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  1. Default LA, AZ, UT, NM, Dallas - 3 weeks

    Hi guys,

    Me and my girlfriend are planning to travel from England to America at the end of September for 3 weeks to the west coast. I was hoping if you could let me know if this potential travel plan is too ambitious or if there's anything major I've missed out that's worth seeing?

    So, here it goes!:

    Fly into LA and leave on Day 4
    (Day 4) Head to palm springs, joshua tree and stay somewhere between Phoenix and there
    (Day 5) Leave there and stay in Phoenix until Day 8
    (Day 8) Phoenix to Sedona, then Flagstaff
    (Day 9) Flagstaff to Grand Canyon, then long drive round to somewhere like Fredonia to stay overnight
    (Day 10) Grand-Staircase national park, head towards colorado in the evening
    (Day 11) Head to Durango and then onto Santa Fe
    (Day 12) Spend some time in Santa Fe, then head to Albuquerque
    (Day 13) Albuquerque (Balloon fiesta)
    (Day 14) Drive to Socorro (Large array thing), then onto Roswell
    (Day 15) Roswell to Carlsbad Caverns and head to Odessa/Midland in the evening
    (Day 16) Aim to reach Fort Worth by the evening
    (Day 17-19) Get to Dallas and stay there for a couple days for remainder of trip

    Sorry for the long post but we would be very grateful for any comments or useful advice. We especially don't really know if there is anything worth seeing between the NM-TX leg of the trip so open to any suggestions or detours.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The trip is all about you, but...........

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Every trip is unique in it's own way and it's all about what you want to do with your time. It would seem that City's are your thing, but for me the small towns, natural wonders and different cultures in America are what appeal to me. Therefor I find it difficult to understand why you would spend 7 or 8 days in LA and Phoenix and only have about 3 or 4 hours to visit one of the wonders of the world in the Grand canyon.

    The Grand Staircase is a National monument and is not easily accessable in areas but you do have National parks like Zion and Bryce canyon but again you seem to be rushing through here to get to your next city[s] so you might be better off enjoying more time at the GC and then drive through Monument valley to Durango, possibly find time to visit Mesa Verde NP.

    There are a thousands of things "worth seeing"but that depends on the main focus of your trip. If your trip is something you have thought through and researched and the end result is what appeals to you, then it's going to be a great trip. For me, I would prefer to see much more of the natural wonders, have more time out of the car that isn't in a city and possibly pick some natural wonders from Phoenix and finish in Las Vegas.

    Note that doing a one way trip will mean one way drop off fees on your rental, which could be quite significant.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I totally agree with Dave, above, but it's your trip. My husband and I have the thought, "you've seen one city, you've seen them all," and we tend to avoid them whenever possible. Occasionally they have a really good museum to see (Phoenix has the Heard Museum, ABQ has the Nuclear museum) or a theme park. But for the most part, we head for the natural wonders.

    The one thing I'd add to Dave's post: once you firm up your plans, get your lodging booked in Albuquerque immediately. When the balloon-fest is going, it's difficult to find reasonable accommodation.



    Donna

  4. Default

    Hi Dave, thanks very much for your detailed response.

    One thing I probably neglected to mention is I'm a massive Arizona Cardinals fan so we sort of need to hang around until Sunday evening that week to catch a game. This explains why we have a good chunk of time dedicated to the LA - Phoenix stretch as our only option is to really leave the UK on a Monday due to work.

    While cities are fun to visit, we also like the small towns and wonders you've described. We've been to Las Vegas before so wanted to go somewhere else if possible. I suppose it comes down to a decision whether we want to see Zion/Bryce or Monument Valley as it looks like they require completely different routes.

    We have calculated the cost of a one way rental as well and factored that in, we just didnt want to spend time driving back on ourselves or through places we have seen before.

  5. Default

    Hi Donna!

    Thanks for the advice! We will definitely look into spending less time in the major cities as you are probably right.

    Good call on the accommodation as well, hadn't thought of that. We'll take care of that asap.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Since you will be in Phoenix for a few days, here are some day trips/excursions that might be interesting to you. All are within a one hour drive from central Phoenix:

    Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, near Coolidge
    Lost Dutchman State Park, in the Superstition Mountains
    Heard Museum, Native Amn Culture & Art

    A little further than an hour away:
    Boyce Thompson Arboretum, near Superior
    Head south at Superior on AZ-177 about 12 miles to an overlook of the Ray Mine (copper). They used to give tours, but not any more.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    If you are interested in space and aviation, you could head down to Tucson for a day and visit the Pima Air and Space Museum and aircraft "boneyard", and also the Pinal Airpark in Marana.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default ABQ Balloon Fiesta

    Quote Originally Posted by austinforever
    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57
    The one thing I'd add to Dave's post: once you firm up your plans, get your lodging booked in Albuquerque immediately. When the balloon-fest is going, it's difficult to find reasonable accommodation.
    Good call on the accommodation as well, hadn't thought of that. We'll take care of that asap.
    Just want to make sure you know that the most popular events -- the Mass Ascensions, the Special Shapes Rodeos and the nighttime Balloon Glows –- don’t happen every day of the Fiesta. The Mass Ascensions are held on the weekends, plus the Flight of Nations Mass Ascension on Wednesday. The Special Shapes events are held Thursday / Friday, and the Balloon Glows are held during the weekends and Thursday / Friday.

    2015 Balloon Fiesta Schedule

    The Balloon Fiesta is a lot of fun. Have a good time!
    Last edited by howard; 06-28-2015 at 11:45 PM. Reason: typo

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