7 Day Road Trip SF to NY with Vegas and Grand Canyon stops
I am taking a 7 day day road trip from San Francisco to New York and we will be stopping in Vegas and the Grand Canyon on Day 1 and 2. Day 3 we will probably stop in Albuquerque, NM to see an uncle.
However- I am so stuck on Day 4-7! Mapquest takes me up to HWY40 and HWY70 after NM, passing through Oklahoma City, St. Louis, MO, Indianapolis and Dayton, OH.
Any thoughts on what to do in those cities? Or maybe ideas on a different route from NM to NY?
Just a side note- I can't make the trip any longer than 8 days, so keep that in mind.
You are taking a very long trip without much time to do it in. With that in mind, I'd take the fastest route from Albuquerque to NYC.
Your first day is going to be a bear - you are driving almost 600 miles. This is going to take you at least 10 hours if not more. Considering it's a good 6 hours to the GC from LV and 7 hours from the GC to Albuquerque, you aren't going to have much time to enjoy either place!
It's 4 full driving days from ABQ to NYC, via I-40/I-44/I-70/I-71/I-76/I-80. Overnights would be roughly OKC, STL, and Akron OH. This wouldn't allow for much sightseeing.
I'd take that 7th day and add a day in between SF and ABQ somewhere, or don't bother with LV and go directly to the GC in the first 2 days, spend the night in Needles.
One Tight Spot, Otherwise - Fine
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Actually, you should probably be a bit more concerned with the first day rather than the last four. San Francisco to Las Vegas is 570 miles, a full day's drive. So other than a quick cruise along the Strip and a few minutes at the slots, I don't see what you hope to accomplish there. Then the next day, it's 280 miles to the Grand Canyon which should leave you time for enjoyment of the entire South Rim Drive and maybe even some short hikes while still allowing you to get a bit of the way on towards Albuquerque. At only 400 miles from the Canyon, that city is within an easy day's drive and should allow you a solid evening to visit with your uncle. Albuquerque to New York is right around 2000 miles via the route you've described. There is an alternative, such as I-40 all the way to Knoxville, and then I-81 north to Harrisburg, PA and I-78 into NYC. that is about 120 miles longer but is also a bit more scenic and rural. Either way would be your choice, and neither should present any time constraints on getting from Albuquerque to New York in four days.
I was considering making Day 1 shorter- and staying in So.Cal then Las Vegas on Day 2. Normally when we do trips- we try to keep it at 400 miles a day. Going to Vegas was more than 100 miles over our normal limit, but it seemed silly to stop only 100 or so miles away. If we get tired, we can always stop, we keep things fluid.
I am more concerned with the second part of the trip. Oklahoma City and St Louis are mysteries to me!
Thanks for your advice!