March: Phoenix/Flagstaff/Vegas/San Fran
My mum is coming from Germany for the first time. I will list our itinerary. Please suggest attractions or routes, motels: Whatever you like!
Sat 19th: Phoenix to Sedona on I17. We will most likely hike the Red Rock mountains. Any suggestions? We will overnight in Flagstaff if one of the cheap motels.
Sun 20th: Grand Canyon - All day. South Rim by car. Does it cost anything to enter GC? Will drive to Kingman for cheap hotel and to be closer to Vegas.
Mon 21st: Las Vegas - 200 miles. We want to get there as fast as possible obviously. ANy routes in mind? Any restrictions this time of the year?
Las Vegas - I've never been. Drop off car at hotel and just walk the strip? Free shows, cheap entertainment, must sees?
Tue 22nd - Drive to San Fran. Final destination: Airport Area hotel. On the way there, coming from Vegas, what are good places to see east of San Fran? We'll obviously be driving half a day... I'd like to get some sigh seeing done outside the city, since we'll be traveling that way anyway. Also, fastest way to get tehre from Vegas? 600 miles - no Yosemite. Don't have the time.
Wed + Thur: Any tips? I will have my car and would like to avoid public transportation but I know parking is sparce. What tours are worth it? What are good places to see? Where can I park?
Thanks so much! I'll be driving my company car out there; an Audi. Weather conditions will be fine? Any ice/snow this time of the year up there?
ANY suggestions are appreciated!!
Re: March: Phoenix/Flagstaff/Vegas/San Fran
You have a great trip planned! Try and stay in Sedona if you can, that place has a weird energy and is quite relaxing. Correction #1: Kingman is only 2 hours max (maybe 100 miles) from the LV strip - take US-93 north over the dam into NV, through Boulder City and up into Vegas via I-515. Pretty drive through there. When you get to Vegas, you have to do the strip walk - March is perfect to be outside in Vegas, its usually in the 70s and pleasant. Shows depend on budget - anything Cirque du Soleil is worth it though it will cost more. Celine, Blue Man Group, all depends on taste and how much you want to spend.
Correction #2: Hate to break it - but Vegas to San Fran is a whole day of driving - 8-10 hours if you drive straight there (take I-15 south to CA-53 through Bakersfield). I'd recommend you consider breaking it up and visit the central California coast (Hearst Castle or Carmel) on the way to San Fran. Pretty country through the central valley also. Be aware that San Francisco weather is highly unpredicatble - it could be balmy or cold and damp, so bring clothes for either situation. Alcatraz, Twin Peaks, Embarcardero are all the traditional places to see. If weather is good - take the bay tour, great way to see the sights on the water.
Las Vegas, NV
Grand Canyon and SFO
Entrance fee at GC is $20. If you will visit two more parks this year in addition, I suggest buying the annual parks pass for $50 (you can get it at the Entrance Station to any Natl Park). The park where you buy the pass gets to keep most of the money.
Once in San Francisco, for spectacular scenery, take the coast highway north along the Marin Headlands and go as far as you can -- if you make it all the way to Bodega Bay, stop and have lunch or dinner at Las Brisas del Mar, a wonderful little family-owned/run restaurant with an ocean view (it's right on Highway 1). For seafood at Fisherman's Wharf, try Scoma's instead of one of the more famous places that are living mostly on past reputations! Scoma's is a bit expensive, but you get a great meal and excellent service. Bob
When in Flagstaff I like to eat at Beaver Street
Brewery and sleep at the Hotel Monte Vista. The
hotel is located downtown and you can see a lot
of Flagstaff on foot.
Unless you are hiking (or getting a late start),
I don't see the Grand Canyon taking all day.
There is a nice stretch of Route 66 that you
can drive from Seligman to Kingman. This will
give your mum a chance to say she got some
kicks on America's Mother Road.
Mid-March in northern Arizona can still offer
up some winter weather so keep an eye on the