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  1. Default From St. Louis to ?

    Itching to take a 10 day solo road trip starting around March 10th. I did make a trip to Colorado and New Mexico in November but it was not as much fun because of Corona fears. Not many restaurants open, masked quick gas station stops for gas and the loo, eating drive thrust food, little interaction with people. Since I will have had both vaccine shots by March, I might be less scared and perhaps more diners will be open.

    1. New York - Friends there I have not seen in years. But bad weather is a factor and I donít know of a scenic way to get there in March.

    2. Miami - though have driven to Florida on main freeways. Any scenic route suggestions.

    3. Dallas - friends there. What might be a scenic drive?

    Those would be ny choices for March/April trips.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    794

    Default Miami option...

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    Itching to take a 10 day solo road trip starting around March 10th. I did make a trip to Colorado and New Mexico in November but it was not as much fun because of Corona fears. Not many restaurants open, masked quick gas station stops for gas and the loo, eating drive thrust food, little interaction with people. Since I will have had both vaccine shots by March, I might be less scared and perhaps more diners will be open.

    1. New York - Friends there I have not seen in years. But bad weather is a factor and I donít know of a scenic way to get there in March.

    2. Miami - though have driven to Florida on main freeways. Any scenic route suggestions.

    3. Dallas - friends there. What might be a scenic drive?

    Those would be ny choices for March/April trips.
    Well, since nobody else has touched this one, let me opine on the Miami option. I think you could have a better time on a shorter loop along these lines:

    St. Louis->Nashville->Great Smoky Moutains->Charleston->Savannah->Atlanta->Nashville->St. Louis is about 4 solid days of solid, straight-through driving.

    You could either spend the extra days at one or more of those locations, or add a loop through Kentucky at the start; hitting bourbon country, the Corvette Museum, and/or the Bluegrass Country.

    If instead you wanted to keep Miami in the loop, then the extra driving days (beyond the initial 4) would be around 3 (total of 7 days driving of your total 10 days)... and you get to add Jacksonville/St. Augustine and come back through Orlando. but lose Kentucky. Feels like too much behind-the-wheel time for my taste, but you may like driving

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,054

    Default Scenic Drives to/from New York

    Since the first 'target' you listed was New York (presumably NYC) let's start there. There are certainly several scenic options, enough that you could take different routes out and back. So let's look at a couple of those. I'll describe both eastbound, but of course you could take either route either way.

    1) 'Southern' route: This would take you through Kentucky and West Virginia, up the Great Valley of the Appalachians, and finally cutting through southeastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey to New York City. In Kentucky, look for routes numbered 90##. These are that state's parkways. Relaxed and scenic roads that are near-interstate quality. Specifically, the Western Kentucky, Audubon and Combs Mountain Parkways would probably be of most use to you. Mammoth Cave National Park is one possible stop. Your 'goal' on this leg is Beckley WV and getting set up to drive through the New River Gorge. From there it's up the Valley and Ridge Province of the Appalachians to Harrisburg PA and perhaps Gettysburg then I-76 into NYC.

    2) 'Northern' route: This is, in my opinion, a classic example of there being scenery if you just take the time to look for/at it. Most people would simply get on the Interstates and be under highway hypnosis in just a few hours. But you can easily make it more interesting than that. Start with US-50 trough southern Illinois and Indiana, IN-101 past Mounds State Recreation Area and IN-44. OH-725, OH-503, and US-36 to take the scenic route around Cincinnati and then I-77 up to Canton. From there, US-62, US-621 and OH-225 would get you to I-76 and I-80 to I-79 north to US-6 across northern Pennsylvania, bypassing Scranton to the north. At Milford PA you be at the northern end of the Delaware Water Gap and depending on how far down-river you want to explore, either NJ-23 or NJ-15 will get to the New York metro area.

    Now, both of the above routes are longer than the most direct all Interstate route, but they're also more scenic, have quite few attractions along them and avoid most of the large and even moderate sized urban areas. Also, while both routes could use a bit detail, the descriptions should give you a good idea of what such a drive would look like. I don't think you'd run into much hazardous weather along either of them in March.

    AZBuck

  4. Default Long road trip, need help...

    Spring is almost here, Covid is fading, got my vaccines, itching to take a long solo trip. My starting date would be around April 15th. I want to plan a trip that goes from St. Louis to San Francisco to Las Vegas and back. I am looking at available time to be about 12 days on the road (not including 2 day layovers each in San Francisco, Las Vegas), a total 16 day trip. If I can squeeze a day or two in Utah national parks, it would be great.

