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  1. Default West Coast kinda Roadtrip Road suggestions?

    Hi! Me and my friend are planning on roadtripping from Atlanta, Georgia to lots of places on the West Coast this May and June! We are really excited, but I had two questions I was wondering if anyone could help me out:

    First, We are trying to get to Taos, New Mexico pretty quickly and then take our time going slowly the rest of the trip, but we will probably have to make at least one overnight stop in between Atlanta and Taos to not go completely crazy from driving, so does anyone have any suggestions for a good spot/city about 3/4 of the way to Taos that we could stay in for a night? We were thinking Amarillo Texas but weren't sure.

    Also, one more question, If leaving the Grand Canyon area and driving towards San Diego through Niland, California, Google Maps suggests using 1-40, but me and my friend aren't huge fans of taking the interstate if we aren't trying to get somewhere super quickly, so since I've never been on it, is 1-40 like a big boring interstate, because we are aiming for a more route 66 type of vibe with interesting roadside sights for driving on? How is 1-40 as far as that goes, and if it wouldn't be much fun anyone have any alternate roads we could take?

    Thank you for reading through my rambling!! Would really love any input, also if you have any cool, unique places to visit along the west coast from San Diego to Portland, Oregon, I would love for you to share those too!!
    Thanks so much, Maggie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Go where you want.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums!

    It would seem you are relying on electronic mapping programs for your planning. You have many many different routes you could create and explore between any 2 points and do not have to follow the suggested routes. There are parts of old route 66 that go through Seligman to Kingman running alongside I40 and then you could head through Oatman AZ and maybe go through Joshua Tree NP. If route 66 is not a 'must do' then you could look at heading through Sedona etc, just research and go where you want.

    As for Atlanta to Taos, you have no choice but to stop for rest and just one overnight stop is really pushing beyond the boundaries of what is safe to travel in a day, especially when you have to wake and do it all again the next day. Fort Smith AR would be about the limit on day one and then maybe pull up just short of Taos [Springer ?] and travel in next day. You would still be pretty exhausted so 2 overnight stops would be better.

    It's essential to have paper maps for travelling so if you haven't any at the moment I would buy some, they are great for planning and route building. You can get them locally or just scroll down and find 'Atlas and Map' store in the blue box.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Trip Planning suggestions.

    As Dave mentioned, good detailed maps are essential to plan a trip, and even more so on the road.

    When you get your maps, either those AAA prints, or as suggested a road atlas, then you might like to follow the advice in the following paragraph:-

    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.
    Don't be tempted to rely on your electronics. They are fine for finding an address in the urban areas, but on the open road you need the big picture good maps show.

    To be sure that on your arrival in Taos you are not completely exhausted, I would definitely recommend two overnight stops. You could break the trip up into a 2 x 500 mile days and a 400 mile day. That will see you on the road for 9 - 11 hours each day.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default In the 21st Century -- use 21st Century Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Don't be tempted to rely on your electronics. They are fine for finding an address in the urban areas, but on the open road you need the big picture good maps show.
    Another view on this subject:

    No question that I carry Benchmark or Rand McNally atlases when I am on the road, but this is the 21st century and I gotta tell you -- I use my smart phone 90% of the time when I am on actually on an interstate highway these days. A paper map is unable to provide detailed information about the current road conditions and traffic flow -- smart phones do that and truth be told -- if I have reservation for a motel I load that destination address into my smart phone and let the built-in mapping program run in the background.

    I also use the RTA Custom Mapping program every time I am on the road for keeping track of attractions I might be driving past.

    I've been a long-time proponent of paper maps and I still carry them -- but I use all of the tools out there. Paper maps provide detail about smaller roads and byways that you might not be skilled enough to find using electronic tools.

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maggiemshaw View Post
    <snip, snip> Would really love any input, also if you have any cool, unique places to visit along the west coast from San Diego to Portland, Oregon, I would love for you to share those too!!
    Thanks so much, Maggie
    ~Cool. Maggie, there is a lot of "cool" along the west coast, but what is cool for you or me may not be cool to him or her. The Los Angeles area has a wide range of cool things ranging from, for example, the crystal cathedral to witchcraft central. Do you want to watch pro baseball or go surfing? Science or art? Mexican or Chinese food? Hiking or movies? BTW, Portland is very cool, too!

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