We are planning a trip beginning 2nd half of August 2005.
We intend to start in Houston TX and to finish in Las Vegas OR Denver. At this stage we are not sure where we will end. We will have about 15 days to make it.
It seems, as if going to Denver could be a little less interesting (???).
What we would like to see is San Antonio, Del Rio, Big Bend N.P. and Carlsbad Caverns (maybe White Sands as well).
As we will in NM, we need to decide, if Las Vegas, or if Denver will be our destination. Our maximum trip length per day should regularly not exceed 300 miles.
We would like to stay in chain-hotels, such as Best Western, Holiday Inn or Days Inn.
Any (good) tips for us??? Any recommendations, to choose Las Vegas or Denver?
I think both destinations could be very fun, I haven't been to Las Vegas yet, but there's plenty of entertainment in Denver. Of course, Las Vegas must be more spectacular and touristic but it depends on what your interests are.
You'll love San Antonio, it is such a beautiful town! There are a lot of historic buildings there and the spanish architecture is very impressing. You could visit Ft Alamo there, they have very nice parks. Of course, the street plan is really weird and you can easily get lost there, so make sure you have a great map (AAA or other).
I heard Carlsbad Caverns is a must see as well, I've never been there (I was supposed to but didn't have enough time :(( ) but I know many people on this forum know the place. I highly recommend White Sands, when you're walking on these sand dunes, you really feel like you're out of this world. I couldn't believe I was in New Mexico! Plus the entrance fee is really unexpensive (3$), definitly worth it.
Things to see in both directions
If you go toward Denver, you could include Lincoln County NM (for either direction, actually), Santa Fe/Taos and Eagle Nest, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR at Chama, NM, Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde NP, Durango (the DSNG RR is there also), Black Canyon NP, the hot springs around Glenwood Spgs, and some of the ski areas (in summer there's LOTS of possibilities for hiking), Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak (Colorado Springs). In the other corner of the state (NW) there's Dinosaur Natl Mon, and near Denver itself Rocky Mountain Natl Park.
Toward Las Vegas, see some combination of the Silver City NM area, Fort Bowie (AZ), the Chiricahua Natl Mon and mountains, Bisbee, Tombstone (tawdry but fun), Tumacacori Mission, San Xavier Mission, Prescott/Jerome/Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Flagstaff (many attractions), Sunset Crater, Wupatki Ntl Mon, Canyon de Chelly, Hubbell Trading Post (Ganado, AZ), Meteor Crater, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Navajo Natl Mon, and the southern Utah parks (Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Cedar Breaks).
Maybe you can't see all of these sites, but you could choose the ones that interest you and plan a route accordingly. If you're not familiar with some of the places I mentioned, post again and I'll explain further.
Finally, the scenery on either one of these routes is alone worth the trip -- everything from low desert, high desert, canyons and mountains. All of it with the western sky thrown in for no extra charge. You can't go wrong.
I really appreciate your assistance. At this stage, we are still undecided, if we will be heading towards Las Vegas or Denver.
We've been in LV various times. We like it (but only for a visit of max. 2-3 days!). We are absolutely no gamblers, but we like LV's atmosphere.
What we don't know is Denver. It seems, as if the distance to D. is quite the same. But - there are still some doubts, you see - we fear, that - let's say from Carlsbad Cavern onwards - the route may be less interesting to D.
BY THE WAY, FOLKS:
We - we are Germans in our early Forties - we like your country and your people very much. We come back to the US every year (since 8 years in a row). Most of the time, we trvelled west/south west, but we've been in New York, Chicago and Florida as well.
@Gen: Are you from SFO?? (sanfranmail.com) San Francisco is our absolutely favourite destination!! We LOVE the Bay Area (and the Wine Country too!!)
no sorry, I'm not from SFO, actually, I've never been to SFO but it always been one of my dreams to go there:-). But watch out on my next roadtrip, San Fran here I come!!:-)! One of my main interest in life is literature (reading and writing) and SFO is the home of many of my favourite authors and the second home of many of my favourite writers as well. Ich komme aus Quebec, Canada and I picked this email because they didn't have any other interesting choice to my point of view and I didn't want to pick NYC even though it is not very far from where I live. But hey, we have nice bay areas and wine countries here also come and take a look next time!:-)
I began to learn ein bi§§en Deutsch when I was in College. Ich spreche Französisch (mother thongue) und English und I thought it would ne easier for me to learn spanish because it's a latin language like French, but to my surprise, German seemed a lot easier for me! I never had the opportunity to practice it here so I lost it all, but I'd love to learn some more. One of my dream vacation is to go to Germany and Austria, now I just need to find the money to do so!:-)
Have a nice trip!
Ps-If you really enjoy the desert like I do, visit the southeastern part of Arizona like Bob suggested, there is so much stuff to see and do out there, it's kind of surprising to find that it's not a very popular destinationI
Recently we almost made it to Canada. I am sure, that sooner or later we'll visit this beautiful country. We already have our plans for Vancouver and British Columbia.
Well, well ...
So many places to go!
By the way:
Have somebody of you ever visited the Red Rocks Amphiteatre near Denver?
I would be one of our destinations, if our direction would be Denver.
For a little taste of Germany in Phoenix, AZ visit the Edelweiss German Deli on North Cave Creek Road! Renate and her staff maintain a wide assortment of "delicacies from Germany" and they serve a great hot lunch! I eat there almost every Saturday whenever I am in town (at home).
Just in case you get homesick while you are touring the west! Bob
Yes. Depending on our destination, we also might see Phoenix again. And if Phoenix, we'll be en route to Sedona, which is still on my list as "must visit".
But be assured: WE WILL NOT GET HOMESICK (but nevertheless may try the Edelweiss Deli!)
Don't dream ---> DO IT!!
You live on the same continent and never been there? Hard to believe (-:
You'll love it!
Make a stroll over the GG Bridge, make a Bay Cruise, visit the Coit Tower, Fishermen's Wharf, Chinatown . . . etc.
When deciding for SFO I recommend to book the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway (Van Ness Avenue). It is moderate in pricing, comfortable and very close to the Cable Car Station. Asko for Room 1808, 1908 or 2008. You will have a tremendous panorama view on the "Belle of the Bay".
(Hey, I guess that's a different thread!)