Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Driving from Arizona to Florida. Need suggestions on what to see?

Notices

Driving from Arizona to Florida. Need suggestions on what to see?

Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 09:34 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Driving from Arizona to Florida. Need suggestions on what to see?

I did it. Got the car I always wanted, a totally restored, low mileage, 1974 Triumph TR6 . We will be flying into Phoenix in late July to pick it up. We decided to take our time driving it back and see parts of the country that we have not seen before. For the most part we will stick to I-10.

We both have been to Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama before. We will spend couple of days in Phoenix and the surrounding area(not interested in Grand Canyon this time). We also made plans to stop in New Orleans, Biloxi(for little gambling), The Florida Panhandle.

Texas and New Mexico are the states we are not very familiar with. We do want to stop in San Antonio, but other than that we're open for suggestions. Not really interested in Dallas.

This will be about 14-15 day drive so 2-3 days per stop max.

Phoenix - 2 nights
New Mexico - ??? 1-2 nights
San Antonio - 2 nights
Any other interesting stop(s) in Texas - 2-3 nights
Biloxi - 1 night
Panhandle 1-2 nights

Please suggest some interesting stop(s) in Texas. We both love historic places, good restaurants, fun evening entertainment, etc....
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 09:38 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,935
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would certainly include Santa Fe & Taos (but you'd need to go I-40) in your plans. From there you could also visit Austin, which in my opinion, would be better than SA or any other options you may have available going the 'southern route'.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 10:13 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This thread should be helpful

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...-in-august.cfm
dfr4848 is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 01:35 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would spend only one night in Phoenix and head up to the Grand Canyon for the next night. Then head out in I-40 and stop at Painted Desert/Petrified forest then on to New Mexico. Maybe up to Santa Fe or at least a stop at Acoma Pueblo. Then drop down to 10, stopping at White Sands NP and Carlsbad Caverns and on your way into Texas.
emalloy is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 03:34 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 651
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I hope the a/c in your dream car is really powerful as you are crossing a lot of hot desert. That being said I would stop at Carlsbad Caverns one night as it is interesing and also a cool break. Then stop at Fort Davis, TX one night and tour the restored old west fort and museum. Make sure the night you stop there is one with a Star Party at McDonald Observatory - really really amazing. (They have a good tour of the facility in the day time too.) San Antonio is a great stop and you can get lots of info doing a search here. If you enjoy museums Houston has a lot of interesting ones - art (several) Natural History (which is currently showing the Terra Cotta Soldiers), Holocast, Medical, Buffalo Soldiers, etc. NASA too makes an interesting stop. Have a great trip!
Barblab is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 04:09 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks everybody for great suggestions... keep them coming!

emalloy

Great suggestions but we're looking more for towns/cities stops.

Barblab

Didn't even think about NASA. Will definitely look into a stop in Houston. I'm kind of a NASA junkie. The Observatory also sounds interesting.

Believe it or not - no A/C. It's a convertible and we plan on doing most of the driving very early in the morning and try to get to our next destination no later than noon.....

dfr4848,

thanks for the link. Great info...

SAnParis2,

We really have our hearts set on SA. Will look into Taos and Santa Fe.

Thanks again!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:04 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,535
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Although the drive from Phoenix to Santa Fe and Taos is beautiful, and there is much to see and do in both, they are VERY much out of your way if you are going from Phoenix to Florida.

If you are looking for towns/cities as stops, then in New Mexico you should consider Silver City (about an hour NE of Lordsburg) or Las Cruces. I am assuming from your reply to emalloy that you are not as interested in White Sands or Carlsbad Caverns, both of which are fascinating to visit.

Silver City (http://www.silvercity.org/) has been written up in the New York Times at least twice in the last 3 years as a place to visit.

Las Cruces (http://www.lascrucescvb.org/) is the largest city in southern NM (second-largest in the state) and has lots of history as well as things to do.
Cranachin is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:23 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,535
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
By the way, Texas really is "miles and miles of miles and miles" - especially I-10. I think the biggest town along I-10 between El Paso and San Antonio (other than Kerrville, an hour from SA), is Fort Stockton, population about 8,000.
Cranachin is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:34 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 74,055
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a couple of suggestions, but I can't stand the bolding of the names.
starrs is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 07:07 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was going to suggest Tombstone/Bisbee (Tucson) in AZ but you say you are looking more for suggestions in Texas. So that being the case, if it were me I'd take a little side trip and head into Austin (good eats and great music scene)

Stay cool!
overyonder is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 07:49 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,286
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Isn't it going to be a little hot for Phoenix in a TR-6 in July? Does it have AC? Convertible? What if it breaks down? Can't parts be hard to get on the road? My girlfriend has an old TR-6 sitting in the driveway with low miles and well, I don't think I would be comfortable driving it that distance. I'm just a little concerned for you.
Ronda is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 07:51 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,286
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re-reading I see you don't have AC, etc.
Ronda is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 08:06 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the concern Ronda,

We'll be fine. As I said earlier, most of our drives will be ~6 or less hours and we will start @6am on the drive days.

