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Q: Florida to California Road Trip suggestions ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Florida to California Road Trip suggestions
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: garbonzo-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 27 May 2004 22:33 PDT
Expires: 26 Jun 2004 22:33 PDT
Question ID: 353038
At the end of this summer, my girlfriend and I are taking a cross
country roadtrip from Gainesville, Florida to San Diego, California.
Specifically, between August 7th and 20th. We would like to know some
of the things this country has to offer. We aren't wealthy folk. We
would like to camp most of the trip.
  I would like to know some great, must see places along the route. We
definitely do not mind straying from the direct path. We would like to
do some 1-3 day hikes, perhaps in the Grand Canyon, among other
places. Neither of us have traveled far from the nest, so to speak,
and would like to use this chance to see as much as we can. Knowing
some of our interests might help you find places to suit us. She
enjoys ceramics, she's a woodfire potter. We both love music and
outdoors. However, big cities aren't out of the question.
The trip should last at the very least a week. I am catching a flight
back on the 21st. I'm very available for clarifications. Thanks a

ps - This is my second time posting this question. Please let me know
if the price is not reasonable. THankee
Subject: Re: Florida to California Road Trip suggestions
Answered By: adiloren-ga on 28 May 2004 00:47 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi! Thanks for your question. I have suggested some stops along the
way for your road trip below. I hope that they interest you. Sounds
like it could be a pretty amazing trip. Have a great time!

Here is the trip mapped out with the stops (I'm not sure if this link
will actually work however).

First stop New Orleans, LA:

"Visitors to the Crescent City tread history-laden grounds. The heart
of the city is the French Quarter, the oldest part of the city, some
of whose streets still bear names given to them in 1718. The heart of
the Quarter is Jackson Square, facing the Mississippi River and named
in honor of the hero of the Battle of New Orleans and centered by an
equestrian statue of General Andrew Jackson. Along one side of the
square is St. Louis Cathedral, one of the oldest in the United States,
flanked by the Cabildo, once the seat of Spanish government, and the
Presbytere. Both are now part of the Louisiana State Museum..."

"Lakeward from the French Quarter are Basin Street, cradle of New
Orleans jazz, and Louis Armstrong Park, named for this famous son of
New Orleans. Near the foot of Canal Street are the massive U.S.
Customs House, companies offering paddle-wheeler rides, the Jeanne
d'Arc Statue, the Spanish Plaza, and the docks. Ride the St. Charles
Avenue Streetcar uptown through the Garden District, a beautiful
neighborhood of old Southern homes, and take a break at the 400-acre
Audubon Park and New Orleans Zoo , which contains lush vegetation,
waterfalls, and more than 1,800 animals."

"Many visitors tread New Orleans' history-laden ground in search of
the non-stop-party ambiance for which the city is famous. Thousands
come to see the landmarks, photograph the architecture, sample the
fabled restaurants, listen to New Orleans jazz and blues, and blend
into a night scene that can be sophisticated, or rowdy and raunchy,
depending on the street. The city's 24-hour drinking licenses mean the
bars never close and often do not even liven up until midnight."

Next stop, Kisatchie National Forest:

"This six-million-acre forest consists of rolling hills covered with
pine and some hardwood forest. Popular pastimes include camping,
horseback riding, trail biking, hiking, canoeing, and fishing.
Handicapped-accessible sites are available. All of the campsites are
dealt on a first-come, first-served basis. Boat ramps are available.
The forest also attracts visitors hunting for large or small game."

Next stop, Austin Texas:
"If you want to experience what Austin is all about and see why the
city has earned the title "Live Music Capital of the World", seek out
the art form Austin loves best--live music--spanning blues, rock,
country, Tex-Mex, reggae, and bluegrass. A good place to start
listening is on Sixth Street, a seven-block-long strip of clubs, pubs,
and restaurants. The famous Austin City Limits is another venue where
you can feel the pulse and taste the varied flavors of Austin's
home-grown music. This is only open when a taping is going on and
tickets are required."

Next stop, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas:

"The Guadalupe Mountains are the remnants of a barrier reef that grew
beneath the waters of an ancient sea. From a distance, the contour of
this mountain range appears as a wall of rock across the desert. Up
close, however, you'll find dramatically varying landscape, from
sculptured canyons to sand dunes to conifer forests. It's this unique
terrain that makes the park a popular spot for visitors."

"Over 80 miles of trails offer challenge and interest to all levels of
hikers, although rough terrain and unpredictable weather should be
considered. It can take several hours to cross trails; stop by the
visitor center and pick up a trail guide or chat with personnel about
conditions and other information.

Day hikes include Guadalupe Peak, Bowl, El Capitan, and Pine Springs
trails. At 8,749 feet, Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas,
and the view is spectacular on a clear day. The 8.4-mile (round trip)
trail is strenuous although well-marked, and rock-climbing experience
is not necessary."

