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  1. Default From Virginia Beach to Los Angeles Best Interstates

    Looking for a no frills, semi-calm cross country trip in my van. Want to save time, avoid road construction, make use of any rest stops and Walmarts, etc. on the way. I came cross country in 1991 on US 40 and enjoyed the trip. Any routes recommended?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,724

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    When you traveled 30 years ago, did you use US-40 or I-40? They both highways that could be used, but would be very different experiences. You mentioned "best interstate" so I guess you're looking for the speed of an I-40 vs the slower pace of US-40?

    I-40 would be the most direct and fastest route. There's going to be some construction on any cross country route, but you can use tools like googlemaps for real time traffic info that will alert you of any closures or delays.

    A more than 2700 miles, you should plan for a minimum of 5 days to complete this trip. Sleeping at rest areas generally is not recommended, due to safety concerns and limited patrols. Despite the old wives tales, not all Walmarts allow overnight parking, and more of them have cracked down on it during the pandemic. We've found that truck stops are often a better choice if you are going to park overnight, as they are better patrolled, have better lighting, and more traffic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,104

    Default Alternatively

    I agree with what Midwest Michael had to say regarding both I-40 and the inadvisability of using Rest Areas and/or Walmarts for your overnight accommodations. There are, however, alternatives to both. I-64 to St. Louis, I-70 to Utah and I-15 from there ends up being only about 65 miles longer than the I-40 route and may take you through some areas you haven't seen before. And rather than using Rest Areas and Walmarts, both of which can be noisy and bright enough to keep you from getting the good nights' sleep that you'll need, you should look at underutilized state parks near to whichever route you choose.

    AZbuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-25-2021 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Typos

  4. Default Great to Find This Site

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    I agree with what Midwest Michael had to say regarding both I-40 and the inadvisability of using Rest Areas and/or Walmarts for your overnight accommodations. There are, however, alternatives to both. I-64 to St. Louis, I-70 to Utah and I-15 from there ends up being only about 65 miles longer than the I-40 route and may take you through some areas you haven't seen before. And rather than using Rest Areas and Walmarts, both of which can be noisy and bright enough to keep you from getting the good nights' sleep that you'll need, you should look at underutilized state parks near to whichever route you choose.

    AZbuck
    Thank you friendly folks_We're almost ready to go. Our stress meters are pegged out. I think we are heading to Roanoke, VA tonight.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    812

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    Likely too late, but your description of the trip reminded me I'm re-reading an almost 40-year-old book by a guy who did a similar trip, but stayed to the smaller roads: "Blue Highways" by William Least Heat-Moon.

    I found (find) it an interesting read, and his stories of meeting small-town Americans fascinating. You can get a used copy pretty cheap. 42 weeks on the NYT best seller list in the early 1980s.

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