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  1. #1

    Default Traveling cross country solo


    Just joined the forum today. I've decided to take a long, lazy cross country trip from Knoxville, TN to Menlo Park, CA. My plan is to go to CA from Knoxville by I-40. I've lived in Menlo Park for years, so the San Francisco Bay Area is quite familiar to me.

    I'm looking for suggestions for things to see on the way out. I've traveled all over the world -- a lot -- and I've crossed the US dozens of times by plane but never by car.

    I know that I'll go see the Grand Canyon, which I've never seen. But I'd love to have suggestions about other things to see along the way. Taking side trips off the I-40 isn't a problem, though I don't want to go extremely far off the route.

    Then another big favor I'd like to ask is a recommendation for a different route back to TN other than I-40 and some sights along that way.

    I welcome all suggestions.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2

    Default Howdy!

    Hi Martin, welcome to RoadTrip America!

    You are looking at somewhere in the region of 5,000 miles roundtrip so, you can rest assured, there'll be a whole lot for you to see and do en route! A quick look your outbound route shows that you are passing close to Mammoth Cave National Park, Memphis (Graceland, Lorraine Motel, Beale Street), Hot Springs National Park, Garvan Woodland Gardens, Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater and Joshua Tree National Park. You could also incorporate parts of Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway into your route quite easily without adding excessively to the mileage.

    Those destinations alone should give you something to think about. But then there's the return leg too... where you could loop through many many more national parks and scenic beauty. But, before we get to that, let us know what you think of the outbound suggestions.

  3. #3

    Default Traveling cross country solo

    Thanks for the quick response, UKCraig.

    I did think that I'd make Memphis a stop to go to Graceland. I've lived in Tennessee for 25 years but never went there. Lorraine Motel and Beale Street I know pretty well.

    The additional suggestions you make sound extremely interesting. I'm also interested in museums (art mostly) and architecture.

    I'm not leaving on the trip until August 2, so it looks like I'm going to have a lot of fun between now and then with the planning.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4


    If you're into architecture then you've got to make the Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens a stop. Unfortunately it was locked the day that I visited and I'd run out of time checking out the rest of the site before it was opened up. At that point a bus load of people from a local church arrived and I didn't feel that I should be in amongst them waving a camera around so I had to leave them to it. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic place to visit.

    I'm afraid I don't know too many art exhibitions/museums (the national parks are art for me!) but the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green KY promises to be a fascinating demonstration of design as, so I'm told, is the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis. As you near the west, there are many museums along the old Route 66 which may of interest as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default I-40= Route 66

    Once you get to Oklahoma City, you can pick up old Route 66 and take it all the way to the Pacific. Much of the time, it runs right alongside the interstate so if you get pressed for time, you can always get back on it.

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