Driving around America
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Nov 6, 2012 5:08 AM Last Post By: bzookaj
Nov 1, 2012 5:57 AM
Driving around AmericaHi Guys
I realise my question is going to be very broad, but any suggestions, input will be appreciated. We are heading to USA in May '13 primarily to watch the V8's race in Austin, of course we wouldn't travel that far (from Australia) without looking around. We have done some of the west coast in 05 so thinking we would like to go back to Vegas and maybe go to Disneyland again. So, do we fly into LA and start there...thinking of driving from Anaheim to Vegas, Phoenix, Roswell (well just to say we've been there!), Austin, maybe drive through Louisiana,New Orleans & Memphis (a must) then up to New York.
Right questions, we have 4 weeks to plan it all, and we were thinking of driving from Anaheim to maybe South Carolina and flying to New York???? not sure if we really want to drive around in all the traffic, would we be able to get a cheap flight or maybe Amtrak instead?? Would it be viable to fly/drive/train it from NY to Chicago and pick up another car there and drive back to LA?? Any suggestions appreciated, nasty comments are not required, remember we are looking on a map and just picking out a few places we would like to see. I really want to go to Vegas, this time without kids so we can see some shows and also Disneyland, i'm a big kid at heart and my husband, besides of course seeing our fantastic V8's race, wants badly to go to New Orleans for some blues music and of course we both want to go to NY to see some shows on Broadway. Okay...fire away, oh only the two of us "mature adults". Also, trying to find accommodation in Austin somewhere close to the new racetrack, any ideas.
Thanks for reading....appreciate your answers
Nov 1, 2012 7:02 AM
1It sounds like your trip centers on this event in Austin, Texas: http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2012/10/05/v8-supercars-austin-race-set-for-may.html
You say you have four-weeks to travel and you also list Memphis as "a must.
and Las Vegas seems to be a high priority.
I don't think you havetime to go everywhere you describe in your post - you have destinations spread all over the country. But I think you do have time to get to all of your priority destinations which appear to be Austin, Las Vegas and Memphis.
If those assumptions are correct, I'd recommend breaking your trip into two regional areas based out of; 1) Austin and 2) Los Angeles.
From Australia you can enter at Los Angeles. From there you could spend the first week or so renting a car and doing a driving loop to Las Vegas while also seeing the Grand Canyon before returning to Los Angeles to bag your Anaheim/Disneyland visit. Personally, I'd forget Phoenix (hot, dirty place). Then you return your rental car to the place you rented it from and fly from Los Angeles to Austin.
In Austin you have your V8 event. But Austin has a lot more to offer than that and you could easily spend at least four days or more there enjoying the thriving live music scene, the surrounding Hill Country and visiting neighboring San Antonio. Then spend your remaining two-weeks or so doing a road trip to Memphis (your other "must do") via New Orleans.
From Memphis, either plan to return to Austin in a loop trip maybe retuurning via Dallas just to see different countryside and then fly from Austin to your departure city (Los Angels I assume). Or, do a one-way car rental to Memphis and fly out from there to L.A., but that would probably cost you a high one-way car rental premium.
Nov 1, 2012 8:27 AM
Nov 1, 2012 8:34 AM
3More details: Much to see in and around Santa Fe, of course. Quick orientation by open-air tram: Loretto Line Tours --- the French-style Loretto Chapel, the jewel-like, compact Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian , the Bandelier National Park, the Native Americans selling authentic jewelry and trinkets under the portal (porch roof) of one of the oldest buildings of the European occupation of North America (Palace of the Governors)...and great restaurants!
Nov 1, 2012 1:01 PM
4Besides racing, what are your interests? History? Art? Music? Food? Hikes? Bikes? Shopping? Night clubs? Strip clubs? Remember, we don't know you, and what we like may be what you hate.
Could you tell us which other parts of the west you have seen already, so that we're not repeating places you don't want to go back to?
Do you like heat? You'll get plenty of it on that route.
I think you can do your basic outline. The question is "What will be added to it?"
Monday, 27 May is Memorial Day. That weekend (Fri-Mon) is the unofficial start of the summer season. Places, especially parks, get crowded.
