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  1. #1

    Default Newbie questions. Aug 2010/2011 Utah/Arizona 3 week vacation.

    hi all,
    New to the forums.
    I'd like to bring my kids (16 and 12) and husband to see what Utah and Arizona has to offer in Aug 2010 or 2011 (as a kid in 1980 I travelled with my parents from Mi to Ca and took in some of the canyons, Petrified Forest, Navajo country and have dreamed of coming back ever since!).

    I'm at the very early stages of planning (i.e. started looking at a Dorling Kindersley Guide yesterday and jotting down places to see) and would appreciate some advice.

    We are, ideally, a 'rent a car, get a villa with pool' kinda visitors. However, I do realise that Utah and Arizona are big places so first wanted to ask if there is anyplace that would be a good villa base (or two bases across the 3 weeks) for seeing the canyons in southern Utah, Vegas, and as far south as, perhaps, Sedona? We don't mind driving for up to 4 hours some days (perhaps we could rent a villa and arrange a stopover at a cheap hotel if we have a very long drive planned?).

    Other options are moving around hotels for the 3 weeks (although this would probably be more costly in that we'd need to book 2 rooms per night as the kids are too old to share a bed), or, rent an RV. We once owned a 19 foot motorhome here in the UK (and took it to Frane, Holland and Scotland)....nothing on US RV sizes I imagine!

    Options for flights include Phoenix and Vegas, although there may be other options from London airports I haven't yet found them.

    We aren't city-lovers, nor serious hikers but don't mind half hour to an hour walks and I think the kids would enjoy visiting historic places (Mesa Verde or similar, ghost towns, gunflight sights, museums) whilst hub and I will love the canyons and would like to see Vegas (not for gambling but for seeing the Strip). I also have an interest in the Oregon trail stemming from childhood reading and wonder if there are any similar trails and museums in the area we plan to visit.

    I suppose what I am asking is where do I go from here? I will be looking out for some trip reports for those similar to my plans but I really have no idea who much we will actually be able to see in 3 weeks and whether it will be too much to take on Southern Utah and northern Arizona.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'll be sticking around for a long time so am happy for replies or any length and any links you think would help.

    Thanks in advance,
    Tina (Kent, UK)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Filling in the Blanks

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Actually, you've already taken the first big steps to planning a great vacation. You've got experience and a a style of travel that suits you, and you've got a great destination as well as the time to see it. I will note that my wife and I travel in much the same style. The next big step is to choose your bases of operation. I think that three would be in order, one for Utah, one for northern Arizona, and one for southern Arizona. For Utah, somewhere in the vicinity of Salina would put you within a few hours of Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks. You could then drive through Las Vegas and over the Hoover Dam on your way to your next base around Flagstaff, which puts you within range of the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, Wupatki and Walnut Canyon National Monuments, Sedona, Jerome, and Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle National Monuments. Finally, your third week could be spent at a base near Tucson which brings into play such venues as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Kitt Peak, Saguaro National Park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the Pima Air and Space Museum, San Xavier del bac Mission, Kartchner Caverns, Tombstone, Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Bowie, and Tumacacori National Historical Park. Clearly, you won't be at a loss for things to see and do.

    As for places to stay, we really don't have villas for rent in the U.S. but what we do have are individual homes for rent by the day or week by their owners. Some of the sites that my wife and I use are VRBO, CyberRental, greatrentals, and RedWeek. The one area that you might like to consider, that I did not include, would be the southeastern corner of Utah and the southwestern corner of Colorado which is home to Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, the Million Dollar Highway and other locations, but you will have to draw the line somewhere.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 09-03-2009 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Typos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Great area to explore

    Hello Tina, welcome to the RTA forums!

    I suppose what I am asking is where do I go from here?
    At the moment you need to decide on how you want to get around as there is no right or wrong answers just choices. You have decided on the area you want to visit so you might want to pull out a decent map and have a look at places of interest to you and continue searching the forums. You can find lots of info on all the National parks via there website. If you wanted to spend your time in a villa and taking days out I think at least a two centre holiday would be better but personally I like to keep on the move. An RV won't be hardly any [if any] cheaper than two Motel rooms, although if you wanted to stay in National parks you do pay a premium for lodgings and the "camping" becomes good value and are set in great locations, although it should be a lifestyle choice not one based on budget.
    This is how we worked through things for our trip, and like us you have a lot of time to piece these things together.
    I would continue to research and base your decisions on what you want to see and how best to do it and as you build your trip keep asking questions and we can help you to "fine tune" it.

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