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  1. #1

    Default End of year trip from JAX to west coast & back

    Hello everyone,
    My wife and I (just the 2 of us - no kids!) are planning for a 14-15 day road-trip from Jacksonville, FL to the west coast and back. As of now our tentative trip plan is

    1. Jacksonville to San Diego (I-10 and I-8)
    2. San Diego to LA
    3. LA to San Francisco by PCH and US-1
    4. SFO to Sacramento
    5. Sacramento to Salt Lake City
    6. Salt Lake City to Denver
    7. Denver to St. Louis
    8. St. Louis to Memphis
    9. Memphis back to Jacksonville, FL.

    First of all, our question to the "gurus" is - "are we trying to get a lot of things done in 14-15 days"?

    We do not intend to spend more than a couple of days in any major city (like LA / SFO). Our idea is that if there are any interesting parks / places en route, we would not mind a detour from the inter-state.

    Also considering it would be end of December, is it advisable to plan anything around the Rockies? I have reserved a luxury rental car (like Cadillac DTS) - should I consider changing that to a SUV with AWD?

    Thanks in advance!


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

    Default yeah, that's alot

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    You really are trying to fit in probably more than you can do.

    Just covering the miles of this round trip, you'll need about 10 full days on the road. That is sticking to the interstates, 10 hour days on the road, leaving very little time for extra stops.

    Even if you spent only a half day at the cities you've listed, and tried to throw in some parks or scenic detours, you're time would be gone before you've really done anything.

    If you really want to see the west coast/mountain west, I think you could be better off doing a fly and drive trip, instead of trying to cover the entire southern half of the US in 2 weeks.

  3. #3


    I used AAA Trip planner to map the whole thing out and the round-trip came about 88 hours all together. That's why we thought given some fluff even if we take breaks, we could extend just the driving on road part to 5-6 days. But I am estimating this strictly according whats on paper and not the reality for which we turn to you guys here to advise us! Flying is not an option now - so with that, we would probably not go coast to coast but all the way up-to end of Texas and up north to mid-west probably.

    Thanks once again for your valuable advice!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 09-22-2009 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Removed Quote of Entire Previous Post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Reality says to add 20% to any predicted travel time. That puts you up over 100 hours - just to get from point to point.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default hours is pointless

    It really is kind of pointless to break a trip of this distance down by hours. When you're talking about a few thousand miles, its really is better to break it down by days. 500 is a full day on the road, where you have some time to make a few small stops, or spend a couple hours at one big destination. 600 miles starts turning into speed run territory, where you don't really have time to stop at anything. And if you're looking at much more than 600 miles, you start getting into distances that just aren't sustainable for multiple days of travel.

    Giving yourself the 500 mile guideline should give you a better idea of how far you can go, based on the time you have, and the amount of time you want to spend on the road vs. exploring destinations.

  6. #6

    Default Nice tip!

    Great. Thanks for the 500 mile tip - we will use that and plan our trip.

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