View Full Version : Jersey to San Diego

Peter Stahl
02-12-2006, 5:09 PM
My Daughter is in the Navy, been in there for 4 years and will finally be going on a ship. She has to drive from Southern New Jersey to San Diego for training. Anyone recommend a good route to go or routes not to go. She can only drive 8 hours a day but with my Wife in the car they can do 12 hours. Looks like it'll take 3 - 4 days if they don't get lost! Someone said to take Route 66 but I haven't even picked up a atlas yet. Got to get one for them. Any help/tips would be appreciated.

thanks, Pete

Andy Hoyt
02-12-2006, 5:39 PM
Peter - Try this. It assumes you live in Atlantic City and are headed to the 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego.


Vaughn McMillan
02-12-2006, 6:00 PM
I can't help you much on the eastern part of the trip, but Route 66 (nowadays I-40) will indeed get them into my neck of the woods (New Mexico and points west). At some point, they need to shift south onto I-10, and there are a lot of places that can be done. Here are a few I've driven:

1) I-40 to Albuquerque, south on I-25 to Las Cruces, then west on I-10 to south of Phoenix, where it becomes I-8 into San Diego. This route is good in the winter, since it stands a good chance of have no weather problems. Lotsa desert.

2) I-40 to Flagstaff, south on I-17 through Phoenix to the I-10/I-8 junction (don't recall the exact route) and into San Diego. Nice drive through some cool parts of Arizona, and swinging close enough to the Grand Canyon to make a quick visit a possibility. The areas around Gallup NM and Flagstaff AZ can get snow. I've seen 12" overnight in either place, but it's usually less, and not real often.

3) I-40 to Barstow, then I-15 into Los Angeles. Since this route goes through Flagstaff, it's also subject to the weather issues in the winter as the Flagstaff/Phoenix route. From the LA area, there are several ways down to San Diego, each with advantages and disadvantages. If your daughter and wife want to "experience" LA freeways, I-5 or I-405 will give them a taste of the jungle. I-15 is a bit more inland, and it's generally a bit less congested, but it's still subject to major freeway hassles from time to time. If they take the full "Route 66" ride, they'll end up in Santa Monica. From there, they could drive south down the coast on Highway 1. It wouldn't be the fastest path, but it's a neat drive.

In addition to an atlas, I'd suggest Google Earth as a cool way to look at various routes between NJ and CA.

Hope this helps -

- Vaughn

Ken Garlock
02-12-2006, 8:06 PM
Regarding I-70 W., if you can manage to hit Columbus Oh. and Indianapolis In. during NON rush hours, the trip right through the city is not a bad drive. I have driven through both in the past several years. For me, driving through heavy traffic at 70 mph is somewhat of a sport. (I get practice every time I drive US75 into Dallas.)

Another option is planning to drive from dark to dawn. Some people like to do it, I don't care either way, but I do like to see the scenery as I drive. Also remember, I-70 is truck route USA, lots of trucks.

If your ladies have not been to the Grand Canyon, they should work at least a half day visiting the south rim into their schedule. They will be glad they did.

I wish them a safe journey.:)

Randy Moore
02-12-2006, 8:22 PM
I would suggest that the part of I-70 in Missouri should be avoided. Like was said it is a truck route and it seems there is always a bad wreck where someone is killed. If they want to go through St Louis I-44 can be picked there and that will take them to the NE corner of Oklahoma. Just my thoughts.


Peter Stahl
02-13-2006, 7:57 PM
thanks for the replies so far. My Daughter wants to see the Canyon the Wife doesn't, not sure who'll win that one.


Vaughn McMillan
02-13-2006, 8:28 PM
I'm betting your wife won't regret seeing the Grand Canyon, even if your daughter has to drag her there. :)

- Vaughn

Don Baer
02-13-2006, 10:01 PM
If it were me I'd take the route 40 till it ends in Barstow then make a left turn on I-15 to San Diego it is simple and the least confusing especialy when you get to the California freway system. It will take em as close to the grand canyon as you can get and still be the most direct route.

Bob D.
02-13-2006, 10:12 PM
I agree with Vaughn, she will be glad she went once she gets there, I know I was and initially I was not very excited about visiting.

Some pics from our visit in 2004 to Red Rock Canyon and The Grand Canyon, with a few other places thrown in. http://home.comcast.net/~sparc/html/21.htm

Lee DeRaud
02-13-2006, 10:21 PM
I'm betting your wife won't regret seeing the Grand Canyon, even if your daughter has to drag her there.And as long as you're on I40 near Flagstaff, check out the other big hole in the ground: the Meteor Crater.:cool: