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  1. Default San Diego to Norfolk, NE

    We are taking a road trip for an event in Nebraska in early June. it will use up all of our vacation time at work so we want to make the trip memorable on the way there as well as on the way home. My husband and I have never been on a long road trip like this. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Probably the biggest question is how much time do you actually have for this trip? You're going to need at least 3 days each way to cover the miles, plus whatever time you need for the event in Nebraska.

    The direct route (I-15 to I-70 to I-76 to I-80) includes some of the most scenic sections of interstate in the country, and there numerous National Parks and other great natural sites within just a short detour of the highway. Of course, you might also consider taking a different route going out and coming back, and there are plenty of options in that regard.

    It really depends upon how much time you have, and what kinds of things you are interested in seeing and doing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Assuming Two Weeks

    If, as you say, this RoadTrip is to be taken on your vacation time from work, and that (as it sounds) you're juggling both of your jobs, I'm going to guess that you'll have two full weeks for this endeavor. Less than that and it might not be worth making the trip; more than that and we can always help you find more options to fill your available time. But let's at least get you started with some of the major attractions between San Diego and Norfolk. Note that 'major attractions' is different than 'must see' places. We really don't believe in the later because everyone's different. We can just point you to the more popular sites until you give us some hints as to what you would like to see.

    First, as Michael noted, you'll need at least three days each way just for the drive. You also have the opportunity to take almost completely different routes out and back which will help you to see more. The problem with "seeing more" is that stopping to enjoy the sights along the way will add significantly to the time you need to get to Norfolk and back. So what I'm going to suggest is that you split your two weeks into three roughly equal segments of five days each. Five days to get to Norfolk, five days there, and five days to get home. That leaves you two days worth of time to spend at some of the national parks and monuments, historic sites, and interesting roadside attractions along the way.

    There are three basic routes that you can choose from, all of which are about 1,600 miles long. The 'central route' would be what Michael described as the "direct route" and would include possible stops at places like Mojave National Preserve, Las Vegas, Zion National Park (NP), possibly Bryce Canyon NP with a bit of a detour, Arches NP, Colorado National Monument (NM), the Colorado Rockies, Pawnee National Grasslands, and the route of the old Oregon Trail along the Platte River in Nebraska.

    The 'northern route' would be the same into central Utah but would then stay on I-15 up into the Salt Lake City area where you'd pick up I-80 to Rawlins WY, then US=287/WY-220 to Casper, I-25 to Orin WY and finally US-18/US-20/US-275 to Norfolk. This route would include Mojave, Las Vegas and Zion but would skip Bryce, Arches, etc. in favor of the Great Salt Lake, the northern reaches of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge and the chance to cross portions of the High Plains on two-lane roads that actually follow the lay of the land and let you experience small town America.

    The 'southern route' would use I-8 to Gila Bend AZ, AZ-85 up to Buckeye, I-10 into Phoenix, AZ-202/AZ-87 to Payson, AZ-260/AZ-277 to I-40 and Albuquerque NM, I-25 up into Colorado, and then a series of US and state highways (such as US-350/US-287/US-83/KS-383/US-183/US-30/US-81 to Norfolk. This route would take you by the Grand Canyon (with a modest detour heading north out of Phoenix on I-17), Petrified Forest NP, El Malpais National Conservation Area, Santa Fe, and again give you the chance to experience some smaller roads on the High Plains.

    The choice of which route(s) to use is up to you, but I would strongly suggest taking two different routes to get the most bang for your buck.


  4. Default

    Thank you both AZBuck and Midwest Michael for your replies...
    We do have the 2 full weeks and we will make it work. Your suggestions have really opened the possibilities for us. We will more than likely take 2 different routes going and returning to as you say get "Best bang for our buck!" Thank you again and see you on the road!

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