New Orleans, Louisiana to Santa Barbara, California

From the Gulf Coast (okay, slightly inland from the coast) to the West Coast, our 1,987 mile trip will take us from sea level, through the Rockies, and back down to sea level. Not a moment to waste for this 4-day trek, so let’s get moving!!

New Orleans

DAY ONE

Might as well call this the I-10 vacation, since that’s what we’ll be taking for about 95% of the trip. Onshore flow over the western Gulf has been kicking up some early morning showers from the eastern TX coastline through southern LA, and this morning won’t be much different. We’ll have to dodge some activity as we head out of New Orleans and past Baton Rouge, but should be a little less active as we cross the border into Texas by midday. There might be a few stray showers or an isolated thunderstorm as we travel past Houston in the mid-afternoon, but should die off late afternoon/early evening as we pull into San Antonio, our stop for the 1st night.

DAY TWO

A quiet start to the day is expected as we head out of San Antonio. A large upper ridge of high pressure continues to sit over the Southwest, keeping most of the storms at bay. In fact, it should be a pretty quiet day all the way into El Paso, our stop for the second night. Driving all day and we’re still in the same state! Egads!

DAY THREE

A shorter day in store today, since we’ll be going through some mountains. It’ll be a hot day to be sure, and we’ll be heading right through prime monsoon country! We’ll probably see some storms start to go up as we make our way through far southwestern New Mexico and into Arizona. Our best chance at seeing some storms will be as we negotiate our way by Tucson as they roll off the mountains north of town. Eventually we end our day in Phoenix.

DAY FOUR

The final leg! Pretty much a straight shot west out of Phoenix on I-10 through the scorching desert, passing Blythe, Indio, Palm Springs, and San Bernardino before finally making it through Los Angeles. Well, as fast as we can given how bad traffic usually is around the city. We’ll be out of Arizona before the monsoon activity kicks up, so it should be a clear and dry day as we finally pull into Santa Barbara!

Santa Barbara