Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. Default from Colorado to California with small Children

    Hello,

    I am planning to drive with two small children - 3 and 5 from Colorado Springs to Oceanside CA - which route is more interesting with children - North ( Utah) or South ( NM )? Any advice or experiences? We are planning to do the trip in 2 days, leave super early ( 4/5 am) and stay in a hotel/motel on the way - question is where is a good and more importantly safe place to stop for the night? Are there any places to avoid? I am not a huge fan of Vegas and I travel alone with my kids so I am not comfortable staying there ( it is also a 12 hour drive which might be a bit much for me in one day and we would get there after dark ) - I am not concerned about luxury as far as motels go but would like to find a clean and safe place.
    Any sights/ parks along the way that don't take more than say an hour or so that we could use as breaks for the kids- I know we are passing by several National parks - just not sure if we could stop there without loosing half the day ...
    We have longer for the trip back and are thinking about seeing the Grand Canyon and stopping maybe 2 nights ...

    Opinions/recommendations ??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    This is a trip that can be done in 2 days, but it will be a trip that's all about the drive. I would take I-70/I-15 because it is a little shorter, and it is a very scenic trip. Also, if you're thinking of doing the Grand Canyon on the way home, then you'd be taking I-40 for at least part of that trip.

    For an overnight stop, Las Vegas should absolutely not be on your list. Not because there is anything wrong with the city, but because it is way too far to go in a single day, especially with kids. It is a computer-generated fantasy to suggest you could make that drive in 12 hours.

    You should try to make this trip in 2, relatively even length days, that will already take you a good 10+ hours each. Any more than that, and you'll be making your kids miserable, and you'll be pushing the limits of safety. That puts your overnight stops at either Richfield or Beaver, UT. Both places have a nice selection of hotels to pick from. At the very farthest, you could look at Cedar City, but that's going to put your on the road time at close to 12 hours, and is more than I'd recommend for a single day on a family trip.

  3. #3

    Default

    Did this in October with a 1 and 8 year old, so if it were me, I'd go southwest going and northeast returning, giving it at least two nights to get there, then two back.

    If you go southwest to Durango, leaving at 6:00 AM, you'll be into Durango for lunch - it's a cute town with a nice downtown filled with lots of options to eat, then you can walk around or hit the children's museum in town to let the kids burn off some energy and about when your kids seem tired enough to maybe nap in the car, head back out - say 3:00?

    Continue along to Gallup and plan to spend the night there - if you leave at 3:00, you'll get into Gallup around 6:00-6:30, in time for dinner and to find a good place to stay. I suggest this as you stop since it'll allow you early the next day to start earlier with something fun - the Petrified Forest national park - with the kids. It's a touch over an hour from Gallup, so if you have breakfast in Gallup and get on the road by 9:30, you'll have time for the PFNP, then will be back on the road around 11:30 - head to Winslow for lunch, it's about an hour away.

    Have lunch and plan to be back on the road by 2:00 - you're ahead of rush hour traffic in Flagstaff, and about three hours to Kingman....stop for dinner, then get to Needles for overnight. The Best Western in Needles is an option. Then from Needles to Oceanside the next day, you're looking at about five hours so you can take your time and take a couple of different routes depending on what you want to do with the kids - but you're easily within an easy drive to get to Oceanside.

    Return I'd do a push first day returning and get to St. George, UT (it's about 6-7 hours, but you'll have stops in there), stay there for the night, see Zion in the AM and work my way to Moab for overnight, next day do Arches and head into Colorado to get in that night.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Between Richfield and Beaver, I believe Richfield has the better selection of hotels. It is also exactly at the halfway point if you take I-25 north to Denver to pick up I-70 (this plots out as the fastest route, take C-470 around the southwest side of the city). Best way to Oceanside is stay on I-15 through the eastern LA basin past Fallbrook to CA-76. Unfortunately, you don't have time to do any sightseeing on the way out except through the windshield.

