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  1. #1

    Default San Diego to Flagstaff to Tucson--suggestions?

    Hi!
    After what feels like a million years, I'm going on my first road trip and I am EXCITED! I'm going to a conference in Tucson in April, and thought I'd drive. Then, I thought "well, if I'm going to drive, I could spend a few days in Flagstaff/Sedona before heading down for the conference!" I've got places to stay, but would love advice on what's worth seeing/doing (and eating!) and what's worth skipping. I'm looking forward to taking pictures of Route 66 and the spiritual landscape in Arizona...but what else should I be on the lookout for? (I love things that are funky, I love things that feed my spirit, and I guess I have a touch of the new-age in my yoga and meditation practice.)

    My current plan is:
    Day 1: Drive from SD to Flagstaff, taking a bit of time to see the sights along the way.
    Day 2 & 3: Explore what's to explore using Flagstaff as a base camp.
    Day 4: Drive from Flagstaff to Tucson
    Days 5-8: The conference during the day and exploring after!
    Day 9: Tucson to San Diego

    Thanks for your feedback! I look forward to what you have to say!
    : )
    Jeannel

  2. #2
    travel_monkeys Guest

    Default

    Sedona is definitely worth the detour. But what so many people miss is the scenic drive to get there. My advice is don't take the interstate the whole way. Take I-15 north to I-10 east to Arizona, then take US-60 to highway 71 to highway 89 to 89A. US-60 is a 2-lane highway that takes you through Saguaro Cactus territory, but you can still go 60-65 MPH mostly. Once you hit 89 you're gaining in elevation and it becomes quite spectacular. There are a few overlooks where you're pretty high up in the hills looking down at the flat desert you just left. When you get to highway 89A you'll go through a little town named Jerome, which is a bizarre collection of narrow 1-lane alleys hanging off the side of a mountain. There's a neat little downtown too and from there you can see the red rocks of Sedona in the distance.
    For Sedona info I'd check out the Cococino Ntl Forest webpage.
    Also if you don't mind windy dirt roads and you have a reliable car, highway 88 east of Phoenix from Tortilla Flat to Globe is, in my opinion, the best desert scenic drive in the southwest. Only the part from Tortilla Flat to Roosevelt is dirt.
    Enjoy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Benson, Tombstone et al

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeannel
    After what feels like a million years, I'm going on my first road trip and I am EXCITED!
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    My current plan is:
    Day 1: Drive from SD to Flagstaff, taking a bit of time to see the sights along the way.
    Kelso Dunes and the Cima Cinder Cones are pretty amazing and they are on the way. Route 66 over Sitgreaves Pass with the required food tax to the burros in Oatman is always fun.
    Days 5-8: The conference during the day and exploring after!
    Saquaro NP is pretty great and then Benson and Kartchner Caverns.
    Day 9: Tucson to San Diego
    Organ Pipe and Ajo and the town of Why are favorites along that route.

    Enjoy the planning!

  4. #4

    Default With Thanks!

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for the tips on the roads and what to see! Scenic is worth a lot in my book...I appreciate it!
    : )
    Jeannel

  5. #5

    Default grand canyon

    If your using Flagstaff as a base camp, you can visit the Grand Canyon which is only 86 miles. If you do, take Highway 64 from Flagstaff to highway 180, instead of interstate 40 to highway 180. The 64 route goes up into some beautiful forest country, you should see a lot of deer and other wildlife.
    And if you have time in Tucson and are interested in history, the town of Tombstone is only 70 miles to the southwest and a place worth checkin out.

    Have fun.

    Brett

  6. #6

    Default Thanks, Packman!

    I'm planning to check out the GC (it's better to go than explain why I didn't, I figure!), and thanks for the freeway tip! And Tombstone is absolutely on my list of things to see while in Tucson...I just have to figure out which part of the conference I can skip to find the time to see everything I want to! : )

    A friend of mine was telling me about some living caverns by Tucson, too. She couldn't remember their name. Does anybody know?

    Thanks,
    Jeannel...who is getting more excited by the DAY!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Living Caverns and Others

    Kartchner Caverns - Absolutely worth the visit!

    And some other things in the Tucson area that would be relatively easy to get to in the evening after the conference sessions. The western unit of Saguaro National Park and the Desert Museum (actually more of a zoo than a museum) are pretty much next door to each other. The drive through Gate's Pass to get to them is one of the most scenic roads in the area. If you're into star-gazing, Kitt Peak offers tours (daytime only, unfortunately).

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-19-2006 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Added more Tucson stuff

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Skip the conference....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeannel
    is getting more excited by the DAY!
    There is so much to do in the greater Tucson area, maybe you should simply "skip" the conference and go exploring. Here is another field trip from the area and another one for Tombstone, and if you can come back in November and like to see men wearing kilts....

    Mark

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