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Old 06-07-2015, 05:18 PM   #1
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Cross Country Trip - Must See's and Suggestions on where to stay

Our clan is planning a real cross country trip for summer 2016 and we want to "poll the audience" for suggestions on things we need to see and do. We're going to be leaving from South Carolina and heading west first along the southern route; I-10 I suppose.

We may stop somewhere less interesting first but the first real destination is New Orleans. Does anyone know of a nice campground we could stay at around there? The intent would be to leave the trailer behind and go spend some time downtown. A day or two at most.

Unless there is anything critical to see or do between NO and Houston area, that would probably be the second stop. Any great suggestions for campgrounds on the West side?

The third stop would be San Antonio where I could see spending a couple days to see the city and any other suggested destinations. Never been there; no clue what's to do.

The next place after this is TBD, especially the routing but I'm sorry to say we HAVE to see Roswell, NM. (I know, I know.) Is 285 the best way to get there? Looks like it on a flat map but not sure what the road conditions or gradients are like.

After seeing aliens, my thinking is to head to northern AZ to spend some serious time exploring the Grand Canyon. I hear these places book up real fast which is why we're starting this planning now. State Parks are great but we'd like to do some serious hiking and maybe some rafting?

Lake Mead and the Hoover damn would be fun to see again... anywhere to stay that's actually ON the lake?

We've been to Vegas a lot over the years and will be going there again once between now and then but certainly open to something that would give us easy access to the strip for a night. Or perhaps a hotel that would accommodate trailer parking! We might need it.

It's at this point we start running out of any prior experience. Yosemite obviously needs to be hit, and Lake Tahoe is beautiful but we may forego that in favor of getting over to San Fran. Would be nice to stay on the north side of the city for a few days before heading north along the coast up to Bandon, OR area where we have some friends.

Then it's eastward ho(!) to Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and any other suggestions. The bearings from there would bring us anywhere along the route to St. Louis where we'd basically cross our finish line. We've seen everything east of there and would just pick some favorites along the way.

Any thoughts anyone is willing to share are greatly appreciated! I don't have a whole lot of excess torque on my tow vehicle so if you have thoughts on how to keep us off the steep mountain passes, that would be great!

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Old 06-07-2015, 05:25 PM   #2
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You will get must more useful info if you post what your interests are, nature, cities, national parks, with or without kids.

I would not go anywhere near a city, with the possible exception of NO. Far more apt to end up at the end of a dirt road.

Let us know

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Old 06-07-2015, 05:44 PM   #3
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Gotcha. We like experiencing new things and places. In that sense we're pretty well rounded in what we'd like to do and see. We do have a six year old with us but he's cool and pretty much does whatever we do. This trip is about seeing as much of this great country as we can while our boy is at an age where he still wants to be with us.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:46 PM   #4
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Oh... by the way we do have two dogs that we may or may not pawn off on some relatives for this trip. We'd miss them but hate having to leash them up and clean up after them in campgrounds. They seem to be more miserable than happy on long trips.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:48 PM   #5
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Final piece of intel; we're relatively new to AS'ing. We've put a couple thousand miles on her and spent probably two week inside... her... but we're definitely more into "glamping" than boondocked roughing it.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:40 PM   #6
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Very long trip with much to see..i'll not fill-in all the spaces, but here's a few
New Orleans - French Quarter RV Resort
Sedona, AZ - Rancho Sedona RV Park
Las Vegas - Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort south-end of the strip
Bakersfield, CA - Sequoia National Park
Monterey CA - Monterey Peninsula
San Francisco and the Napa Valley
Southern Oregon Coast
Portland OR head east thru the Columbia River Gorge then on to Glacier NP
Then south to Yellowstone - Fishing Bridge Campground inside the park or Rocky Mountain RV Park in Gardiner, MT (northwest entrance)
Drop the AS for day trips in the park, the Tetons and Jackson Hole and maybe even the Beartooth Mountains.
Head east from Yellowstone for Cody for at least an overnight
Then on to Rapid City with a side trip to Devils Tower.
Rapid City - Hart Ranch is a members RV Resort, but non-members are welcome. In RC see Mount Rushmore during the day and be sure to return for the evening illumination program. Also Custer State Park and Deadwood SD and interesting places to visit.
Heading east on I-90 from RC take the side trip thru the Badlands of SD.
Further east on I-90 is the Corn Palace (see website if you think this is of interest) in Mitchell, SC.
Chamberlain, SD - the American Creek campground on the banks of the Missouri River is a nice overnight stay.

