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Old 09-16-2021, 09:08 AM   #1
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St. Augustine to southern Cal Recommendations

We’re planning a trip from our home state of NC to Southern California to spend time with grandkids. We have a week booked at Anastasia SP in St. Augustine in mid-Feb, and will likely book a week at San Onofre CG, MCB Camp Pendleton on the other end.

We welcome any and all comments about best (not fastest) route, must sees, good campgrounds (military ok) and danger zones going from FL to CA. I try not to drive over 300 mi/day, and we’re not time limited. We want to avoid snow.

Thanks all.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:15 AM   #2
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The obvious fastest route is I 10 all the way.


If not in a huge hurry, we enjoy U.S 90 from San Antonio TX to Van Horn TX. Good road, little traffic and interesting stuff to see.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Marine359 View Post
We’re planning a trip from our home state of NC to Southern California to spend time with grandkids. We have a week booked at Anastasia SP in St. Augustine in mid-Feb, and will likely book a week at San Onofre CG, MCB Camp Pendleton on the other end.

We welcome any and all comments about best (not fastest) route, must sees, good campgrounds (military ok) and danger zones going from FL to CA. I try not to drive over 300 mi/day, and we’re not time limited. We want to avoid snow.

Thanks all.
Of the top of my head, I was thinking that you would route I85 through Atlanta to I 20 to I10 in Texas over to California. But low and behold, when I plugged it in it takes I40 all the way across to AZ and then down through Phoenix. But what I would do is use that general route and then look for side routes that take you through stuff you want to see. I'm not much help east of the Mississippi but west of St Louis you could veer off a little and head through the Ozarks, Branson then back down to OK City.

Now comes the fun part. At Tucumcari, get off the interstate and head down through Vaughn. While in the Tucumcari area visit some of the Route 66 stuff. If you head down 54 out of Santa Rosa, you can go 54 to 60 to I29. Tons of really nice New Mexico state parks for cheap. Stop around Truth of Consequences and Elephant Butte. You could spend weeks there and not see everything. From there cut across NM 26 at Hatch to Deming. Get on I10 west. There is a great park in Bowie AZ, (the home of John Rambo) called Mountain View. $16 a night for full hookups. Just be aware, the nearest grocery store is 60 miles. Of course Tucson has tons to do and lots of small campgrounds. And of course I10 gets you to Quartzite. The RV Mecca.

There are so many choices for you coming from NC to CA. Don't miss them.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:26 AM   #4
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While I-10 can be the fastest. It is also one of the most boring drives. Go up to 40 somewhere past Amarillo and see some beautiful country...
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:29 AM   #5
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The obvious fastest route is I 10 all the way.


If not in a huge hurry, we enjoy U.S 90 from San Antonio TX to Van Horn TX. Good road, little traffic and interesting stuff to see.
Nope, its not. From St Augustine NC to Southern CA you take I 40 most of the way.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:32 AM   #6
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While I-10 can be the fastest. It is also one of the most boring drives. Go up to 40 somewhere past Amarillo and see some beautiful country...
Thanks Gator,
We’ve done I-40 cross country in the past, but risk of heavy snow in winter may too chancey for us?
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:34 AM   #7
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Nope, its not. From St Augustine NC to Southern CA you take I 40 most of the way.
Thanks,
We go from Asheville NC to St. Augustine FL first, then west from there, not I-40.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:38 AM   #8
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Obviously some confusion as to whether the trip west starts at "Anastasia SP in St. Augustine" which is in Florida, or in North Carolina.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:46 AM   #9
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Sorry, I should have been more precise. Old brain fail.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:57 AM   #10
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Sorry, I should have been more precise. Old brain fail.
OK, so if you are heading west from Florida, yes, I 10 is your route. But that said, again, not much help east of the Mississippi but you can still veer north off I 10 and see some awesome stuff.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:38 AM   #11
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Snow could be a problem on I40 in AZ during Feb., not sure about Albuquerque area, would definitely track the weather. Might be better to drop down to I10.

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Old 09-16-2021, 11:02 AM   #12
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Take I-10 over to US331, take that up to US84. Take that into LA, then LA28 to Alexandria, then work your way over to TX107 eventually hooking up to TX7, then I-35 south to San Antonio for River Walk or keep heading west toward US190 to Sort Stockton, TX.

A lot of different ways to go. One could instead of going the 190 route head up toward Carlsbad Caverns/Guadalupe NPs. Plentiful BLM "camping" in the area.
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Old 09-16-2021, 02:38 PM   #13
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Definitely take I-10 in February. There are many nice side trips off I-10. You could even do Big Bend Nat'l Park, TX. Las Cruces, NM is nice for good, authenic Mexican food and day trip to White Sands Nat'l Monument. Deming, NM has a terrific museum of 'everything' and well organized.
Stop in Benson, AZ and tour Kartchner Caverns State Park - it's an awesome living cave & a beautiful tour. Could also do a day trip from Benson to Chiricahua Nat'l Monument - unique red rock formations and nice hiking. Definitely stop in Tucson, AZ - lots to see there - could easily spend a week. Desert Museum (outdoor zoo), Aviation Museum, Saguaro Nat'l Park, etc.

Google towns that you'll be driving through for their 'Things To Do' information.
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Old 09-16-2021, 04:21 PM   #14
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Definitely take I-10 in February. There are many nice side trips off I-10. You could even do Big Bend Nat'l Park, TX. Las Cruces, NM is nice for good, authenic Mexican food and day trip to White Sands Nat'l Monument. Deming, NM has a terrific museum of 'everything' and well organized.
Stop in Benson, AZ and tour Kartchner Caverns State Park - it's an awesome living cave & a beautiful tour. Could also do a day trip from Benson to Chiricahua Nat'l Monument - unique red rock formations and nice hiking. Definitely stop in Tucson, AZ - lots to see there - could easily spend a week. Desert Museum (outdoor zoo), Aviation Museum, Saguaro Nat'l Park, etc.

Google towns that you'll be driving through for their 'Things To Do' information.
Good advice here from twogypsies.. we done this almost exact trip this year leaving from North Fla,and seen almost all of the sites mentioned.
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