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  1. Default Traveling from Chicago to Las Vegas

    We are driving from Chicago to Las Vegas along the southern route (I-55 to I-44 to I-40 & some of Route 66) over the course of 4 days. We're looking for the best areas to stop and stay for the night as well 'don't miss' sights along the way. We will be leaving Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Thanks for any ideas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,350

    Default Not much 'free' time.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    One thing you will commonly see reading other threads is that we don't do 'best areas' or 'must see's' as these are the things that make each road trip a unique experience that's based on your own interests, of which you have told us nothing about. Chicago to LV is a 3.5 day drive so you aren't really going to have a lot of time for sight seeing. This is where a bit of research comes into play, to see what appeals to you and how you can organise the trip around it. You could break each day up into equal segments and have a little time each day to see things or you could get a 'hurry on' at the start and slow down for the second half of the trip. (Or vice versa)

    Along I-40 you can enjoy some route 66 history with relatively small detours. There is Petrified forest and the towns of Holbrook, (Wig Wam Motel) Winslow, (Standin' on the corner) and the quirkey town of Seligman if you take '66 just after Ash Fork. You could opt to quickly see the south rim of the Grand canyon but that would take most of your 'free time' you actually have. This is where an extra day would be very handy for the journey.

    Whatever you decide you should limit each day to around 550 miles per day to avoid fatigue setting in which will equate to 9-10 hours on the road including short rest breaks, lunch and to fill with gas etc. Once you have an idea of what you would like to see we can answer any further questions and help you put it together to make it as enjoyable as possible.

  3. Default

    Thank you for responding so quickly. We don't have to be there in the 4 days - just a starting point for planning. My husband plans to do the majority of the driving so I'm all for taking longer than that if needed. We've been together 15 years but this is our first road trip together so giving preferences as to what we like to do on a trip like this is quite difficult. I would love to do the Grand Canyon and I'm not looking for stand-in-line type things to do - more the opposite, but I understand if you don't do that kind of thing.

    Again, thank your insight!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,127

    Default So many pooints of interest to choose from.

    Quote Originally Posted by mraulli View Post
    ... so giving preferences as to what we like to do on a trip like this is quite difficult.
    Check out a good (paper) map, and you will see lots of scenic routes and points of interest - historical, nature, wildlife, touristy traps -marked on that map. Get off the interstates and see just how diverse and interesting the country is. You could choose to go via IA, NE,CO and UT, all of which have dozens, if not hundreds of points of interest. Some are bound to interest you and your husband.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,796

    Default Some Basic Advice

    If you've been together for 15 years, then I'm going to assume that you're well past the (very) youthful obsession with just covering miles and checking of states or other specific wish lists. And the fact that you haven't done a major RoadTrip together means that you'll get to develop your own travel style on this one. The things that you'll need to have in order to develop that style are: time, the willingness to explore a bit, more time, the willingness to learn from inevitable mistakes, and still more time. My wife and I are currently on our umpteenth extended RoadTrip and we still need all those elements - which are often overlooked, or even ignored, by most travelers as they plan.

    What I'd suggest as a starting point is to take five or six days as a starting point for how long it will take you to make the drive. Split the driving up into relatively equal segments and then do as Lifey suggested and look for places along your chosen route that appeal to you and/or your husband. There are a couple of basic route options that you should consider. The first is more direct through Des Moines, Grand Island, Denver and Grand Junction - parts of which follow the old Oregon Trail and the western portions of which take you past some magnificent national parks. The other goes through St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and Albuquerque - mostly following the path of the old 'Route 66' and which also takes you near the Grand Canyon and several smaller national monuments especially in northern Arizona.

    There is no wrong choice, only the one that appeals most to you. But in both cases having the time to experience what that particular route has to offer is much more important than the actual route itself. If, as you get into the planning, you realize that you are picking places to see that have a particular commonality - historic, scenic, quirky, whatever - just lat us know and we can certainly suggest some similar places that share those qualities but that might have escaped your attention or failed to make the map.

    AZBuck

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