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  1. #1
    SunurbanExcursion Guest

    Default From Tampa FL to Los Angeles help

    The Equipment------

    looking to rent a SUV with built in or option for GPS ( any ideas )

    The Crew------------
    30 y/o adult male
    33 y/o adult female
    15 y/o teenage female
    13 y/o teenage female
    11 y/o preteen boy

    The plan-----------------

    we plan to drive to califorina and fly back. we intend to use a rental acar and drop the car off when and where we are done in cali. We want to see the most interesting and cool things and or sites on the road trip and this is the only reason for driving. sites ghost towns any thing we want to see it.


    money is not an issue at all for this trip

    my wife dosent drive so I will be the sole driver and I need a realistic estimate on how long this drive should take me. I often drive from Tampa to chicago pretty much straight through so I do have a couple thousand miles under my belt.

    any suggestions on sites, car rental, things to do and or see with the kids in cali etc etc would be greatly apreciated.

    thank you all in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A Nice Situation to be in

    Quote Originally Posted by SunurbanExcursion
    money is not an issue at all for this trip
    Wow -- there a few of us that would like that situation!
    I need a realistic estimate on how long this drive should take me. I often drive from Tampa to chicago pretty much straight through so I do have a couple thousand miles under my belt.
    Five days minimum -- if you really want to stop and check out cool stuff -- need to plan for 6-10 days. Is that doable for you? Place suggestions to come later --

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-25-2005 at 05:37 PM.

  3. #3
    SunurbanExcursion Guest


    6-10 days is very doable

    cant wait to see suggestions

  4. Default

    I have driven from CA to TX and back with 3 kids, quite a bit younger though. We're planning on driving from CA to FL in less than a month.

    Here's what we have done.
    In Texas, went to Austin-saw the Capitol, quite a sight. Went to some caverns-pretty cool. Saw an Astros game-very cool!! Checked out the longhorns-kinda cool. San Antonio- did the riverwalk-way cool!! and the Alamo-the coolest.

    In New Mexico, not a whole lot of anything. There are things to do there, we just didn't plan on anything.

    Arizona-the Canyon- can't and won't ever forget that and definitely want to return and do as much as I can,,,tours,,horseback,,,jeep rides,,,just everything,,,amazing!!!! Sedona-red rock-awesome for momma and me,,so relaxing, the sun rises, and sun downs are totally different there.

    California-home, so good God, what do you want to do here? beaches, skiing, deserts, whatever you want.

    Anywhere you see a route 66 sign, get on it and you will drive through several old towns.

    As far as GPS. I have an I-WAY 5000, it's a personal one. It gives everything, nearest food, gas, it takes you turn by turn to wherever you want to go. It can locate any business and give you the address and phone number and then take you to the door. They cost 600.00.

    In any event, if money is no object, take 2 weeks and see everything. I'm driving there (against everyone's advice in 3 1/2 days)!! Money is a serious object for us!!!

    Either way, I hope you all enjoy it and make it wherever you go safely!!!

  5. Default Possibilities for attractions

    I'm not an expert on the southeast, but I pulled some ideas off the web, along with what I know about the southwest and came up with the following list of possibles, although I'm not really sure what you're interested in, so I tried to include a variety. I also suggest you pull up each state's tourism site (they ALL have one) and you can see more information on these suggestions plus get other ideas if these don't work for you.

    -Gulf Coast kayaking -- overnights, dinner cruises, Manatee cruises, etc.

    -Plantation house tours along the Mississippi River
    -See the old U.S. Mint
    -cultural museums in Burnside, Alexandria and Shreveport
    -Tabasco factory tour (New Iberia)
    -ride a Mississippi paddlewheeler
    -visit the Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs
    -take a heritage tour in Baton Rouge
    -Acadia tours in Crowley -- Cajun country and culture -- listen to some Zydeco music!

    -Six Flags in Arlington
    -Schlitterbahn world-class waterpark (New Braunfels)
    -LBJ Space Center (Houston)
    -Mesquite Championship Rodeo (Fri/Sat nights)
    -Panhandle/Plains Historical Museum (Canyon, Texas)
    -LBJ Ranch/Presidential Library
    -San Antonio; Riverwalk, the Alamo
    -Big Bend National Park
    -West Texas ghost towns
    -go for a horseback ride in the Hill Country (Austin)

    New Mexico:
    -vist the aliens at Roswell
    -Carlsbad Caverns
    -Lincoln, NM (old west, Billy the Kid stuff)
    -Capitan, NM -- see Smokey the Bear's Grave
    -horse races at Ruidoso Downs
    -White Sands National Monument
    -Pancho Villa museum at Columbus, NM
    -Gila Cliff Dwellings, Silver City