Nov 1, 2012 2:43 PM
5Phoenix itself is not worth visiting. It will be in the 100s by May and it doesn't cool down at night due to some inversion effect from the mountains. If you are interested in hiking and scenery, I would choose New Mexico instead. Albuquerque is only a 1-1.5 hour flight from Austin. From there, rent a car and head towards Santa Fe.
Look at southwest to see if you can patch together a multicity itinerary. You may have to go through Houston.
Nov 1, 2012 2:54 PM
6I think you are better going either to LA or to NY, but not both. You could go to LA, rent a car and do a loop through Las Vegas/Grand Canyon/LA (there are tons of things to see on the way apart from those 3) and then fly to Austin and do a Memphis/New Orleans/Austin loop OR instead of going to LA, go to NY and have fun in that region instead.
Do you have to fly back from the same place you arrived?
Do not go to Roswell. But if you really must go, at least go to Santa Fe and Carlsbad also.
Nov 1, 2012 4:27 PM
7Thanks for all answers so far, in answer to your question bzookaj we are both keen car raceing fans, hence Austin, I like shopping and love the glitz of Vegas but also like musicals and husband is very keen on blues music, hence New Orleans and NY. We have been to Anaheim, Vegas (only 3 nights with young kids), San Diego and back up to Hollywood. As for heat, don't like it much but considering we come from the driest,hottest state in Australia, I think we can pretty much handle it!! We have picked quite a long route as hubby is a tanker driver here in Oz and surprisingly loves to drive on holidays...go figure!! Do you think it would be better to do the route LA to NY then fly back to LA, only because it is cheaper for us to fly home from LA than NY?
Nov 1, 2012 4:57 PM
And maybe even Chicago.
To stay (relatively) cool stay on I-40 through AZ and NM. Grand Canyon is one the way.
Drop into Santa Fe. Then detour south to Carlsbad via Roswell. Then you have to deal with the heat of TX.
Roughly, on a map.
Nov 1, 2012 6:40 PM
9Just looked at flights, if we fly from NY to home then we go via LA anyway, so might as well drive back and see some more of the country. We could probably stretch out to another week to make it more comfortable. I do like your suggestions, but have also been advised not to drive in NY so maybe train it there from Virginia?? then fly/train to Chicago and drive from there, not sure will have to cost it all out but sounds like it is viable.
As for humidity, we holiday in Bali all the time, can't get more humid than that and I prefer humidity to the dry heat of home so that shouldn't be too much of a problem
Nov 2, 2012 5:35 AM
10Check car rental brokers, not just rental car companies. International visitors sometimes find very nice broker packages that include insurance, one-way drives, etc. for lower prices than what the rental car companies themselves would charge.
Driving in New York is...an experience. But not a recommended experience.
Nov 2, 2012 6:53 AM
Or take one of the plethora of cheap buses.
Nov 2, 2012 8:17 PM
12Consider an alternative of getting your Disney in Florida at the larger park, including Epcot Center. Some great on-property hotels for adults, and some major entertainment shows (Cirque) also available at that complex.
New York City will have plenty of authentic glitz for you, and shows.
May / springtime in the Blue Ridge Mountains / Asheville, NC is beautiful for driving / scenery. Tour Biltmore Mansion for glitz.
If you absolutely must go to Las Vegas, there are usually inexpensive flights there from major hub airports -- take 3 day, 2 nights out early/visit/back late then resume your trip focusing more on mid / south and east.
Nov 3, 2012 7:05 AM
13NY.C is a world city, of course, and you may have reasons to visit it other than those you've stated. But if it's really just a xBroadway show and blues that are attracting you, you can find good equivalents elsewhere. So consider substituting a spectacle in LasVegas or theater in L.A or S.F or Chi.cago, and blues in Chi.cago too. That sets up a better, somewhat more compact driving circle from L.A via southwestern nationalparks, xAustin, NOLA, up the river to Chi.cago, and back to the West Coast via a northern (like xYellowstone) route.
Nov 6, 2012 5:02 AM
14Thanks all for your help, the end route is Autsin, New Orleans, Florida (DisneyWorld), Atlanta, Memphis (to see Graceland), Oklahoma, Alburquerque (so we can travel some of route 66), Vegas and back to Austin. We have 4 weeks to do this, then fly to NY for a few nights. Please feel free to comment on the route, any hints, ideas apprecaited
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