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Charlotte - San Diego

Dublin, Ireland
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Charlotte - San Diego

Hi All,

Next week we're going on a 12-day road-trip from Charlotte, NC to San Diego, CA (and back!). We all are in our mid 20s. Would love to hear your opinion, tips, suggestions on the itinerary and attractions.

Our goal and interests:

- To get an authentic American experience, see the nature, parks, the coast, bars and nightlife.

Here's the overview of the trip www.tripomatic.com/trip-journal/518b75675e7ab

I know, that it seems quite ambitious to make 5K miles in 12 days. Should we skip LA and Grand Canyon and spend more time in Atlanta and New Orleans instead? Or other some changes? Any comments are appreciated!

Thanks a lot,


Marina, California
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for Tucson
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1. Re: Charlotte - San Diego

Spend more time in New Orleans and less in Atlanta.

Overall, 12 days is really not enough for a round-trip of this nature. That said, I did trips like this in college and, with multiple drivers, the excessive distances you have to cover may not be as big of a deal. But if you consider the fact that you're doing a drive that would take at least 5 days non-stop for a one-way and doubling it, it just does not leave you much time to see anything. If you're really asking for a suggestion, then I would suggest you pick out the places you really absolutely must visit, fly there, and do a roadtrip to reach them. For instance, you could fly to LA to hit the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

I like your idea of boomerang-ing back on a more northerly route. The only concern is the time of year you're doing this, which you don't mention. If in the summer, then your southern route is going to be very hot. If in the winter, then your northerly route has the potential for snow delays.

Good luck though.

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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2. Re: Charlotte - San Diego

Have you already made your reservations for GCNP? That's the last place I'd skip on a trip like yours. Starting Charlotte and departing ABQ. We don't see that very often on the RT forum.

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3. Re: Charlotte - San Diego

Sergei, I’m with colinaz.

I’m a big believer in long, hard drive days. Like colinaz, I did this stuff in those college days. But, it’s done to re-locate to a place to hang out. You don’t just do it day after day for 12 long, almost unbearable days. We would drive straight through from Maryland to Ft Lauderdale in Florida, back in those days, 24 hours – and then do it back. Mostly, I did it hitchhiking. But once you get there, you settle in for a week.

These days, I might do one long day, and then settle somewhere two nights. I might do a long drive starting late morning, nearly to sunset, followed by a long day’s drive just to get the mileage done, then arrive at a destination early the subsequent day to settle in for three or more nights.

Are you music fan? I could see your exploring Nashville, Memphis, Clarksdale, and New Orleans – touching many of roots of popular American music. Along the way, you could see some scenery.

I could see your doing a loop tour of American historical and Southern cultural sites and locations if your group is so disposed.

Seeing how you and your friends are young, if you are infatuated with the West and willing to log some hard driving days, I could even see your driving to Northern New Mexico – three hard days out – spending your vacation moving around out there – with three or four days getting back, maybe a different route and some different scenes.

Just driving, early day to evening, not much more than a lunch break, breaks to refuel and the occasional stretch, takes 4 very full days from Charlotte to LA, and of course, 4 back. If you want to be in LA that badly, just buy domestic airline tickets. [If that becomes the Plan B, I’d suggest Plan B-2 and go for San Francisco].

PS: Sergi, I didn't look at your map, it makes a little more sense, but I still think it's too little time for a nifty trip

Edited: 04 June 2013, 16:35
4. Re: Charlotte - San Diego

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