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April 06 West Coast to East Coast trip

Travel Forums North America April 06 West Coast to East Coast trip

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1. Posted by massmom (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

could someone advise me of how good this plan sounds. I am planning on driving two cars back to Boston in April, via Long Beach - Ca. My ininerary is thus: fly into Long Beach on the Wed 12th of April, 2 pm arrival, drive to San Diego - go to zoo, beach, any other fun things? stay there til the 14th, then head to Vegas - 5 hour drive.... we have free lodging in Vegas at one of the big hotels, and have done Vegas several times, so no need for info there... leave Vegas the 17th, drive to the Grand CAnyon - 5 hours - spend 2 days there, leave the 19th for Roswell, 9 hour drive... yuck - spend the 20th there, what to do there? - then on to Memphis --which is 11 hours.... then home, we were thinking of possibly adding in san antonio between roswell and memphis... ideas? we'd only have a day or so there, and it would make it a QUICK trip home from memphis to boston.(19 hours) ... so advice please..also, we will be renting a car for one way travel from ca to ma . . . and driving my b/f's buggy as the other car.... also, have 6 of us going.... myself, my b/f, my 21 year old handicapped daughter (uses a wheelchair) her best friend, 21 yr old, and my 16 year old licensed son and his best friend, -- ok, give me helpful hints, places to see, advice.... PLEASE, and thank you --

2. Posted by Jeanbelle (Budding Member 5 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Better rethink your time between Roswell, and Memphis. You are about 5-6 hours short, and that assumes all goes well.

On the way to Roswell, stop at some of the other sights such as Meteor Crater - (between Flagstaff and Holbrook). This would break up a long drive.

If you like National Parks, you will go by White Sands Monument on the way to Roswell...interesting place. If you like history, stop in Las Cruces to see "old town". Some fun places there including the "Billy the Kid" bar and saloon - great place to stop to eat (or it used to be when I lived there). Before racing to San Antone for just a few minutes and then racing back, I would spend the extra time in Carlsbad Caverns just south of Roswell. The drive to San Antonio is a very long, very boring drive, and you don't have time to enjoy the town.

Sounds like a great trip...I am envious.

3. Posted by IronChef (Full Member 1076 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I did the trip from the East to the West last summer. But I was by myself and didn't have people to take turns driving. Took me 11 days but did give the Grand Canyon a day. Definitely wish I had spent more time there. There wasn't too much that reall interested me driving from New Mexico into Oklahoma into Arkansas.

I can say that you should add a couple hours along the way. That many people - trying to get everybody rounded up and stops along the way - little things always pop-up.

I wish I had caught the caverns but oh well. I had a rental truck towing a car and it cost be around $600 in gas. Hope that helps.

4. Posted by massmom (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thank you all for your advice, and so true to add some time along the way for traffic, and the unexpected.... luckily, the first part of the trip is pretty easy, and not so long drives, but didn't realize the time from Roswell to Memphis was so long, hmmmm. I am thinking Jeanbelles advice of skipping San Antonio, and taking in some of the other cool things, like Meteor Crater, etc. will be better, and timelier. Also, Carlsbad Caverns sounds right up my sons alley...and he is a history buff as well. I think we may also just "wing" that part of the trip, from Roswell to Memphis, and stop at things that interest us along the route, but, keep those ideas coming!!! I doubt Carlsbad would be a good stop for my daughter who is in a wheelchair, but I doubt I would like the caverns all that well myself, so that could be a trip for the boys... and we girls could reminisce about our wonderful trip thus far... my favorite part will be Vegas and San Diego, for sure, but I am so looking forward to it all. thanks for the advice thus far, you guys are the best!!!!

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Good trip for the most part. I would schedule the days slightly differently, however. 1 extra day in San Diego area to start. Enjoy Mission Bay and the beach and go down to the Gaslight District.

Next, I think you'll need slightly more time to get to the Grand Canyon by car (6 hours, not 5). If you want take a tour of Hoover Dam--it's an extremely interesting tour, but would set you back an additional 2-3 hours. There's not much to do in Roswell. Meteor Crater is a good idea, or take a different route when you leave Las Vegas and go to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, then go to the south end of Lake Powell. Take a boat to the Rainbow Bridge. Other things in this area are the town of Durango and national park of Mesa Verde, and (best thing) Monument Valley. This would be my choice. Then head straight through to Memphis.

In addition to Memphis, I would stop at Nashville. The Opryland Hotel, Grand Old Opry, Opryland amusement park, and the Hermitage are all great things to visit in this town--as is the downtown river area. And it's a lot less out of the way than Roswell and San Antonio will be. This also allows you to either head north down the Shenandoah Valley where there is beautiful scenery and lots of old Civil War sites (for example, stopping at Harpers Ferry is really interesting since the city still looks like it did around 1870), or cut through the Great Smoky Mountains and visit the Vanderbilt estate in Ashville, NC. Then it's a quick trip to Washington, D.C., and on home to Massachusetts through NYC.

P.S. Long Beach Airport is really old and doesn't have much in the way of rental car locations close by, so be sure you've booked ahead for your car if you are going here.


6. Posted by massmom (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Calcruzer.. if I did that route out of the Grand Canyon, heading towards Lake Powell, etc. how would you head back to Boston? thanks

7. Posted by mario_purc (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

The north rim is normally closed in April or has been the last 3 yrs in a row, due to snow.

My family and I have been rving the last 4 yrs in the southwest and
youmightwant to think about Zion and Bryce canyons which are notheast of Vegas and only 2-3 hrs away. Then down to the Grand Canyon. Afterwards take 160 east there are dinosaur fossils on the way to Mesa Verde( you don't want to make the drive across country without stopping @ Mesa Verde) I bumped into an elderly couple @ the Grand Canyon who told me about it. My 6 kids didn't want anything to do with Indian ruins until we got there. They were so amazed. To watch them and how impressed they were, made it well worth the trip, so we stayed 2 days and the kids want to go back again this year. After that, follow the rest of your plans. Good Luck

8. Posted by marksaunt (Budding Member 18 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I'm doing a cross country trip myself right now...a GREAT book for getting ideas of whare to go and what to see along the way is Road Trip's the link for it at Amazon.

I am also using computer-based mapping software, Microsoft's Streets and Trips, to look ahead and plan routes, get estimates of drive times, (which I've found to be stunningly accurate!) etc..really helpful and has up to date construction info as well. If that's not an option for you, and you are a AAA member, their website's TripTik section lets you plug in starting and ending points and it'll create routes for you and give you info on lodging and restaurants and other needed info for the road....


9. Posted by massmom (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

update.... we leave next week! here's our trip... Weds. - fly from Boston to Long Beach, arrive at 10 am, go to Universal Studios, then we have Leno tix for that night.... if we aren't too tired. Thurs.. drive to San Diego, hit the zoo, Thurs - Sea World, Friday, La Jolla Bch, then head to Vegas, stay in Vegas til Tues, doing little side trips daily, : Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam, Ring of Fire Park, Tues - drive to the Grand Canyon, Weds noon, leave the Canyon, head to White Sands National Park, then Roswell, then driving home via Tulsa, Chicago, Buffalo, and then Boston. Wish us luck!! I can't wait....