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  1. Default Family trip from Chula Vista/ San Diego, CA to Jay, Oklahoma

    I'm excited to be taking our first family road trip! Our kids are 8 & 10 years old and we all love to explore:) We will be traveling from San Diego to Oklahoma (in hopefully 3-4 days to get there) to visit family. I would love advice on good places to stop & see or eat at! Good areas to stop for the night, where should we be trying to drive to each day??? Also, we homeschool (3rd & 4th grade) if anyone knows of some interesting historical sites, national parks, or museums... THANKS SO MUCH!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    If you want to do any kind of sightseeing and make any stops other than brief ones, you will need more than 3 days. Via fastest route it's a 1500 mile trip, which is about 9 hours per day in the car with stops only for fuel, bathroom, leg stretching, and a brief lunch stop. I live about 50 miles from Jay and I drive out to the San Diego area frequently, and it really is a 3 day grind.

    Now, how many days CAN you spare?

  3. Default

    We are leaving San Diego early Tuesday morning:) We would like to be arriving in Jay, OK by late Friday night or early Sat. morning at the latest... Is that possible???

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Sure, that's very doable. This gives you one extra day to play with. You could either do one major all-day stop - such as the Grand Canyon - or break up each day with some relatively brief diversions. I would not drive after dark, that will affect your body clocks adversely, so I'd plan on getting to Jay Friday night.

    You can make it to the Grand Canyon area in one long day, spend the night in Flagstaff, spend the next day in the GC and spend the night in Flagstaff. For a quick diversion along I-40 in AZ, you can run into Winslow and "stand on the corner". Spend the next night in Amarillo, where you can have dinner at the Big Texan (the motel is also decent) and make a quick visit to the Cadillac Ranch, bring your own spray paint!

    Best way to Flagstaff from Chula Vista is I-8 to Gila Bend, AZ-85 to I-10 to Loop-101 to I-17.

  5. Default

    Thank you so much! Maybe we could do the Grand Canyon on our way back home and not be so rushed... Thanks for all the ideas:) Love this site!!! So much great info

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    GLC is correct in saying it's a 1500 mile trip. It's a long drive from CV to GC, but easily doable. Your next overnight could be in Tucumcari. From there, home. Just one caveat: good luck in finding overnight accommodations in the Grand Canyon. You might be lucky and get something in the park on someone else's cancellation, or in Tusayan. Otherwise, you're going to be in Williams or Flagstaff.

    If you don't stop at the Grand Canyon, you might be a lot better off driving to I-40 via Yuma, Gila Bend, and Phoenix. Take I-8 to Gila Bend, pick up AZ-85. Take I-10 east to the 101 Loop North, which will drop you on I-17 north. Your overnights would be somewhere around Holbrook, AZ and Amarillo, TX. (My daughter is traveling this route going in the opposite direction, as I type. Their overnights were Yukon, OK, Albuquerque NM, and with her grandparents in Phoenix tonight.)


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Shorter Stops En Route

    For a possibly more rewarding (and shush! - educational) experience you could make a number of shorter stops, and even make one or two a day, during a more relaxed and direct four day route from San Diego to Jay. Breaking the 1500 mile drive up into relatively equal segments, your overnight stops would be around Phoenix, Albuquerque and Shamrock TX. In the first two of those, you'll want to try to stay on the east side of town so that you're not fighting morning rush hour when you go to start your new day.

    So, what are some good places to spend an hour or so where the kids can have a good time and learn a bit in the process. Well, Desert View Tower in Jacumba CA is more on the fun side and Yuma Territorial Prison certainly qualifies as educational, and then depending on what time you arrive and where you stay there are any number of great museums in Phoenix such as the Heard. On Day 2 you might want to look at Fort Apache Historic Park and El Malpais National Monument. Leaving Albuquerque on Day 3, you can take a slight detour north on I-25 to Pecos National Historic Park, using US-84 back to I-40, or go south a bit to Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument and use US-54 to return to I-40. Then take a purely fun break outside of Amarillo visiting Cadillac Ranch. (Note that graffiti is encouraged.) On your last day, you can see the Oklahoma City National Memorial and or the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in OKC and Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa.


  8. #8


    I have to say the OK City National Memorial Museum was outstanding. We saw it last weekend and it was simply amazing. So well done. There is an audio recording of a hearing taking place the day of the bombing at 9 AM that you listen to and (of course) at 9:02 AM the explosion...very powerful. We did not like the Cowboy museum as much, though there is a Museum of Osteology that has skeleton displays of a humpback whale and numerous other animals. OK City has some nice attractions.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-17-2015 at 10:28 AM. Reason: removed broken quote

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