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  1. Default Trip from Memphis to LA

    Hi everyone, Our names are Cindy and Rick. We are from Australia. We have only just discovered your site, and would appreciate any suggestions. We are leaving Cincinnati on Thursday 30 July for Memphis with a final destination of LA on 19 Aug. Our preferred visits will include St Louis, Colorado Springs, Lower Rim of Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and LA. Can anyone suggest approx. "real driving times" between these destinations, highlights of each of the cities, and the recommended visit duration, still allowing us to get to LA in time for our return to Australia. Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Real Time

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You are right to be highly skeptical of the driving times you get from software mapping routines. Overall, you can expect that you'll be 'on the road' for 6-7 days just to cover the ground between your stops. For times between individual stops, we suggest two rules of thumb: You can cover about 500-550 miles in a full but relaxed day of driving (with a couple of mental and physical breaks thrown in), and on average you can count on making good about 55 mph when meal, fuel and other breaks are factored in. So you'll have plenty of time to make your drive and can plan on spending a little less than two weeks on actually seeing sights along the way. What to see in each of the cities is really up to you. When I'm researching a trip, I find that I can find more ideas than I can possibly use by doing a web search on {cityname tourism OR attraction} and following the links that come up where they lead.


  3. Default

    Thank you for your prompt answer and information. As you said, there are so many suggestions on-line that it is impossible to narrow the field down to particular attractions. What we may do, is visit a "visitor information centre" when we arrive in each town, and see what is available to suit our time frame. We were figuring on around 6 days driving, so that still gives us a few days at each destination.

    Thanks again, and happy future travelling!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Great!

    Local Welcome Centers are some of the best and most underutilized travelers' resources out there. We often recommend them, and I have never failed to get prompt, personal service at them and best of all, it's an interactive, real-time real person! They are often, in fact, the very best sources for restaurant recommendations with the 'trick' being to describe in detail the kind of restaurant you're looking for and then asking the attendant where they would eat if they were looking for such a place.


  5. #5

    Default More on-the-road research ideas

    I'm on my way home from LA to Memphis trip (I'm writing this from a hotel in Moab UT, in fact), with many of the destinations you mentioned as stops along the way. This site was extremely helpful to me in planning, and I hope I can pay it forward a bit with this post. I hope I'm not too late.

    I traveled from L.A. to Memphis and then Nashville on I40; I am returning from St. Louis to L.A. via I70 (with liberal detours). On days that we have had alot of miles to cover, we have made the effort to get up and on the road early (by about 8am); we've been able to do some great stops and side trips during the day this way without having to do any night driving. Most days, our mileage averages between 300-400. We've found this leaves alot of time for sightseeing along the way. Also, we try to go to major attractions early or very late in the day when they are much less crowded (especially Graceland; our tour was at 10 and by the time we were done at noon, the place was packed).

    In addition to Welcome Centers, chat up the staff of the motels and attractions you stop at. We were given a great mexican restaurant in Manitou Springs (The Loop; about 15 minutes from Colorado Springs) by a salesperson at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. I agree with AZBuck that these folks are the best informants for finding local non-chain restaurants. They usually also are pretty good about drive times from their city to other destinations.

    Having a computer along has been a big help. Most motels have free wi-fi now and, if not, they may have a computer in the lobby for guests. We've used the computer to research possible motels for the cities we're going to; we still make reservations by calling the hotels. Except for the arizona/utah national park corridor (where we are now), we've had no problems with finding rooms on the road each day for that evening. We're finding hotels here, too, but it takes a few more calls and the hotels are noticeably more expensive.

    Most of all, leave yourself time for surprise detours. For instance, we had no idea there was a prairie museum in Colby, Kansas (small town off I70), but we read about it in an AAA book on the road, we stopped and we had a great time.

    I'm off to bed so we can see Arches early tomorrow morning before our drive to Bryce. Hope you have a great time.
    Last edited by ll18; 07-29-2009 at 11:03 PM. Reason: correct grammar

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