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Old 01-09-2013, 08:07 AM   #1
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Tell us your favorite places in the South in the winter

Hey there!
We will be leaving on a two month trip from Massachusetts to Southern California (and back) very soon. This will be the first time we've ever traveled this far in any RV and the first trip out in our new (to us) coach. So we know there's a lot we're going to want to see, and we'd like to get some input.

Given the time of year, we are taking a southern route. We know we're stopping in Atlanta first (probably high-tailing it directly there to get out of the cold) and then on to meet our new irv2 friends who have helped us so much (shout-out to Jim and Lynda~ jlfbatonrg ) in Baton Rouge. We know we'd like to go to New Orleans, Austin, Las Vegas, and up the CA coast until it gets cold, but other than that, we're pretty much winging it.

So tell us, what are your favorite places, parks, tourist traps, landmarks, cities, routes? We're up for anything! Maybe some places that aren't your favorites but are "must sees" just because. We are willing to go a little north, let's face it just about anything will feel warm to us after Massachusetts, but we don't want to have to winterize!

Just a footnote. Now that the hard part is over, (if you've followed some of my posts you'll know what I mean) and it's almost time to get going, I just want to say that the people here are so unbelievably helpful. If it weren't for this forum, I know our experience would be quite a bit different and a lot more expensive. So thank you to everyone who has given advice and encouragement and even those who have called us crazy. I just hope that this forum is indicative of the fellow rvers we will meet on our trip. If so, it's going to be a great adventure!

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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Okay, I'll start. How about:
Carlsbad Cavern
Caverns of Sonoma
Rt. 66
San Antonio
Santa Fe
Grand Canyon okay in winter?

Yes? No?

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
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If you're planning on traveling jan/feb many places will be cold (possibly with snow) unless you stay really south. We travelled from Florida to OR our 2nd year in the rig, starting in winter. We basically hugged the southern coast stopping in New Orleans (just before Mardi Gras), Baton Rouge then onto the coast of Texas. Winter is a great time to go to Padre Island and the whole way south to Big Bend NP.

New Mexico is actually fairly high in elevation and It wasn't warm enough for our liking until spring, so we didn't go until April to Carlsbad Caverns. You can go earlier, but be prepared for cold and possible snow. same goes for Utah.

AZ and southern CA are all great in winter. There's Touson, Tombstone, Bisbee and many other cool spots in AZ. there's Death Valley, Anza Borrego, San Diego in CA...amongst others.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:46 AM   #4
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San Diego, Disney Land, Lego Land, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Paso Robles if you like wine, Cambria, Hearst Castle, Monterey, San Francisco, Napa if you like more wine, Yosemite. All of the Missions in Ca. The entire California coast, Oregon coast Brookings to Astoria.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #5
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Hi 4tfamily,
Based on the OP, Florida is out of the question for this trip. Even following the southern route, elevation is the key to staying warm. As you get to western Texas, consider:
1. New Mexico - Carlsbad Caverns, Roswell, White Sands Nat Mon. and Gila Cliff Dwellings (check on this one first, due to elevation). The hike to the Cliff is not assessable and can be termed strenuous (not long, but steep).

2. Arizona - Tombstone, Saguaro NP, Sonaron Desert NM. Because you mentioned taking the southern route I am eliminating all the places in Northern AZ. These include Painted Forest, Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Sunset Crater, Grand Canyon Skywalk, etc.

3. From AZ you'll get to Las Vegas. In addition to the casinos, there is Hoover Dam. Take the more expensive complete tour.

4. California - Death Valley, Joshua Tree NP, Amboy Crater (north of Joshua Tree), Salton Sea (due to big city water usage the Salton Sea may not be there much longer). South of LA there is the Queen Mary.

5. Once done with the LA area, get on "The 5" and head North. Between LA Sand SF pick what you want to do and branch off "The 5"

By the time you get to SF is will be cold. Not New England cold but much different that what the trip has shown you.

6. SF is well worth at least a week. Consider staying at San Francisco RV Resort | Park your RV on the Cliffs overlooking the Pacific Coastline | Pacifica, California . It's not cheap and basically a parking lot, but one is right on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Besides, when in SF you'll not be at your coach much. It is a short drive to SF. While in the SF area consider Alcatraz (if you have a handicap designation, there is parking right by the boat), Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street, Ghirardelli Chocolate, Cable Car Museum, and it goes on and on. Don't worry about parking. Arrive on the Embarcadero. As you approach the Alcatraz boat dock, there is parking (inside (covered) all along the street.

In the SF area, cross the GG bridge and visit Muir Woods (north side). If you are up for a walk, park on the North or South end of the GG bridge and walk across. Plan this for after lunch. One wants the fog to be gone.

7. Take 101 North and go see the big trees. Mileage isn't much, but allow more time. You'll be going slower.

That's an overview, post here if you need more/different info.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:10 PM   #6
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Right now in southern New Mexico the highs are in the 40s and 50s, the lows are in the 20s and 30s. All the places GaryKD mentioned in NM and AZ are worth seeing. Northern NM is much higher in altitude and colder. Forecast for this Saturday in Santa Fe is a high of 27 and a low of 6. Also, the same goes for northern AZ, much higher and colder.

Regarding the Gila Cliff Dwellings, it is very worth seeing but it is in the mountains, check the road conditions prior to going (if going in the winter time). Also, unless you are comfortable driving the MH on narrow mountain roads and long descents, I would stay in Silver City, Mimbres or Deming and take the toad to the cliff dwellings.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:28 AM   #7
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any were south of alligator ally
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by new rver View Post
any were south of alligator ally

Key West isn't out of the question on the way back, depending on how time is going. We've already seen most of Florida, and as much as we'd love to go back down there, we want to explore new places first. It's been almost 20 years since Key West, though. So I think that may count as a "new place".
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:59 AM   #9
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If you travel by the Houston area, give a holler.

You stated you planned on visiting Austin. Pick a point in between Austin and San Antonio, lots of CG's, and visit both places. Plan on at least 3-4 days for the area.

We have had some rain here for the past couple days, in Texas City, but the temperature right now is 68 degrees. Hope that is warm enough for you.

I tell everyone that we have about two weeks of Winter, a day her and a day there and it adds up to two weeks.

Where in Mass. are you located?
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Wayne M View Post
We have had some rain here for the past couple days, in Texas City, but the temperature right now is 68 degrees. Hope that is warm enough for you.
Where in Mass. are you located?

Warm enough? We were rejoicing that it was 40 degrees here today! We're in Southern MA, near Cape Cod.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:51 PM   #11
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Nawlins rocks, San Antonio is terrific, lots in New Mexico and Nevada. Trip up the coast in an RV will be an experience especially on PCH 1. Travel slow and safe and enjoy all this great country has to offer.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:42 PM   #12
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Thanks for the kind words. Mardi-Gras this year is February 12. Parades start rolling a couple of weeks before that. Can't wait to see y'all. Be Safe BTW, the temperature today oin BR was ~71.
Jim and Lynda, (Sophie, Jake, attack trained killer Shi-Tzus :-))

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Old 01-12-2013, 08:53 PM   #13
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We are just north of Las Cruces NM and the weather is 50's daytime--30's night. We came down the CA coast to Simi Valley from Oregon this summer and fall. I would love to go back to San Luis Obispo. A lot to see all along the coast.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:13 PM   #14
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4TFamily, CGs in Atlanta are a scarce as hen's teeth. Check out Jim Miller Park in Marietta, GA. Very secure, full hookups and reasonably priced.......google it

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