How to Plan a Road Trip From Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida

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How to Plan a Road Trip From Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. This road trip will take you from Southern California to the Deep South and from coast to coast. Make sure your air conditioner is in working order if you attempt this trip in summer - it will be a sultry, sizzling, 2,400-mile trip!

Things You'll Need

  • Maps
  • Travel Guides
  • Bottled Water
  • Insect Repellents

Take I-10 east from San Bernardino to Arizona.

Pass through Phoenix and stop at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson. It's an excellent tribute to the plants and animals of the Sonora Desert, with more than 300 live species on exhibit. The Arizona State Museum is also in Tucson.

Continue on I-10 east through New Mexico and into Texas. History buffs will love a tour of the Alamo, while thrill seekers may choose the Six Flags Fiesta Texas amusement park. San Antonio also claims Seaworld of Texas and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

See the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The visitors center offers hands-on demonstrations and interactive computer exhibits designed to put you in touch with the space program.

Consider some of the other sight-seeing options in Houston. In addition to a large collection of excellent museums (notably the Menil Collection and Bayou Bend), you'll find Six Flags Astroworld, the Houston Zoo and Waterworld.

Continue on I-10 into Louisiana and enter the Deep South. Even if you don't want to detour to New Orleans, you can tour the swamps (and see some 'gators) in Slidell, Louisiana. Bring the sunscreen and insect repellent!

Take the kids to the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. It's right on the way, and kids can work off some of that pent-up energy on the two-story Super Colossal Climbing Structure. Other hands-on exhibits are also fun.

Stay on I-10 east to Alabama. Mobile has many places to see, including the Mobile Historic Districts, which will give you a taste of Southern architecture. You can also visit the Mobile Museum of Art, the USS Alabama Memorial Park and Fort Conde.

Cross into Florida on I-10. At Tallahassee, see the Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens, the Florida State Capitol, the Museum of Florida History and the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science.

Continue into Jacksonville and enjoy the Florida and Georgia coasts.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spring and summer bring heat, humidity and bugs to the South. Be prepared with sunscreen, plenty of water and insect repellent.
  • Be sure to figure the costs of museums, amusement parks and other attractions into your trip budget. Fees can add up fast, especially if you are hitting all the amusement parks, which generally charge adults more than $30.
  • If you have time to meander off the beaten path, check National Scenic Byways Online (see the Related Sites).
  • Fall is hurricane season in the South. Keep your radio turned on and listen for severe weather warnings or evacuation notices if you are visiting in autumn.

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