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  1. Default 2 week roadtrip suggestions?

    I'm in the early phase (thought it up yesterday) of planning a 2 week road trip for next summer. I've never gone on a drive longer than 400-500 miles, so this should be an interesting experience for the family (me, the wife, and our 7 year old son). Starting and ending point is Bakersfield in central California. We have a 26' travel trailer that we use mostly for weekend trips to the central coast, but we haven't yet made up our minds if this will be an RV trip or a hotel trip. I am open to anything, though I would like to see as many varied types of environments as feasible in 14 days. Generally anything that takes us out of the state first. I've lived in California all my life, I wouldn't mind leaving it behind in the first day! So this is a tall order, but for a road trip first timer with the information I've laid out, where would you go and what would you do?
    Last edited by FrankC29; 09-24-2006 at 11:16 PM.

  2. #2
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Where to go? What to do?

    Welcome to the Forum FrankC29!

    Well, your situation calls for Microsoft's old motto: "Where do you want to go today?" Well.... where do you want to go? From Bakersfield, you have 3 major natural options: The Desert, The Coast, and The Mountains. Of course, there are variations, and if you are into cities, you've got ALOT of them to choose from.

    My advice for planning first road trips is to pick a destination that is nothing like where you live. Bakersfield is inland, and somewhat warm during the summer. So, with that in mind, I would recommend something either costal or more northern.

    But, again, it comes down to what YOU want to see.

    Any idea of what you and your family are looking for? Are you looking for a rugged outdoors adventure complete with camping, waterfalls, and Alpine Terrain? Or... are you more the city type, or is the seaside what you're after? Perhaps Deserts of Arizona and Utah. There are so many options, and of course, we wouldn't want to stray you too far from home. 2 weeks seems like a lot of time, but you don't want to over do it and be rushed.

    Let us know what floats your boat, so to speak. We'd be able to really pinpoint some ideas.

    If you're not sure, and really are open for anything, get a map of the Western USA and get the whole family involved in planning a destination.

    And one last note: this trip is going to be a big one for your family. Your son is old enough now that the memories he makes on this trip should remain with him. It might be time to let him see the more spectacular things this country has to offer: The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or Arches National Parks. I went on a similar trip when I was his age to Yellowstone. Just be sure to have a good camera and either lots of film or enough memory cards to last the entire trip!

    We all look forward to sharing more ideas with you.

    Again, welcome to the Forum!

    -Arizona Brad

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Wagons East!

    Bakersfield is a great city for starting a roadtrip. I lived there for a year, and while I was never all that impressed with the city itself, I loved the fact that within a couple hours I could be at some of the country's most well know places.

    The longest trip I ever pulled off in a single weekend was out to Zion NP in Utah - using Las Vegas as base and then making Zion a daytrip. Considering your goal to make it out of the state as quickly as you can, that could be a very good start for you too.

    There are a couple of variations I would consider, Both involve heading out to Southern Utah and exploring Zion and Bryce NPs. From there you could keep going all the way into Colorado to places like Mesa Verde, before looping back around via Arches and either heading straight back home, or taking the longer route via Tahoe if you have time.

    Or after exploring the Utah parks, you could head south and do some exploring in Arizona, checking out a Sodona and the Grand Canyon as you make your way back towards home.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Lodging

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankC29
    we haven't yet made up our minds if this will be an RV trip or a hotel trip.
    One thing to consider is that, in addition to being your first long drive, you will have the added stress of making this long drive with a trailer attached, during the busy Summer season.

    As both Brad and Michael have said, you are near some of the most spectacular natural places in the world. If it was me, and I wanted to spend a couple of days in each place, I'd start with the Grand Canyon, then from there head up into Utah for Zion, Bryce, and Arches, then head up to Salt Lake City (that's just me - I've never been to that city). What's more varied than a city near salt water so far from the ocean? Another option, already mentioned, would be to head up to Yellowstone - seeing it snow in July is definitely different.

  5. Default

    Hey guys thanks for the great start. I guess I was being overly vague because I didn't yet have a clue what I was after, but the type of suggestions I'm getting (points in Utah, Colorado, Arizona) sound right up our alley. How about New Mexico, would 2 weeks be enough to try to get all 4 states in? One thing I've discovered quickly is that a road trip takes longer than I thought. The coast to coast affair I originally envisioned would take a month or more.

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

    Default It is rarely that simple!

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankC29 View Post
    How about New Mexico, would 2 weeks be enough to try to get all 4 states in?
    Frank, I never know how to answer such a question -- Yes, it technically possible to drive through all four states in two weeks and see quite a bit. But, when given a choice, most of the moderators on this board like to strive for "quality" over "quantity" and you could spend a year of weekends in each state and see less than 20% of what is waiting for you "out there."

    So, if you could provide a little more information about your goals and expectations for this odyssey -- we might be able to provide some more tips and suggestions.

    Last edited by Quebec Gen; 09-28-2006 at 10:39 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Habla espanol?

    Hi Frank,

    As Brad pointed out, since you live inland, maybe you would enjoy a little visit on the coast. Since you live fairly close to the border, why don't you try something different and head to Baja? I've never been there, but I heard so many great things about that place. Here's a book that was written about Rving in Baja.

    Another idea would be to combine the sea and the desert : southern Arizona has a lot of attractions (Biosphere 2, Saguaro NP, hot springs, Tombstone, etc.) and wonderful scenery and Puerto Penasco Beach, Mexico (a.k.a. Rocky Point) is only a short drive from there and is a popular destination for a lot of Arizonans.


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