Need help planning road trip/ Suggestions of places to visit!
Im trying to plan a road trip for while my BF is here on Spring Break. We have a few places in mind that he wants to see for sure, but Im not sure how to string them all together to make them economical and not put a million miles on my car... Any suggestions on what to see also would be great.
Heres the trip information - ANY help is appreciated! Thanks!
I will be living in Flagstaff, Az so the trip needs to start there - he is flying into Las Vegas at NIGHT on March 4th. We want to spend the night in Vegas on the 4th. From there we are pretty open, but would like to visit: Grand Canyon, Sedona (hike the Red Rocks), Flagstaff, PHX (only if we can get DBacks tickets), Mexico, San Diego, Parker, Laughlin, Lake Havasu (needs to be a weekday for Havasu so I can run an errand), possibly Lake Powell and we are open to other sites along the way. We need to be back in Vegas by the 14th of March as that is when his plane leaves, but even if we are back there by the 13th and spend another night there, that is ok.
We're pretty flexible, but a few things to note are that we ARE under 21, and college students so cheap but nice is good. Major concern is making sure it loops together nicely so that I don't put a million miles on my little Taurus. We are also open to White Water Rafting but dont know of any places around that have BIG rapids.
Also what is a basic checklist of things I should go through on my car before starting this trip... It is a 1994 Ford Taurus with 72,000 miles on it. (I got it in Nov. with 65,000 mi on it)
Uncle Bob says...
Here's one way to do it:
Leave Flagstaff about 3:00 PM on March 4, you'd arrive at Las Vegas airport about 7:00 PM. (This allows a 15 minute break every two hours.) Spend the night there, then drive to Laughlin the next day (3/5). If you spend 4 hours in Laughlin, you could make Lake Havasu by 3:30 PM for your errand -- this is a Friday. Or you could drive directly to Lake Havasu on Friday, take care of your business, doing Parker either before or after, and then backtrack up to Laughlin and spend the night there. If you do, I highly recommend dinner at the Gourmet Room at Laughlin's Riverside -- you'll need reservations, probably. It is expensive but worth it.
Next day (3/6) head over to the Grand Canyon via I-40 and SR64 at Williams. Spend the rest of the day at Grand Canyon. If you plan ahead for (3/7), and contact Wahweap Marina (Lake Powell) to check on cruises, you may be able to get on a cruise to Rainbow Bridge -- the ride takes most of the day (7.5 hours ) and includes lunch. Because the lake water level is low, you must hike from the boat to the bridge itself -- it cannot be seen from the boat. It is about a 1.5 mile hike. The boat leaves Wahweap Marina at 10AM, so you'd have to leave Grand Canyon fairly early on 3/7 if you want to include this.
You'd stay at Page that night, then leave early on 3/8 for Sedona. Arrive late morning, spend the rest of the day there (eat at Shugrue's!). You can either stay there or head south toward Phoenix -- next day is 3/9 and the D'Backs are playing Anaheim at Tucson Electric Park. Game time is 1:05 PM. If you leave Sedona before 8 AM on 3/9, you'll have time for lunch before you head to the game. Stay the night in Tucson.
3/10 -- Leave for Rocky Point Mexico. Take SR86 over toward Ajo, then south on SR85. Be sure to buy Mexican Auto Insurance before you go (can be obtained in Ajo, and also at the border crossing, I believe), and take good ID. Play on the beach, eat dinner at The Lighthouse, and don't get too crazy. Mexican jails are no fun! (A possible stop on the way is at Kitt Peak Observatory outside of Tucson, if you are interested in astronomy. You can take a self-guided tour of the facility in daylight hours. You have a few hours for this that you can shave off the end of the trip).
3/11 -- head back north up to I-8 and then west to San Diego -- you can be there by 4:00, and spend your evening there -- and the next day if you wish. Take your sweetie on a harbor cruise -- maybe even dinner! Actually, one of the nicest places to eat in San Diego (IMHO) is Vincenzo's -- in the Italian quarter, on India Street, just above Harbor Drive (downtown). The address is 1702 India Street. Absolutely great food and service as well. If you like Italian, you'll love it! Look up http://www.vincenzoristorante.com . Again, not inexpensive, but you could maybe share a plate!
Next day (3/12), spend at San Diego and leave on the 13th AM, or kill a half day and head back to Las Vegas after noon for an evening arrival on the 12th. Be sure to drive out to Cabrillo National Monument at the end of Point Loma. It is one of the most beautiful views in the WORLD. If you like beach CULTURE, spend some time on the oceanfront sidewalk at Pacific Beach, or if you just like the beach, you can't beat the Silver Strand south of Coronado.
