Plan your road trip with must-see recommendations. Information on the beaches of California to the tundras of Yukon and everywhere in between.

Driving east to west on Interstate 40.

shaunbowden

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  • Added on: June 1st, 2005
A friend and I are travelling across north america in late june on interstate 40 from north carolina to california. We would like any recommendations on things to do and see on the way, parks, roadside attractions, worlds largest ball of string etc. So far all we have on our list is Graceland, dollywood, grand canyon

shaunbowden

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  • Added on: June 1st, 2005
maybe there is a website to look at?

static

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  • Added on: June 1st, 2005

gmharris

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  • Added on: June 4th, 2005
Hey there I'm planning on doing the same thing except the other way around.... california to st louis then up to toronto....I've heard taos in new mexico is beautiful and sante fe..... also there is a place in arizona near the grand canyon called havasupai falls... that looks stunning

check it out
havasupai falls

Liforce

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  • Added on: June 4th, 2005
I've done the trip between Nashville and Albuquerque many, many times.

Things to see along I-40:
The Cadillac Graveyard in Bushland, TX (just west of Amarillo). The story is that some eccentric oilman bought a cadillac that promptly died on him. Ticked off because the dealer wouldn't take it back, he proceeded to buy a new cadillac each year and buried it on end, with half out it still sticking up out of the ground. Now there's a long line of them. The Big Texan steak house is also in Amarillo. This is the place that serves the huge steak and you get it free if you can eat it all in an hour.

The Cherokee Trading Post in Clinton, OK. Lots of handcrafted jewelry, clothes, pottery, artwork, etc. Also has a restaurant, so it's a good place to stop for lunch and stretch your legs.

Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, NM. Site of the world's longest aerial tramway, plus awesome views, skiing, mountain biking, hiking trails, and a clifftop restaurant with a breathtaking sunset view.

Meteor Crater in Arizona. http://www.meteorcrater.com/ for details. They used to let you walk around inside it, not sure if they still do.

If you're not interested in Arkansas, you might consider taking I-55 from Memphis up to St. Louis and driving I-44 from St. Louis down to Oklahoma City. I-44 parallels some of the old Route 66, and it has signs on it that point out interesting sights along the way (roadside diners and quirky museums, that sort of thing). There are also spots where you can drive on the original road. Don't miss the Gateway Arch ("the gateway to the west") in St. Louis, MO.

Taos, NM is great by the way. Good skiing, beautiful views.

There's tons more, I'll just have to think on it a bit. I might post more later. PM me if you details on anything.

Mr. Chris D

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  • Added on: June 5th, 2005
If you will be in Memphis on a weekend, make sure to check out Wild Bills blues bar on Vollentine, near Rhodes College. Downhome juke joint where the beer comes in quarts and they let you bring in your own liquer!
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Liforce

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2005
Beal Street in Memphis is also good, lots of blues bars.

Make sure to stop at Shorty Small's in Oklahoma City for excellent BBQ ribs.

I think there's a Route 66 museum in Clinton, OK.

Plus, there's tons of stuff to do in Nashville, TN. Of course, I'm not at all biased. Wink If you do stop in Nashville, here are some of the high points.


  • Stroll through the Opryland Hotel. Sprawling and opulent, with lush indoor gardens and a river.
  • Lunch at Monell's. Traditional southern style food, passed around the table just like grandma's house.
  • Be sure to check out the Parthenon in Centennial Park. The art gallery inside is pretty neat too.
  • Tour the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman Auditorium (be on the lookout for ghosts!).
  • Spend an evening perusing 2nd Avenue and Broadway. Hit the various honky tonks, if you're into that; Tootsie's is a popular one. Follow the self-guided walking tour of downtown Nashville; there is a useful information stand for visitors beside the Hard Rock Cafe on Broadway. Buy yourself a cowboy hat and new boots so your feet hurt and you stick out like a sore thumb. Wink Then go try your hand at line dancing at the Wildhorse Saloon.


Hope you enjoy your trip.

jlab

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2005
Hey there! I live in Memphis now and might be able to show you around or give you a place to crash for a day or two. I haven't actually been to Graceland myself... And I would say there's better places to go. Smile Like the bumper sticker says "Midtown Is Memphis".

I'll PM you my email. Write me if you're interested.

(I confess to having gone to Jim Morrison's grave, in Paris, though, so what do I know...)
"The Earth is a great place to visit, but I ain't stayin'"

shaunbowden

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2005
Thanks for all the information provided on things to do alongside interstate 40. Please keep it coming. Does any one know about camping at havasupai? availability,price? Is there a place to buy food once you are there? It looks great has anyone been there?
I am also interested in tourist attractions like fiberglass or concrete dinosaur parks and other odd/weird labors of love like worlds largest anything and bizarre collections. Theme hotels, You know the ones which have space rooms, caveman rooms, cheesy honeymoon suites with heart shaped furniture. free or cheap campgrounds also. Flea markets along the way? Thanks for reading and replying-
Dk

Mr. Chris D

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2005
Here's a tip. If you do decide to do Graceland, I'd recommened just getting the tour of the mansion. That is fairly interesting. I thought the plane and car musem wasn't worth it.