    I prefer scenic drives and natural scenic sites, not interested in historical sights.

    Is it doable? Suggested routes?

    Thank you for your feedback.

  5. #5

    Default

    One general question would be whether you are camping, staying in motels or with friends.

    So, for your proposed itinerary here are some of the basics. A straight Google Maps, straight up highway dash, the trip would total 62 hours of autopilot computerized driving. Adding in some pit stops for gas, rest areas, and dash food, one might add a real-life multiple of 20 percent to the be hours. However, you are also proposing some more relaxing scenic-oriented drives off the interstates, so I would add another 20 percent simply for lower speeds on U.S. numbered national highways, and that totals roughly 87 hours. Assuming a reasonable 8 hrs of actual road driving daily the conceptual itinerary would be 11 days of driving within an allocated 12- to 16-day vacation trip.

    One huge planning constraint built into your proposal is San Francisco. Your other objectives are Las Vegas and some Utah national parks. From my own experience, my road trip plans started out ambitious but after fleshing out some details or realities of the road, modified quite a bit. San Francisco is a huge detour. Given your time constraint and the desire for some refreshing scenic drives and enjoying some of the country's national wonders, I would toss aside the greater San Francisco region for another trip and refashion your journey destinations to include Las Vegas and some Utah national parks. And some truly beautiful and wonderful scenery.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,619

    Default Doable, Yes. Worth it? Depends on??

    Its certainly doable if it's more about the driving and short visits than anything else. How you divide your time will come with planning but you have about 8 days that will be dedicated to the drive, whether you want to add a few hours each day driving through places, or have a days break from driving every few days. You won't be able to get across the Sierra's by way of Yosemite so heading north via Lake Tahoe and south via Bakersfield to Vegas would work. 1-70 is a scenic Interstate and would take you near Glenwwod Springs, Colorado NM and Moab and Arches NP's and you could take US50 (aka 'The Lonliest highway') to Ely (past Great Basin NP) to Sacramento aan SF. On return from Vegas you the Grand canyon is a stand out attraction from where you could continue on I-40 and check out a couple of route 66 towns and Petrified forest, or take a scenic drive through Monument valley, Cortez, Durango, Pagosa Springs etc back to I-70. This would all be subject to researching road, weather and covid restrictions but at least it may be a place to start.

    Personally speaking I would visit more of Utahs park (Capitol reef, Bryce canyon and Zion) and the amazing scenic Byways that link them and make my turn around point Las Vegas rather than going all the way to the coast. This will give so much more time to explore the amazing scenery and stop to smell the roses.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,708

    Default

    Your trip is certainly possible, but it is very heavy on the driving. I do wonder based on your previous experience you're going to end up disappointed.

    While we're certainly getting closer to the end of the covid tunnel, it's perhaps a bit premature to say that covid is fading. It's great that you have been vaccinated, but at this point only 10 percent of the country has, and while some states are lifting all restrictions, they are doing so despite the harsh warnings from scientists.

    My point is not that you shouldn't make this trip, more that I think you may still find many of the same issues that made your November trip a disappointment are still in place. Obviously, it's state by state, but many places still have restaurant restrictions in place - and even if it's not legally required, there are businesses voluntarily following health guidelines. Perhaps more importantly, generally speaking people are still less than interested in fully engaging with strangers. To that end, perhaps skipping California this time around, spending more time in the many National Parks between StL and Vegas would not just mean less driving, but it could mean more a more enjoyable experience overall?

  8. Default

    Come here! Florida is waiting with open arms.

    You can have it your way. Order take out or dine inside a full capacity restaurant; go to an amusement park or a state park. Go deep sea fishing. Drive through the Florida keys.

    It’s 82 degrees here in Tampa today. It’s summer in Florida. T shirt, shorts and sandals is the dress code of the day.

    Come on down.

  9. Default

    Oh! Looks like youíve changed your goals from the first post

    Utah has so many areas that are drop dead gorgeous! You canít go wrong visiting its National Parks but there are some Very impressive state parks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,592

    Default

    Here's another one to say "enjoy Utah parks and Las Vegas and skip San Francisco" for the COVID reason. Much of California is still under partial lockdown. For instance, down here in San Diego, we only have drive through/take-out/outdoor dining -- no indoor, yet. That makes some of the travel experience less than stellar, IMHO. (We *may* get to go to Red Tier next week....MAYBE....which would open up indoor dining at 25% capacity.) My cousin in the southern region of the Bay Area says it's still pretty much like that up in her area.


    Donna

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