Or you could fool around in Las Vegas for your last day or two. There's always something to do there.
For rafting -- look up www.blueskyexpeditions.net . They offer one day trips on the upper Salt River NE of Phoenix for $105-$120 per person.
For your car, you need to check your tires, brakes, top off the fluids, have fresh oil, filter and a lube job. Check hoses, belts, look for leaks (have your coolant system pressure tested), listen for weird noises. Have your wheel alignment checked. Make sure you've got a good battery. If you have a good mechanic you can trust not to rip you off, just tell them you need your car checked for a 2600 mile trip. They'll know what to look for. Bob
Thanks for help!
WOW!! That sounds amazing and is a great way to loop it all together!! One thing we were talking about is Rosarito Beach - do you know where thats at? If not this sounds way sweet and is probably what we'll go with. Thanks soooo much!
You know, you may be right -- I didn't realize Rosarito was so close to San Diego (about 20 miles south of Tijuana). It might be a better and mileage and time-saving deal to go there istead of Puerto Penasco. I've never been there but I've heard positive things about it, and the activities look to be the same. So there you go!
BF switching up things a bit
Hi Bob - or anyone else aroudn for that matter - My BF is switching things up a bit and flying into Phx late evening on the 4th - we still want to see the same things, however we also need to be in Flagstaff by afternoon on 3/12 and possibly for half the day on 3/13 also - he leaves mid afternoon on the 14th out of Phx.
Can you help with a trip itinerary based on the change in plans? We still do want to hit up Vegas in the middle of the week sometime for probably 2 nights - and Havasu still needs to be included during the week before 3pm so I can pick up a paycheck from work.
Thanks soooooo much!
Requires some changes, less miles, loss of lake!
Unfortunately, with the changes, there isn't time to include Lake Powell (unless you work it in as a day trip along with GC at the end).
3/4 Drive down to Phoenix the afternoon of 3/4. Pick BF up and stay in Phoenix that evening.
3/5 Drive to Parker, Lake Havasu and Laughlin. Pick up your check. Stay in Laughlin, or go on to Las Vegas for the night.
3/6 Drive to Las Vegas if you didn't already. Stay two nights.
3/8 Drive to San Diego. Spend afternoon and evening in San Diego.
3/9 Day trip to Rosarito. When you come back, either stay in San Diego or head toward Arizona (Tucson)
(In order to make the Diamondbacks game in Tucson on 3/10, you need to get a head start on 3/9 and shave some miles off or leave SD EARLY on 3/10 (no later than 6:00 AM). You can get tickets by calling 866-672-1343. They're entertaining the Evil Chicago Cubs.)
3/11 Leave Tucson and drive to Grand Canyon. Overnight at Grand Canyon, (or save money and commute back to Flagstaff for the night).
3/12 See Grand Canyon sunrise, drive back to Flagstaff by afternoon.
3/13 @Flagstaff -- day trip to Sedona and/or Jerome. Back to Flagstaff for overnight.
3/14 Drive to Phoenix to leave BF at airport.
Indecisive (and frustrating) Boyfriend changing trip up again
Hi Bob - Wow this is getting old! Thank Goodness I have you to ask for help!! Thanks for all the great suggestions and I understand if you dont wanna help me out this time cause you've done so much already.. BUT my bf switched tickets again and actually booked them this time.(FINALLY)
He got ones that arrive in Vegas on Thursday evening. And we booked a hotel for thursday night in vegas already. We are looking around for another one for Friday night, but I am wondering how this route sounds?
Flagstaff to Vegas - pick up bf and stay overnight
Play around in Vegas - Stay somewhere closeby that night (We are hoping to have Blue Man Group Tickets for this night or a comedy show that allows 18 and up)
Drive to Hoover Dam, Laughlin, then On to San Diego arriving in the evening?
San Diego Area - stay night in San Diego
Cruise to Mexico - back to San Diego or close by for the night
Leave San Diego - go through Parker, to Lake Havasu (pick up check and hang out here) Stay the night in Havasu.
Here's where I need some help...
March 10th - March 12th
Only limitations are budget and being back in Flagstaff by 4pm on the 12th. Doesn't look to me like Diamondbacks will fit into the schedule, but maybe Lake Powell, Sedona, and Grand Canyon could? Also - how far is the 4 corners from this area? Thanks so much again!
You could probably fit in Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and Sedona easily enough -- I think that's about the limit unless all you want to do is drive. Four Corners is several hours of extra driving, three each way. And you'd be disappointed as there's really nothing there -- except to say you'd been there.
I'd go to the Grand Canyon first, then Lake Powell, then Sedona -- or you could visit Sedona as part of the trip back to Phoenix.