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Old 06-25-2012, 03:43 PM
 
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Not looking for scenic stops, just hotel stops, we've driven out there twice and both times take only two days to get there. But I'm driving with my mom this time (she's helping us move) and want to stretch drive to three days. Suggestions of cities for hotel stops? Thanks all

DENVER OR BUST!
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Canon City, Colorado
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Where are you coming from?? California...New York...Michigan?? Makes a difference! Hopefully you didn't already say and, I just missed that part!!
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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Ohhh goodness, forgot to say from South Florida!
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Colorado - Oh, yeah!
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Based purely on the clock, I would tend to look at at stops around Chattanooga for the first night and Topeka the second night. By making the first two days' drive slightly longer than 1/3 of the total time you allow yourself to get into Denver at a decent time on the third day (even if you sleep in a little because you are tired from the two longer days).

I am also a fan of staying the the smaller towns outside of the big metro areas so you don't have to mess with rush-hour in the morning and my perception that you are less likely to encounter crime in the small towns.

I am basing this off of Miami to Denver so adjust accordingly.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:37 PM
 
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Wink Blue highway alternatives

With such a road trip you might wish to make something of it and follow some of the blue highways. Meaning secondary state roads in places, instead of all interstate driving. If really adventurous, plan on avoiding all interstates; if not always the most practical solution—often scenic and interesting.

Also, extend the time allotted to this excursion if possible. Three days is feasible, but particularly if skipping some interstates it will mean three solid days of driving. Adjust as necessary, but if from Miami, then a rough estimate into Denver is 34 hours. Unless really determined, consider that an idealized minimum estimate, tacking on more hours for more whimsical routes.

A first long day could see you into Birmingham, AL from Miami in about 13 hours. If wishing something less, then maybe stop first in Montgomery, AL. There isn't anything all that novel in such a route, although note that the distance between Tifton, GA and Montgomery, AL is not interstate.

Perhaps a good place to mention as well that if at times boring and tedious, that interstates do tend to have the highest speed limits and most available services; one can just more or less pull off when wishing food, petrol or lodging. Secondary roads seldom offer that level of convenience, and in places (particularly out West) one will need to know how much petrol one has before venturing to the next town.

Lodging can also be more problematic. Larger towns invariably offer the best options and value in lodging. Something out in the country might be quaint, but more than likely the same price paid for that of second or third quality, if that. In light of this, perhaps aim for lodging each night near cities of some substance. Entering the CBD can be a royal and expensive pain, unless determined to see the sights. But the periphery of cities can offer many good options with easy access.

One such possibility in Birmingham would be the Hyatt Place hotel just east of I-469. Since one may well be entering and leaving town on I-65, this represents something of a detour, so less than perfect in location. Other suitable properties close to I-65 could surely be found. Nevertheless, hotels such as this represent good values for the money in mid-price properties; it should prove stylish, safe, comfortable, and more than pleasant lodging. A good solid choice, and preferable to some bargain roach motel discovered late at night. Other hotels of a similar calibre can include such as Hampton Inn, although in every case the individual hotel will determine how much of a value, and if the stay enjoyable. It pays to do some research, and probably with reservations in summer.

Your second night might be in Tulsa, OK. That primarily because it is the last major town before heading west across the panhandle of Oklahoma, and then an empty section of New Mexico to I-25 and Colorado. Also because I would have you veer northwest from Birmingham to skirt west through the scenic southern reaches of Missouri. It is beautiful country through what is in places Mark Twain National Forest. You'll need to look at your map closely to maximize such a journey, and not just get lost.

It is a simpler matter heading more or less due west from Tulsa. Particularly once in the panhandle proper there isn't a whole lot other than wheat fields to the horizon and you on an often empty road. Certain attractions can include the likes of Clayton, NM and its small cactus garden, but one's best bet in lodging remains well beyond in either Raton, NM or across the pass and state line in Trinidad, CO.

From there, just head north on I-25. Well, unless wishing some great mountain driving and scenery. Then head a bit farther west into the mountains proper. But that may be another drive and topic.
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