Hello all. I am an English NFL fan who is planning his annual trip to the US to see some games. In the past, I have always been to East Coast cities and been able to fly between game locations, but this year I am finally going further west and my travel agents have recommended driving some of the way.
We hope to leave Phoenix on a Tuesday morning in October (the day after MNF) and arrive in San Diego in time for Thursday night football later that week. As I see it, that gives us Tuesday, all day Wednesday and about half of the day on Thursday to make the trip and in this time, it would seem a shame not to see the Grand Canyon (I am travelling half way around the world pretty much, so I'd hate to miss out after all.)
My travel company have recommended a hotel very near the Canyon for the Tuesday night which sounds like a good idea, but I can stop anywhere at all on the Wednesday night. I have four basic questions I was hoping to get some information on.
1) I have no issue driving in the States at all, but as an Englishman, I have heard that a lot of driving on the five lane, busy freeways can be stressful and dull. How much would I be stuck on such routes or would I be able to spend more time on smaller, more scenic routes that might be both more interesting and less busy? I am aware a lot of the driving will be through Desert, but I've never done that so following a seemingly endless two lane road through sand counts as interesting. Six lanes of gridlocked traffic and concrete, less so...
2) Where would be a good place to spend Wednesday night? I might never be in this part of the world again and while I am aware my tour is at best whistlestop, I would like to at least see something I will tell stories about back home.
3) How bad will finding my way to the Stadium in Phoenix from my downtown hotel be on game night? I have always stayed within walking distance of games before, so driving to the game will be a new experience for me, and having attended English sporting events, the combination of heavy traffic and lack of signage can be far from fun...
4) Is San Diego pretty easy to navigate? I am very used to the US block system, but if I am dealing with a lot of urban sprawl and the like, is Sat-Nav going to be able to get me where I need to be or will it be like UK cities where Sat-Nav is vaguely right occasionally, but really you need to just know one way systems etc to get around? Also, similar question about driving to the game. Good idea or nightmare?
I could always just fly from PHX to SD and avoid this all together, but the idea of a road trip does appeal, and well, it does work out cheaper. Anyway, sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for any information you are kind enough to share.