East to West - Who knows best?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Oct 25, 2012 5:54 AM Last Post By: Suzannao
Oct 24, 2012 9:21 AM
East to West - Who knows best?Hi!
We are traveling from Vancouver to Atlanta in November for 5 weeks. It would be REALLY great to get some advice as to where we should go. The itinerary so far is:
Ashland, Eureka or Crescent City - for the Redwoods - WHICH ONE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND
San Francisco to LA - Need advice where to also go.
Grand Canyon - BEST PLACE TO SEE IT?
Santa Fe - Austin - ANY ADVICE WHERE TO STOP ENROUTE OR IS IT BEST TO DRIVE THROUGH?
Atlanta - Home for Christmas and New Year :)
Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Oct 24, 2012 9:38 AM
Oct 24, 2012 9:44 AM
Oct 24, 2012 10:10 AM
Avoid the west rim. If you see ads for the skywalk or helicopter tours to the river, that's the west rim.
You didn't ask, but since you have 5 weeks, I will also throw these out there:
Oct 24, 2012 10:33 AM
4In November it's unlikely that you'll encounter snow for the first part of your trip; however it's the rainy season so you should be prepared for quite wet conditions on the Pacific coast. Not to worry, it's still beautiful, and arguably the Redwoods are at their best in the misty/drippy conditions, but it could also be stormy.
I would, however, travel inland from Seattle as far as Portland, so that you can spend a couple of hours visiting the Columbia Gorge, just east of Portland airport. In November the many waterfalls located along the "historic" Gorge Highway ought to be quite spectacular with the autumn rain runoff, and the Gorge is truly worthy of a detour - nothing in the UK comes remotely close.
Then I'd head to the Pacific coast through Oregon; it's way more scenic than any inland route. Daylight will be short too (not as short as in the UK for the same time as you'll be farther south) but I wouldn't plan on driving before 8 or after 5, so plan your route accordingly.
Regarding your specific questions, I'd overnight somewhere on the southern Oregon coast the day before you plan to visit the Redwoods, or else in Crescent City. Crescent City is roughly the northern end of the core Redwood country, which then extends south along US 101 until roughly the town of Garberville, a distance of around 150 miles, best done in one day.
Ashland, by comparison, is inland and offers no easy "cut-over" route to the Redwoods except by backtracking to Grants Pass and following US 199 through the coast range to Crescent City. In November the drive from Portland to Ashland will be (IMO) way more boring than Seattle to the Oregon Coast, say via Astoria.
You might cut over to the coast on California Hwy 1 shortly south of Garberville, and follow Hwy 1 all the way to San Francisco (don't miss the cute village of Mendocino) then after visiting SF keep on it all the way to Los Angeles. The weather ought to be much improved once you're south of SF, and Hwy 1 is world-famous for its scenery, and for attractions like the Monterey aquarium, Big Sur, the Hearst Castle, etc.
Moving on, in November/December you really only have one choice for the Grand Canyon, the South Rim, accessed from Interstate 40 near Flagstaff. Note that the Grand Canyon (and indeed virtually all of the "red rocks" national parks in the Southwest) is at a very high elevation, so snow and ice are not out of the question at that time of year. Again, short daylight hours means you'll have to be thoughtful about your route and timing.
After the Grand Canyon, I'd head south through Sedona and more gorgeous country to Interstate 10, then continue through Arizona and New Mexico on that highway, then through Texas to Austin and San Antonio, before continuing on to New Orleans. This will afford you a better chance of good weather, and Austin and San Antonio are very worthwhile stopping points.
There are plenty of places along this route that will more than satisfy your interests in scenic attractions, history, and good food.
Oct 24, 2012 10:35 AM
5Nice trip Suzannao,
The leg between Santa Fe and Austin Texas is a long, long ride through miles and miles of mind-numbing mesquite and creosote brush flatlands. That leg is anchored by two great places, Santa Fe and Austin and I hope you plan to spend at least a few days at each.
So, to entertain yourself on the long ride between the two, you could drop down through Roswell and enjoy the UFO weirdness there after which you could tour Carlsbad Caverns. After that, drop down to highway 90 heading towards San Antonio stopping at Langtry to vist Judge Roy Bean's bar/courthouse on the Pecos River. After that, grab the no-doze and drive through to San Antonio/Austin.
Oct 25, 2012 5:40 AM
Oct 25, 2012 5:54 AM
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