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  1. Default Minneapolis to New Orleans, 2 routes (thoughts, suggestions and ideas, please)

    A friend and I want to drive from Minneapolis to New Orleans this summer. We want to get there and back in seven days, with at least two full days in New Orleans.

    We are considering two route options:

    1/ Straightest -- Minneapolis through Iowa, St. Louis, Memphis, Jackson and New Orleans. About 1,296 miles.

    2/ Detour -- Minneapolis through Wisconsin, Illinois, Nashville, Decatur, Montgomery, Mobile and New Orleans. About 1,610 miles.


    Are these routes doable in a week with some room to stop, see the sites and relax a little? Is Route #2 that much more demanding than Route #1? Route #2 would send us through to a friend, hence the detour.

    Any other thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Joplin MO
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    9,270

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    1610 miles is going to take you 3 days, with very little time for stopping and seeing the sites, much less visiting with a friend. 1296 miles can (just) be done in 2 days with no stops, so with 3 days this would allow time for significant stops.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    1610 miles is going to take you 3 days, with very little time for stopping and seeing the sites, much less visiting with a friend. 1296 miles can (just) be done in 2 days with no stops, so with 3 days this would allow time for significant stops.
    Thank you! And thank you for the great advice.

    Driving two days straight with no stops sounds like kind of a bummer. Maybe it's time to rethink/shorten our trip.

    What do you think is a more "relaxing" mileage?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,063

    Default

    If you're talking about a trip that's 7 days long, then your problem with your 2nd route is that you'll run out of time to get everything in.

    2 days in NOLA, means you're down to 5 days for the drive. Just the direct route at 1300 miles means you need a minimum of 2.5 days to cover the miles, and have time to stop, see the sites, and relax at all. Even that would mean short stops, and mostly seeing things out the window. As GLC indicated, perhaps you could push yourself to the very limit and make the drive in 2 days, but you're looking at back to back drives of 12 hours, leaving no time at all for any extras.

    the 300 mile detour adds at least another half day, that you don't appear to have - and since you want to visit a friend, one would assume you want to spend at least a few hours with them, so that's really 1 more full day on the road.

    if you can extend this trip to 9-10 days, then the detour would be more possible, but I don't think it works with just a 7 day trip.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    If you're talking about a trip that's 7 days long, then your problem with your 2nd route is that you'll run out of time to get everything in.

    2 days in NOLA, means you're down to 5 days for the drive. Just the direct route at 1300 miles means you need a minimum of 2.5 days to cover the miles, and have time to stop, see the sites, and relax at all. Even that would mean short stops, and mostly seeing things out the window. As GLC indicated, perhaps you could push yourself to the very limit and make the drive in 2 days, but you're looking at back to back drives of 12 hours, leaving no time at all for any extras.

    the 300 mile detour adds at least another half day, that you don't appear to have - and since you want to visit a friend, one would assume you want to spend at least a few hours with them, so that's really 1 more full day on the road.

    if you can extend this trip to 9-10 days, then the detour would be more possible, but I don't think it works with just a 7 day trip.
    Thanks for the great advice. I think we'll have to seriously reconsider this and do something shorter. I've never gone on a super long road trip, so it's a little new to me. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Some Other Possibilities to Consider

    I agree wholeheartedly with the advice you've been given so far. New Orleans simply doesn't fit within your time constraints, especially with a large detour on one of the legs to visit a friend. It would only leave you a single full day in New Orleans and no time to see anything on the road. But, some other destinations you might want to look at for your RoadTrip adventure might include:

    Yellowstone National Park: Two days there via I-94 with just short stops, two days there, three days back via I-90 with a day spent between the Little Bighorn, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park

    Rocky Mountain National Park: Two days there via I-35/I-80/I-76 (note that I-80 across Nebraska follows the route of the old Oregon Trail along the Platte River), two days there, three days back heading first up to the Rapid City area (see above) and then home.

    Great Lakes Loop: Up to DDuluth and across the southern shore of Lake Superior, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Colonial Michilimackinac State Historical Park, south along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, down through Michigan to Sandusky (Cedar Point amusement park) and the Bass Islands, then home through Chicago and maybe the Circus World Museum in Baraboo WI. Four days driving, three days for major stops.

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Two plus days there via Chicago, two days in the mountains, and two days back via St. Louis. That leaves you a day to spend in either Chicago or St. Louis,

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Joplin MO
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    Default

    Another idea - I know this is a road tripping forum, but if you only have 7 days and really want to go to New Orleans, consider Amtrak. It's a day and a half each way, 4 hours or so layover in Chicago.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly with the advice you've been given so far. New Orleans simply doesn't fit within your time constraints, especially with a large detour on one of the legs to visit a friend. It would only leave you a single full day in New Orleans and no time to see anything on the road. But, some other destinations you might want to look at for your RoadTrip adventure might include:

    Yellowstone National Park: Two days there via I-94 with just short stops, two days there, three days back via I-90 with a day spent between the Little Bighorn, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park

    Rocky Mountain National Park: Two days there via I-35/I-80/I-76 (note that I-80 across Nebraska follows the route of the old Oregon Trail along the Platte River), two days there, three days back heading first up to the Rapid City area (see above) and then home.

    Great Lakes Loop: Up to DDuluth and across the southern shore of Lake Superior, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Colonial Michilimackinac State Historical Park, south along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, down through Michigan to Sandusky (Cedar Point amusement park) and the Bass Islands, then home through Chicago and maybe the Circus World Museum in Baraboo WI. Four days driving, three days for major stops.

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Two plus days there via Chicago, two days in the mountains, and two days back via St. Louis. That leaves you a day to spend in either Chicago or St. Louis,

    AZBuck
    Thanks for the great tips, and for the suggestions. I'll seriously look into those!

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Another idea - I know this is a road tripping forum, but if you only have 7 days and really want to go to New Orleans, consider Amtrak. It's a day and a half each way, 4 hours or so layover in Chicago.
    That's a really good option, too. Many thanks!

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