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  1. #1

    Default Our first vacation to USA from Uk, itineracy advice please!

    Hi All

    My girlfriend and I are currently finalizing our itinerary for our first trip to USA next September for our dream holiday. We have booked our flights to and from the US from UK but nothing else yet.

    Below is our itinerary as it stands, we have thought long and hard for months over where we want to go and what we really want to do so we think this is perfect for us but it would be very much appreciated if you lovely people could take a look at it and offer any advice you think may be useful for our trip. Safety tips, Any cool places to visit, any travel tips, anything we simply MUST see etc...

    One thing we really need help with in this itinerary is getting to the Grand Canyon from either Memphis or Nashville

    So here is the itinerary as it stands:

    We fly to New York on the 14th Sept 2015 for 3 nights, this is predominantly my girlfriends part of the holiday so she will want to stay in a nice hotel or boutique apartment. We plan to see Phantom of the Opera on my birthday which is 15th Sep.

    Then we plan to fly to either Nashville or Memphis (this will depend where we can get to Grand Canyon best from) for 2 nights where will hire a car. We want to stay somewhere cheap and cheerful in Nashville but somewhere nice in Memphis.

    We will spend 2 nights in Memphis or Nashville then head to Clarksdale for 2 nights, on the Saturday and Sunday, for my part of the holiday where we hope to stay at the Shack up Inn or similar rustic accommodation, any other recommendations?? I am a delta blues fanatic so I want to go to the Crossroads, the Delta blues museum and we will spend the two nights at Reds Lounge and Ground Zero blues clubs, I simply cannot wait!!! I would like to know if we stay at the Shack Up Inn whether the 2 blues clubs are within walking distance?

    From Clarksdale we will drive to either Nashville or Memphis for 2 nights, we would much prefer to do Memphis so that my girlfriend can go to Graceland on her birthday which is the 21st Sept.

    Then is our biggest problem, Ideally we want to fly to the Grand Canyon from here and spend one night but we are struggling to find flights from Memphis.

    We will then drive from Grand Canyon to Vegas, soaking in some sights on the way, we would ideally like to hire a nice convertible car for the drive and would also like to drop onto Route 66 if possible.

    Whilst in Vegas we want to stay somewhere luxurious where we feel we are being really looked after, any recommendations? We will spend the remainder of our hols, which will be 4 or 5 nights depending on whether we stay at the Grand Canyon for 1 or 2 nights. And who knows... there may just be a Vegas wedding to look forward to as well... Watch this space!

    So as I already mentioned we are open to any advice that you feel in relevant to our trip, any changes you would make, car hire tips, should we get trains instead of flying between places? Places to eat, any good music venues or festivals, any cool vintage clothes shops, anything at all folks.

    Thank you in advance just for reading this and for any help you can give us, we are so excited, it can't come soon enough.
    Last edited by davielovesgravy; 09-06-2014 at 08:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Las Vegas -- great place to get married

    Sounds like you've done a great job of thinking about this trip! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum. Several of our members have stayed at the Shack-up Inn and really enjoyed it. Walking distance to those two clubs? Probably -- all three of those locations are within a radius of about 3 blocks. You do have to cross the RR tracks. I personally haven't been there yet and so I don't know if this is a neighborhood that encourages walking excursions.

    Lodging options in Las Vegas are varied in both effect and cost. The Cosmopolitan is one of my favorite hotels -- what is your budget for this location?

    and Las Vegas is a great place to get married. Again, lots of choices!

    It's full day's drive from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas and it is possible to drive along a section of the historic Route 66 on the way.

    Happy planning.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    It is always going to be less expensive returning a rental car to the same city where you rent it. With this in mind, you should fly from NYC to either Memphis or Nashville, and then fly out of the same city.

    There are no flights per se to the Grand Canyon, so you should probably fly to Las Vegas and drive to the Grand Canyon from there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Points to Consider

    As you say, you've thought long and hard about what you want to see and where you want to go so, by definition, you've come up with what is best for you. I will offer a few bits of info that may help you refine your trip rather than make major changes.

    I have found Memphis to be a difficult and expensive city to fly in to or out of, so I think you'll find better flights out of Nashville. So, after seeing Graceland/Sun Studios/Beale Street/Mud Island, you can continue on to Clarksdale and then return to Nashville for your flight out to the Southwest. The drive from Clarksdale to Nashville can be an integral part of your trip if you head east from Clarksdale on US-278 to Tupelo and then take the Natchez Trace Parkway to Nashville for your continuing flight.

    Phoenix is probably the best place to fly into for the Grand Canyon although Las Vegas may work as well for you and Southwest Airlines will offer good cost-competitive flights. But note that Southwest does not provide ticket/price information to travel search engines such as Expedia/Orbitz/Kayak so you'll have to check their website to see what they offer. If you decide to fly into Las Vegas, note that the Grand Canyon is not a day-trip from Vegas. In order to do it justice, you will need to plan on spending at least one night in the Grand Canyon area. Tusayan is the closest place with accommodations, but they are expensive. Williams is a little farther away, but with more reasonably priced rooms. Flagstaff offers the best combination of accommodation choices and additional things to see and do. Also note that "Grand Canyon flights" from Las Vegas do not go to the National Park but to the so-called West Rim which is on Indian land and is neither as deep nor as visually stunning as the main portion of the Canyon in the National Park.


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