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Thread: Florida to Utah

  1. Default Florida to Utah

    First post! Hi guys!

    I'm moving from Miami to SLC around April-June for a new job. This will be my first ever roadtrip! Am looking for any recommendations and routes. I'm definitely planning on going to New Orleans. Would also like to pass by the Florida Panhandle because I've heard of some intriguing "lost towns and forgotten backroads" there. Other than that, I'm open to pretty much anything. I think the fun of this would be to visit places that surprise me, that I wouldn't think to go otherwise. I prefer to travel back roads and don't mind stopping frequently when I see something I'd like to document.

    A little about me-- I am interested in scenery/nature, national/state parks, cemeteries, art, ghost towns, unique/ quirky or off-the-beaten-path attractions, old run down things n picturesque towns, abandoned cities/structures (urbex), cool looking signs and motels, things that photograph well (I am a film photographer).
    Last edited by apookie; 03-07-2023 at 10:49 AM.

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    April to June is a pretty big window - how much time are you actually thinking of spending on the road?

    It sounds like you've already got a plan to get to New Orleans, so then it's a matter of figuring out how to get to SLC. The direct route itself has a lot of what you'd look for - you'd go up through Dallas to Amarillo - then you could follow the path of Old Route 66 into New Mexico - before cutting north going past several National Parks, like Mesa Verde, Canyonlands and Arches.

    But if you've got more time, you could also continue straight west across Texas, before turning north at New Mexico, or even go all the way into Arizona before heading north. You could also go north first - heading up the Great River Road through the Mississippi Delta, before turning west on a route that could take you across Colorado or Wyoming.

    There's really no shortage of options, it's just a matter of narrowing things down.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Old Roads Are Still There

    While a lot was gained, some things were lost when the 'old' US Highway System started being replaced by Turnpikes and then the Interstate System starting in the 1950's and 1960's. But the US Highway System roads still exist, it's just that they're now used more for local rather than serious cross-country travel. The only exception I'm aware of is US-66 from Chicago to Los Angeles which was decommissioned in October of 1984. The roadbed is still there in parts, now labeled as state route(s) 66.

    In any event, that's where I'd start looking for the roads that will make up the backbone of your trip. For example, US-98 and US-41 would be a workable route out of Florida, US-84 would take you through southern Georgia rather than the Florida panhandle, US-31 would drop you down to Mobile AL and US-90 would get you from there to New Orleans. Similarly, US-71/US-84 in Louisiana and Texas would split the difference between DFW and Houston.

    Once west of roughly Abilene TX, things will really start to dry out including many of the old cow towns. It's between Abilene and Albuquerque, as well as on some of the Native American lands, that you'll have the best chance of finding what you're looking for but do take care that you're nor intruding on anyone's home for you snaps or videos.

    Once you have a basic route at the US Highway level, you can start looking for state and county roads that parallel them and go through even smaller towns. I would not consider it cheating to use Interstate or controlled access highways to get through the larger cities. But where US and state highways are duplexed with Interstates, I'd be looking for alternatives.

    As Michael noted, your plans are too fluid for us to offer specific advice at this point, but once you have your basic route, we might be able to point you to a few of our own discoveries that fit your bill.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    One question that immediately came to mind: in what type of vehicle are you going to be traveling? Here's why I ask:

    If you are driving a rented truck (i.e. U-Haul, Penske) or towing a rented trailer, you will be given a set amount of time in which you use it to load, travel, and unload. Extra days beyond their allowance are far more expensive! Also, if you are using one of these, pulling into overlooks, trying to park in downtown areas, is also very difficult. You can't just take your car off the tow trailer to do your sightseeing, it's far more complicated! We just moved, not quite 2 years ago, halfway across the country, and we have also moved our kids here and there. So my husband and I have earned our "been there, done that" t-shirts for long distance moves.

    If it's just you in a regular vehicle, problem, except that you'll have to be sure to keep your vehicle locked up and all valuables out of sight.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    To assist with your early stages of planning, RTA has many tools such as the Mapping programs in the green tool bar above, where you can develop routes and search for attractions as noted by RTA contributors. Using the search function to find similar trips in the past and just scrolling down this page where you will see' Similar threads' listed below. Once you have some pins in the map a route will start to develop and we can then help to fill in the blanks and help 'Fine tune' your trip. Knowing how much time you can dedicate to being on the road will be crucial to giving any meaningful advice.

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