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Old 01-29-2018, 10:13 PM   #1
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Mesa, AZ to Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Looking for suggestions and recommendations on the best route eastward. We'd like to travel via the coast once in Texas and follow it to Florida. We have about 6 weeks to get there, so scenic and not necessary the quickest route. Any ideas on places to stay, things to see and do along the way would be great...Wondering what the weather will be like as we've been experiencing great temps. here in Mesa....
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:46 PM   #2
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We are currently in a park in Phoenix, and are planning a similar trip starting Thursday morning. Our first stop is going to be in Benson, AZ. We'll use that as a base and visit Tucson, Tombstone, and Bisbee.

Our trip east will primarily be on I-10, due to its southerly route and warmer temps. We'll take side trips as necessary. For example, we'll go north from Las Cruces to go to Roswell and the Carlsbad Caverns. We've planned other stops along the way.

Our ultimate destination is Columbus, Ohio, but we aren't planning on getting there until April. On the way, we're looking forward to seeing Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

Regarding weather, We've been using the U.S. Climate Data website to get an idea of the temps we can expect along the way. https://www.usclimatedata.com/
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:57 PM   #3
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I've driven AZ to LA several times and much prefer going through Dallas instead of Houston. It depends on if you want to stop in San Antonio. I take I-20 East of El Paso and the I-49 S at Shreveport. I-20 skirts Dallas/Fort Worth. There is no easy way through or around Houston.

If you do take I-20 to I-49, take US 190 E at Opelousas to Baton Rouge and then you can get back on I-49 at Baton Rouge.

190 is awful but it beats I-10 over the Atchafalaye Basin between Lafayette and Baton Rouge.

EDIT: if you want to sight see LA, Lafayette does have interesting sites. Avery Island can be cool. New Orleans is a trip in itself. If you stay on I-10, avoid Houston Rush hours and check traffic on I-10 for Atchafalaya Basin. It gets shutdown for accidents on a regular basis because it's a long bridge.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:40 PM   #4
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The thing about I-20 is that there are no good places to park between El Paso and Dallas. The oil workers are in the campgrounds. Plus, it's not going to take you to the coast.

I'd recommend just past El Paso on I-10 to pick up Hwy 90 and make a visit to Big Bend Nat'l Park. Stay at Rio Grande Village in the park. You have your choice of dry camping - biggest sites (our favorite there) or hookups.

Stay on Hwy 90 and spend a night or two at Seminole Canyon State Park. At Del Rio pick up Hwy 177 to Carrizo springs then Hwy 83 to Laredo. Then 359 to 281 into Mcallen/Mission to give you a feel of the Rio Grande Valley everyone mentions on these forums. You'll find hundreds of RV parks in the area. Bentsen Palm Village is a nice one. When you've explored the area take 77 north and head to Corpus Christi/ Port Aransas/Rockport areas - other popular snowbird areas.

Continue on 35 to Galveston and take the Port Bolivar short ferry (fun & free) to 87/124 to Winnie and I-10. You'll miss all of Houston this way. It's a nice, easy drive.

You'll then be in Louisiana. At Lake Charles get on Hwy 14 east and if you want a very fun Cajun time, stop at Abbeville at Betty's RV Park. It's like a big family - no frills but excellent food parties, music and always friendly folks. From there tour the tabasco company at Avery Island. From there you could get back on I-10 or continue more along the Louisiana coast. From Baton Rouge taking I-12 is less traffic (not much) rather than staying on I-10 depending on where you want to go.

From Louisiana it's easy to do more coastline. Gulf Shores, Alabama is a very nice, fun town with lots to do in the area, including a day trip to Pensacola and the Air Museum. Big red shrimp can be bought off the boats for your grill!

Have a fun trip! It's always good to explore different areas.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:36 PM   #5
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Don't miss the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola and I-12 is considerably shorter and faster than I-10 unless you specifically want to go to New Orleans. Two nice state parks in Mandeville area on I-10. Fairview State Park in Madisonville and nearby Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville. The former is on the Tchefuncte River and the latter on Lake Pontchartrain.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaSportsman View Post
I've driven AZ to LA several times and much prefer going through Dallas instead of Houston. It depends on if you want to stop in San Antonio. I take I-20 East of El Paso and the I-49 S at Shreveport. I-20 skirts Dallas/Fort Worth. There is no easy way through or around Houston.

If you do take I-20 to I-49, take US 190 E at Opelousas to Baton Rouge and then you can get back on I-49 at Baton Rouge.

190 is awful but it beats I-10 over the Atchafalaye Basin between Lafayette and Baton Rouge.

EDIT: if you want to sight see LA, Lafayette does have interesting sites. Avery Island can be cool. New Orleans is a trip in itself. If you stay on I-10, avoid Houston Rush hours and check traffic on I-10 for Atchafalaya Basin. It gets shutdown for accidents on a regular basis because it's a long bridge.
Great advice thanks very much....lots of things to consider!
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
The thing about I-20 is that there are no good places to park between El Paso and Dallas. The oil workers are in the campgrounds. Plus, it's not going to take you to the coast.

I'd recommend just past El Paso on I-10 to pick up Hwy 90 and make a visit to Big Bend Nat'l Park. Stay at Rio Grande Village in the park. You have your choice of dry camping - biggest sites (our favorite there) or hookups.

Stay on Hwy 90 and spend a night or two at Seminole Canyon State Park. At Del Rio pick up Hwy 177 to Carrizo springs then Hwy 83 to Laredo. Then 359 to 281 into Mcallen/Mission to give you a feel of the Rio Grande Valley everyone mentions on these forums. You'll find hundreds of RV parks in the area. Bentsen Palm Village is a nice one. When you've explored the area take 77 north and head to Corpus Christi/ Port Aransas/Rockport areas - other popular snowbird areas.

Continue on 35 to Galveston and take the Port Bolivar short ferry (fun & free) to 87/124 to Winnie and I-10. You'll miss all of Houston this way. It's a nice, easy drive.

You'll then be in Louisiana. At Lake Charles get on Hwy 14 east and if you want a very fun Cajun time, stop at Abbeville at Betty's RV Park. It's like a big family - no frills but excellent food parties, music and always friendly folks. From there tour the tabasco company at Avery Island. From there you could get back on I-10 or continue more along the Louisiana coast. From Baton Rouge taking I-12 is less traffic (not much) rather than staying on I-10 depending on where you want to go.

From Louisiana it's easy to do more coastline. Gulf Shores, Alabama is a very nice, fun town with lots to do in the area, including a day trip to Pensacola and the Air Museum. Big red shrimp can be bought off the boats for your grill!

Have a fun trip! It's always good to explore different areas.
Thanks very much, lots to consider, really appreciate the advice!
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:09 AM   #8
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Mesa, AZ to Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Thanks very much for the great information. As this is our very first road trip in our RV we are brand new to the whole experience. Been on the road now for almost a month and have had a great time. Our next section as mentioned above Mesa to Florida is an area we have never been in a car let alone in our coach. We want to see and experience the best part of the route we are taking. Your comments and suggestions are just what we are looking for. As our coach is a 32 ft. class A is there any concern going thru the areas you mentioned, e.g. highway 90 to Big Bend National Park, regarding elevation, road conditions etc.? Will check out the parks you mentioned as they sound just like what we are looking for. We head out again on February 08 and have to been in Fort Lauderdale by March 15. We want to stop somewhere on the gulf coast of Florida for about a week beforehand. Thanks again....
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