What if….? ~ From NYC to LA, USA

I have a challenge for you, readers.

What if I asked you to plan a driving route from New York City to Los Angeles that could span up to 9 days. Season: Fall/Autumn. Desired stop: New Orleans.

What path would you take; what cities would you drive through? What would be some of your must see recommendations along the way?

Looking forward to your suggestions and insights!

The Open Road by Trey Ratcliff

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43 thoughts on “What if….? ~ From NYC to LA, USA

  1. I have traveled by car across the United States four times. Definitely take the southern route one way (Tennessee Mountains and Shenandoah Valley is breathtaking), Gallup, New Mexico sunsets are spectacular. I have also traveled across the middle of the United States and the green grass and pink lightening of Oklahoma is amazing. Cities, well I don’t look for cities,I Iook for the beautiful land. Still planning on going through the Northern Route from New York to Alaska. You will enjoy everything you see!

    • Thank you Karen! This is exactly the information I am looking for. I hadn’t even heart of those mountains and will look them up. You’re a wealth of knowledge and I appreciate this!

  2. I can’t help you with a route Marina, but I once drove from Orlando to Kansas city in a tny Ford Fiesta with dodgy air con. The French Quarter in New Orleans and The arch in St Louis with the Museum of Westward Expansion beneath were particularly memorable. The countryside through Oaklahoma and Arkansas was beautiful. It was an amazing few days and I sorely envy you this road trip you’re planning

    • Dodgy air con in a Ford Fiesta! Love it πŸ™‚ New Orleans is high on the list and while I have seen the arch at St Louis, it’s a worthy repeat contender! I am glad you had that time to see the country – if you have photos, I’d love to see them on your blog πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  3. Marina, we went from QuΓ©bec City to ultimately San Francisco this summer. Some of our highlights along the way included the Grand Canyon and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Route 66 leg of our trip was also fun; I’d highly recommend enjoying a snippet of the ‘Mother Road’ if you get a chance!

    • Hi Tricia! The Grand Canyon is spectacular – I saw your photos. We have stopped there before and I was thinking perhaps spending time in Sedona this time around? Sante Fe would be fabulous – will see how that fits in. Mother Road – must look it up. Thank you!!!

    • Dear Tricia, Road trippin is so fun! My husband and I have been to Grand Canyon and we did drive through Santa Fe… this time around we’re thinking Sedona and El Paso, as Santa Fe tacks on a bit too much time… unless I am mistaken?? route 66 is a great road and I wish I took more photos on our previous trip – I hope to rectify that this year πŸ˜‰ Will post my proposed itinerary soon and hope you may let me know your thoughts? Thank you!

      • Marina, we saw signs that Route 66 cut through Santa Fe (or just outside of it), but I’m not sure if it’d tack on time to your route.

        I happened upon an app today that might be of interest to you as you plan your adventure. You’re likely already familiar with it:

        http://mashable.com/2012/08/05/roadtrippers/

        Our road trips through the USA this summer have been phenomenal! I’m so glad we were able to combine the must-dos with some fun spots to explore. πŸ™‚ Look forward to seeing where the road will lead you, Marina!

      • Dear Tricia, I was thinking that re Route 66 (the time tacking). We have driven through NM on the route, and back then my camera wasn’t my BFF. So I would like to take more photos but maybe on another trip. I’d definitely look at that App – thank you! So glad you’ve loved the US road trips – you’re making me excited! I’ll need yoga on the road from all those long distances. Will profil about that part of the trip on bikramyogamusings.com πŸ™‚ Thanks so much!

  4. I don’t have any tips but it sounds like a fantastic trip… I’d love to do something similar if I ever get the time off! Good luck and keep us posted on what path you’re going to take

  5. There are so many great American cities that I want to see. I think I would want to take the Southern route. Los Angeles to Santa Fe to San Antonio to New Orleans. Then I’d swing North to Memphis, St. Louis and Chicago. Then I’d go East and see Washington DC and Philadelphia before arriving in New York. Can we keep going East until we hit Boston? I’ve always wanted to see Boston!

    • Hello! Well, i hear you on San Antonio and New Orleans. As we’ve been through St Louis and Chicago, these haven’t made my proposed itinerary that I will post soon. Boston – well, that would be ideal but it’s in the other direction. I posted on this city – you can look it up on my blog if you have some time! thanks!

    • Thanks so much! Glad you shared your link – I will take a look. We’re thinking of a more southern route – through Texas and Arizona. Will post the intended itinerary soon! Would love your thoughts! Thanks!

  6. Marina, Santa Fe is a must, it’s a very artsy place, you will love it!.I might have a few other suggestions but I have to look @ a map to find the names of places.Will let you know later. Do you have a place to stay in L.A.??? I have a friend who rents apps in Santa Monica. Interested???

