Road Tripping

FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
edited April 2010 in Strut Central
I'm going to hit the road on May 1st with the wife and our 3 dogs. All we know is that we're going to be gone for 6 weeks... no idea yet which way we'll go. Emphasis will be to see landscapes and take in rural areas. We don't have any interest in city tourism. We'll take a tent for spending nights in national parks but would generally prefer cabins or motels (don't know how handicapped we'll be with our 3 small dogs though).Anybody have any recommendations as to what would be essential spots to visit or stay at?We have a strong interest in local food and drink so if anybody has some secret BBQ spots or knows about where to buy some smoked venison, score a few bottles of small batch batch bourbon straight from the distillery... don't hold back.Know a good deal on a nice cabin someplace in the mountains, woods or swamps, please hit me up.Not at all interested in spending any time digging fo records, done those type of road trips plenty enough.While we plan on seeing the Rockies (maybe better on the way back early in June than in May?) as well as taking in the great plains and all the usual "must sees" but I'm specifically looking forward to spending time in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas...Got any suggestions on what main route would be best?I hope I'm not asking too much, we're not really planning on planning too much so just give me a few suggestions if you have any, places you think one should have seen and such.Big thanx in advance!Frank
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  • RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
    Look into taking Route 66.......will give you a real taste of what the U.S. was like 50+ years ago......once you decide your general route let me know and I'll recommend some food spots...if you're coming anywhere near Dallas I'd love to take you and your better half out for some genuine Tex-Mex.

  • gravelheadwrapgravelheadwrap corn 948 Posts
    One road trip I took a couple years back involved going from the Rockies down to Great Sand Dunes National Park and down to Taos, New Mexico area. The drive is gorgeous. A landmark with checking is El Santaurio de Chimayo. The drive is cool, plus its interesting going through all the towns.

    Edit: Forgot, my whole point of this reply was to recommend Great Sand Dunes N.P. It's an awesome place, takes like 45 min to an hour to get to the top of the sand dunes (they're huge) and then like 5-10 min to get down. There's an awesome view of the dunes on one side and mountains on the other. It's just a nice relaxing spot and worth the drive if you're anywhere close by.

  • The_NonThe_Non 5,690 Posts
    Go to the Adirondacks yo! Close and peaceful.

  • DelayDelay 4,530 Posts
    having driven all over the country, i'd advise California's Pacific Highway between San Louis Ebispo and Portland, OR for scenery. There's also some amazing stuff in the southwest, but the distance between places can be brutal.

  • meatyogremeatyogre 2,080 Posts
    Arizona has so much to offer, and its beautiful right now, though getting hotter every day. I would suggest seeing Sedona and head to Flagstaff and up to the Grand Canyon. Plenty of national parks around and camp sites and what not. Lots of good hiking all over AZ, specifically in those areas, and down near Tucson.

  • HorseleechHorseleech 3,830 Posts
    Death Valley and Big Sur are essential, IMO.

    Eat at Nepenthe at the north end of Big Sur - the food is good (not amazing), but the setting can't be beat.

  • jaymackjaymack 5,198 Posts
    traveling with 1 dog sounds like a hell to me, i cant even imagine 3 full size dogs. pew.

  • mateomateo 163 Posts
    I would suggest seeing Sedona and head to Flagstaff and up to the Grand Canyon.


    i must second this...

    also, if you somehow drive through missouri, there is an awesome bbq place in branson i believe called Danas... and the rolls are deep fried like donuts...

  • DrBorisQDrBorisQ 298 Posts
    having driven all over the country, i'd advise California's Pacific Highway between San Louis Ebispo and Portland, OR for scenery. There's also some amazing stuff in the southwest, but the distance between places can be brutal.

    I'll second this. Did this trip (although in the other direction) last year, easily one of the best road trips I've ever done.

  • DrWuDrWu 4,021 Posts
    having driven all over the country, i'd advise California's Pacific Highway between San Louis Ebispo and Portland, OR for scenery. There's also some amazing stuff in the southwest, but the distance between places can be brutal.

    The California portion mentioned hear is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Just one stunning ecosystem after another, lagoons, redwoods, beaches, etc. Plus you could double back through wine country for some serious eats (French Laundry, yo).

  • FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
    traveling with 1 dog sounds like a hell to me, i cant even imagine 3 full size dogs. pew.

    They're small and used to traveling... we took them on daylong trips over african dirt roads before, anything that's paved and has potholes loess than one foot deep is no problam at all...

  • FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
    Go to the Adirondacks yo! Close and peaceful.

    Been there twice last summer and fall and already have a reservaion on a cabin up there for October.

  • FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
    having driven all over the country, i'd advise California's Pacific Highway between San Louis Ebispo and Portland, OR for scenery. There's also some amazing stuff in the southwest, but the distance between places can be brutal.

    Where's San Louis Ebispo ?

    Edit: Just found it... without the "O" in Luis and will do as suggested, pictures I found look incredible.

  • FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
    Look into taking Route 66.......will give you a real taste of what the U.S. was like 50+ years ago......once you decide your general route let me know and I'll recommend some food spots...if you're coming anywhere near Dallas I'd love to take you and your better half out for some genuine Tex-Mex.

    Will do and am already looking forward to it!

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    Northern California will be beautiful around then (once all this rain stops).

  • Hotsauce84Hotsauce84 8,450 Posts
    having driven all over the country, i'd advise California's Pacific Highway between San Louis Ebispo and Portland, OR for scenery. There's also some amazing stuff in the southwest, but the distance between places can be brutal.

