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  1. Default Los Angles, Ca to Baltimore, MD

    I am looking for recommendation on places to see around the beginning of May time frame. I am looking to make decent time, but also want to see things along the way. I am willing to do this trip in 5-7 days if it is worth the extra time to visit places a long the way. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    At 2700 miles, you're looking at a trip that will take 5 full days to safely cover this distance, even if you don't stop anywhere else along the way.

    But beyond that, you're talking about a trip that goes from coast to coast, so your options are pretty much endless. You probably need to stick to either I-40 or I-70, but both have millions of possible things. I-40 goes near the Grand Canyon, past several other National Parks, follows the path of old Route 66 from California to Oklahoma City, and goes through several interesting cities, including Memphis and Nashville. I-70 also goes past numerous National Parks, especially through Utah and as the highway goes over the Colorado Rockies, it also goes through several great cities like Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis.

    And of course, there are a few other ways to change things up, and with 7 days, you could potentially detour to some place that's not directly on your path, but it all depends upon you and what kinds of things you are interested in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    My husband and I just went from San Diego to DC last summer. We took mostly I-40, but dropped south and made a longer stop at Huntsville, AL. Then came back up to I-40 to I-81 and went in that way. It's 5 very full days of driving. This is the way we did it -- not that you want to do exactly what we did, but it's to show you that you can make distance and still see something:

    We drove three days with only overnight stops at Holbrook, AZ; Amarillo, TX; and Van Buren, AR (though we could have easily made Little Rock that day). From Van Buren, we stayed on I-40 through Memphis then swung southeast into northern Mississippi, overnighting and doing a little sightseeing in Corinth, MS (Civil War Battlefield). Then headed for Huntsville where we did a day layover to see the US Space & Rocket Center. From there, it was back to I-40, up to VA, overnighted at Roanoke, then visited Appomattox Court House (Civil War place where Lee's Army surrendered) before heading into our reserved place in the DC area. Most of those days were driving days except the layover in Huntsville.

    You could pick a place or two to stop, depending on your interests.


  4. #4


    My general comment is that I-70 east of Denver through St. Louis is rather infested by trucking and rather boring scenery. Not really relaxing driving. My general preference would be I-40 and then either:
    • 1) continue on I-40 to Knoxville, TN and head north on I-81 to Rt 7 east/north at Winchester, VA, to US 340 to Frederick to I-70 East to Baltimore; or,
    • 2) take I-44 Northeast at Oklahoma City to I-70 East in St. Louis to Baltimore (optionally south on I-79 south of Pittsburgh to Morgantown, WV, and East on I-68, continuing on I-70 where they merge, or staying on I-70/I-76 Pennsylvania turnpike which I like a lot less);, or
    • 3) taking I-64 East in St. Louis to I-79 in Charleston,WV, to Morgantown, WV and then I-68 to I-70 East.

    You would not want to chance taking I-64 all the way to DC and then north on I-95 to Baltimore... generally a recipe for traffic disaster. I-70 east of St. Louis isn't bad but the Denver to STL is a long annoying stretch.

    Around major cities you might want to take the outer beltways instead of sticking to the main interstate through the city.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I-70 east of Denver through St. Louis is rather infested by trucking and rather boring scenery. Not really relaxing driving.
    I will respectfully disagree with this, having made many, many trips on I-70 in the last 40+ years. The area that is infested by trucks is actually between Kansas City and St Louis along I-70. West of KC, trucks stay away because of the Kansas Turnpike tolls (which are nominal for cars and two-axled pick-ups).

    Slightly further west on I-70 in Kansas, particularly around Fort Riley, there are rolling hills and some very pretty rivers. Oh, true, it's one cornfield after another between the Salina area and around Strasburg, CO (where it turns into ranch country), but that is scenic in its own right. You have to realize, that may be where your dinner comes from, or maybe your next corn-on-the-cob roast.

    I-70 between Denver and Salina, UT, however, is about the most scenic strip of interstate in the entire USA, if the weather is great. (Recently there have been some mild avalanches that have closed the freeway. No one got hurt or killed, thank goodness!)


  6. #6


    True that the worst of the truck traffic is between KC and STL, which is a real doozy, but I faced my share a couple of times between Denver and KC--this stretch can be more scenic but after two weeks further west it is rather ordinary... I actually prefer the US highways in Kansas to the interstates.

    I agree that Saline, UT to Denver, CO, is nice beautiful countryside Interstate driving. But, for me, I would drive the extra miles NE of Denver to I-80 through Nebraska over Kansas and then cut back down to I-70 in Illinois instead ot sticking to I-70 to STL.

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