PS-Sun Studios!

PPS-Check out the nice burgers at Hueys (I'm a veg myself, and hell, even their veggie burgers rock!)
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Bubbha

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  • Added on: June 7th, 2005
Do get yourself a National Parks Pass for $50. It'll pay for itself after a few visits to paid-admission national parks and national monuments. And for cheap camping, try most state parks.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC. Pricey, but extremely interesting. There's an amazing collection of art there.

Shop for Cherokee trinkets in Cherokee, NC.

Drive through the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Have some ribs in touristy Gatlinburg, TN.

Dollywood! Smile

Take a cheap helicopter ride in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area.

Visit the Parthenon in Nashville! And eat at Monell's (another poster highly recommended it).

Graceland! Smile

Also, in Memphis, there's Beale St. blues clubs, and you MUST try the ribs at Rendezvous.

Detour: Explore the historic bathhouses at Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Explore Cherokee country in eastern Oklahoma. There's a Cherokee museum that's small but interesting. You'll learn about the Trail of Tears, which began around Cherokee, NC (which you visited earlier) and ended here.

You said you're into bizarre collections: Har-Ber Village, in northeastern Oklahoma, is the mother of all collections. It's an extensive collection of antiques and other things of every category imaginable, from farm machinery to cutlery to minerals to shoes, all grouped into separate displays. Quite bizarre, and well worth a few hours if you love quirky roadside attractions.

Get off Hwy 40 and follow some of the best preserved stretches of old Route 66 through Oklahoma.

If you're really into tacky roadside art, you may want to visit Oral Roberts University campus in Tulsa and take a gander at the Tower of Prayer!

You may want to detour and drive along Hwy 64 all the way through Taos to Shiprock, in northern New Mexico - beautiful. Eat at Orlando's New Mexican Cafe in Taos for authentic Southwestern fare. Hwy 64 is much more interesting and rewarding than Hwy 40. And don't forget to try some of the American Indian snacks and foods sold on the side of the road.

Drive down former Hwy 666 (yes, they changed the name in the 21st century due to superstitious beliefs -- go figure!) to view Shiprock itself - a fascinating volcanic core.

In the Four Corners area: Four Corners, Mesa Verde National Park, the white-knuckle Moki Dugway and the most amazing views from Muley Point, Valley of the Gods, Goosenecks State Park (where we camped for free, even though there are no campgrounds there and the only facility is a toilet with no running water), Monument Valley, Navajo country. So much to see!

You mentioned markets? Well, the Navajo market adjacent to KFC in Tuba City, AZ, was interesting: and it's authentic, not geared to tourists. Try some of the food, such as hominy soup and frybread. When my wife and I visited, I was the only white person in the area.

Grand Canyon. Smile

If you are into things having to do with outer space, you could visit Meteor Crater. It's a little pricy, but worth it if you're interested in meteors and craters.

Another detour: Sedona and Red Rocks country.

Another detour: London Bridge!

Then, California!!
--
"Qian li zhi xing, shi yu zu xia." - Chinese proverb

Rocknrod

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  • Added on: June 7th, 2005
40 Dead ends on the east end in Wilmington NC...

Check out a restaraunt called The Oceanic, its in Wrightsville beach (further east...) right on the ocean.

They have some real good fried seafood.

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B41066

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  • Added on: June 8th, 2005
Just west of Amarillo, TX is Cadillac Ranch which is worth a stop and a photograph. It's a pretty easy pull-off and you can walk up to the cars and take pictures. It can be dusty!

Also, Winslow, Arizona is about thirty miles east of Flagstaff. You can stand on the corner and have your picture taken by a statue also standing on the corner. Kind of fun. And now that song is stuck in my head!

There's also an official highway sign, somewhere in this desolate area on 40, that says something to the effect of "Don't Pick up Hitchhikers. Federal Penitentiary Nearby."

Laura E.

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  • Added on: June 8th, 2005
Back to Memphis...The Peabody Hotel and the Duck Walk is a hoot...

Laura Evans
Garden and Hearth Contributing Editor-Family Adventures in the Southwestern United States
http://www.gardenandhearth.com/FamilyFunSouthwest.htm

shaunbowden

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  • Added on: June 21st, 2005
Thanks for all your advice, I am leaving from asheville N.C. headed for San Diego this weekend and will be taking two weeks to get across. I think that I will take the advvice and leave u.s. 40 and head up to St. Louis so as to come down Rt. 66 and then continue west on 40. What are some must see spots on Rt. 66? Thanks, -Dk



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