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  1. Default Seattle, WA to Charlotte, NC

    Traveling from Seattle to Charlotte, NC with husband and small dog in January. Looking for a quick route, but something with some sightseeing opportunities on the way! Using a 4-wheel drive vehicle, so mountain routes are okay. Any suggestions would be appreciated...Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Good Compromise

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Normally for winter driving, the best choice of roads is simply the shortest all-Interstate route available. This reduces the time that your susceptible to inclement weather and maximizes the amount of road-clearing equipment that will be used to keep those roads open. By the time you add a few hundred miles to try to avoid winter weather by 'going south', you've added so much driving time, time that could have been used to just sit out any bad weather on the shorter route, that you defeat your own purpose. In your case there is actually an alternative to the absolute shortest route that only adds a hundred miles or so, takes you a little bit farther south, but most importantly lets you avoid Chicago and the Midwest toll roads while seeing some great sites.

    You'd start by just following I-90 east all the way through South Dakota. I-90 is a very scenic route through the Cascades and Bitterroots. Unfortunately, Yellowstone will not be open to vehicular traffic in January, but east of there you'll have access to a number of great places to visit including the Little Bighorn Battlefield, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore, Wind and Jewel Caves, and Badlands National Park. At Sioux Falls take I-29 south to Kansas City. I-29 follows the Missouri River and passes a number of Lewis and Clark sites. At KC pick up I-70 east to St. Louis, a town with a number of great attractions and worth spending a day in if you're of a mind. Take I-64 east out of St. Louis switching over to I-57 south when the two roads are duplexed in Illinois. I-24 will split off from I-57 in southern Illinois and you'd follow that to Nashville (another great city) and I-40 east. I-40 crosses the Appalachians just northeast of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and will get you to Asheville where I-26 would let you jog down to I-85 east, the last link in the chain to Charlotte.


  3. #3

    Default Some seldom-seen scenery

    AZ Buck's suggested route is precisely that which I would follow, both for scenery and expediency, with but one exception:

    South and east of the Black Hills is an area known as the Nebraska Sandhills. The Sandhills are 20,000 square miles of grass-stabilized sand dunes, 200 to 400' high, pockmarked by thousands of pothole lakes and wetlands, and drained by several bold rivers. Sparsely inhabited by ranchers, the Sandhills are crisscrossed by a number of Nebraska and US highways. Following a visit to the Black Hills area sites and sights, I'd drop down to Chadron or Valentine, thence south to NE-2, appropriately named "The Sandhills Scenic Journey", following it to Grand Island, NE, where I'd pick up I-80 for the 90 miles to Lincoln, where, NE-2 cuts a large corner for those ultimately headed south on I-29 to KC. Both US-83 south of Valentine and NE-2 offer splendid views of the Sandhills and its features. Both are wide, fast 2-lane highways where one's travel time is similar to that possible on Interstates.

    Mini-article about the Sandhills...

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-03-2013 at 08:17 AM. Reason: added RTA attraction article link

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