I'm looking for some advice regarding a trip to Vegas I'll be taking in April 2013 and hoping just to get some insight while I'm planning. I'll be flying into Las Vegas on Sunday (04/14) and I'll be there through Thursday (04/18). My birthday is that Monday (04/15), so I don't plan to do any travelling outside of Las Vegas before Tuesday the 16th.
My initial idea is to rent a car Tuesday - Wednesday and head to go see the Grand Canyon. From everything I've read, I expect that trip to be between 4.5-6 hours one-way. I'd try to get on the road (relatively) early on Tuesday morning and head towards the GC aiming to be there sometime early to mid afternoon. I'm looking into getting a hotel for the night and leaving to return to Las Vegas on Wednesday morning.
I'm wondering if anyone would have suggestions for 1) where best to view the Canyon from - I've heard the North Rim offers the best views, and 2) what other stop-worthy sights/attractions could I try to incorporate into this side-trip? I don't necessarily want to feel rushed to get back in the car at any of these stops. On the flipside, I also don't really plan on spending 8 hours at a single attraction - meaning I'll probably pass on the donkey ride into the Canyon, I'm not really a hiker, etc.
I'm also wondering what would be a good stopping point for Tuesday night (keeping in mind it would just be for sleeping, so I'd lean towards the 'cheaper' accomodations)? And is there a route that I should look to take that would make the drive more of an experience? I'm currently thinking I'd take Rt. 66 on the way to the Grand Canyon.
I guess I would consider this a "day trip" with the possibility of an overnight stay before returning.
I'm sorry for the novel, but just trying to give you an idea of what timelines I'll be working with. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!