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  1. Default Atlanta to California - Where to Begin???

    My daughter (19) and I are leaving in two weeks to travel from Atlanta to California. Our tentative plan is to travel from Atl. to Mo., Ks., Colo., Utah, Nev., Calif....down the coast of Calif...heading back through Arizona, NMex., Tx, La, Miss, Ala. As the time gets closer I am getting more concerned that we haven't a clue what we are getting ourselves in for. I am a bit overwhelmed at the amount of info on the website and if someone doesn't mind would like some comments related directly to our trip. We have 4-6 weeks to travel (or until the $$ runs out). We would like to stop in each state and see something "worth seeing". The Grand Canyon, LasVegas, and Calif coast are our main objectives but want this to be an adventure everyday. We will be traveling in a Honda (hopefully with a luggage rack)....would like to pack only the necessities. Okay with camping (though we have never done it), but have purchased a nice tent (this may be a huge mistake as I am 50 and like a good night's sleep). Am a bit worried about safety in camp sites...and do we need reservations...and will there be camp sites everywhere along the way...and is this really doable????? Anxiety rising. We would like to spend at least a week or two in Calif, taking our time from San Francisco to San Diego. We have no reservations anywhere at this point....are there camp sites along the coast? Reasonable hotels? I am ok with an adventure and some unexpected curve balls....but would like to know there will be safe places to sleep. I am feeling totally clueless at this point. Is this a huge mistake...just getting in the car with as little as possible...and going? Madness?? Oh..we would like to go white water rafting in Colo....but haven't a clue what to do in all the other states.

    Thanks for reading and responding...I want this to be an adventure my daughter will never forget....but for good reasons.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Getting Started/

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Here is one paragraph written by a senior member of this forum, which is full of advice as to where to begin.
    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.

    Enjoy the planning.


  3. #3


    Yes it is doable.
    Yes, you will be able to find camping or hotels along the way. But maybe not at the heavy tourist places.

    Get a LARGE wall map of the US. Join AAA and get their guide books. Go through them, and mark on the map any place that catches your attention. Then decide on the route that will allow you to see most of what you would like. You may be surprised.

    There are lots of wonderful natural beauty. And lots of museums.

    You can do this. And it will be an adventure you will both remember.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    As for camping, on the maps, you'll see little green triangles, which usually designates camping. State and national forest campgrounds are usually pretty reasonably priced. What we used to do was tent-camp three or four nights in a row, then find a budget motel the next night so that we'd have a way to clean up and enjoy a comfortable bed.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A balancing act.

    When tent camping, that's what we have always done. A few nights camping and a budget motel. However, you may find that there are some long stretches, especially in the middle of the country, where camping spots are few and far between. These might be the places you choose to pick a cheapie motel.

    There's a lovely campground in Fall River SP. in KS.

    Be sure to pick up the hotel/motel coupon booklets commonly found at rest areas and some truck stops.


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