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Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

Sofia, Bulgaria
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Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

Hi folks :)

We plan to do a little road trip from San Francisco to Port Charlotte, FL. Trip will take place from 30th May till 6th June. Not really from USA so I was wondering if you could give us some tips & tricks on the road trip part.

Plan goes more or less as follows:

day 1 - leaving SF to Yosemit national park. Some visit there then leaving for Sequoia national park. After some sightseeing we leave for LA. This will leave us about 3 hours stay on each park.

day 2 - visiting LA. I guess sunset boulevard, hollywood hill or something like that. We plan to spend like 8hours or so in LA :) It's planned to be Saturday so I hope traffic won't be such a killer.

At night we end up in Las Vegas which seems to be not that big a trip and hit the hay there.

Whatever we do in Vegas it's that night :)

day 3 - leaving to checkout hoover dam and then heading for the grand canyon. We plan to spend like 5hours at the Grand Canyon.

day 4 - leaving for Petrified forest. 3 hours there. Then going for ABQ Bio park.

day 5 - Trinity sight :) Not really sure if safe to go there but we'll see. Haven't decided for sure. Then long drive to Dallas.

day 6 - will see if some nice things to check in Dallas then leaving for US Space & Rocket center.

day 7 - checking US Space & rocket center then heading for Stone Mountain Park Skylift. Leaving in Atlanta for the night.

day 8 - some check still on Atlanta and heading straight to Port Charlotte.

After this trip we have a place to drop dead in Port Charlotte for a full day recovery :) Then in next couple days we plan to visit Key West, Miami & Kennedy Space Center.

So I was wondering if you guys could give us some tips & tricks on the travel. Like this is insane trip and impossible time schedule. Or things to watch out for or things we don't wanna miss.

I assume this time of the year in that part of the country we'll hit 90% sunny weather but donno.

This is what the trip looks like on google maps

Part 1:


Part 2: ( you can skip the big bend national park - won't go there as it seem like a decade walking till we get there - total wilderness )


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1. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

I'm not as experienced as many of the road trippers on here, but having a few under my belt, with two more planned, I do not see how you will do this road trip in your time frame. I got completely worn out just reading what you are going to try and cram in. You're not even taking into consideration things that may come up and put you behind schedule. You have no flex room in your itinerary.

Just on day 1 alone, is 12 hours of driving. Not sure how you determined you will have 3 hours of sightseeing time in each park. Three hours is not enough time in these beautiful parks.

Driving from LA to Vegas and arriving at night is not giving you any time to enjoy it. Wasted time IMHO.

Jumping on down to Florida, because I think you just have too much crammed in and I feel you need to allow more time or take some things off your list. You cannot visit the Space Center, Miami and the Keys in just 2 days. The Space Center itself is a good 6 hour visit alone. Driving from Miami to Key West is a good 8 hour drive if you plan to stop and see things along the way.

You may want to rethink your itinerary and try to allow more time or mark sights off your list. Driving from SF to FL and make all the stops you want to make, is just too much for your driving time frame. You will be plum-exhausted by the time you reach FL....and then to drive down through the Keys is even more driving.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip!! You will see so many beautiful parts of our country!!

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

Day 1) Eleven hours of driving without stops. Adding three hours in both parks is a 17-hour day BEFORE arriving in Los Angeles. Don't try to see Yosemite and Sequoia. For a scenic route, drive the coast.

Day 2) It will be impossible to cover Vegas and LA in the same day. If you check out of the hotel by 9:00 AM and explore LA for eight hours, the time will be 5:00. Just in time for rush hour traffic. Your three hour drive to Vegas just turned into four hours. Checking into your hotel around 9:00 PM and tired. You won't see much of Vegas and Vegas is best at night.

Day 3) Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon overlook in a day seems reasonable.

Day 4) This day would work.

Day 5) Trinity Site has tourism. Radioactive levels are 10 times higher than normal, but one hour there is equivalent to the radiation a normal adult is exposed to on an average day. This is a long day. A minimum of 13 hours driving alone. If you cut Trinity Site, the drive is less than 10 hours.

Day 6) Dallas to Huntsville is 10 hours. You'll have to visit the Space and Rocket Center on day 7.

Day 7) Depending on how much time you spend at The Space and Rocket Center and then drive time to ATL, Stone Mountain could be closed by the time you arrive. Check operational hours.

Day 8) 8-hour drive is doable.

Other observations. Driving to Key West takes a lot longer than it appears on a map, because the speed limits are half of freeway speeds and there are traffic lights. What looks like a 2-hour drive is actually about 4-hours from Homestead.

You will spend the majority of this road trip in the car. It will be fun for a few days, but by the time you hit Huntsville you will be over it. You will have driven by amazing places in between. I guess my question is how long are you in the States? I understand there is a lot to see, but I would seriously consider concentrating your time in one geographical area, if this is a vacation. The other areas will be here, next time you're around. Otherwise, you'll be seeing America from a car window and exhausted because of it.

Sofia, Bulgaria
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3. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

Wow thanks a lot for the input :) We'll definitely make some adjustments and tweak the plan :)

Was kinda guessing 7-8 days is pushing the limits but with your input now I am way more aware of it than ever :) Apart of that, the thing is I have not clue if I'm coming back to USA anytime soon so the idea is to be little bit pushy about it and collect this lovely experience :)

We're staying there from 27th May till 12th June but first 3 days are in SF non-optional and last 5 days are in Florida non-optional. So I am not worried about Florida trip (Key West, Miami, K.Space Center) as I believe we'll have plenty of time there for the 5 days stay. I'm more into how to spend best the drive through the country and will look into it bit further.

Lewes, United...
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4. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

OK, here's my take as somebody who is no fan of the fast type of road trip.

I get that coming from so far away you want to try and see as much as you can of the USA on this one chance that you area clearly already committed to, and you had some idea that a coast to coast road trip would be the way to do it.

8 days or so is not a road trip to me, it's a reposition drive - the kind of thing folk do who are moving house and adding some minor sightseeing along the way to break up the journey. You will see precious little of the true USA, most of it will be a dull blur from the windshield as you zip along interstates at the speed limit or thereabouts.

And, with this plan, there is absolutely no way you can add Key West. That's way out of your way and it's a slow road down that highway - which is not an interstate.

Plus there would be a very high drop fee to add to your car rental.

Seeing as how you are committed to SF and Florida, I'd rent a car after your SF tourism for a few days to explore some of California, use say 5 of your days to do that and get to see perhaps some of the coast - whether north or south of SF. (Most folk go south but actually either direction is fine.) Or try and inland loop that includes Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and a wine town or somewhere on Gold Country.

Then fly to Florida - wherever it is that you will be based - and rent another car there and do a loop from there. Then you could figure out a way of reaching either the space center or Key West.

What you save on the one way drop fee should cover the airfares from west to east and give you a more relaxed trip.

However, that's just my view.


Uden, The...
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5. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

Wow, I stopped reading after day 1. In real life that's 13 hours via Yosemite Village and Seki NP.....without stops.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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6. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

The ONE, day a year the public is allowed to visit the Trinity Site has come & gone... You can remove those lead lined under shorts from the trips wardrobe... As they would be too heavy to put on a aircraft ... You do need to shorten this proposal, to driving with the proposed stops ... to Las Vegas and Yes... fly from there ... carracar

Sofia, Bulgaria
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7. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

Well folks :) I'm back from the USA :)

It was a real pleasure to do this swift journey ;) Not only did we manage to do this trip (skipping Trinity) but we also went up to Washington D.C. as it seems quite close to where we were in Alabama :)

Yeah, I know it sounds impossible, reposition trip and no trip at all but the fact is we loved it. We managed to see all those magnificent places. What was best for us were Grand Canyon and Kennedy Space Center.

Key ingredients:

- lovely car - Chrysler 300 with cruise control - smooth ride, can hardly feel tension you drive

- GPS - an absolute must

- amazing roads - where we live, 800miles per day will be the end of me :)

- local mobile phone cards with unlimited internet - 99$ for a month so we could book hotels on the go from car etc.

We had all our evenings sleeping in hotels having shower and all. Was quite decent, not crazy driving during night or sleeping in the card somewhere on the go.

In total we went through 8000 miles for like 10 days :) At this point it's not like I feel I missed something although I am sure there is lots of it. It was a real pleasure :)

8. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Florida - 8days

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