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Aug 4, 2008 09:08 AM

DC to San Francisco Road Trip (Southwest)

So I am leaving Washington, DC to move back to California and will be taking a long drive from one coast to the other. Two friends are joining me on this trip and the three of us would definitely like to avoid the fast food chains as much as we can.

The trip plan so far is this:

Sunday August 31
Depart in the afternoon and stop for the night somewhere in West Virginia, maybe Charleston
(I-270 to 70 to 68 to 79 to 64)

Monday Sept 1
Stop in Louisville for a late lunch with family
Stop for the night in St. Louis with family

Tuesday Sept 2
St. Louis to Denver

Wednesday Sept 3
Stay in Denver with Family

Thursday Sept 4
Denver to Salt Lake City (maybe to West Wendover, NV)
(I-25 to I-80)

Friday Sept 5
Salt Lake City to S. Lake Tahoe

Saturday Sept 6
Lake Tahoe to San Francisco

I am looking for recommendations that are cheap (less than $10-15 for lunch and less than $15-20 for dinner) and quick (not more than ten miles off the freeway and we don't want to sit down for an hour). Anything with local color would be appreciated and if it is really worth it, we might waive either the cheap or quick guideline. We are open to any and all types of cuisine.

I am looking for help primarily with the road food and not really for the cities that we're stopping in but if you have recommendations for Salt Lake City or West Wendover, please list those as well.

I am posting this in several boards so for this one I guess the focus could be on the fourth leg of the trip. Is there anything great between Denver and SLC and Lake Tahoe? and if you have any recommendations for the rest of the trip, I'd love to hear those too.


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  1. If you search Wyoming, you will get some suggestions of where to stop along I80. Also, checkout the posts for Fort Collins (4 miles in from the highway), but if you take the US287 cut, off you will go right through FC.

    I80 is the fastest way to SLC from Denver, but I70 to to Green River, UT and then up on US6 is more scenic. Plus you can stop for lunch in the Mountains (Frisco, Vail, Avon, Edwards). Once you get west of Glenwood Springs, there is not that much of a selection. Its 2 hours to Vail and 6 hours from there to SLC. If you are really adventuresome, take I70 to US50 to Reno. US50 is billed as the loneliest highway in the US.