Monday, January 23, 2012

NYC to SF -- via Route 66? in Winter??

Jamie -

I have been tracking your site these past few months and looking for various ideas, etc for my anticipated trip from NYC to San Francisco, CA. We are planning to hit the highway after Thanksgiving and will be traveling uncharted territory for us in the winter, which makes me a bit concerned. I have family in Lincoln, Nebraska and would like to see them but I also wanted to head south to possibly get over to the White Sands in New Mexico and possibly even Grand Canyon in Arizona. Would you suggest doing this and then heading north through California to San Francisco? Maybe you could make a better suggestion for us which would allow us to see my family and then head south to avoid salt lake city and the possible weather. I would also like to leave Saturday and arrive in San Francisco at some point during Wed/Thur the following week. I have a friend traveling with me and want him to be able to enjoy a few days in San Francisco before heading back to NYC. I would be interested in taking major highways and then also hoping on something like rt 66 to get that experience as well.

Thank you for your time and assistance.



Hi Chris --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA, and I hope I can you help you plan a great trip.

I think Route 66 is just about ideal for you -- you could bomb west from NYC on I-80 to Lincoln, then shift gears and head south to Tulsa / OKC to "Get your kicks on Route 66"... The Oklahoma stretch is pretty compelling, actually, so weather-permitting the more miles you can explore in OK, the better off you'll be.

The rest of the Route 66 trek is especially good for when you'll be on the road (December), because if the weather turns very bad you can always hop onto the Interstates (I-40!), which is a lot safer than some of these old two-lanes ( plus I-40 gets snow-plowed more frequently!).

Taking the detour down to White Sands lets you check out the silliness of "extraterrestrial" Roswell , but Santa Fe and Taos are much more visually satisfying (esp in the run-up to Christmas -- the New Mexico Pueblo communities are very very Christian, and the faithfulness (and those adobe churches) is pretty intense.

And staying on Route 66 brings you right to the Grand Canyon (where you should expect snow -- it's 8000 feet in elevation!), There's a great stretch of old Route 66 west of Kingman (to Oatman), after which you can detour to Las Vegas, make your way to Los Angeles (best between 2am and 5am!) Then enjoy the run up Pacific Coast Highway / US-101, have some fun in SF, then bomb back east on I-80.

Let me know how this suits you -- and take care out there.

With best wishes,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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