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Driving from Florida to Los Angeles - favorite route?

Driving from Florida to Los Angeles - favorite route?

Old Jul 3rd, 2014, 07:05 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 65
Driving from Florida to Los Angeles - favorite route?

I have up to 5 days to drive from the Tampa Bay area to Los Angeles in July (one way trip). I see there are a few route options but am looking for advice from anyone that's traveled between these two locations. I did the drive from El Paso to Florida more than 20 years ago and remember the Texas stretch going on forever with very little along the way for hours so I'm leaning towards a more northern route that will take me through Dallas, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, etc. I'd appreciate some input (pros and cons) on one route vs. the other. Thanks!
KarenInFla is offline  
Old Jul 3rd, 2014, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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I just checked Mapquest and your northern route is only 25 miles more so I say go for it.
Without any sightseeing detours, it can be done in 4 9.5 to 10 hour days of 600 to 670 miles. The stops would be Hattiesburg MS, Wichita Falls, TX, Gallup, NM and Los Angeles, CA.
I-40 joins I-15 in Barstow, CA.
Make sure the AC and tires etc. are good before leaving Florida.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Jul 4th, 2014, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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I agree that the TX stretch is looong and boooring. I've done the above route before and it's nicer. Dallas gives you a change of scenery from the typical...oil well, train track, refinery, and small town *blink and you miss it* visions. Flagstaff was alot greener than I could have imagined. Pine tree wintery looking. It still has long stretches of nothingness though.

I like scenery and I like driving. That said, I would tack on an extra 300 or so miles (less than a tank of gas) and divide it up in five 8+/- hour days along a higher route. Stops would be roughly Chattanooga,Tn...Sweet Springs,MO...Limon,CO...Richfield,UT...Los Angeles,CA
This has you traveling through Atlanta, Nashville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Utah, and Las Vegas. It gives you Mt views in TN and CO, farmland in MO, sunflowers in KS, red rocks and canyons in UT, and the desert that is Vegas.

Having driven both routes, I would gladly drive 5 scenic instead of 4 less scenic to get there quicker.
rjasnumberonefan is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2014, 06:00 AM
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Posts: 65
Thanks for the input. It's settled, I'm definitely doing the northern route! I will also take the extra day and stops into consideration since they sound like a nice enhancement to this trip. Yes, tomfuller, we will make sure the car is in top shape (always good advice). Now I just need to pack and keep my fingers crossed for good weather!
KarenInFla is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2014, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,571
Your turnoff to go to Las Vegas is in Kingman AZ onto US 93.
After you go across the high bridge into Nevada, go down to see Hoover Dam. Cross the dam in the car and park in the second or third parking lot which is free on the AZ side.
On the way back out you can park at a lot on the way up and take a good path to the bridge which has a walkway on the dam side.
About 2 miles from the dam is the Hacienda Casino/hotel if you didn't want to drive all the way into Las Vegas. They also have a good all you can eat buffet at the Hacienda.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2014, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 867
As you head west from Oklahoma City on I-40, you will pretty much be following the route of the legendary but now defunct rte. 66. (Just so you know.)

Shortly after you pass through Winslow, AZ, you will see to the south the famous Barringer meteor crater. This definitely is worth a visit. Some people think the admission price is too high for "a big hole in the ground". I pity them.


My favorite place in Flagstaff is the Lowell Observatory. This is where Pluto was discovered and where Percival Lowell convinced himself and others that there were canals on Mars, and therefore intelligent life. Both H. G. Wells and Orson Wells bought into that possibility , and in the latter case scared the pants off a sizable no. of people with the infamous fake radio newscast of Mars attacking the earth. If you overnight in Flagstaff, this is a good place to visit.

dbdurand is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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More great input and suggestions! Lots of interesting things to check out. Thank you all for taking the time to respond.
KarenInFla is offline  
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