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  1. Default Atlanta --> San Francisco - Spring road trip


    just read a few articles and found this forum might be an ideal start for us to figure out the best / most scenic tour from Atlanta --> San Francisco. We'll be flying down from Toronto to Atlanta and back home from SF.

    My wife and I are planning a road trip for spring next year through southern USA. We have about 2 - 2 1/2 weeks for this trip and trying to find the best way. There's some must-see destinations for us on the way
    - New Orleans
    - Monument Valley
    - Grand Canyon
    - Las Vegas
    - Death Valley
    - Yosemite (would be nice if it's fit into it)

    I came across the AAA TripTik planner and created the following:
    1. ATL Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia
    2. Mobile, Alabama
    3. New Orleans, Louisiana
    4. Houston, Texas
    5. Del Rio, Texas
    6. El Paso, Texas
    7. Albuquerque, New Mexico
    8. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona
    9. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
    10. Las Vegas, Nevada
    11. Death Valley, California
    12. Yosemite National Park, California
    13. San Francisco, California

    I have absolutely no idea if those cities / sites are worth a stop or drive thru. I'd rather avoid the large cities and see a bit more of the American heritage (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama) but also love to see the desert. Just those cities as a hang-on point. Maybe you can help me to find out whether the Housten, Del Rio, El Paso drive is worth it or not. Maybe even going up from New Orleans to Hot Springs National Park, Oklahoma and Northern Texas is more scenic. Some ideas would be much appreciated. I should mention the trip will be most likely around April or May 2010. Also I heard the coastal LA, San Francisco drive is supposed to be very nice.

    Many thanks from Ontario,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It's a no-no here to say that something is "boring" but the drive across West Texas on I-10 comes the closest to that I've ever seen. Scenery is mostly desert with oil derricks, telephone poles, sagebrush, and tumbleweeds. It looks like AAA has routed you along the fastest Interstate highway routing from point to point. I-10 is a very fast way to go - the speed limit is 80 mph for a considerable stretch. However, going north from New Orleans is more scenic in my opinion.

    My mapping program actually says the fastest route from New Orleans to Albuquerque is through Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Shreveport, Dallas, and Amarillo. It shows as over 200 miles shorter and almost 3 hours faster, and is not Interstate highway all the way.

  3. #3


    I'll put my .02 in about Del Rio Tx. I've been there, and there really isn't much to see. Its a typical small Texas border town. If you like the desert the drive along US 90 west of Del Rio is scenic. It passes thru Langtry Tx, home of Judge Roy Bean, if you are a fan of the old American West. The Big Bend National Park is about 50 miles south of US 90, and the trip up hwy 118 through the Davis Mtns is scenic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Oops, sorry about that - somehow I assumed Del Rio was on I-10.

  5. Default

    Awesome. Thank you guys so much for your comments. I've never seen anything of the south in the States, except FL and guess, we'll skip the I-10, since we'll see enough desert anyways on our way.
    glc, I think you're right and we should go from New Orleans through Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Dallas, Wichita Falls, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Farmington, Monument Valley, Page, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas,...
    Again, we would like to get as much scenic out of the trip as possible. Has anybody any other suggestions or any little towns that are worth a stop on the way thru. I am not too sure what to expect from the New Orleans - Amarillo Drive...What do guys think about going up the Mississippi, pass the Hot Springs National Park and then through Oklahoma to Amarillo? Any ideas are welcome.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Yosemite.

    Hi Andre, welcome to the R.T.A. forums !

    As you are travelling in the Spring, I am checking to make sure you are aware that the Tioga pass [120] from Death valley to Yosemite can be closed through to June but it could also be open by mid May or earlier. You would have to keep an eye on the updates prior to travelling. If it is closed you will have to go around the Southern end of the Sierra's.

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