The car was totally rebuild. I had an independent inspection done. I have been assured that it's in perfect condition by the inspector. It's a beauty.

If it breaks down, we will deal with it. I can't worry about that. I had many talks with the owner as well. He detailed everything that was done with the car. He send me copies of all the paper work, signed off by certified shops. The engine was rebuild from ground up.

Right now, I'm just excited... I can't wait.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:47 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Don't know if these appeal to you, but consider:

1. If you're stopping in Houston, the Houston Museum of National Science currently features the "Terra Cotta Warriors" from China. It's an amazing exhibit and well worth a visit. Part of the Museum has the Cockrell Butterfly Center, one of the largest in the US.

www.hmns.org

2. If you want to blow your budget on a first rate meal, consider the Inn at Dos Brisas, 90 min nothwest of Houston and just north of I 10. One of only 20 restaurants in US with a Mobil 5*. Veggies are grown on site and include 124 varieties of tomatoes, 24 kinds of carrots and 28 kinds of squashes. Beautiful grounds.

www.dosbrisas.com

3. Stark Museum and Mansion in Orange, TX (on I 10). Museum contains one of the largest collections of, among other things, Audubon's original prints, Frederic Remington scultures, Charles M Russell paintings, and Steuben glass (including the only complete set of their "United States in Crystal" honoring all the states). The 1880s 3 story mansion has been totally restored, complete with furnishings. Best part: it's all FREE.

www.starkmuseum.org

2 blocks away is the First Presbyterian Church. Whether your religious or not, it's an interesting historical struture - first public air conditioned building in the US (1912 - a/c furnished by a guy named Carrier). Building itself, completed in 1912, is totally built of Italian marble and granite and contains several amazing sets of now-priceless stained glass purchased at the 1893 NY World Exhibition. It's also free.

www.firstpresorange.com
dfr4848 is offline  
Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 05:20 AM
  #15  
cd
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,981
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
AAF
May I suggest you stay at Cape San Blas while in the Panhandle? I have a short trip report here on it if you are interested and if you like oysters, Indian Pass Raw Bar, about 10min away is wonderful!!!as is Boss Oyster in Apalachicola about 20 min away. We love this place, very uncrowded!

We rented a house on the beach but walked across the road to the bay side and toured this B&B. It is amall but very, very clean, the back yard is the bay and they offer complimentary kayaks for your use. http://www.capesanblasinn.com/
cd is offline  
Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 07:18 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,535
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I agree with cd that the Cape San Blas/Port St. Joe/Apalachicola area would make a great stop in the Panhandle. This is "Old Florida" - the way the state used to be. I haven't been to Port St. Joe in a long time, but was in Apalachicola in December for a few hours and want to go back.

CSB/PSJ http://www.visitgulf.com/

Ap http://www.apalachicolabay.org/
Cranachin is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2009, 05:18 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,267
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A suggestion for SA, instead of staying DT on the Riverwalk, which is very touristy, have a late lunch, walk a bit, see the Alamo, then drive 1/2 hour or so and stay in Gruene. Very cute town. The Hill Country betwee SA and Austin has a lot of nice towns, there's also Fredricksburg, both have a strong German background.
owlwoman is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2009, 09:16 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,849
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Other suggestions in the panhandle would be to check out Seaside, FL ( Sea Grove is a less expensive stay & only a mile away ). Destin, FL is a 15-20 minute ride from there & is a really beautiful beach - but 'busy'.

Or, check out Panama City, FL.
olesouthernbelle is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2009, 01:15 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,286
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Let us know how it went when you get back!
Ronda is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
justretired
United States
29
Aug 11th, 2019 05:14 PM
Jedly
United States
5
Aug 28th, 2011 12:42 PM
danny9948
United States
6
Apr 27th, 2009 05:33 AM
ChicagoDallasGirl
United States
13
Feb 15th, 2008 07:30 AM
Starbuck
United States
4
Dec 13th, 2006 02:20 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO