Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default Roadtrip San Francisco - Albuquerque

    Hi all,

    We are four people from Portugal planning a roadtrip in the US between April 20th-May 4th. We are going to fly to San Francisco and we are thinking about coming from Albuquerque. Our must see along the way are San Francisco, the coast route to Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert and Santa Fé. We are going to do the route 66 between Los Angeles and Albuquerque. Is there anything that you recommend along the way? How many days would do recommend to see each of these places? Is there any suggestion you would do for this trip?

    In the beginning we were divided between coming back from Albuquerque or Oklahoma but we prefer to spend more days in the other places, as the only places of interest we could find between Albuquerque and Oklahoma were the Blue Swallow and the Cadillac Ranch. Do you think it was a wise decision?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,096

    Default Time Well Spent

    Bem-Vindi! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First off, two weeks should be a fairly good amount of time for this trip. Driving from point to point should use only about 15-20% of your available time so you can spend multiple days at the major national parks or in areas with lots of things you want to see. There will never be enough time to see everything you'd like, but there will be time to see and do quite a lot. Of the places you've listed, I think you'd be well-served by spending a bit more time in the San Francisco and Flagstaff areas. Los Angeles and Las Vegas are more typically just big modern cities in my view.

    A few specifics...

    There are currently a couple of significant problems with the "coast route to Los Angeles" from San Francisco (CA-1 and US-101). You can keep track of how things progress here, but at the moment parts of the route are impassable and the detours are significant.

    The largest remaining stretch of old Route 66 is between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. It is now marked as AZ-66 and runs from Kingman through Peach Springs to Seligman. It was also the stretch of road that was the visual inspiration for the backgrounds of the animated movie Cars. Flagstaff's main streets, Milton Road and especially Santa Fe Avenue are marked as 'Historic Rte 66' and still have a lot of the vintage motels and restaurants.

    There are also a few smaller National Monuments in the Flagstaff area that you might enjoy including Sunset Crater Volcano, Wupatki, and Walnut Canyon. And note that the Painted Desert is part of Petrified Forest National Park.

    If you are going to Albuquerque, you are going to be passing through the Zuni lands in northwestern New Mexico, so you might want to look into at least stopping for a while to get a feel for yet another culture. However, if you're only going to Albuquerque to get a flight and have nothing you really want to see in New Mexico, then I'd suggest that you spend more time in California and Arizona and fly home out of Phoenix where there will be more and cheaper flights.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,662

    Default How about a loop trip ?

    Have you actually considered doing a loop trip in and out of the same airport ? A one way trip to Albuquerque is likely to be expensive due to one way car rental charges and more expensive flights. A loop trip gives you more options when choosing your start/finish point to find the best deal, SF, LA and LV for example. You could visit some more of the wests great National parks such as Yosemite, Sequoia and Death valley in CA, Bryce canyon, Zion, Capital Reef, Arches and Canyonlands in Southern Utah as well as Monument valley on the way to the South rim of the Grand canyon. You won't be able to see everything but you will be able to see a lot in a loop trip without having to go over the same ground twice. If you search the forums and study a decent map (if you are unsure and haven't already done so) you will find lots of detail to help you make an informed decision.

    If you want to do a one way trip I would agree with Buck that choosing Phoenix would be a better choice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,104

    Default

    We have a thread on the CA-1 issue:

    http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum...-Big-Sur-Issue!!!

    It will not be open by the time of your trip. With detours and backtracking, you can see most of the coast between SF and LA.

  5. Default

    Hello!
    Thank you so much for your tips, we will consider all of them.

    Very good to know about the troubles between San Francisco and Los Angeles, we are going to study it to see how much it will affect our route. We will also rethink the way between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon and do it through the route 66!

    About the loop trip, we thought about it, yes, but we realized that we would end up driving a lot and have less time to see what to really want to see and also do a part of the route 66 and go to New Mexico. We know that we will pay a bit more because of the car rental and the multi-city flights but as it is a such a long trip for us (in terms of distance) we think it will be worth.

    Talking about car rentals, is there any that you would recommend? We would like to rent a typical american car, to live the experience to its fullest!

