Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Need help planning road trip from Los Angeles to Florida (

sparklegem Apr 25th, 2009 05:21 AM

Need help planning road trip from Los Angeles to Florida
Fodorites, I truly need your help. I am trying to plan a road trip from Los Angeles to Florida and back. I have never attempted a road trip this long and have really only taken several day road trips as child. I will be traveling with my friend and my daughter who is twelve. We will be traveling in my friend's new SUV. My husband will joining us in New Orleans, where we can stay for several days. We will stay two weeks in Florida before making our return trip. We plan to visit some Tiki establishments along the way in:

Scottsdale (we can stay with family there)
(and quite a few in Florida, but we can do that during our two weeks there)

We also want to visit:
Paris, TX
New Mexico
and possibly the Grand Canyon (we have not been there)

I had laid things out along mapquest and referenced Fodor's and Frommer's online (and Roadside America!!) but the trip did not really seem to make sense and I knew that I needed some help. Then, I did a search here, on road trips, and realized that I really needed help!! Those road trips posts are amazing! I want to have trip like that!!

Here are some things that we like:
quaint little towns, (but do not need to see a time capsule Western town, we have that near us)
Kitschy things from the 1950's and 1960's
nature hikes
amazing landscapes
good ethnic food
vintage hotels
vintage clothing and furnishing stores

How much driving should we do in a day? I was thinking of five to six hours, but did not know what was best.

Please help me pull together one of those great trips! I just have no idea where to start and how to know what little towns are the ones that we should stay in (I had considered: Brisbee, Marfa, Austin, the Layfayette area, but I am not committed to those towns) and where to drive the little roads and what to stop and see.

gb944 Apr 25th, 2009 05:25 AM

Bring lots of money for gas.

Start your driving early in the day.

Use mapquest and a gps.

Have a great time.

p.s. You only need one post (not three) to ask the questions.

rizzo0904 Apr 25th, 2009 05:28 AM

I would pretty much take I-10 the whole way out. That will put you in Scottsdale and Tuscon. I'd skip the Grand Canyon for now and hit it on the way back. Stop in San Antonio on the way out...and just stay on I-10.

On the way back to LA take a more northern route. I'd skip Atlanta though..kinda out of the way and not worth it in my opinion. Taking I-20 back will let you hit Dallas. Then maybe jump on 287 to Amarillo and join up with I-40. It would then put you in position for Santa Fe and the Grand Canyon.

As for Scottsdale you can hike Camelback. San Antonio has the riverwalk which is fun. Maybe do some riverboat gambling on your way thru Biloxi. In southern NM you can go to White Sands.

rizzo0904 Apr 25th, 2009 05:30 AM

Oh almost NM you can drive parts of Route 66.

sparklegem Apr 25th, 2009 05:47 AM

Thank you for the speedy replies! I have been feeling overwhelmed and it really helps to have help!

gb944- great advice! We plan to start early. I was not sure how to get the post into all the states that we would be traveling through. It only let me post in five at a time...

rizzo- thank you for the freeway help! I will weigh the Atlanta stop. It does have an all original Trader Vic's that would be very cool to see. I will look up all your suggestion; thank you

and I would love to drive part of Route 66! Where would we get on it?

sparklegem Apr 25th, 2009 05:52 AM

I forgot to mention that we really want to visit Graceland. That might make it easier to visit the Atlanta Trader Vic's.

sparklegem Apr 25th, 2009 06:03 AM

Gosh, I just mapquest Florida to Santa Fe and it takes twice as long if we add Atlanta and Memphis! I will need think about those two and maybe save them for another trip.

rizzo0904 Apr 25th, 2009 06:09 AM has some stuff on route 66.

sparklegem Apr 25th, 2009 06:13 AM

oh! Thank you! That looks like a terrific site!

sparklegem Apr 25th, 2009 06:41 AM

If we leave out the Atlanta/ Memphis part of the trip, does anyone have suggestions of places to see or stay traveling from Florida to Dallas?

GoTravel Apr 25th, 2009 09:52 AM

Make sure to stay at that motel that is made up of Airstream trailers from the 1950s.

Also, that teepee motel.

GoTravel Apr 25th, 2009 09:58 AM

Teepee motels:

The Shady Dell (way cool)

sparklegem Apr 25th, 2009 10:09 AM

Thank you, GoTravel! We are planning to stay at The Shady Dell! Have you stayed there? I will check out the Teepee motels. Thank you!

sparklegem Apr 25th, 2009 10:22 AM

I had been looking at this teepee motel:

Maybe we can stay at all three!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:34 PM.