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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    St.Inigoes, MD - on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake

    Default East to West Coast - Winter 2008

    My hubby and I are planning a trip X-country in January, starting in Maryland and taking the "Southern Route", eventually ending up in Palm Springs, where we will be staying in some friends' accommodations through March 2008.

    Have any members out there driven in this direction during Winter? If so, any advice on routing would be appreciated. We have friends in Atlanta, NOrleans, Dallas and Albuquerque. Beyond that, we haven't thought about the exact route. We prefer scenic drives, with quirky attractions and great local, dive restaurants nearby! We won't be on any particular schedule, so can go as slow as we wish and stay in crazy motels along the way where we don't have friends.

    We plan to base in Palm Springs and spend the winter discovering the surrounding areas (Mojave, Las Vegas, Arizona, San Diego, etc).

    Returning in late March/early April, what would be a good route back East that would avoid any duplication? (assuming weather permits!)

    I think this forum is awesome!!! Can't wait to read your suggestions!

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default If You Want Quirky/Crazy, Leave the Interstate

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I haven't driven that route in winter, but I have done various parts of it in spring and fall and I think you're in for a treat. The 'standard route would be to take I-95 and I-85 to Atlanta, but if your prefer some nice scenery, look into taking I-81 down through the Shenandoah Valley into Tennessee and then use either I-26 or I-75 to bring you back to I-85 and Atlanta. Between Atlanta and New Orleans, I think I'd favor the general alignment of I-85/I-65/I-10 over that of I-20/I-59. Beyond New Orleans, I-49/I-20/I-10 will take you where you want to go.

    As far as scenic roads, small town dives and crazy motels will all pretty much require that you get off the Interstates and follow some of the old US Highway system. It's still out there and since it isn't carrying the bulk of the traffic load anymore, it can be quite pleasant. Especially at meal times, head away from the highways and into smaller cities. I find that those of 5,000-10,000 population work best for this. drive the Main Street to get a feel for the town and then get out and walk. Talk to the locals. Ask them where they'd eat. I've found more unique eateries by taking the 15 minutes or so for this exercise (and exercise before eating is its own reward) than you'll ever see by seeing 'what's at the next exit' (it will always be one of the same dozen franchise places). There was a short discussion recently in this thread on how to find unique motels.


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