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  1. Default Driving from San Francisco bay area to Champaign

    Hello all,

    This is an awesome site, I came across this site when searching on google.

    Towards the end of this month, I will be driving from San Francisco bay Area to Urbana-Champaign.

    I am looking for recommendations on the routes to take, places to see, stay, eat.

    This will probably be a once in a lifetime trip and I want to make the best of it.

    I am estimating we will have between 6 to 8 days to make the trip.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Limits and Your Basic Choice(s)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It's always a good idea to first ask: How much time would it take to get 'there' by the fastest route? Then it's a relatively simple matter to figure out how much roaming around and sight seeing you can do. The straight shot out I-80 from San Francisco to Champaign-Urbana would take 4 days. leaving you 2 to 4 to play with. Now what appeals to you? You could take those 3 days or so and visit Lake Tahoe, the Great Salt Lake. Flaming Gorge, and the historic sites along the old Oregon Trail. Or you could take a more northern route and go by way of Lake Tahoe, the Snake River Valley, Yellowstone, Devils tower, the Badlands, and the Amana Colonies. Finally, you could take a more southern route and go by way of (very roughly) old Route 66 stopping at the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Santa Fe, Oklahoma City and St. Louis. The 'northern' and 'southern' routes would each take a day more to drive, cutting sown on the time you have to visit the places on those routes, but that is a trade-off involved in every RoadTrip decision. And only you can decide what you want to see and how much time you can devote to it. Once you have a general itinerary picked out, let us know and maybe we can offer some other less famous points of interest.


  3. Default

    Right now we are thinking of going the following way:

    Reno, US 50, Ely, NV, Delta, UT, Arches NP, Colorado National Monument, Rocky Mountain NP, Continental Divide, and then just drive without stopping any where.

    I currently live in the bay area, we already visited the nearby places like Reno, Tahoe enough to not stop there again.

    Apparently US 50 is a very scenic drive, is it worth driving on that stretch? I am little apprehensive because it is not a busy road and the services are far and few in between.

    I prefer to see scenic views and some feel for the good old days like small towns, the tourist spots like national parks .. like I would definitely like to see the Arches NP and the continental divide.

    I am open to suggestions, nothing is set in stone.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    From Colorado to Champaign its certainly not something you should try to do without stopping. That's a 1000+ mile trip which is far too much to safely do in one sitting - not to mention it contradicts your other goal of wanting to get a feel for the good old day and see some small towns (where places across the plains are perfect for doing that sort of thing.)

    US-50 seems like an ideal choice, and while its certainly not going to be nearly as busy as I-80 and you will have some long gaps between services, its still a route driven by thousands of people every day and there is no reason it wouldn't be perfectly safe.

  5. Default

    Sorry, when I said stopping, I meant stopping for site seeing. I am guessing we will be entering the plains from there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default You Get What You Go Looking For

    I have to agree with Michael on this one. If you really do have as a goal of this trip to "see scenic views and [get] some feel for the good old days like small towns", then your disdain for the plains is very difficult to understand. You would be doing yourself a great disservice to simply blow off this entire historic (Oregon Trail), scenic (Loess Hills), slice of small town America (Amana Colonies). US-30 can be picked up in Julesburg, NE and runs through each of the places I've mentioned. Do yourself a favor and take it at a pace slow enough to enjoy it. Otherwise, all you'll get is the boring Interstate drive you expect.


  7. Default

    Oh, so I was totally off. Its good that I came here to get some feedback. :)

    I was under the impression that the drive through the plains will be just corn fields and farm lands.

    Our focus is to enjoy the mid part of the journey

    Since we will now be moving to Champaign, we figured we will skip the entire second half since we can go back anytime we want.

    And the first part, we already visited while we were living in CA.

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