Driving Across Coun try

Old Feb 24th, 2007, 07:03 PM
  #1  
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Driving Across Coun try

We are leaving chicago in mid may and want to drive to LA. What route should we take? Not necessarily roads but states and sites. What are some things we should stop and see on the way? We have never driven west of the Mississippi. We are planning to take 5-7 days to drive. As always thanks for the help.
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 08:01 PM
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Not knowing your likes and dislikes of what you want to do or see on the Road Trip I would suggest you get some maps for reference. You can get a Rand McNally Road Atlas from Wal*Mart for $5.97, well worth the price. if you are with AAA get their maps and Travel Books, that will be a great help.... With that you can make preliminary plans. If you want a leisure trip think about staying off the interstate Highways and take some of the older US Highways so you can see some of the country.
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 08:45 PM
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I suggest you go south to St. Louis, and take the I-70 west, through Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. There are tons of great things to see along the way. We took this route last summer. We went to the Arch in St. Louis, a fine museum in Kansas City (but would have seen baseball games in both had the teams been in town), then spent a day in Denver, drove through the Rockies, went to Bryce Canyon... absolutely beautiful and WELL worth the hour or so drive off the highway. Then you can stop in Vegas before going into CA. Even if you don't gamble Vegas has great entertainment and great people watching. On the way home I'd take a more southern route, on I-40. You can go to the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert/Petrified Forest from there, through New Mexico and Oklahoma. The Oklahoma City Memorial is very moving. Then head north on your way back up to Chigago. I hope this gave you some ideas
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:12 PM
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You basically have two main choices:

- I-70 across CO, then I-15 down through Vegas to LA.

- Follow the old Route 66 and take I-55/44/40

There are variations in each route, but the I-70 route will take you over the Colorado Rockies and then close to several beautiful national parks in Utah before Vegas.

The Route 66 way will bring you close to Santa Fe, NM; and the South Rim of Grand Canyon, if those things interest you.

Decide which one first, then you can add the details and exact routing.
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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Most have suggested the Interstate Highways. One thing to keep in mind. Once you get west of Chicago the older US highways have higher speed limits, towns are few and far between and you can make as good of time as you can and still see something. Most people are on the Interstate so you have much less traffic.

http://www.us-highways.com/

"Life doesn't happen along the interstates. It's against the law." -- William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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I disagree with RedRock. The US highways are quite a bit slower, because of the towns they go through in the Midwest and the mountains over the Rockies.

Even in say, rural Kansas. You'll be surprised how many towns there are on a route like US54 or US56.

And then, crossing the Rockies, US50 and US160 are two lanes that are much much slower than I-70.

Yes, if you want to see all the small towns, do it; but I'd rather spend more time actually inside national park or two; outside the vehicle.
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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May would be too late to see the Sandhill Cranes around Grand Island but I think western Nebraska has good deal to see off the interstate. The Sturh Museum in Grand Island the Arch Museum in Kearney, Ollie's Big Game Restaurant in Paxton (you have to drive into town a short distance off the interstate). Than take highway 26 towards Scottsbluff the route of the Oregon Trail see the ruts left by the wagon trains and Chimney Rock. Buffalo Bill's scout ranch is in North Platte. Once into Wyoming take highway 85 at Torrington to Cheyenne to get back on 80 or continue to Denver and 70.
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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I actually did a cross country drive in 05 and we nearly routed through Chicago to see my brother. We ended up going up from Kansas City instead, but we went to Cedar Rapids to see a baseball game (Angels Class A farm team). Then we cruised across Minnesota and went to the Badlands. We visited Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, then went to Yellowstone, down to Jackson Hole, to Salt Lake City and then Southern California. I don't think you've given yourself enough time to see all that, but it sure was a lot of fun. I grew up in St. Louis and have done the drive to and from So Cal a lot. You could go down to Memphis and then Little Rock and OK City and Amarillo and do that route. You could head down to New Orleans and then head to San Antonio and do the boring west Texas drive. It comes down to how much time you want to take on the road, and what sounds like fun to you.
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 08:34 AM
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In Iowa we also went to the Field of Dreams and ate a Maid Rite. Maybe I should have added that we left Minnesota and went into South Dakota, where we visited the Badlands. If you do go the southern route, there is a lot to do. You can see the Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo. You can see the Painted Desert. You could detour to see the Grand Canyon. You can stand on the corner of Winslow, Arizona. Once you figure out your basic path, post again and you'll get more specific ideas.
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 09:58 AM
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rkkwan

I have driven coast to coast 20 times at least and all of it on the older US highways. As far north as US-2 and to the south where you were on US80-90 and a variety of other roads in between... Even across western and central Canada to the Great Lakes Region where they have few of what we consider Interstate Highways. You can drive all the Interstate Highways you like and you will see very little of America. Try it sometimes off the I-highways and you will be surprised what you can see and what you can learn about this country. There is much more to see than the east end of a west bound truck and the lug nuts of an 18 wheeler as they pass you.

~~

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything. From the Interstate, America is all steel guardrails and plastic signs, and every place looks and feels and sounds and smells like every other place." -- Charles Kuralt, On the Road with Charles Kuralt


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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 06:44 PM
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we have decided to stay off route 80 and try the road less traveled. we want to see national parks hopefully grand canyon and anything else along the way. how is route 66? will it get us near what we want to see. what would you recommend we see on the way as far as stops. as always thanks for your help.
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Old Apr 7th, 2007, 07:11 AM
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ttt
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