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Driving Route 40 Santa Fe to Memphis

nyc
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Driving Route 40 Santa Fe to Memphis

In a few weeks I'm going to begin a 5-6 week that begins in NYC to Badlands, SD to Yellowstone to Grand Tetons to Zion to Grand Canyon to Santa Fe and then back home.

I've planned the trip based on recommendations from Trip advisor, and am traveling with my wife and two kids 7 and 12. We're staying in the national parks and in motels during the trip, and have a hotel reservation for each night from Badlands to Santa fe.

Now it's time to plan the journey home.

I plan on taking Route 40 towards Memphis and plan to drive 5-6 hours per day.

Any suggestions on where to stop on the way towards Memphis to visit or stop for the night would be much appreciated.

Gideon.

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Elkins, West...
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1. Re: Driving Route 40 Santa Fe to Memphis

Sounds like a fun trip. Having been to everything on your list, I must suggest, however, that you figure a way to add Glacier National Park. It would be a real shame to miss since you will be so close. In my opinion, it is easily more spectacular than some of the other things on the list.

Santa Fe to Memphis is about 1,000 miles, so the halfway point is somewhere just to the west of Oklahoma City. I-40 is 75mph in New Mexico, 70 in Texas and Oklahoma, so you'll sail through that stretch. From SF to OKC, you'll be on or near the old Route 66 all the way, so you might want to check out some web sites of Rt 66 attractions along the way. And Tucumcari has a very nice dinosaur museum which the kids should love; makes for a nice break in a long day.

As for places to stay on the west edge of OKC, give us some more hints. Fancy? Cheap? Quirky?

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nyc
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2. Re: Driving Route 40 Santa Fe to Memphis

Thanks Twoprofs for the reply. Glacier was on the original list of places to see, but we made a family decision to spend more time exploring and less time driving. (If that's possible for a 5,000 + mile 35-40 day road trip.) Our itinerary based on lurking on TA is 1 day in Badlands, two days in Hill City SD, a two day drive to Yellowstone from SD, 5 days in Yellowstone, two days in Grand Teton, 1 night in Nephi Utah, 2 nights in Springdale, 2 nights in GC, 1 night in Holbrook, AZ and 3 days in Santa Fe.

We're still plotting the trip home, but based on recommendations on Tenn. forum we'll visit Graceland, and the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, then perhaps go to Huntsville, Al then Abingdon, Va, to the Creeper Trail for bike riding, then to Monticello and perhaps DC before heading home.

As for our hotel preference, we're staying in the Wig Wam Motel in Holbrook for one night and the El Rey Inn in Santa Fe for three nights. So I suppose we go for the quirky, as well as the moderately priced , well reviewed motel.

Any suggestion of hotels west of OKC and beyond would be much appreciated.

BTW thanks for the heads up about the dinosaur museum.

Gideon.

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Graceland
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Bixby, Oklahoma
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3. Re: Driving Route 40 Santa Fe to Memphis

Consider spending the night in the Bricktown area of Oklahoma City. Bricktown is a restaurant/entertainment district immediately to the east of downtown OKC, very close to I-40. There are several nice hotels in that area - Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Sheraton, and the historic Skirvin and Colcord Hotels - many good places to eat and drink, and a very nice AAA baseball park. Its a good area in which to walk around and enjoy an evening. The kids will like it .

If you've got some time to spend in town, the OKC Zoo is very nice (and big) and the Oklahoma History Center and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum are both really nice and very interesting and kid friendly. Also the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, about 20 miles south of OKC in Norman (at OU), is great, with world-class dinosaur exhibits. Its centerpiece, "the Clash of the Titans" where a T.rex like dino is attacking a 93-ft long Apatosaurus, is amazing) and there are great Native American and Oklahoma wildlife galleries. My kids are now teenagers but it is possibly their favorite place to go in the OKC area.

Whether you stay in OKC or not, definitely make sure you stop at the Oklahoma City National Memorial (the Murrah Federal Building bombing site). It is in downtown OKC very close to I-40.

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Bricktown
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The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City
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4. Re: Driving Route 40 Santa Fe to Memphis

I can't think of any accomadation on the west side of OKC, I-40, which would be in the league with El Rey, or even come close.

Be advised that is a construction area. I suggest you read the Construction posting on this forum.

I have recently learned of a dude ranch near Elk City. Would this interest you? Elk City is west of OKC.

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5. Re: Driving Route 40 Santa Fe to Memphis

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