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  1. Default Month Long, Cross-Country Road Trip

    My best friend and I are planning a month long road trip from Maine to California. The first leg of the trip is the "boring part" -- a little under half of the entire distance, we're going to try to get through as quickly as possible. The first destination will be New Orleans. After that, we'll hook up with Route 66, maybe stop in Santa Fe or somewhere else in New Mexico if there's anything interesting to do there, then head into Los Angeles. I'm thinking we should go to a beach town, but I don't know which one. We want a fun boardwalk kind of place, maybe. We'll spring for a decent hotel and restaurant that night, but we don't want anything TOO expensive... and something wonderful and cheap would be preferred if anyone knows anything. Then we're going to Yosemite, and eventually on to a place in Utah where you sleep in a hogan, or something else like that. Our last stop will be Boulder, Colorado. After that, we'll be on our way back home, but still open to adventures.

    We plan to camp/sleep in the car most of the time, staying in motels occasionally, and buy food from grocery stores as much as possible (still eating in restaurants sometimes, because I know for sure that whether or not we plan to, we WILL). We'll have 1500-2000 dollars for gas (maybe a high estimate, but I figure it's no problem if we don't spend all the gas money -- it will be a problem if we run out of gas money before we get home). I don't know how much money to expect for food and hotels, though... can anyone help me figure out an estimate?

    Any ideas about interesting places to go and things to do in the southwest would be much appreciated! We'd like to have as many ideas as possible... not necessarily planning to do all of them, but it can't hurt to have ideas. We tend to prefer things that don't cost much money and aren't very "touristy" (although if there's a touristy place that's really worth going to we'll certainly happily go there).

    Especially appreciated would be ideas for places to go in the cities that we're planning on stopping in (New Orleans, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Boulder).


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A bit of research.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I think you need to have a look at the map and do a little research to find places that are of interest to you, which isn't going to be easy if you think the journey from Maine to New Orleans is "boring" [a word not used at RTA]. I can't imagine Shenandoah, the Great Smokey mountains and possibly part of the Natchez trace parkway being boring ! It's also a good time to point out that route '66 was decommissioned years ago although you can still drive on parts of the original route. On the way to LA the Grand canyon is so close it would be a shame not to ! You might want to travel up the very scenic PCH between LA and SF before cutting across to Yosemite and you could cut across Death valley into Vegas on the way to Utah where there are the amazing National parks of Zion,Bryce canyon and Capitol Reef and Arches. You could drive through Rocky NP on the way to Boulder over Trial ridge road, the highest continuous highway in the US. Mount Evans is just South and the toll road to the top is the highest paved road in the US. [If you do go via Death valley you could visit the lowest spot in the US at Badwater]. All of these are "touristy" but for good reason, they are spectacular.

    If you plan on visiting a few National parks [4 or more] you will be better off buying the annual pass for $80 that lets you visit any park and Fed lands for a year but does not include camping fees. Expect a cheap Motel off Interstate to cost $50-60 a night and more in the city's.
    You will find a Fuel cost calculator link to the left of the page that will help with your fuel costs and you will find tons of useful info throughout the forums and road trip planning pages, use the search button and tags for good results.
    One last thing you describe New Orleans as your "first destination" but you realise it's a 3 day drive, right ?
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-04-2009 at 03:09 AM. Reason: Added link

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Default Santa Fe

    Quote Originally Posted by spacestarr
    …maybe stop in Santa Fe or somewhere else in New Mexico if there's anything interesting to do there…
    There are many interesting places to visit in Santa Fe and throughout northern New Mexico, and a lot of good camping spots as well. Here are some places you can look for ideas:

    New Mexico A-Z List # 1
    New Mexico A-Z List # 2

    An RTA Forum thread from last year.
    The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center website.

    The Santa Fe National Forest website.
    The Carson National Forest.

    New Mexico State Parks
    And a Google Map of the area.

    Have fun!

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