    • Dear Cornelia, will certainly let you know if we run into an apartment problem. As for Santa Fe, it may add too much time to the itinerary I have come up with. I’ll post and would love your thoughts! Thank you!

      • Great Marina, let me konw your Route, that will be so exciting to go cross country. Take care

  7. Can’t help you, because that is a part of America that I really don’t know! So, does this mean that you soon will be on the road? πŸ™‚

  8. I drove from New York to California in November 1976 with a friend. We went along Route 81 to Knoxville, TN, then route 40 to California. We took a southern route so that we could avoid snow. We hurried until we got to New Mexico. Once in New Mexico we didn’t worry about getting stuck in a snow storm.

    In Arizona we stopped at the Petrified Forest and at the Grand Canyon. I recommend visiting both – – especially the Grand Canyon. At the Grand Canyon we met two nurses from Los Angeles who were on vacation. Their plans corresponded with ours.

    After the Grand Canyon the four of us went to Las Vegas. We got into Las Vegas at night. When we were fifty miles away it was pitch black in the desert except for a glow coming from Las Vegas that got brighter as we approached. You could really see the stars in the desert.

    Las Vegas was fun. We got there at night and stayed out till 5 or 6 a.m. I don’t get the gambling fever and neither does my friend but we had fun in the casinos. I know Las Vegas has changed alot since then.

    After Las Vegas we headed to Los Angeles. Along the way we stopped at a ghost town named Calico in California in the desert that was renovated for tourists. It was interesting.

    • That sounds like a great road trip Gerard! Petrified Forest in AZ – will have to look that one up! You should do a post on the 1976 trip. We’ve been to the Grand Canyon and it is most certainly a highlight in our books. Waking up on the rim of the Canyon was amazing! Thank you!

  9. you won’t go wrong with anything in Utah…Love Moab area , Zion…
    You can visit Four Corners Region… Stay away form interstate hwy because you won’t see much…Sedona, AZ is magical…

    • Thanks Barbara – Sedona is on the list for sure. And Utah – saved for a separate trip of its own. It sounds too good to pass up, and I’d like to take my time with it. I will avoid the interstates as much as possible, for sure. Thank you!

  10. As for cities to visit, I suggest Chicago and San Francisco. San Francisco is 400 miles north of Los Angeles.

    Alot depends on when you want to take your trip. When snow is a threat you need to take a southern route.

    Route 66 might be fun for part of your trip.

    • Thank you so much Gerard! Yes, we have visited San Fran and Chicago, and will miss them on this trip as we’ve decided to go South. Would love your thoughts on my itinerary – will post it soon. Thank you!

  11. Highly recommend:

    Sedona–the red rocks come out of nowhere and are gorgeous during the day and at sunset.

    Santa Fe is on my list of must-sees and it’s bound to be better in the fall after all the tourists have gone. Photo ops and art galleries galore.

    Utah– Zion, Arches, Provo–the most beautiful scenery, and blue skies that almost blind you.

    Jackson Hole, Wyo. and the Grand Tetons–breathtaking. Mountain driving is slower, though, and you could run into snow.

    Chicago–wonderful city with Midwestern vibe.

    Good luck! Planning is half the fun.

    • Amazing itinerary – Utah is a popular one which I may be saving for a separate trip. Sedona is a for sure in my book. Have you heard about its energy vortexes? Santa Fe tacks on a little too much time on the route I have planned so El Paso is on the list as a stop over… Would love your thoughts on the itinerary I’ll be posting soon. Chicago – fab city and we did stop there on our previous trip across country. We dined at the original Uno’s! thick slice pizza was worth the 1 hour wait – I think! (not calorie wise though ;0) Thank you!

  12. Being from Utah and loving the scenery here, I have to mention the parks in southern Utah. Moab – Arches, Canyonlands, Dead Horse Pt. State Park, Goblin Valley; Zion Natl Park, Bryce Canyon. Any one of those is spectacular.
    The beautiful mountains of northern Utah and world class ski resorts.
    Sedona in AZ is lovely. Never been to the Four Corners, Monument Valley or Grand Canyon but hope to make it there some day.
    Las Vegas – a unique place if you’ve never been there.

    Have a great trip!

    • Dear fergiemoto, thank you for your suggestions! I’ve definitely got Sedona on the itinerary and will look up 4 Corners and Monument Valley. Would love to go to Utah – maybe some day around the Sundance Film festival as mu husband has been dreaming to go for that πŸ™‚ Ahhh, Las Vegas. Yes, been there, done that. I’ll be posting on my itinerary shortly – would love your advice on it πŸ™‚ Thank you!

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