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  1. #1

    Default Chicago to California (Advise)

    I'm planning a road trip from Chicago to California, taking in several sites on the way. We want to see some cool and interesting stuff, proper old bars, dodgy motels. Don't mind the odd rough night in the car to be honest, adds to the experience. Not that interested in the places specifically designed for tourists.

    Can you offer any advise, and a rough estimation of how long we should plan for this?

    Here's my rough itinery;
    Start: ILLINOIS: Chicago & Springfield
    I65 to INDIANA: Possibly take in Indianapolis 500
    I70 to MISSOURI: St. Louis
    I55 to TENNESSEE: Memphis
    I40 to ARKANSAS: Little Rock & Jacksonville
    I40 to OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma City
    -Broken Arrow
    I40 to TEXAS: Amarillo
    I40 to NEW MEXICO: Albuquerque
    -Santa Fe
    I40 to ARIZONA: Flagstaff
    - Grand Canyon
    Rt93 to NEVADA: Las vegas
    I15 to CALIFORNIA: San Diego or Los Angeles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Off the top of my head, that looks easily doable in 3 weeks. Good luck getting tickets for the 500, and good luck finding accomodations without spending a small fortune. That race is not something you can just walk in and hotels in the area are booked years in advance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Trust to Serendipity

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you have 2-3 weeks for your drive, and really want to see "proper old bars" and "dodgy motels", then I think the thing for you to do is to get off the motorways ('I' or Interstate routes in America and follow the US and state highway system instead. While I can't predict where you'll find the bar or motel that is currently just a glimmer in your eye, I can tell you that your chances of finding along the Interstates is practically nil. Those roads are built to get people from A to B in the shortest time possible, but there are two main drawbacks. You have to know where B is before you start. If you just see something off the side of the road, it could take you 5, 10 even 20 miles to find an exit and double back. Second, because they're very good at getting people to their destinations quickly and safely, a LOT of people use them. This is like having a well stocked trout stream and the number of standardized modern chain restaurants, gas stations, big-box stores and the like along them long ago drove out most of the kinds of places you're seeking. So plan on taking some slower roads, driving through towns far from the traveling crowds, and generally having a trip where if something strikes you, you can investigate.


  4. #4


    great advice guys thanks. I do plan on getting off the interstates at a few points, still planning where we do this. The Interstate routes quoted are really just for the general description.

    Also, we want to lose the car somewhere around Grand Canyon, just give it to a dealer or something, and pick up a couple of bikes, to do the final part to San Diego. Any good bike hire shops you can recommend (who are online) that are close (within 40miles) of the canyon? We'd like to hire them before Vegas.

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