places whichever route you choose. There are many at your disposal. Once you have the list of the places which are most important to you of the National Parks and museums you want to target, marked on the map, a route will start to appear.

    When that is settled, post all the places and the route here, and members will help you fill in the gaps. But the first choice of all those places needs to come from you. The web will direct you to where all the museums are, though the most significant ones are marked on the good maps, mentioned above.

    If you are wanting to visit museums and parks, I'd figure on something less than 400 miles a day.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 06-04-2015 at 11:39 PM. Reason: correction.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default That other thread.

    Jordan, I just noticed the comment you added to this ten year old thread.

    There is a lot to do in this area. I obviously don't know your kids or what their interested in but their are a lot of fun things do here. In Tampa, you have Mossi, which is a incredible science museum with lots of hands on exhibits meant for the kids.
    That is true of every State and every place you visit, but that sort of detail you are not going to get on the internet. You can find most of the museums, and other major attractions, but, as you demonstrated in the rest of that post, the rest of it you will get from the locals. Be sure to visit each and every visitor centre you come to, and engage with the locals wherever you are. Even buying food in a supermarket, speak to the person in the queue in front and behind you. Tell them what you are looking for and ask what they can tell you in that direction.

    I have come upon the most amazing sights all across North America, simply by speaking with the locals and asking. It can be anywhere, even at a rest area when you speak to other travellers they may tell you about something they are heading for, which you may never have thought of.

    Don't focus so much on getting a complete list of everything you want to see, before you leave home. Leave some flexibility in your trip.


  7. Default

    Yeah I only noticed after I posted how old the thread was but it was good information so I left it there. You never know who may see it.

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