    On the way back, retrace your steps to Barstow, then take I-40 to Williams and spend the night. It's an hour from there to the GC, you can spend most of the day there. You could go to Tusayan to get closer to the park, but hotels there are expensive. In order to allow you to get home the next day you will have to make it to Kayenta that night. It's about a 3 hour drive from the GC to Kayenta. Fastest way home from there is US-160 all the way to Walsenburg, then I-25. You would also be going right by the Four Corners monument. You could take US-163 out of Kayenta through Monument Valley, then take US-191 to UT-163/UT-262/CO-41 back to US-160, this would just miss 4 Corners, it would be about a 6 mile backtrack.

    Note that there are only 2 hotels in Kayenta - the Hampton Inn and Monument Valley Inn - both are rather expensive (around $150 a night) and I'd recommend reservations.

    You can use our hotel search (green toolbar at the top) to get prices and availability for your dates.

    This assumes that you can only take 2 days going out and 3 days coming back. If you can allot more time, then you can do a lot more.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I concur with GLC....Richfield has the better choice of hotels and places to eat. For the past 20 years, we've spent a number of nights at the Quality Inn in Richfield. It has a pool, and it's located right next to a restaurant. Last time we were there, it was JB's, a family place, and there was also an ice cream parlor right next door. There are quite a few other motels there, too. Quality Inn has often had a good coupon for the overnight, too.


    Donna

  6. Default

    As you've described your trip you have long, driving days especially heading west. When we had long driving days with young kids, it was more important to have breaks than schedule scenic stops. They were very happy with parks and playgrounds in towns or cities en route as an opportunity to be out of the car to eat and play.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I wouldn't count on JB's still being open - they went bankrupt in 2011 and started shutting down. I ate at one in Kingman a couple years ago and it was "okay" but I wasn't really impressed. It was kinda dirty and the carpet was getting really threadbare and worn.

  8. Default

    thank you everybody for the good tips and advice

    I think I will try to make it to Cedar City on the first day - as this would make the trip on the second day a bit shorter - we need to be in Oceanside at a decent time as we rented a private condo.

    I might have a second adult driver with me - a friend volunteered ( bless her heart !!) to travel with us so that would help.

    Any recommendations regarding the motels in Cedar City - no luxury but it should be safe and clean?

    we will leave as early as possible the first day ( and probably the second day too) - probably around 4 am, pick up my friend around 5am half way to Denver and then drive a longer stretch as the kids will be still a bit tired and hopefully sleeping for the first hour or two. Then take breaks every 2 hours or as needed. We will be traveling in a minivan with potty in the back, plenty of room, DVD and in relative comfort ( well - as comfortable as you can get when you travel with kids ;-) ).

    We might do the Grand Canyon as suggested on the way back - maybe stop at Grand Sanddunes which is already familiar territory for us and on the home stretch... The way back will be more relaxed - we can take as much time as we need and stop whenever we like ( this I am actually looking forward to !). It will all depend on the kids and how they cooperate.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Cedar City has a wide selection of hotels - in the green menu on top of the page, use Hotels & Cars - Hotels & Motels to research them. You can get prices and reviews, and even make a reservation if you want. I just did a quick search and found 23 hotels in Cedar City.

    You are looking at 650 miles from COS to Cedar City - that's going to be a LONG day on the road. With your stops, I'd guess it could be as much as 14 hours.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    A few things.

    By driving 650 miles in a day with kids, you are pretty much asking for your kids to be fairly miserable. It's just a very long day on the road. Being couped up in a car for 12+ hours, even if you make frequent stops, is going to push the patients of most adults, and you really aren't giving your kids a fighting chance.

    I will also say that travel with kids is a lot of what you make of it. If you treat it like a chore, where they need to be "medicated" with DVDs, then they will treat it as a chore to be dreaded. The more you treat it like a fun adventure, the more they will be able to enjoy the trip. Now, the ability for it to be fun is going to be limited by the distance you're going to try cover, but if you want cooperation from your kids, then start with yourself.

Similar Threads

  1. Road Trip LA - Vancouver with 2 small children
    By Zeebs in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-23-2009, 01:59 PM
  2. Chicago to San Francisco - small children & U-haul
    By Bicasso in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-19-2008, 06:40 AM
  3. Traveling With Small Children - Safety
    By PureSlacker in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-29-2007, 12:44 PM
  4. Dallas to Atlanta with small children
    By Mudsmurf in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-28-2007, 07:00 AM
  5. LA to denver with small children
    By moving mom in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-22-2006, 08:56 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES