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Orlando(FL) to San Francisco(CA) USA Road Trip Route Advice.

Adelaide, Australia
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Orlando(FL) to San Francisco(CA) USA Road Trip Route Advice.

Hello There!

Sorry in advance for how long this is going to be.

My wife and I are currently planning a coast-to-coast road trip, and would love some advice. We're from Australia, have never been to the states before, probably won't be able to get back for quite some time, and want to see as much as we possibly can.

We're not squeamish about driving long distances, but would need to break them up a bit with breaks. As for conditions, we understand that it can't be completely avoided, but we'd like to drive in as little snow as possible.

As for what we want to see: we're pretty much up for anything! We both really love food and beer though, so are looking forward to trying as many regional dishes and craft brews as we possibly can!

We start on the 20th of December 2014 in Orlando, Florida. We are scheduled to fly out on the 17th of Feburary 2015 from San Francisco, California. I have some ideas for our route, but am completely open to suggestions. I want to be in Savannah for Christmas day, but otherwise dates are completely in the air at the moment.

START: -Orlando (FL)


-Savannah (GA)


*At this point, I have thought of two different routes:




-Nashville (TN)


-Jackson (MS)




-Birmingham (AL)

-Jackson (MS)

*I'm leaning towards option 2, just to trim some time off the total journey.

-New Orleans (LA)


-Houston (TX)

-San Antonio


*I am trying to decide between 2 different routes here again, they are vastly different this time. They are:




-Dallas (TX)

-Oklahoma City (OK)

-Wichita (KS)

-Denver (CO)

-Colorado Springs

-Santa Fe (NM)


-Flagstaff (AZ)




-Various stops, sights, and small towns in TX.

-Fort Stockton


-Carlsbad Caverns

-El Paso

-Derving (NM)

-Tucson (AZ)



*I am thinking that route 1 sounds better here, but I'd love to hear some other opinions.

-Las Vegas (NV)

-San Diego (CA) *Thinking of maybe skipping this though.

-Los Angeles



-San Francisco

And I'm done! It's worth mentioning that we'll be spending time in NYC, Washington DC and Disney World before this trip begins. Thank you so much for reading this! I'd love to hear any input or suggestions you'd have to offer.

Tacoma, Washington
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1. Re: Orlando(FL) to San Francisco(CA) USA Road Trip Route Advice.

You understand that December to February is winter in the USA. Snow storms and cold are a reality.

Your trip is 7 weeks. So you have some flexibility.

Flagstaff will be cold, Yosemite have snow.

What I suggest is a loop trip from Orlando where you do savannah, charleston, Nashville, Memphis, new Orleans, then meander a way back to Orlando. This can be done over 3 weeks.

Then fly to Phoenix and do a one way to San Francisco. The weather will be better to visit parks in southern Arizona, near el paso, Joshua tree, and death valley. Grand canyon will be cold...below freezing cold.

You could spend 2 weeks in southern Arizona and new Mexico, and Texas, then 2 weeks do Vegas, death valley, Joshua tree, then up the oats to SF.

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Orlando(FL) to San Francisco(CA) USA Road Trip Route Advice.

Yes, iffy weather can occur with the northern route but if you do I would not drive via Wichita but see some of R66 between OKC and Amarillo and head north to Denver from there.

White Sands NM in southern NM also is a place not to miss and Carlsbad Caverns also are in NM and you probably mean Deming. Not much to see there. Las Cruces/La Mesilla will be better.

You didnot mention Big Bend with the southern route. That also should not be missed.


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3. Re: Orlando(FL) to San Francisco(CA) USA Road Trip Route Advice.

Hi Websafepallet-

Part two of route one is out of the question if you're trying to avoid the snow. It starts snowing in CO in October, so the snow will be certain during the timing of your trip. I'd stay on the southernmost sections of the country to be on the safe side. The good thing is you've given yourselves enough time to do this trip - not many people realize what a lot of driving is involved in cross-country trip (USA). I agree with Tet re White Sands; amazing must-see place. Haven't been to Big Bend, but Tet knows his stuff, so I'd definitely add it to your hit list.

Re your love of food and beer: you're driving right through some of the best eating in the US (plus NYC has so many fantastic restaurants of all kinds when you visit it prior to hitting the road). Enjoy!


Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: Orlando(FL) to San Francisco(CA) USA Road Trip Route Advice.

Thanks for the responses, everyone! I'm definitely taking the southern route now. I've also added Big Bend and White Sands to my list. I would not have known about either without this thread! If anyone has any specific restaurant or brewery advice, let me know. I am going to eat approximately ALL the barbeque.

5. Re: Orlando(FL) to San Francisco(CA) USA Road Trip Route Advice.

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