    -Chiricahua Natl Monument
    -Shady Dell Trailer Park Motel (Bisbee)
    -Lavender Pit Mine Tour (Bisbee)
    -Tombstone, AZ
    -Kartchner Caverns State Park (Benson)
    -Tumacacori Mission ruins (near Tubac)
    -Mission San Xavier del Bac (Tucson)
    -Arizona Historical Society Museum (Tucson)
    -Las Pocas Cosas (Mexican food in downtown Tucson, don't miss it)
    -Old Tucson Movie Studios
    -Arizona Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson)
    -Kitt Peak Observatory (west of Tucson), daytime tours of the big telescopes and the McMath Solar Telescope.
    -Yuma Territorial Prison (Yuma)
    -Phoenix -- call Bob for directions to the best barbecue in Arizona (Thee Pitts Again)
    -Phoenix -- the Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum
    -Diamondbacks baseball? (Phoenix) (or Houston Astros, etc.)

    -Laughlin -- out of the way, but a fun day with jet ski rentals on the Colorado River and gambling for Mom and Dad. Dinner at the Gourmet Room at Laughlin's Riverside, reservations req'd, worth the splurge!

    -Mission Bay water sports
    -San Diego Zoo/Balboa Park Museums
    -San Diego Wild Animal Park (more natural settings for the animals)
    -Maritime Museum (on the Bay downtown)
    -dinner at Vincenzo's (my favorite Italian place)
    -fish tacos at Rubios (3 million San Diego locations)
    -Sea World, San Diego
    -drive out to Point Loma and the Cabrillo National Monument (SR209, I think).

    And of course the main Los Angeles attractions will all be there for you as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Serious web surfing


    Thanks for that monumental web surfing & linking effort.


  7. #7
    SunurbanExcursion Guest


    wow Bob thanks a million you just planned our trip for us. I was not expecting to receive such an informative reply. Just about every thing you posted sounds good to us. One question, the wife is a mountain lover do you think the view and or beauty of the california mountains equal or are just as good as the colorado mountains. I guess what I am asking is will we miss something spectacular if we dont divert from the direct route and pass through colorado?

    again thanks everyone for reply especially Bob with what is probably the most informative reply i have ever received on a message board.

  8. Default Spectacular mountains

    Colorado is certainly spectacular -- but there are mountains closer to the direct route, and already included in the areas I routed you through. They won't be snow-capped, but still they are high altitude "sky islands."

    The area around Ruidoso, NM is high altitude forest land -- over 7,000 feet. Spend a night in Cloudcroft and you'll think you are IN Colorado. Also, the mountains above Silver City NM (the Tularosa's) are similar -- and just across the border in Arizona, if you follow the spectacular US191 north to Springerville as a side-trip, again, that's a high altitude ponderosa forest that forms the rocky spine of Arizona.

    In California, the mountains just northeast of Los Angeles will probably give her another dose of that high altitude air she craves -- the area around Big Bear Lake comes to mind, and of course the southern Sierras are a day's drive north as well. Bob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Yes, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by SunurbanExcursion
    One question, the wife is a mountain lover do you think the view and or beauty of the california mountains equal or are just as good as the colorado mountains.
    The Sierra Madres in southern California are the equal of any mountain range anywhere in the world. Since they are some of the newest mountains, the gorges and peaks are far more radical than in other places -- they look reasonably benign from a distance, but if you get up in the cliffs -- you will see what I mean.

    All that said, the Colorado Rockies are awesome -- if you have time I would certain suggest a drive along the Million Dollar Highway.

    If you get to Big Bend (it will be hot) MAKE sure you stick around to nightfall and have dinner at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua. Trust me, during the day it looks closed... It comes to life when the sun goes down, great food, local musicians and a western ambience you will never forget.

    Speaking of mountains, when you cross into Arizona from NM, drive south to Portal and drive a few miles into the Cave Creek Canyon -- you may find it hard to believe that you are only 60 miles north of Mexico.

    Another thing I would suggest -- a lot of priceless information about roadtrips can be found on this forum and site. Use the search engines (both on this forum and on the larger site) and look for articles about the states you are planning to drive through. In particular, look through the field reports filed by Gerald Thurman -- the scenic drives page and the "similar threads" found at the bottom of this page.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-27-2005 at 08:11 AM. Reason: Content add

  10. #10
    SunurbanExcursion Guest


    Thank you guys very much your opinions and information are very greatly apreciated.

    I have read all over the site and boy the information is priceless again thank you all and i will be sure to post pictures


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