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  1. Default San Francisco to Orlando - need advice ASAP

    Getting ready to do this first ever cross country road trip over 4 days this week. My buddy and I were all set to follow the Google Maps suggested route (first one below). Getting second thoughts and wondering if we should go another way so I've been playing with the maps. I'm looking for some interesting driving though I know at this speed I won't be using my camera too much ( I am a photographer). Milage looks similar for all three options according to Google.

    1) I-5 in CA to I-10 all the way to FL.

    2) I-40 from CA then drop down I-287 in TX to Dallas, then down 20, 49, and 10 to New Orleans and FL.

    3) I-80 in CA to I-70 all the way accross CO, KS, and MO, then down I-24 to FL

    I'd like to go East on one route and head back West on a different route for variety.

    Can anyone help with the relative merits of each of these routes? Are all three feasible? Heading East this week, back West 1st week of January.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Right off the bat, I'm going to advise that four days is pushing this trip. You'd have to average about 750 miles a day by the quickest route. It takes about five days on average to go from coast to coast, and that is for a relatively straight line.

    With weather being a concern at this time of year, I'd probably opt for the I-10 route as suggested by Google.

    Now, how much time do you have for the trip as a whole?

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply. A bit under three weeks for the whole trip, but we need to be there to sync up with others' schedules at Orlando. I susppose we can miss a day by stretching it to 5 days. I thought it was doable in 4 though.

    Will the I-40 route really have a big weather concern? I was hoping to avoid going out and back in the same route. We will be driving a full size high clearance 4x4 SUV if its a factor.

  4. #4

    Default Stay away from I-10

    I would suggest you avoid I-10 at all costs until Louisiana. Its a long lonley drive until you get to the bigger cities in Texas and the traffic is impossible.

    287 from Amarillo to the DFW area is an easy enough drive. IF you decide to drive through Dallas you have two choices: 287 to I-45 to I-10 in Houston. You can skip most of the traffic in the DFW area but you still end up in houston. Our family would drive from Fort Worth to Orlando every year, and we found that the easiest route was I-20 to Shreveport then I-49 to Lafayette where you get on I-10 to Florida. If you do this route, be sure to stay on 287 as long as you can and don't get on I-20 until you hit in in Arlington. You'll miss most of the traffic that way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Winter wonderland


    If you can swing a trip through Colorado on I-70 going one way or the other, do it. See if you can follow, or precede a weather front by a day or so and you should be fine in your SUV. And if you like winter, you'll go past 5 excellent ski areas on the way - Loveland, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Vail, Beaver Creek - just in Colorado.

    The suggestions about avoiding traffic in Texas is a very good one, unless you can get through on a Sunday. We were lucky enough to do that in Dallas, but unlucky enough to hit Houston at rush hour on Friday. And you thought Hwy 101 in San Jose was bad at rush hour! No comparison.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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