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  1. Default Educational road trip

    I am traveling from Louisiana to Port Angeles Washington with my 13 year old daughter.We will be moving to Port Angeles permanantly. We will be leaving October 10th. I would like my daughter to see the grand Canyon, Death Valley, The Sequia's etc. Since she will be missing at least two weeks of school I want to make it fun but also a learning experience. I would like any route suggestions that would be interesting and safe. I would like suggested places to stay and a good plan. I was tinking about traveling about 500 miles a day but we have plent of time to explore.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default She Can't Help But Learn

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As a rule, RoadTrips lend themselves to education in a very natural manner for Geography, Geology, History and many other subjects. Especially if you have the time and are willing to get off the Interstates and explore a bit, there are tons of historic sites, local museums, wildlife refuges, etc, etc., etc. Just some of the places that your daughter might find fun (You don't have to tell her she's supposed to learn anything.) include the Chisholm Trail Museum, the Museum of the Western Prarie, the Greater Southwest Historical Museum, the Amarillo College Natural History Museum, the Salinas Pueblo Missions, Petroglyph National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater, Lowell Observatory...

    The list goes on and on, but I hope you get the idea. You also have a far better idea of what your daughter enjoys learning about than I do, so just be sure to make use of the Welcome Centers as you enter each state who will know more about what is on offer locally.


    Oh, and any time you stop at a National Park, ask about the Junior Ranger Program. Not only will your daughter be given some fun (and educational) activities, but she'll earn a sort of 'merit badge' souvenir.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-02-2009 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Added note on Junior Rangers

  3. Default Thanks

    Thanks for the thoughtful answer. I am new to the sight and this is the first trip I have taken by car in many years. I usually fly. So I plan to take a leisurely trip. I am concerened about any bad weather I may encounter as I do not have snow tires or chains. Do you think I am early enough in the season to avoid such hazards?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Most Likely Not

    I would be very surprised if you needed chains in October on any of the main highways. If you should, and you have limited or no experience in driving in winter mountain weather, then your far better option would be to just sit out the storm, let the road crews do their work, and continue on when the roads are clear once again.


  5. Default

    It sounds like you're headed for California. Might want to check out Route 1 that hugs the western coast; there's Hearst Castle and the Redwood Forest along the way.

    Have fun!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default First Americans

    Don't forget you have options to give your child a taste of some Native American culture in New Mexico (pueblos) and Arizona (Navajo/Hopi).

    I would suggest considering an all-day or half-day tour at either Monument Valley or Canyon de Chelly (both will be led by Navajo guides). Both these have on-site/close lodging options.

    Other sites include Taos Pueblo and Acoma in New Mexico.

    All of these include scenery, plus a taste of native culture.

    Oh yeah; try the fry bread and/or Navajo tacos... MY kind of junk food!

    Here's a shot of the inside of a hogan (traditional Navajo dwelling) on the tour we took in Monument Valley. The guide is explaining things as the woman on the floor is demonstrating spinning wool into the yarn used to make rugs.

    Photo: Don Casey

    We went back the next morning and bought a rug similar to the ones you see over the shoulder of the tall guy in the first photo.

    Photo: Don Casey
    Last edited by CalOldBlue; 10-03-2009 at 01:57 PM. Reason: add some photos

  7. Default Thanks

    Wow great suggestions!!! wonderful pictures. I have been looking for place to staqy near the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Any suggestions? Also i wanted to show my daughter Route 66. I traveled as a child and have fond memories. I would want to catch it starting in Amarillo. What do you think?

  8. Default

    Any ideas about Route 66? I traveled the route with my parents as a child in the 60's it was so fun. Would love my daughter to see it. I understand that it is not all intact any more. what do you think?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The longest stretch of 66 that still exists is between Seligman and Kingman AZ. You can also take it from Kingman through Oatman and down to Topock. There is another stretch in CA from Fenner to Ludlow.

    The cheapest places to stay near the Grand Canyon are in Flagstaff and Williams - but it's at least an hour drive to the canyon from there. The closest is the town of Tusayan right outside the south entrance - there are a few chain hotels but expect $100+ a night.

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