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  1. Default Driving from Richmond, VA to San Francisco CA

    Whatsup everyone,
    My girlfriend and I are planning to go cross country and we want to make it in roughly 8 days. We know we want to see New Orleans, Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon but don't know what else is on the general route, any advice on route or other stuff to see would be greatly appreciated, cheers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default 8 is not enough

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    8 days is a nice amount of time to drive across country, and leaves you time for some exploration, but it's really not enough for the kind of trip you are talking about.

    Just driving directly from Richmond to San Francisco is about 2900 miles - and that alone is 5-6 hard days of driving. By going all the way down to New Orleans, and back up to Yellowstone, and then onto Yosemite, you've increased the miles to more than 4,000. So, that means you would need a bare minimum of 8 days to cover the miles, and would not leave you any time at all to explore all of these great places that you are working so hard to get to!

    Either doing New Orleans or Yellowstone could work, but doing both doesn't make sense. Even there, you might be better off looking at attractions that are a bit more in line with a direct route that doesn't dip down to the extreme south or extreme northern ends of the US, so you could have more time to enjoy the places you'll visit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    As Michael said, you need more time or plan to do less, not more. Forget about mapping program time estimates, they are a computer based fantasy. In the 'Real world' us humans need food, rest and have to face congestion and possible construction delays. To keep things at a safe pace on a multi day road trip you need to average no more than 550 miles per day which allows time for rest breaks but no major sightseeing. New Orleans is a long way off route and Yellowstone really needs a minimum of 2 to 3 days to visit so I would look at possibly going through Colorado into Southern Utah and down through Monument valley to the Grand canyon and then across Death valley into Yosemite. Even here you will have little time for anything other than a drive through the places but the drive would be wonderful.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    8 days is a nice amount of time to drive across country, and leaves you time for some exploration, but it's really not enough for the kind of trip you are talking about.

    Just driving directly from Richmond to San Francisco is about 2900 miles - and that alone is 5-6 hard days of driving. By going all the way down to New Orleans, and back up to Yellowstone, and then onto Yosemite, you've increased the miles to more than 4,000. So, that means you would need a bare minimum of 8 days to cover the miles, and would not leave you any time at all to explore all of these great places that you are working so hard to get to!

    Either doing New Orleans or Yellowstone could work, but doing both doesn't make sense. Even there, you might be better off looking at attractions that are a bit more in line with a direct route that doesn't dip down to the extreme south or extreme northern ends of the US, so you could have more time to enjoy the places you'll visit.

    What if we went to Charlotte, to Nashville, to New Orleans, up to Missouri for the Arches, then across through Colorado into Utah Nevada and San Francisco.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    You really need to start looking at some maps yourself.

    Going over to Nashville, practically straight south to New Orleans, and then straight back north again to St. Louis still makes for a 3800 mile trip, so all you would have time to do is drive for 8 straight days.

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

    Default Still....

    That's still nearly 4000 miles, largely because the leg Nashville, New Orleans, St. Louis is a thousand mile dogleg in the middle of it. That means eight full days of driving nine to ten hours a day (plus any and all stops), leaving precious little time to spend at any of the places you'll have driven to. In order to make the drive in eight days while leaving sufficient time to see stuff along the way, you'll have to stick to a route that spends most of its time going east-west rather than north-south. You still have lots of options including Chicago-Omaha-Salt Lake City using mostly I-70/I-76/I-80; or St. Louis, Denver on I-64/I-70/I-25/I-80; or Memphis-Oklahoma City-Albuquerque using I-81/I-40/I-5 and some connectors. Each of those would let you make the transit with almost three days to devote to sight-seeing. You could even get as far north as Yellowstone, but you'd only have two 'spare' days to apportion to sights along such a route. But you probably are much better off picking one route that keeps getting you closer to your ultimate goal - San Francisco.

    AZBuck

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    You really need to start looking at some maps yourself.

    Going over to Nashville, practically straight south to New Orleans, and then straight back north again to St. Louis still makes for a 3800 mile trip, so all you would have time to do is drive for 8 straight days.
    Yeah we saw that and thought of skipping Charlotte and Nashville going straight to New Orleans and from there to St. Louis and then straight west to SF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    That does nothing to solve your problem.

    You're still going all the way to the southern gulf coast, then driving straight north to St. Louis. That's still a 3700 mile drive.

    Going from NOLA to STL alone adds more than 400 miles to your drive.

    You really need to start looking at maps....

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