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Road trip from NYC to Las Vegas ( via New Orleans, TX) in 11 days

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Dec 16th, 2013, 10:57 AM
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Road trip from NYC to Las Vegas ( via New Orleans, TX) in 11 days

my gf and I are leaving NYC Jan 19 and driving to Las Vegas, and flying back to nyc on Jan 1. We are both in early 30, adventurous, active and both of us are drivers. Here is the itinerary for our trip. Please let us know how doable is it.


Date Day of the Week Itinerary
19-Dec Thu Drive to Baltimore in the evening and stay at parent's house

20-Dec Fri Heading out in morning get to Nashville TN or Knoxville TN. Driving though the Smokey Mountains according to the map. ~8 -10 hrs. drive

21-Dec Sat Getting to New Orleans LA by evening. If we want to stop by Memphis for a cool BBQ lunch (only if we feel like it) or do anything else on the way. ~8 hrs. drive

22-Dec Sun Full day in New Orleans. Do whatever we want – rest, eat, explore, party.

23-Dec Mon Driving out in the mid-morning, get to San Antonio TX in the evening. See the Alamo and cool area by the river and perhaps have dinner there. If we feel like it can stop by “beautiful” Lake Charles on the way (literally 100% on our way). ~8 hrs. drive


24-Dec Tue Use as a rest day and to explore TX (i.e. Austin), and drive some of the way to NM to shorten the drive the next day.

25-Dec Wed Drive 3/4 of the way to White Sands and stay for the night.

26-Dec Thu Early in the morning visit White Sands and spend 1 to 2 thereThen drive on toward the Petrified Forest use the rest of the day to explore and go to Flagstaff for dinner.

27-Dec Fri Drive to Sedona AZ (only 50 min from Flagstaff) and spend the entire day there, stay in the area of move on and stay for the night closer to the Grand Canyon.

28-Dec Sat Drive to the Grand Canyon (~2 hrs.) and spend the day there. Stay in the area for the night.

29-Dec Sun The goal is to be in Las Vegas by evening. In the morning drive to Joshua Tree Park and explore there (look up pics it is very very cool and is the second place I was hoping to visit) ~ 4.5 hrs. Then drive on to Las Vegas and be there that night. ~3 hrs.

30-Dec Mon Explore Valley of Fire and Lake Mead areas as a day trip. In the evening see a show, play poker, explore The Strip, have a nice dinner, whatever we want to do.

31-Dec Tue During the day explore the city and rest. Go out for NY (TBD).

1-Jan Wed Flying our at 12:45pm, home by evening.

Please advise.
sleiveen is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2013, 12:23 PM
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Only comment is that Joshua Tree is way out of the way when going from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas.Probably add 5-6 hours driving time just to make the loop.
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Dec 16th, 2013, 12:57 PM
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We actually decided to remove Joshua Tree from the itinerary. Given the holiday season and that we're not going to see much of it, drive doesn't seem to make much sense. Thanks.
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Dec 16th, 2013, 02:37 PM
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You might want to pick up one of the RoomSaver magazines at the state VCs along the way. They have coupons for discounts on hotel/motels which you may or may not be able to use, but they also have maps with locations of lodging and what you get for extras, like laundry, breakfast, etc.

Pack a cooler with water, snacks, etc.

Have a safe drive and stop if it gets icy, or you get tired.
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Dec 16th, 2013, 03:43 PM
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Nashville is about 3.5 to 4 hours west of Knoxville. Memphis is four hours due west of Nashville. From Nashville to Memphis to NOLA is about 9.5 hours.

Direct from Nashville to NOLA is 7.5 hours.
BigRuss is online now  
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Dec 17th, 2013, 10:38 AM
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My problem would be with the Baltimore to NOLA days. Baltimore to Knoxville is approximately 8.5 hours, while Baltimore-Nashville is approximately 11.5 hours. If you add time to go through Smokey Mountains National Park (from Knoxville), you'd add at least 3 more hours, as the roads are very windy and congested. There is also a risk of snow or ice at that time of year.

Memphis is out of the way from either Nashville or Knoxville. While it is a very interesting city, I wouldn't take that much time just for a plate of BBQ--you'll be able to find lots of BBQ places in Alabama if you get off the interstate and ask, or ask at the welcome center. Knoxville to NOLA is around 9 to 9.5 hours-takes us 8 hours to drive from Atlanta to NOLA.

But sounds like fun! Wish we were that young again.
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Dec 17th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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OTOH, this is insane! Why not fly RT NYC to Las Vegas, get a car, and explore the West? You would have time to really see a few things, like Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, etc.. rather than just waving at them on the way past.

Attractions in the US south and west are much, much further apart than they are in the northeast, and scenery, by and large, is not that interesting, especially from the interstates.
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Dec 17th, 2013, 11:11 AM
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Hope you have hotel reservations for NYE in Las Vegas, coworker went one time without any and ended up in one of the last rooms left in a dumpy motel. i'd probably fly it also.
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Dec 17th, 2013, 03:45 PM
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Memphis is out of the way from either Nashville or Knoxville.

Memphis isn't just out of the way viz. Knoxville, it's all the way across the state - pushing 6 hours if the weather isn't pristine (and between Knoxville and Nashville you can get dicey weather at that time of year).
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Dec 17th, 2013, 05:41 PM
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Be sure if you get to Austin and San Antonio to hit the Austin BBQ belt-Lockhart, Luling etc.

http://www.amazingribs.com/one_natio..._barbecue.html

Also, with your dates you should be good but we were in San Antonio I think it was either week between Xmas or the first week of January and that is the week the clean the river walk, so it was empty muddy cement-not nearly as a appealing. You might just check on those dates-cause it isn't the best time to see it.
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