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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Wishing on a star, and for everyday space travel.
    Posts
    2

    Default Edmonton, Alberta Canada to Southern California

    Hi everyone, thanks in advance to those who take the time to respond to this post.

    My family is heading from Edmonton Alberta Canada to Anaheim California USA at the end of June. We are road trip fanatics and as such we will be driving. My kids are excellent with road trips (ages 10 and 12) as we tend to make them every summer. This - will be - by far - the longest road trip to date. We do Edmonton to Kelowna in less than a day... 10 hours give or take... and can do all of Vancouver in one day, from Kelowna. Yes - there and back.

    My questions are: We intend to leave on June 25th (bright and ealy... which will turn into about 10 am, as usual. :p ) We were looking at going down through Montana (stopping somehwere in that state the first night) and Vegas the next and spending a night or two there as Anaheim is apparently only 4 to 5 hours away. We are booked in for 10 days at a hotel in Anaheim... starting on the 28th.

    6 days at disney.. 1 at universal and 3 days for San Diego Zoo and beaches. We are intending to be back between the 15th and 17th of July, returning up the coast, not through Vegas. Is this enough time or am I living in a fantasy?

    Does anyone have any sight-seeing ideas for the trip back? Or any additional routes that may be of interest?

    Also, I get conflicting stories on Vegas being appropriate for children. I have never been nor has my husband... we do not gamble but heard the shows etc are fantastic. On the flip side, we heard we might have to explain some things to our children. Any thoughts? :P

    Great forum!

    Cheers Mates,

    ~Pandorica~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Welcome!

    Edmonton to LA in 4 days is very reasonable. However, trying to reach Las Vegas in 2 days is a stretch. This is 1500 miles, and driving back to back 750 mile days is grueling.

    I'd recommend you stop the first night in MT somewhere - Butte would probably be the farthest you should attempt. Spend the second night in UT somewhere, probably Provo. Then the next day would be about a 6 hour drive into Las Vegas, spend just one night there and head on into LA the next day. I highly recommend you try to get to LA before afternoon rush hour. Las Vegas does have some "family" attractions, but the Strip really isn't that appropriate for children except to drive or walk up and down and see all the lights.

    Now, another option would be to go through a national park or two on the way down, and just drive straight through Las Vegas. The 2 closest parks to I-15 are Bryce Canyon and Zion. If you spend the second night in Provo, you would only have to make it to Cedar City or St. George for the next night. Of the 2 parks, Bryce Canyon is the easiest to see in very limited time. Zion requires parking, riding shuttle buses, and walking - at Bryce you can simply drive down to the end, then stop at each viewpoint on the way back out. I was able to do this in under 4 hours including watching the movie in the visitor's center. Provo to Bryce is about 4 hours, then Bryce to Cedar City can be done in under 2 hours. It's another 45 minutes to St. George.

    Could you please do the math for us and let us know how many days you want to make the return trip in?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Wishing on a star, and for everyday space travel.
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the reply. :)

    We will be leaving Southern California on July 9th... so 7 to 9 days to head back to Edmonton. As for Vegas... we intend to stop somewhere in Montana the first night.. thinking Great Falls... and sorry my bad... we do intend to stop somewhere between Great Falls and Las Vegas the second night.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Vegas should work well stopover point. It's not a place I would go for a full out family vacation (unless it was being used as a hub to see the many great areas and parks nearby). At the very least, just seeing the strip at night and seeing things like the Bellagio fountains and eating at one of the great restaurants the city has to offer would make it a great stopping point.

    If you are planning to spend 3 days in San Diego, then I'd spend those 3 days in a San Diego hotel. You'll be looking at a 2 hour drive each way from Anaheim (assuming traffic is only moderately bad), which for a day trip is fine, but that starts to really eat away at your vacation when it is over multiple days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If you spend a night in Great Falls, you can make it to Salt Lake City or Provo the next day no problem.

    On the return, I don't think you would have time to follow the coast all the way to Seattle, but you would certainly be able to take a good portion of it. When you start running out of time, just head for I-5. You will need to allow at least a day and a half to get home from Seattle. On I-5, you can make it to Seattle from the CA/OR state line in 1 day.

  6. #6

    Default Stopping in Vegas with kids

    We used Vegas as a jump off point for our road trip last year. I was hesitant to take three "tweens" to Vegas on July 4th. It was ok, crowded & insanely hot. We were only there one day and a night and hit the road the next morning. If you have the opportunity or want to do a "Vegas" type thing, take your kids to see Blue Man Group. It's a great show for all ages & I've seen all of the different ones in all of the cities and they never have disappointed. My kids really enjoyed it. Alternatively, you could take an afternoon & drive out to Hoover Dam.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Another overnight option in MT: Helena

    I like Helena; state capitol (interesting murals in the capitol building) and quaint downtown/old town area ("Last Chance Gulch").

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