San Antonio...then stuck...East vs. West???
Hi everyone! We posted here last year and loved your advice so much. We had an amazing road trip last summer and figured we come here to get some suggestions for this summers excursion.
We plan on flying into San Antonio (already bought our cowboy boots!). From there we can't decide whether to travel East or West from there.
If we go West, our final destination will be Vegas...passing through NM and AZ (Grand Canyon) along the way.
If we go East, our final destination would be either Memphis or Chatanooga...passing through New Orleans and Birmingham.
If anyone has any ideas, suggestions for routes (we love scenic by-ways), or tips we'd be VERY appreciative.
Thanks in advance,
Thelma & Louise :)
West, always west!
Go west, young women, go west! :)
Especially if you've never been out here before.
I agree with Bob, even if I think New Orleans and some other eastern places are must sees, western sceneries are much more impressive than the eastern ones...Just my opinion.:-)
Thanks. We were actually leaning towards going West. Last summer we did back roads from Denver through Utah to Vegas and ending in LA. We we were completely blown away! Neither of us had been "out West" before (except brief trips to Cali). We are both from the DC area. We got our route from this forum (Bob...was that you?) We knew this summer we wanted to do Texas. Any suggestions of routes/landmarks from San Antonio through New Mexico (side trip to Mexico?), then Phoenix to Vegas?
Thanks sooo much :)
Last year, you got most of your information from Mark and from Utahtea. I jumped in later, but it was in answer to another person's post on your thread.
But I'll help THIS year -- since you'll be in my backyard. I'm out of time tonight though, so I'll get back to you tomorrow! Bob
thanks in advance
You're right...I tracked down our old thread. Well, thanks in advance for your help. It's so much better getting a route from locals/experienced road trippers than looking at unknown roads on a map and trying to figure it out ourselves. This site is the best!
TX and NM
Personally, I particularly enjoyed western Texas. San Antonio is a beautiful town, its spanish heritage is everywhere: architecture, street plan... Of course, you have to pay a visit to the Alamo and then walk and eat along the Riverwalk. Brackenridge Park (in another part of town) is also a must see, especially the Japanese Garden. Oh, and if you miss the beach, Corpus Christi and South Padre Island are only a few hours away!
El Paso was also one of my favourite town, I can't explain exactly why though. I love the ambiance, everyone there are from Mexican background. You can cross the bridge by foot to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico (0,35$) for a little shopping seance, but be very careful, don't bring expensive stuff with you (jewelry, cameras, etc.), at least don't let them in full view. And be sure to cross at the right place where the tourists are (don't forget your passport and bring water!). Make sure you won't be stuck in a residential or non-commercial neighborhood like me :o) I really enjoyed the Old Mission Trail in this area as well, but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to do the whole thing.
You're going to enjoy New Mexico if you love wide opened spaces. I recommend using highway 60 through NM (from Socorro) to Phoenix, AZ. You'll hit the Very Large Array (near Magdalena), and several semi ghost towns. I also loved the southern route (9 in NM and then 80 in AZ) which follows more or less the Mexican border and goes through interesting small towns. The sceneries once in south eastern AZ are breath taking. I'll let Uncle Bob take over for the Phoenix area and the rest of AZ, he's the expert:o)
Have a safe trip!
Thelma and Louise, eh?
Well, stay away from those sharp drop-offs! :)
After San Antonio, check out Big Bend National Park, then go on to El Paso (see Gen's post). In New Mexico, you can't miss White Sands National Mon and Lincoln (NE of Ruidoso). There are a couple other high mountain areas that are particularly spectacular in New Mexico -- choose one or do both if you have time -- the Tularosa Mountains and Gila National Forest in the SW part of the state (by Silver City and Reserve), or the Taos area. Of the two, I think Taos is the MOST beautiful, but either one or both are worth your time.
Crossing into Arizona, much depends on where you enter and how much time you have -- if you come in on US60 or US180, I'd recommend going south on US191 from Eagar or Alpine on the <a href="http://www.roadtripamerica.com/drives/Coronado-Trail.htm">Coronado Trail<a/>. Check out Clifton, and then spend a day or two in SE Arizona -- among the great places to explore are Fort Bowie, Chiricahua Natl Mon, Portal, Bisbee and the Lavender Pit/Queen Mine (tour), Kartchner Caverns (only recently discovered, still a "live" cavern and Arizona's newest state park). Drive SR82 over to Nogales, and then I-19 north to Tucson, stopping at the San Xavier del Bac Mission, and the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. From Tucson, use SR77 north to Globe, SR88, SR188 and SR87 to Payson, SR260 west to Camp Verde. Visit Jerome (have a drink at the Spirit Room and a hamburger at the Haunted Hamburger while you let the effects of the ONE beer wear off); then mosey over to Sedona. If it is about dinner time, eat at the Manzanita Inn at Cornville.
From Sedona, drive up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff (in Flagstaff, visit the Riordan Mansion State Park and be SURE to take the tour if you can), then take US180 to the Grand Canyon. After a visit to the Canyon (do a day hike to Plateau Point if you're both fit and like to hike), head back south to Williams, I-40 to Seligman, and use <a href="http://www.roadtripamerica.com/drives/Arizona-Route-66.htm">Old 66<a/> to get to Kingman and finally Oatman (a rustic little tourist trap of a town -- we LOVE it -- "wild" burros roam the streets)!
From there, it is an easy drive through Laughlin and up US95 (my choice) to Las Vegas -- or cut back east to US93 in Arizona and that will take you across an engineering marvel -- Hoover Dam. It's worth a look too!
One other thing I recommend -- although I haven't done it YET -- take Diamond Creek Road north from Peach Springs on Old 66, and it will take you to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River! You need a permit as this is on the Hualapai Reservation. The road is kind of rough, I'm told, but my uncle drove it in a Ford Escort -- so I think almost ANY car can make it. There's only one other place in northern Arizona in the vicinity of the Canyon where you can drive right out to the river (Lee's Ferry, near Page).
Happy planning! Bob
Thank you SO MUCH!
Thanks Gen & Bob for all of your help! We are definately getting excited now!! And we will make sure we stay on the road! Kristen insisted on me asking which route she will see the most large cactuses on. Not the prickly pair trees but the large (I think they're called Saguaro) cactus? Thanks again.
Saguaro National Monument
Saguaros are common to the Sonoran Desert -- you'll see lots of them along SR77, SR88 and SR188. Also, there are two sections of Saguaro National Mon outside of Tucson where these giants of the desert hold center stage! You might add that to the list! Bob