Remember its not the destination, but rather the journey.... its what's in the middle that matters the most!
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:30 PM   #7
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Hi there-
We did a three month trip from East Coast Jan-Apr 2015....headed south through Virginia and Tennessee and spent a few nights in NOLA...stayed at LA State Park Fountain Bleau which was on Lake Ponchatrain and easy access to the bridge across the lake right into NOLA. We had a stressful drive from NOLA to just a little west of Houston due to heavy traffic leaning NOLA and awful road surface in Jan ( hopefully they have improved). We basically stayed south on I 10 due to winter weather events but eventually went even further south in Texas to avoid major ice storm. However, we really enjoyed our time in Texas State Parks and even went all the way to Big Bend National Park. Texas has some really great State Park Campgrounds....source their website for details. Unfortunately, the worst part of the winter weather system prevented us from traveling into Texas hill country in and around Austin ( at least 5-6 great State Parks in that region). We headed to Arizona for most of Jan-Feb and found great desert campgrounds in State and County parks....and again south to Organ Pipe. I'm not sure all these locations would be good destinations for summer camping months due to triple digit weather. We also loved Anza Borrego State Park CA and Joshua Tree National Park before heading to Cattail Cove at Lake Havasu ( highly recommend). In Nevada, we camped two nights at Boulder City on Lake Mead then onto Valley of Fire SP ( awesome campsites), but southern Utah was by far our favorite on this first "snowbird escape" adventure. In Utah, Snow Canyon SP, Zion National Park we camped at Zion camp along the Virgin River, Red Canyon SP, Bryce NP, Kodachrome State Park ( near Bryce). Overall, we were pleasantly surprised traveling on I - 10 was a pretty good experience....we enjoy secondary roads but felt more secure on Interstate highways during winter travel.

Enjoy your planning and see you down the road,
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:01 PM   #8
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I would stop in Cajun country, after New Orleans

I would add Austin Texas.

I would add Sante Fe, NM

I would add Bryce Canyon Utah

Mt Rushmore is a little disappointing.

You almost can't go wrong. if you drive from New Orleans, to
Grand Canyon, to Yellowstone, the journey will rival the destinations.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:29 AM   #9
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Outside of the Alimo, there are some well restored, active, missions. One I enjoyed was, I believe, The San Antone mission.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:57 AM   #10
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We stayed at Pontchatrain landing RV park a few years ago. They have a shuttle into downtown that worked great for us. Nice place, clean and nice level graded sites. Compact and pretty crowded but for a few days so close to the city it was good for us.
Roger in NJ

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Old 06-08-2015, 07:26 AM   #11
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Sound like a good trip I would add Moab Utah my wife didn't understand why I wanted to come back that way. Now it is one of her most talked about places and four corners just to say you was there and a stop at mesa Verde.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:40 AM   #12
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When you go to N.O., two places I recommend are Jean Lafitte State Park, (Boardwalk into the swamp). Really nice easy walk, you will see alligators and snakes all at a safe distance. It's on the West bank and about an hour from down town.
Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetary on the East Bank. The added bonus: You can take the Chalmette Ferry across the river and on down to the swamp.
If you want to venture further south, the trip to Venice, La is fun too. There are places where the Gulf meets the road. Have a fun and safe trip!
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:54 AM   #13
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Don't miss Crazy Horse when in South Dakota. WELIKIT campground near Custer is a nice place to stay.
KOA has a beautiful RV park at the base of Devils Tower.

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Old 06-08-2015, 08:07 AM   #14
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Make a stop in Mobile on your way west to New Orleans (2 hours east). Maeher State Park is right off I-10 on the causeway. Five River is across the street from it and has a free visitor center and there are canoe, kayak and boat tours of the Delta. Downtown is a short 10 minute drive and you can visit the Carnival Museum to learn about the birthplace of Mardi Gras and there is an excellent free City Museum (history). A Maritime Museum is supposed to open later this summer. Several good seafood restaurants are on the causeway (my favorite is R&R).
In New Orleans, I recommend eating at Cochon and grabbing a poboy at Johnnys. Bayou Segnette is another state park option about 15 minutes outside the city.
Lafayetee is the heart of Cajun country. I've heard Arcadian Park, a city park, is a nice place to stay there.
I am planning a trip to San Antonio later this summer and selected the KOA there after doing research.
Have a fun trip.

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