Friday, February 04, 2011

SF - Vegas - New Orleans - Memphis - NYC Road Trip!

Hi Jamie

My wife and I will be heading to the States in early April 2011 for our delayed honeymoon. We at first intended to fly into LA from Sydney, then fly to San Francisco for a 5 nights, fly to New Orleans for 4 nights, fly to Memphis / Nashville for 4 nights, fly to New York for 4 nights, fly to Las Vegas for 5 nights then fly to Hawaii for a week to end the trip.

After careful consideration I opted out of all of the flying and decided that a road trip from San Francisco to Nashville for approximately 10 – 15 days would be much more enjoyable. Our thoughts were to start at San Fran, then head to Las Vegas, down to New Orleans and then up to Memphis and Nashville. We would then fly to New York for a week and head back to Sydney from there.

I was hoping for some advice on the routes we should take and some of the places / states we shouldn`t miss on the way. Our ages are 37 and we will be traveling on our own and without children.

Your advice would be much appreciated.

Yours truly,



Hello Craig --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA -- and congratulations on earning a honeymoon.

I wouldn't give up on Hawaii so easily, especially if you're flying right over on your way from "Down Under" -- Hawaii has to be the perfect honeymoon retreat -- but I agree with you about cutting out some of that flying around the USA you had been planning to do.

The places you're proposing are all very nice (and Vegas has lots of glitz and luxury to balance its fun but artificial/superficial essence...). Sounds like a fab trip!

I wonder, though, whether it might be better to bring back one of your flights -- the stretch from Las Vegas to New Orleans or Memphis comes to mind. Vegas to New Orleans is a _very_ long drive -- close to 1500 miles -- and what I'd suggest instead is that you break your trip up into a pair of distinct "legs". Have some time in SF, then get a car to travel to Las Vegas, maybe via Yosemite National Park and Death Valley, both of which should be spectacular in April. You could also add a little extension from Las Vegas -- down to the Grand Canyon, or east in Zion and Monument Valley in Utah.

Then for Part Two, if you drop the car and fly from Vegas to Memphis or New Orleans and get another car there, you'll save 4/5 days of driving across Texas. Then you can spend that time more pleasurably, exploring the Mississippi Delta and Cajun Country in Louisiana (Natchez MS has some gorgeous B&B inns in lovely old homes as does the stretch of "Plantation Alley" along the Mississippi River, north of New Orleans.

Then make your way to Memphis (which is fascinating, if you like American music or cultural history) and Nashville, then on to New York (Part Three), then home (via Hawaii?) .

Just an idea -- from your plans I get the feeling you will have a fantastic trip.

I'm jealous thinking of it!...

Happy Trails, and Happy Honeymoon,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


Hi Jamie

Thanks for your advice and I really do appreciate you taking the time to offer it.

Some of the places that you have mentioned sound fantastic and we`ll definitely take your advice on cutting out the drive from Vegas to New Orleans.

Thanks again.

Yours very truly,



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