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  1. Default Las Vegas to East Tennessee to New Jersey

    My hubby and I and our 3 dogs are heading to Tennessee from Las Vegas next month. We've done this drive many times and have taken 10,40,and 70. We were thinking about maybe taking 80 this time. It'll be about 300-400 miles further depending on exactly which way we go, but we were thinking it would be nice to see something different and hopefully a little cooler weather along the way. We won't have a ton of time to stop and do stuff but any recs on things to see or places to stay? Is it worth it to do the extra miles?

    Also, upon leaving Tennessee we'll be heading to New Jersey to fly out of Newark and want to stop in DC and possibly spend a day in NYC. Any other must-do stuff along the way?

    Last time I asked for recs for a trip, someone told me about this italian resturant in St Louis that we stopped at - it was one of the best places I've ever eaten! So I totally trust your opinions! Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default I wouldn't expect it to be materially cooler

    Hello Queenie,

    Having travelled all of I-80 between Tooele, UT and Davenport, IA, as well as all of I-70 from Green River, UT to St. Louis, as well as I-40 from Barstow, CA to Wilmington, NC (the whole 2,554 mile length of I-40--my sole "full distance"), I can't get very excited about different scenery in exchange for 2/3 to 3/4 of a day extra travel, especially when stopping to see the sights is not practical due to time considerations.

    I would not expect meaningfully cooler temps as I-80 is just a short distance north of I-70 across the Great Plains. In fact, given that you'd forego the coolness of the Colorado Rockies in exchange for the high plains of western and central Wyoming, the trip as a whole could well be hotter.

    That said, the Wasatch Range and Salt Lake City basin are fairly cool sights to see if the weather will allow it (it tends to get pretty smoggy there when the winds are still). Some of the high plains in the vicinity of Evanston and Rock Springs, WY are impressive "big sky" sights, but I can't offer much difference between 80 and 70 across the Great Plains, only that 80 takes you along the Platte River and there are rather more trees to be seen than on the Wheat Tour route of 70 through Kansas.

    If you take 80, I can recommend dropping down to 70 by the time you get to eastern Nebraska. Nebraska route 2 is a shortcut from Lincoln, bypassing Omaha, to I-29 on the Iowa side of the Missouri. I-29 takes you down to KC where you pick up 70 across Missouri, to I-64 east of St Louis. I've always enjoyed the I-75 stretch from Lexington, KY down to Knoxville, TN, but if your East Tennessee destination is more Chattanooga in nature, you'd want to drop down on I-65, I suppose.

    Have fun planning and taking your trip!


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