So many options....It's so hard to make all these decisions! Thank God this is a part of the trip that I love so much...the planning!
My wife and I have been "rethinking" our recent road trip plans. Originally, we had planned on taking a three week trip from Upstate NY (Geneva) to St. Louis, Albuquerque, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Rocky Mountain, north to Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, then back east through Detroit/Dearborn to see the Henry Ford Museum, and home.
It would have been 5000 miles/3 weeks. We would have rented a car to avoid the wear and tear and lousy gas mileage of our minivan!
When we brought the idea to the kids (two girls, 10 and 8), they just seemed so overwhelmed at the thought of such long days in the car (the speed runs at the beginning and end of the trip in particular). It started us thinking about another option. I thought I'd throw it out here, despite our current lack of details, to get some opinions......
How about a few opinions on this:
Fly into Vegas.
To Grand Canyon South Rim
To North Rim
Back to Vegas
About 2000 miles. Our thoughts now are to take it in about two weeks (as opposed to our original 3 week plan with the cross country drive).
One thing that I keep coming back to is the possibility of seeing LA, and maybe a day or two at Disneyland. We're huge Disney fans, and have been to DW in FL a bunch, but never been to DL! I keep thinking that if we don't throw the kids a couple of non-National-Park bones, they're going to revolt a bit at the idea of getting back in the car every day! And Disneyland would certainly fit the bill. Our 8 year old was thrilled with the thought of seeing the Pacific Ocean and Hollywood! Neither my wife nor I have ever been out that way either. We are just sooooooo East Coast!
What would you do??????
Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-07-2008 at 10:10 AM.
Reason: link to previous post
Your revised option sounds good and fun and doable. A couple questions. What does you son want to see in Hollywood? Hollywood itself doesn't have a lot to it, nor that much to do. You need to research it a bit to see if it is worth it. Great Basin NP might be a bit out of the way for your trip without adding a great place. There are many more places in Utah (archs, capitol reef,etc) that are closer. Yosemite will be crowded so if you want to get near it you probobly need to make reservations soonish. just some thoughts.
it's a tricky one but i guess you need to consider it's the kids holiday as well,so ultimately maybe they should choose the last part.with 2 weeks i would have thought you still had time to do yosemite from zion/bryce and then head for the coast and missing out on kings canyon/sequoia.
personally as suggested above i'd choose more time in the canyons e.t.c,i find them more entertaining than citys. your best bet would be to have the original 3 weeks and do it all,lol.i visited many of these places you have chosen which i have done a trip report on,it maybe worth a look.
you know your family
I think you've got a pretty good sketch of a plan.
Finishing the trip at Disneyland sounds like a great way to throw some variety into your trip, and make sure your kids enjoy things as much as you do.
Since you mentioned the coast, I would also look into traveling down the Pacific Coast highway. It would fit well into your current trip plans.
Having said that, I would also leave some flexibility so you don't overwhelm yourself time wise. You might have to cut things out a bit so you can your kids don't feel like you are spending your entire time driving.
Wow! Thanks for all the quick replies.
As far as I'm concerned, the "must-do's" on this trip would be:
Sequoia (my wife has always wanted to see the Redwoods!)
Everything else is negotiable!
"Hollywood" is on my 8 yr. old daughters list because she's completely convinced that she'll run into Miley Cirus! Actually, she knows better, but has heard that you can drive around and find the houses of the stars, and see where some TV shows are made, and she's into it. Funny enough, we go to NYC all the time, and she doesn't seem too interested in that stuff when we're there! But I'm not gonna try and figure out an 8 year old's logic!
According to Google, the trip up to Great Basin doesn't really add much in terms of time. Most of that trip from the GC area is north/south, so it cuts off lots of that portion of the trip to Yosemite.But I must admit that I questioned including it. I'd love some opinions about Great Basin. Anyone??
I love the idea of the PCH! I hadn't thought about "looping" down from Yosemite via the Coast.
Looks like it's back to Google Maps!!!
Does this route look "doable?"
ps..hey, Thanks Michael! That edit makes it a little easier!
Last edited by metsno1; 02-07-2008 at 11:47 AM.
Reason: Merge Posts, Link Format
I just clicked on your trip report link, and realized that I had already read it from start to finish-or at least as far as you've gotten!
Incredible pics! Thanks so much for posting. Your TR is one of the main reasons we're considering this trip!
Looking at your map, you've got yourself going to the Sequoia National Monument, not the National Park.
This thread takes a look at the differences between the two, and I will say, if you decide to go to the Monument, you should look at using Sherman Pass Road, which is also discussed in that thread. Also, Sequoias and Giant Redwoods aren't exactly the same thing.
As a former resident of LA and Arizona, I definitely recommend making the drive to LA. After all that driving in relative desert, I guarantee that your kids will be excited to see the ocean open up in front of them when you get to the coast. Driving the PCH is really nice, especially the area between Ventura and Santa Monica (west LA). Also Hollywood is really easy to see and explore during the day; it's not the most family-friendly place at night though. Most kids can get a kick out of the "walk of fame" stars on the Hollywood strip, as well as the famous "Hollywood" sign on the hills.
Disneyland is about an hour's drive from Hollywood/North LA, and is generally a nicer/less crowded area to stay in. If you're going to be in Orange County, I also recommend checking out the coast again by exploring the towns of Laguna Beach & Dan Apoint (on the PCH).
But also the basics of your plan are great; Northern Arizona & Utah have some of the most majestic and amazing scenery in the world.
hey thanks,that means a lot.
Originally Posted by metsno1
looking at your map i would say it is doable,and with a few stops in between journeys it should'nt be to over bearing for the young'uns.
personally,depending on how long your giving to the grand canyon,i would consider spending the time at the south rim and west rim drive, relaxing more and cut out taking the drive to the north rim. as lovely as it is it will give you more quality time and less behind the wheel.
whatever way your going to have a great time!
Desert travel vs Malibu, daughters' preferences
As I looked at the original fly-in plans, the first thing that jumped out at me was "man, that's a whole lotta desert in the summertime". You know your group like nobody else, though.
If you think a look at and dip into the Pacific is in order, and given your daughter's ages, you might want to look at a trip to the Santa Monica Pier, then the short hop up to Malibu (tell the girls you're going to Miley Stewart's home beach), thence up to Ventura and maybe Santa Barbara. I was just out there for the first time in November, and I recall much in the way public parking, restrooms, and showers from Santa Monica through Malibu.
And you might see Hannah Montana!