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  1. Default Traveling From Southern CA to Upstate NY Soon - Need Advice

    We're planning to drive from So Cal to upstate NY this summer and need advice please. We're not going to have time for a lot of sight-seeing. This will be a fast turnaround trip, spending 5 nights in NY then heading back to So Cal; we have 15 total days to spend on this trip. We're hoping for advice on the safest route; by safe we mean not scary to me, lol. I have a significant fear of heights which makes winding mountainous roads with drop-offs, high overpasses / highway interchanges, high bridges, etc. an issue. I have frozen before on high So Cal freeway interchanges (we like to stack them 12 high here). I'll need to help with the driving, so would like to plan the smartest route possible. Any suggestions are appreciated!

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

    Default Time for Interstate.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The good news is that Interstates are built to standards where there are no winding mountain passes with drop offs, the bad news is that Interstate is pretty much all you have time for, as it will be a full 5 days of travel in each direction. Yes Interstates get to high elevation but in most cases they get there gradually and without tight bends and have wide shoulders to cater for the biggest of rigs so you don't feel 'on the edge'. You could look to take a different route each way so you get to stay in different towns each direction but you will be limited to where, by distance as you will have to break each day up equally to make this trip safe and as enjoyable as possible, and that means driving between 500-600 miles a day for 9/10 hours a day with only basic stops for rest, food and to fill up with fuel etc.

    You say "we", is your co-pilot able to drive ? The sensible thing to do would be to plan your driving so that you drive between the City's and major Intersections and then they take over. On a different note and considering everything, have you considered the fact that it might be easier to fly and rent a car ? Even part way would give you less driving and more sight seeing opportunities.

  3. Default

    Thanks so much for the info, Southwest Dave! Yes, I have another driver...I'm the co-pilot lol. I'm glad to hear there are no mountain drop-offs, that's settled my nerves already. Unfortunately, flying isn't an option so we're going to get there on 4 wheels. Anyone have any advice on where to stop for the night with clean, comfortable hotels in a safe area?

    Also, what route do you all suggest we take? We're hearing rumors of construction here and there, tolls, etc......we're looking for the most direct route with the least amount of construction and fewest tolls --- if such a route exists!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Where in SoCal and where in upstate NY?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Five Days to 'Upstate New York'

    As always when someone else gives you recommendations, there are assumptions built into those. So let me first tell you what I assumed about your trip so that you can correct me or alter my suggestions to fit your own needs. I'm assuming that you want as straight and level as possible (You stated that.), that you want to get there in as little time as possible, and that you'd rather not go through Canada (or through Chicago for that matter). So with that in mind, I think your best route would be to head up I-15 to I-40 east to Oklahoma City, then I-44 to St. Louis, I-70 to Columbus OH, I-71 to Cleveland, then I-90 and/or I-86 into 'upstate New York'. Now obviously those are only the major routes. You as navigator will have to be aware of urban bypasses and connector routes such as I-255/I-55 in the St. Louis area, I-455 around Indianapolis, I-270 around Columbus, and I-271 around Cleveland. Overnight stops, assuming you get a relatively early start on your first day and cover about 550 miles/day, would be around Holbrook AZ, Shamrock TX, Rolla MO, and Columbus OH. With the exception of Columbus those are all relatively small towns where you should be able to find some peace and quiet, but are still large enough (and on the Interstates) to have multiple lodging choices. As you check to see what appeals to you in each of those towns, remember that many hotel loyalty programs start 'paying' you with a free night's stay after as little as three or four bookings, so that it might be worth your while to join one of those programs and stay in the same chain during your entire trip.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-02-2015 at 08:54 PM.

  6. Default

    Orange County to Albany

  7. Default

    Thanks, AZBuck! We plan to take advantage of our membership in the Marriott hotel loyalty program for sure. I appreciate all your suggestions!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default In Which Case...

    The only change(s) you need to be aware of is that I'd use I-86/NY-17/I-88 across southern New York to Albany rather than I-90, and save on the tolls by avoiding the New York State Thruway. Stops would still be the same, although I'd be sure to aim for the northern side of Columbus in order to minimize the final day's drive and avoid its morning rush hour.


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