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  1. Default Orlando to Cincinnati then Nashville, Memphis, Santa Fe and Denver

    I am moving to Denver from Orlando, FL. the end of this month. I am heading to Cinci to see my daughter and pickup my sister. I want to take about 7 days, May 31st to June 6th or 7th, to go from Cinci to Nashville, Memphis, Santa Fe and then to Denver. Oklahoma City seems in the path but not sure if there are better options. I think I have the things to do in Nashville and Memphis with the best scenic path based on other posts.

    I am stuck on the trip from Memphis to Santa Fe. What is the most scenic route to take to Santa Fe? Is Oklahoma City the place to go or are there better options? Then on to Denver. What is the best way to explore that path? I would love to find a hot spring somewhere along the way!! Any festivals going on? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    This is quite a trip. This is about 2800 miles via the most direct routes, and you have 7 days. Basically, that means you need to average 400 miles per day in order to get to your destination on time. So in reality, you don't have a whole lot of time for a whole lot of sightseeing. Maybe something each day. If you manage 500 miles each day, you'd be driving for 6 full days. Here's how I see it:

    Your first leg, up to Cincy to pick up your sister, is a 2 day drive at almost 900 miles. Then it's 275 miles down to Nashville, and another 215 miles to Memphis. So that leg is two half days or one full day. You pick up I-40 from Nashville; it will take you through Memphis, OKC, Amarillo, into a small town called Clines Corners, NM, where you pick up US-285 up to Santa Fe, NM. From there, you take I-25 to Denver. It's 1000 miles -- 2 days (long ones at 500 mi each) from Memphis to Santa Fe, with OKC at the 466 mi mark, so you might want to make El Reno, OK your overnight that night.

    Hot springs are at Hot Spring National Park in AR, but given your schedule, you probably don't have time for it. You're only going to be able to pick a few things to see -- not everything you want to see.

    BTW, if you're driving a U-Haul truck or pulling a trailer, you might want to reconsider the sightseeing aspect, because of the extra fuel, the extra mileage, and the amount of time you're going to be given by the dealer to get the vehicle turned in.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I think Donna really hit the nail on the head. I think you've got a lot bigger wish list than you've actually got time available. I-40 would be the direct, and logical, route to get from Tennessee to New Mexico, and it goes right back Hot Springs NP, but that's probably not the best idea based on what you've told us.

    Just to put things in perspective, a direct route from Orlando to Denver, you're looking at a drive that's about 1850 miles, or something that could comfortably be driven in 3.5 days.

    Adding the detour to Cincinnati pushes that up to about 2100 miles, which means you need 4 solid days on the road just to cover the miles.

    Going to Cincinnati and then back down to Nashville, Memphis, and Santa Fe pushes your trip up to nearly 2800 miles - which means you're now looking at a bare minimum of 5 hard days on the road, again just to safely cover the miles, and that doesn't include time for stops to explore any of the cities you're adding all those miles to see.

    If a week is all the time you have, then I think you'd be better off focusing on things and places that are closer to the direct route - perhaps exploring St. Louis and Kansas City, rather than Memphis and Santa Fe - or if you want to see Nashville, I'd consider seeing it on the way to Cincinnati, where it would only be a short detour from your direct route, rather than the 250 mile detour it would be just to go there after Cincinnati. If you really want to visit Nashville with your sister, then that 250 miles could be workable, but I still would head directly towards Denver from there (via St. Louis) rather than adding even more miles for Memphis and Santa Fe that you really don't seem like you'd have time for.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    To add more: Santa Fe is less than a full day's drive from Denver. It could easily be done on a three-day weekend, and it's quite a pretty drive, particularly between Raton Pass and Santa Fe, straight down I-25.


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