    Where's San Louis Ebispo ?

    Edit: Just found it... without the "O" in Luis and will do as suggested, pictures I found look incredible.

    San Luis O[/b]bispo.

    Damn gringos.


  • FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
    This is a rough first idea of a route:


  • The_Hook_UpThe_Hook_Up 8,182 Posts
    This is a rough first idea of a route:


    looks good, but I would come up through Mississippi and Memphis rather than Alabama and Nashville. Mississippi is a lot more interesting than Alabama...plus I could offer a clean bed, amazing BBQ and a nice yard for the dogs if you came up through Memphis.

  • Jonny_PaycheckJonny_Paycheck 17,825 Posts
    That looks sick, Frank. I'm totally jealous!

  • DrWuDrWu 4,021 Posts
    Your itinerary is happening. Great choices. The whole SW portion is uniquely American too. There really isn't any place like that in the world either. We got a place for you to stay in Portland. But only if you like great food, cute kids and funky records.

  • FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
    This is a rough first idea of a route:


    looks good, but I would come up through Mississippi and Memphis rather than Alabama and Nashville. Mississippi is a lot more interesting than Alabama...plus I could offer a clean bed, amazing BBQ and a nice yard for the dogs if you came up through Memphis.
    Damn... how could I say no to that?

    Fixed:


  • pcmrpcmr 5,591 Posts
    Go to the Adirondacks yo! Close and peaceful.

    Been there twice last summer and fall and already have a reservaion on a cabin up there for October.
    I was going to say this but i see your in the know

    go up north into quebec from the adriondacks...

    or hit up BC through the northern part of your trip...BC is all of nature's most beutiful sights morphed into one zone and amazing weed

  • BurnsBurns 2,227 Posts
    After you hit Memphis, you should steer north-east toward the Land Between the Lakes on the border of Kentucky and Tenn., Do Not go to St. Louis for parks and outdoors, stay within Kentucky hit the Daniel Boone National Forest or Cumberland Falls before heading north to Lexington, Kentucky.

    http://www.parks.ky.gov/


    Oh, try to maybe include this in your stay in Kentucky. Mammoth Cave.
    http://www.nps.gov/maca/index.htm


    Here is the link for National Parks in Kentucky. I highly recommend Big South Fork. Its the Utah of the east.
    http://home.nps.gov/applications/parksearch/state.cfm?st=ky

  • waxjunkywaxjunky 1,850 Posts
    California wine country is my hood. I'd be happy to show you the best and worst, if you're interested. It's all I do.

  • zlatorogzlatorog 66 Posts
    After you hit Memphis, you should steer north-east toward the Land Between the Lakes on the border of Kentucky and Tenn., Do Not go to St. Louis for parks and outdoors, stay within Kentucky hit the Daniel Boone National Forest or Cumberland Falls before heading north to Lexington, Kentucky.

    If you're here in central KY, I would also recommend hiking/camping in the Red River Gorge area and eating at Miguel's Pizza in Slade.

    Also sounds like you'll want to make a stop or two on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail . The Labrot & Graham (Woodford Reserve) distillery tour is a real good time.

  • crestone colorado (near the sand dunes) is a really interesting little town -- a little wacky, but lots worth a look if you are around. The mountain range there is incredible.

    Telluride, CO is also a great town during the summer. Lots of good music festivals. Some are a little hippied out, but definitely worth it. They have a Blues and Brews festival at the end of the summer. Saw James Brown play there when I was in college. I remember he said at the beginning of his set "This is just about the most beautiful place I have ever been."

    Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks (near Moab, UT) are also both worth a visit.

  • FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
    crestone colorado (near the sand dunes) is a really interesting little town -- a little wacky, but lots worth a look if you are around. The mountain range there is incredible.

    Telluride, CO is also a great town during the summer. Lots of good music festivals. Some are a little hippied out, but definitely worth it. They have a Blues and Brews festival at the end of the summer. Saw James Brown play there when I was in college. I remember he said at the beginning of his set "This is just about the most beautiful place I have ever been."

    Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks (near Moab, UT) are also both worth a visit.

    I don't think we plan on attending any festivals, would you say Telluride would be essential for scenery? It seems to be a little out of the way but we definitely could pass through Crestone.

    Thanx

    Frank

  • FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
    California wine country is my hood. I'd be happy to show you the best and worst, if you're interested. It's all I do.

    Interesting... so you're a wine guide?

  • FrankFrank 2,386 Posts
    After you hit Memphis, you should steer north-east toward the Land Between the Lakes on the border of Kentucky and Tenn., Do Not go to St. Louis for parks and outdoors, stay within Kentucky hit the Daniel Boone National Forest or Cumberland Falls before heading north to Lexington, Kentucky.

    If you're here in central KY, I would also recommend hiking/camping in the Red River Gorge area and eating at Miguel's Pizza in Slade.

    Also sounds like you'll want to make a stop or two on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail . The Labrot & Graham (Woodford Reserve) distillery tour is a real good time.

    I already planned in a stop at Labrot & Graham...

  • One road trip I took a couple years back involved going from the Rockies down to Great Sand Dunes National Park and down to Taos, New Mexico area. The drive is gorgeous. A landmark with checking is El Santaurio de Chimayo. The drive is cool, plus its interesting going through all the towns.


    taos is lovely, camping in the gorge, soaking in the hot springs, incredible starry night sky...very worth it

    carlsbad caverns in NM is also a great stop
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