Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default Las Vegas to Memphis to Los Angeles

    Hi All, My wife and I will be driving from Las Vegas to Memphis, early November 2019. Then from Memphis to Los Angeles via Colorado. Time frame for the Memphis to LA will be 2 - 3 weeks, no rush. We are very much looking forward to this part of our journey. We have spent many enjoyable holidays travelling in California and Nevada. We have not ventured farther west from Las Vegas. So this will be a new adventure. I spent many years driving around Canberra and the snow fields of N.S.W and Victoria, Australia. Unfortunately, I haven't seen snow for at least 30 years. In your opinion, what would be the 'Don't miss' features in this journey from Tenn, to Cal via Colorado. PS, the reason we will be setting off from LV, is this will be our destination from Brisbane to LV via LAX.
    Regards. Paul.

    Note: We've moved your questions to their own thread. - Mod
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-29-2019 at 10:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default So much to see !

    Hi Paul, welcome to the RTA forums !

    You say you have 2 to 3 weeks to get back to LA from Memphis, but whats your time frame like heading to Memphis and are you locked into dates yet ? There are a huge amounts of attractions between the 2 and if you split your travel time equal(ish) each way with a different route you could see much more. Also I was thinking that as you are not heading east until early November you might want to consider visiting Colorado on the way out, as snow could restrict your plans in the Rockies and the risk is higher the later in the year you leave it. Utah is an amazing State and has quite a few National parks in a relatively small area, Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Arches and Canyonlands are all possibilities. In Colorado you will find places such as Mesa Verde NP, Black canyon, Colorado National Monument, Garden of the Gods, Rocky mountain NP and great driving routes, the 'Million Dollar Highway' (US550) for example, that takes you through the mountain towns of Silverton and Ouray. Thats a tiny example of what's out there and if you could switch things around you could drive back through the desert Southwest and visit places like the Guadalupe mountains, White Sands, Tombstone, Saguaro and Joshua Tree NP's. Again, just a small example and that's why we don't do 'Must see's', there is so much to choose from it comes down to individual appeal.

    Search around the site for ideas, you will find many in the forums and other road trip planning resources and get hold of a good map to do some research. Once you have the basic outline of your plans mapped out we can then help you to put it together and offer suggestions. Any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More Questions than Answers But...

    Like Dave, I have several questions about your trip,. To start with, as a general philosophy we don't believe in generic list of "must see" or "don't miss" attractions. That depends on whether you prefer Opry or Opera, mountains or mole hills, wide open spaces or urban bustle. So the more you can tell us about what you wouldn't want to miss, the better we can help you.

    But even with that caveat, I can offer some general hints on what I would consider a good use of your time and miles between Memphis and Los Angeles. First, you're going to be traveling in what is our autumn when the foliage is changing colors. While this does happen in the Colorado Rockies, there the trees are mostly aspen and the fall color is more a uniform golden yellow, so I'd suggest that you try to include some back roads through the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and Missouri at the start of your trip. Branson MO is attempting to become something of a Las Vegas of the east with multiple entertainment venues, so if that's what attracts you to Las Vegas, you should consider spending a day or two there.

    Next up would be crossing the Great Plains (again) While the scenery doesn't change a whole lot from the Ozarks to the Rockies, there is quite a bit of Native American history to explore, particularly if you go through Oklahoma, which was officially 'Indian Territory' until the early 20th century. Your next leg would depend on where in Colorado you would like to visit. If you just want to see generic Rockies then I'd suggest heading for Colorado Springs rather than Denver, seeing Pikes Peak (You can drive to the top), and visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park, then taking US-50 west through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison into southern Utah and several other wonderful national parks including Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion before finishing up back through Las VEgas to Los Angeles.

    But again, that's what I'd do. Your mileage and interests will vary.


  4. Default

    Thank you Dave and AZBuck for your input. My wife and I plan to kick our holiday off in Las Vegas, but After reading your posts, I feel we might head north west from Los Angeles instead of flying from LAX to LV on arrival in the US. This, being our forth trip to the US, second without the kids, we would like to do the back roads as much as possible. We, both have done a little exploring in the past and found the adventure to be most gratifying. As most international tourists get to see what the travel agents want you to see, we enjoy pulling into obscure little towns on the back roads and spending some of our tourist dollars where it would do the most.
    So, we will arrive in LA some time on the 11th November and depart same on or around 3rd December. The LV stop over is for my wife, as she loves the atmosphere. Memphis will be for both of us as we are Elvis fans to a degree.
    As you say, heading to Colorado is my idea as I do appreciate massive landscapes and of course the lushness of the big forests and mountain scapes. As you can appreciate, Australia is as flat as a pancake. Gum trees from one side of the country to the other. Boring to us locals. Our tallest mountain is Mt, Kosciusko, which in world terms is a very tall hill.
    I personally, would like to visit the scenic rather than to obvious. Meet local folk than bumping into other Aussies.
    Cheers to you both.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Roads Less Traveled

    Quote Originally Posted by Blandy
    [W]e would like to do the back roads as much as possible...[and] enjoy pulling into obscure little towns on the back roads and spending some of our tourist dollars where it would do the most.
    You know, if I were to write down what I see as the gist of many, if not most, of our recommendations here, it would be close to what you so eloquently expressed. So a few such towns and roads that might meet those criteria.

    For the eastern part of your trip, you can make a nice little triangle out of Memphis TN, Tupelo MS, and Branson MO. All will have something Elvis related. Memphis is, of course, the site of Graceland, while Tupelo has preserved the rather different home Elvis was born into. MS-178 runs parallel to the main highway (US-78) and makes a good 'back road' alternative to it. As noted in my previous response, Branson has a number of live shows including several Elvis shows.

    But besides being home to 'the King' this is also an area rich in wetlands fed by the Mississippi and its tributaries. I'm particularly fond of national wildlife refuges which preserve nesting areas and flyways, and offer a much more tranquil experience than national or even state parks that are devoted more to the comfort of their human visitors. There are a couple just north of Memphis: Lower Hatchie and Chickasaw. Seeing both Memphis and the refuges would also be a good excuse to drive portions of the Great River Road. Another 'attraction' in the Tupelo area is the Natchez Trace Parkway, a beautiful and historic roadway that is now part of the national park system.

    Well, I think that's enough for now, especially since I don't know which route(s) you'll be using to cross the country between Memphis and L.A./L.V. Once you have those more-or-less determined let us know and we'll see what else we can suggest that might be of use.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default My preference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blandy View Post
    I personally, would like to visit the scenic rather than to obvious. Meet local folk than bumping into other Aussies.
    That way I have stumbled upon some of the most memorable places, just because a local recommended it. All I do is ask where they would go to get away for a few days. Most will be only too happy to share their patch with you.

    The Ozarks have some lovely scenery, especially if you take some of the lesser travelled roads. There is also a neat little (college) town called Melbourne - with a very friendly visitor centre.

    But unless you have already been there, I would not miss the great national parks of Utah and the most spectacular interstate in North America, I-70 between Utah and Colorado.

    Since this is not your first trip, I guess you are aware that your NRMA membership will give you access to tourism services and information from the AAA. They can be very helpful, and don't charge for detailed maps.


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