Next stop, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico:

"As early as 4000 B.C., the Mogollon people, possible ancestors of
some modern Pueblo Indians, settled near the Gila River. The
communities thrived for centuries, eventually expanding from pit
houses into pueblos and, by the 1270s, one such pueblo village was
built in lofty caves. By 1300, though, this site was abandoned. What
happened? Archaeologists still don't know.
What to see and do. Your first stop should be the visitor center in
Silver City, with its museum of pottery, baskets, tools and other
artifacts found in the area. Pick up one of their detailed pamphlets,
and begin your winding, 44-mile journey on State Highway 15, along
mountainsides and through canyons to the cliff dwellings themselves.
Allow a couple of hours for the drive. Once there, park at the
trailhead and take the one-mile, self-guided trail up and into the
cliff dwellings. You will be awed by the variety of habitations at the
Cliff Dwellings, and also by the pictographs and small cave dwelling
at the nearby Trail to the Past."

Next Stop, Tonto National Monument, Arizona:

"In the early 12th century, the Salado people settled in the valley of
the Salt River, for which their culture is named. They farmed the
land, traded with neighboring cultures, and built an elaborate system
of irrigation ditches, obliterated in 1911 by the creation of nearby
Roosevelt Lake. They were master craftspeople, noted for the beauty of
their colorful pottery."

"What to see and do. The paved Lower Ruin Trail climbs 350 feet to a
19-room cliff dwelling. Along the half-mile, self-guided hike, you'll
find informative trail markers about area wildlife, the Salado, and
the cliff dwellings. Once there, venture inside the cliff dwellings
and imagine what it was like to live in them. You can only visit the
Upper Ruin on a ranger-guided hike, from November through April. The
trail to the 40-room Upper Ruin includes a 600-foot ascent. The
three-mile round-trip, limited to 15 people, takes three to four
hours. Reservations are required, often weeks in advance; call park
for information."

Next stop, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona:
"Time and erosion have carved out a natural wonder that is every bit
as grand as its name. A mile deep and up to 18 miles across, this
awe-inspiring gorge/river cuts across 277 miles of northern Arizona.
Over the course of the day, sunlight on the exposed layers of rock
creates an ever-changing set of postcard views dominated by golds,
oranges, and hazy blues. Far below the rim, the mighty Colorado River
twists and turns, alternating stretches of tranquil water with some of
the world's most exciting white-water rapids. No one is sure exactly
how the Colorado River formed this immense chasm over the last five
million years, but exposed rocks deep within the canyon are almost two
billion years old."

Next stop, Palm Springs, California:
"Palm Springs, with its floods of irrigation, contrasts starkly with
the surrounding desert. For a bird's-eye view of this city of plush
resorts and immaculate golf courses, take the Aerial Tramway up the
side of Mount San Jacinto. The 2.5-mile ride takes skiers, hikers, and
sightseers to the mountain top chalet and restaurant.

You can also visit the Palm Springs Desert Museum for its vast display
of fine art, archeological artifacts, and natural history exhibits.
The nearby Indian Canyons on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation
offer a fascinating opportunity to see the wild desert up close;
especially popular are the 2,000-year-old Washingtonian palms in Palm
Canyon. For a tamer look at desert flora and fauna, you can visit the
Moorten Botanical Gardens. The waterslides at Oasis Waterpark offer
welcome relief from the desert heat."

Last stop, San Diego, California:
"At the foot of Broadway, naval open houses and the 100-year-old Star
of India windjammer are intriguing. Mission Bay is an artificial
strand. Sea World is a marine showplace. Balboa Park offers a complex
of museums, including the Fine Arts Gallery, the Museum of Man, the
Natural History Museum, and the Aerospace Museum. The San Diego Zoo is
one of the world's greatest. Old Globe Theatre offers Shakespearean
and contemporary drama. Old San Diego dates to 1769 and includes many
Spanish period buildings. The Junipero Serra Museum tells the story of
the Spanish missions. Cabrillo National Monument marks the spot where
Juan Cabrillo landed on Point Loma in 1542. Seaport Village is a
waterfront shopping and dining complex, re-creating the atmosphere of
California in the 1800s."

Google Search Strategy:

"Road trip planner"

Clarification of Answer by adiloren-ga on 28 May 2004 00:54 PDT
Sorry, I forgot to include this:

Total Driving Distance: 2,906 miles 	
Total Driving Time: 56 hours, 25 minutes 

Most stops are between 4-9 hours apart.
garbonzo-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks a bunch. This will be a great help in planning our trip and
making the most of it.

Subject: Re: Florida to California Road Trip suggestions
From: smbslt99-ga on 04 Jun 2004 15:03 PDT
If you go the Grand Canyon, I highly recommend you go to the North
Rim.  The North Rim is cooler and gets fewer visitor then the South
Rim.  It is more out of the way, though, so it will take longer.

Whether you go to the North or South rim, though, you should start
checking now about lodging availability.  I know that the
hotels/cabins book way in advance, I don't know about camping spots
(they are available at both rims, but I don't know how hard they are
to reserve.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen, I
highly recommend it.

Frommer's does a good job of describing the North Rim:
Subject: Re: Florida to California Road Trip suggestions
From: garbonzo-ga on 04 Jun 2004 15:52 PDT
Thanks a lot smbslt99,

   We'll look into camping reservations as soon as possible. I'm
really looking forward to the Canyon. Thanks for the tip.


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