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  1. Default Northern Virginia to Sacramento Routes

    Early in September, I will be moving out from Northern Virginia to the Sacramento area for work and plan to take my car.

    Using Google maps, I have come up with three routes:

    1) Head north towards Ohio and catch I-80, and ride that all the way to Sacramento.

    2) Head west on I-64 through West VA. and Kentucky and pick up I-70. Ride that through Denver into Utah. Then head north (on Rt. 191/6 and I-15 I think?) to Salt Lake City and catch I-80 again.

    3) Head south on I-81 and then onto I-40 through New Mexico and Arizona. Then drive up the middle of California (Hwy-99 or I-5).

    Does anyone have any opinions about the differences in scenery among the different routes to get there?

    I plan on driving from 7-10hrs a day and wish to make the journey in a week, so I am trying to get the route with the interesting scenery foremost. Any sight seeing would have to be not too far from the interstates, though I could potentially see some nightlife in a city that's along the way.

    I am leaning towards the second route with I-64 and I-70 through Denver, since that will cover the Appalachians and the Rockies, though I-40 will be along the Southwest with the former Rt-66 region and the Mojave. I have no clue which interstate has better scenery within eyeshot though.

    As a side note, if I make good enough time I could perhaps stay in a town for another day. I was thinking either in Denver for the second route or seeing the Grand Canyon for the Southernly route.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default laid out

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    You've actually laid out your options quite nicely all by yourself.

    Personally, I like I-70, as the trip across Colorado and Utah is considered by many to be one of the most scenic freeway drives in the world. One other alternate idea you could look at doing here would be to take US-50 (aka the loneliest road) across Nevada instead of going back up to I-80. There are nice thing about the I-80 and I-40 routes too, so you are really talking about personal tastes, but I-70 is the route that would be my favorite.

    With the long but reasonable drives you are talking about, you're looking at 5-6 days to make the trip, so a day or two stopped in Denver or to detour to a National Park like Rocky Mountain or Arches to name a couple possibilities would certainly be within reason. For nightlife in addition to Denver, St. Louis or Kansas City could be good spots, or if you are younger a nice college town like Lawrence KS could be a fun spot to stop.

    It looks to me like you've got a very solid foundation and a plan that is going to be very reasonable no matter which route you pick

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