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  1. Default Cross Country Stop Suggestions :)

    Hey Guys,
    I've been working in California for the past 9 months, and will finally be returning home to Boston soon! I will be driving my car, and stopping along the way to see family - so I have the general route down.

    I was hoping to get some suggestions from you all on places you think I have to see, visit, and stop by on the way! I've made a bare bones route on roadtrippers, so you can see the general route I'll be taking.

    As you can see there are some long stretches with no stops planned - I know i'll see stuff on the way, and signs, but figured this community would be the best to ask :).

    The roadtrip will be starting early December, so it will be during the winter (will probably matter the more north east I go).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Stops: Big and Small

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While your request is missing a couple of vital pieces of information (how much time you have for the drive and what kinds of thins you enjoy seeing/doing) there are a few basic tips we can give you. The first is to take advantage of the many smaller stops along the way to break up your trip and make the most of being on the road. Another is to at least be aware of the possible major stops near your route including the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest National Parks in Arizona, Petroglyph National Monument neat Albuquerque, Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo and the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, the French Quarter in New Orleans, Gulf Islands National Seashore, any number of Revolutionary and Civil War Battlefields in the East, the Blue Ridge parkway and Skyline Drive, the National Mall in Washington, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and others. If you plan on stopping at four or more national parks or monuments, purchase an annual pass ($80) at the first one you come to.

    Also, don't be so sure that you wont see winter weather before you get to the northeast. Every state and every major highway in the US has seen snow, hail, or sleet at one time or another, even I-10 near the Mexican border.


  3. Default

    Thanks for all the information!! I will be spreading this out over a little under 3 weeks, so i have a good amount of time. I'll be sure to look into all of those suggestions!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default It's all on maps.

    As well as the map you created to show us, I am assuming that you are planning this trip with good old paper maps, or a good road atlas.

    All the places Buck mentioned are on those maps, as well as the many, many others he could not possibly all mention. Here is a suggestion which may get your planning further.... considering you already have all your major stops.

    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 along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    Three weeks is a nice bit of time for this trip, so long as you do not stay with family too long. Should any winter weather come your way, just sit it out at a comfy hotel, until the roads are cleared again.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    From the Grand canyon I would consider driving out of the east entrance and through Monument valley and then drop down into Albuquerque from Farmington. It's a bit of an arched detour but you have the time if it's something that appeals.

  6. Default

    It's a shame you'll be missing all the fall colors back east. Monument Valley is spectacular and you might consider Mesa Verde in SW CO. Chaco Cyn is very interesting and Santa Fe is well worth visiting bypassing Albuquerque. Meteor crater and Petrified Forest NP are interesting but not outstanding. The gaming casinos along the way are good places to stop for nice clean restrooms and a bite to eat. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC at Christmas is amazing and from there you can pick up the Blue Ridge Pkwy or I-81.

  7. Default Cross USA Roadtrip in December

    Hey Everyone,

    I wrote a post back about a road trip I will be taking back home in December. I've been working on the west coast for a few months, and will be driving back to Boston. I took into account some suggestions from an earlier thread, and made a more detailed itinerary on google sheets, with some stops added in. Let me know your thoughts, and if there's anything i NEED to see between stops that aren't too out of the way. Thanks again for all the help & advice :)

    Mod note] Please keep all questions about this trip in one thread.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-27-2015 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Merged threads

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Looks like you are using computer generated drive times - they are not realistic. Add 20% for reality.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Looks like you are using computer generated drive times - they are not realistic. Add 20% for reality.
    Or, since you are using a spreadsheet, divide the drive segment distance by 50 (mph) to derive the number of "on the road" hours that takes into account rest area stops, meal stops, fueling and the occasional photograph. The "divide by 50 rule" generally takes into account the normal but unexpected stops/slow downs for accidents, road construction and rubber necking.

    P.S. I have no idea how you will fit in the Grand Canyon all in a 5.5 hr drive segment!!!! Plan on 8 to 10 hours... and enjoy the view(s)!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A good rule of thumb!

    Quote Originally Posted by landmariner View Post
    The "divide by 50 rule" generally takes into account the normal but unexpected stops/slow downs for accidents, road construction and rubber necking.
    I recall well, driving non-stop for four hours with little if any hold ups along the way, to find I had only covered some 200 miles, despite having my cruise set at 65mph. I always plan my drives with the 50 mph rule. Sometimes I cover more, sometimes less.

    In fact I recall some years ago the standard on this forum was 50mph east of the Mississippi and 55mph west of the Mississippi. A good rule of thumb.


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