    We were checking the differences in the prices between flying from Phoenix or Albuquerque and they are not significant. This way we will prefer to go to Albuquerque and do a bit more of the route 66 (it was the initial plan and the reason why we start planning this trip, but we did some adjustments along the way :) ). This way, we can also see a bit of New Mexico and go to Santa Fé. We think that this area will be quite different from what we are used to around here!

    Thanks once again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,722

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nadiapaulo View Post
    Talking about car rentals, is there any that you would recommend? We would like to rent a typical american car, to live the experience to its fullest!
    Your best value for car rental is always going to be with a sedan. Even paying for a full sized sedan, which will provide plenty of comfort is usually a lot cheaper than say an SUV or a van, and renting any other kind of specialty car usually isn't allowed for one way rentals - or requires an extreme extra fee.

    Speaking of which, I'd make sure to be checking prices on rental cars before booking your flights. While flights from ABQ might not be much different than Phoenix or Las Vegas, I could see a one way car rental being much more expensive, because it's farther away and a much less used destination.

    But you might find a good deal when you are traveling. Prices can change dramatically based on even minor things - as little as the specific day of the week you pick up the car - so you really just need to shop around for the best prices. I've never found a huge difference between the different rental car companies, so I'd just go with where you find the best prices.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,096

    Default Cars

    Any of the big three car rental firms is going to offer you a solid car and back it up with the ability to turn it in at another location if it develops problems. Just as with major car manufacturers, car rental firms offer different brands that appeal to different customers: Hertz (Hertz, Thrifty, Dollar), Avis (Avis, Budget, Payless), and Enterprise (National, Enterprise, Alamo), and it would be handy to remember which brands belong to the company you end up renting from should you need help on the road. Again, they'll all offer you pretty much the same level of service, so just shop for the best price for your own rental situation.

    Unfortunately, you will have almost no control over what specific make and model of car you get. Rentals are by category (Economy, Compact, Intermediate, etc.) and will always include the disclaimer "or similar" because they simply don't know now which cars will be out on the road vs. on their lot when you show up. Your best bet is to ask the desk agent when you pick up the car what he currently has available in his fleet that best serves your needs (within the category you've reserved).

    We have heard occasional reports from some of our European friends that using a local consolidator such as Europcar or Rentalcars can save them on drop-off and additional driver fees, so they're worth looking into as well.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,651

    Default

    I would suggest an online consolidator, for the car rentals, such as CarRentals.com. We can't promise anything, but they've been known to get the one-way drop-off fees waived, and for good prices as well. Here in the USA, the typical American car can be a Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Dodge, Buick, Volkswagen, and more. I'd suggest a "full size" sedan so that you have trunk (boot) space for your luggage.

    Sections of old Rt 66 can be found on "AZ-66" which goes from I-40 up to Peach Springs and then back down to Seligman. That's the stretch that was the inspiration for the Disney/Pixar movie Cars. Another stretch is Business Route 40, Old 66, through old Flagstaff. In Albuquerque, much of Central Ave is labeled Historic Route 66 and will take you through Old Town (fun to look around there).

    In Albuquerque itself: the Rio Grande River runs through there -- there's Rio Grande Nature Center State Park that will take you to its shores. No, don't go wading in it. If you are interested in nuclear science at all, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & Industry is worth a half day of your time. For more ancient history, try Petroglyphs National Monument.

    About 50 years ago, I visited this chapel in Santa Fe, NM. I was definitely impressed (as a child) with this staircase.


    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default I'll second that.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    About 50 years ago, I visited this chapel in Santa Fe, NM. I was definitely impressed (as a child) with this staircase.

    Donna
    Allow enough time, when you visit this most interesting place. It is wonderful to visit on a Sunday, and attend the service. Besides that, they have around 170 weddings a year, so you could be held up with a wedding in progress. But don't miss it, you won't regret it.

    Lifey

Similar Threads

  1. Roadtrip San Francisco - Vancouver - San Francisco
    By dootje in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-16-2012, 09:53 AM
  2. Dallas to Albuquerque to San Francisco: Late August/Early September
    By bingroy in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-01-2009, 05:52 PM
  3. Summer roadtrip - San Diego to San Francisco
    By jedcubbo in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-16-2009, 09:20 AM
  4. RoadTrip: Boston to San Francisco!
    By Martin in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-09-2004, 11:27 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

  • MORE TO EXPLORE