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  1. Default Cross Country from Los Angeles, California

    Hi all. I plan on driving from L.A. clear across the country for my 30th B-day in early February making stops in El Paso, San Antonio, New Orleans, and Atlanta on my drive east and Austin, Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas on my way west. My question is, where should I go from Atlanta, GA? I definitely want to see the Atlantic Ocean but aren't sure if Savannah, GA or Charleston, SC are worth a look? What do you all think? I've never been in the south and not sure what it'd be like. I'm open to any and all ideas. Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Travelling Salesman

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are better ways to arrange the places you want to visit than what you have laid out. And leaving aside the technicality that New Orleans is on the east coast, I can understand the desire to see the full-up Atlantic rather than 'just' the Gulf. So, I'd recommend two things. See Austin just after your visit to San Antonio, and then continue all the way across the South on I-10 to Jacksonville, FL. It's then just a short run up I-95 (or better yet, US-17) to Savannah. Save Atlanta for the trip back, which you can get to using I-16 and I-75. I-20 and US-78 would get you to Memphis and from there I-40 will hook you up with your other destinations on the way home. If you've never been to the South, I think you're in for a treat. Here's a thread on a trip I did a couple years ago, parts of which are close to what you'll be doing.


  3. #3

    Default The Atlantic

    I might suggest you consider just what kind of look at the Atlantic would please you most: developed vs undeveloped shorelines. There is plenty of either in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Cumberland Island National Seashore, down by Brunswick and the FL line, is a great example of an undeveloped barrier island coastline. Hilton Head Island, SC, is a great example of a highly developed barrier island with all of the amenities. So, it's pretty much what pleases you most that might tell you where to go.

    I just enjoyed my first ever trip to CA and my first look at the Pacific (other than at Hawaii), and I saw most of the coast from the Golden Gate to the Santa Monica Pier. Lots of differences in the view, to say the least. Same on this side of the continent.


  4. Default Follow-up Cross Country from Los Angeles...

    I posted a comment a few weeks ago and want to thank those that replied and offered such insightful advice. Now that I've had some time to marinate on a few things and thought about locales I'm excited to see on my cross country trip I've come up with an itinerary and would love further insight from anyone and everyone.

    My initial thread, in sum, indicated that I planned on heading to the east coast (south) from L.A. and back. I've mapped out a 16 day itinerary as follows (please, any insight/help/suggestions are appreciated; we're covering a lot of land in two weeks... let me know if this sounds feasible to you all)

    We're driving overnight from L.A. to El Paso... staying 1 night in El Paso, TX
    (all are morning drives, except the departure)
    El Paso to San Antonio... 1 night in San Antonio, TX
    San Antonio to New Orleans... 3 nights in New Orleans, LA
    New Orleans to Jacksonville... 1 night on Jacksonville, FL
    Jacksonville to Atlanta... 2 nights in Atlanta, GA
    Atlanta to Shreveport... 1 night in Shreveport, LA
    Shreveport to Austin... 2 nights in Austin, TX
    Austin to Santa Fe... 2 nights in Santa Fe, NM
    Santa Fe to Flagstaff... 1 night in Flagstaff, AZ
    Flagstaff to Las Vegas... 1 night in Las Vegas, NV
    Las Vegas back home to Los Angeles... and exhale.

    Thoughts? Are we in too much of a hurry? Is Shreveport worth a look?


  5. Default Long drive the first day...

    My first comment on this is LA to El Paso is about an 800 mile drive. That's going to be between 14 and 16 hour long drive (since you need to allow time to get gas, stretch you legs, have lunch, use the bathroom etc as well as just drive..... )

    Some of your other drive times look a bit long too -- but this first day jumped out at me.

    You might be trying to cover too much ground in a day. That's not going to leave a lot of time sightseeing -- so you might want to scale back on how long you stay in some cities in order to cut your time in the car on these long drivign days.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Seems quite rushed to me

    I just don't see hardly any time for exploring along the way. Especially the segments in the western part of the US. You're going to be zipping past some incredible places with no time to stop and see them.

  7. Default Adjustment

    Rushing to New Orleans is a bit of a priority. I want to be there for Mardi Gras. Perhaps Louisiana can be my eastern-most destination and I can trek back to L.A. slower than noted. What do you all think? I would surely hate to miss out on some "incredible places." Are there any other must stop destinations in Louisiana, Arkansas or north Texas? What about on the way from Austin to Santa Fe?

    Thanks for all your help!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Must Sees

    What people absolutely 'must see' in any given region of the country on any give trip is such a personal and changing target that it's hard to give generic advice. If I were making that trip, high on my list would be the Cajun coast line, the swamps, and the New River Control Project. But the first time I went to New Orleans the top draw was, as it is for you, Mardi Gras, which is like nothing else you will ever experience. I will pass on to you the most useful bit of advice I got for watching the parades: The prize everyone is after are the coins or doubloons tossed from the various floats. Make eye contact with one of the people on the float and ask. If you do not catch the coin on the toss, do NOT reach down to pick it up from the ground - you can lose fingers that way. Instead, the accepted practice is to stomp on it with your foot to cover it and only then reach down to get it.

    As far as the trip back from Austin to Santa Fe, especially if you are going to take your time on this segment, look at a route that stays a bit to the south. Big Bend National Park may be a bit too far south, but you can certainly come through southern New Mexico hitting places like Carlsbad Caverns and then either White Sands National Monument or Roswell depending on your tastes. Depending on which way you come, there are a couple of smaller venues worth a stop. Of you come through Roswell, then stop in Fort Sumner to see Billy the Kid's grave(s). If you come through Whit Sands, then take a small detour west from Socorro to see the Very Large Array. Often I find that it's these less stunning places that stay in my memory the longest after a trip.


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