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  1. #1

    Default LA to Grand Canyon to Las Vegas

    Hello there, new here.

    Right, me and 3 friends all aged between 23-26 and from Nottingham England. Are going on a trip on the 17th March 2008 to LA, Grand Canyon and Vegas. For 10 nights (4 nights LA, 2 at the Grand Canyon & 4 in Vegas.) Im incredibly excited about this as ive always wanted to vist California and the West Coast. We've hired ourselfs a car so we'll be driving to each place. Our plan thus far is

    Arrive 17th March LA, Hotel- Best Western Anaheim Inn.
    Day 1- Beaches (Newport, Huntington, Long Beach and others if possible)
    Day 2- Hollywood, Beverly Hills (i think we may have a concert booked this night at the Henry Fonda Theater, the band is Nada Surf)
    Day3- Universal Studios

    Day 4- Drive to Grand Canyon, Hotel- Grand Canyon Plaza Quailty Inn
    Day 5- Full day at the Canyon (Helicopter ride, Skywalk)

    Day 6- Drive to Vegas, Hotel- The Luxor
    Days 7,8,9- we're in Veags then till the end of our trip. I think Vegas is just going to be party party party, which sould awesome.

    Fly home 27th March.

    So we're trying to get in as much as possible of the West. So any help would be great. What im especialy here for is if anybody knows of any good/cool Places of Interest on the way from LA to the Grand Canyon as this would be our longest drive of the roadtrip and there will most probably be times when we need to stop. And also places of interest from Grand Canyon to Vegas, i know there's the Hoover Dam and hopefully more.

    Also some suggestions on our trip, more so our plans in LA (whats the best Beaches, Restaurants & Bars etc...) and Vegas any where spercific we have to see?

    So really any help, suggestions or anything you might want to add about any of our trip would be fantastic.

    All help would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, Steven

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Few Notes

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your plan looks like you've given it some thought and will be able to get at least some of what you want to do in. There's never really enough time, is there? So just a few random comments and things for you to consider.

    You say you're all 23-26. Unfortunately there is a big difference in car hire rates between being 24 and being 25, so plan on only those members of your group who are older than 24 doing all the driving.

    I don't see it in your list of beaches, but perhaps the quintessential California beach is Venice Beach. You'll recognize it as soon as you see it. The other 'must see' beach stop in the L.A. area is Santa Monica Pier which would be a good place to be around sunset.

    At the Grand Canyon, I have to say I loved flying into the Canyon (back in the days when that was still allowed) and an overflight of it by helicopter will let you see more of than you possibly could in a single day otherwise. But you must set aside some time to see it from the rim, quietly, and as far away from the crowds as you can. I therefore strongly recommend that you walk at leas some of the Rim Trail west of Grand Canyon Village. If anything has to give on this part of your trip, I think the Skywalk would be an expensive way to see something you already have two good options set up for.

    On your drive from the Canyon to Las Vegas, there are a couple of options. One, by all means, is to drive the largest remaining section of the old Route-66 through Arizona. This is the road that gave American RoadTrips their name. The other option is to see some ersatz England by heading down to Lake Havasu City and seeing the transplanted London Bridge.


  3. Default A couple of comments...

    You're arriving and staying in Anaheim, where Disneyland is. That's about 30 miles from the main airport in LA (LAX). Just be aware, the hotel isn't near the airport.

    For Beaches, I think you've got a good set -- I would do it sort of in reverse. Long Beach (which is behind the breakwater, so not much waves) down through Seal Beach (where the surfing starts), through Huntington beach (Surf City), to Newport Beach (the "OC"), and end up at Laguna Beach, an artists community.

    However, your next two days are on the other side of the city. Disneyland to Hollywood is like 35 miles, through the core of urban LA. Can be busy traffic and heavy freeway driving. You need to be prepared for that. It can take you an hour or more to get back to Anaheim from Hollywood if you do it at rush hour on the extremely busy I-5 freeway.

    Similarly, Universal studios is beyond Hollywood -- again, 35+ miles of freeway to get to Universal Studios from Anaheim.

    It's going to be a long day to drive from LA to Grand Canyon, but the freeways (once you get out of LA) should be very fast. Be prepared for rush hour traffic from LA -- if you're leaving on a weekday, you might want to hit an early start to avoid the legions of rush hour commuters heading for work.

    As an interesting place to stop along the way, you might bring a picnic lunch and stop in the Mojave National Preserve, north of I-40. You can visit the Caverns in the Providence Mountains Rec Area (A state park in the middle of the national preserve), which is about 30 minutes north of I-40. I've stopped there for lunch on the way to Grand Canyon.

    Another potential is to take old Route 66 (National Trails Highway) from Ludlow, and through Amboy, to rejoin the I-40 near Needles. This is the old road through here -- there's a fairly recent (historic times) volcanic crater at Amboy, some funky old falling down road stops along the way, and and easy way to say you drove Route 66. No services along this section of road though... so bring a picnic lunch and make sure you're gassed up before hitting it.

    Also note, the Skywalk is not at the National Park. It sounds like you're staying near Grand Canyon Village in the National Park. There are helicopter tours and the like from Grand Canyon airport, which is just outside the park boundaries.

    But the Skywalk is on the Hualapai Indian Reservation at the west end of the Grand Canyon -- its about 4-5 hours from the Grand Canyon Village on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. And oh yeah, last time I looked, cameras were prohibited from the Skywalk.

  4. Default Welcome to Vegas, Baby!!

    Hi, Steven and friends! I have lived in Las Vegas for 5 years now. I am really glad that your group has planned to go to Hoover Dam and other places. People who come here "forget" that there's another side to Vegas besides The Strip and lots to do that doesn't involve nudie dancers and beer and gambling.

    Here's my advice to you.....First off, I would take taxis from the airport to the hotels/casinos instead of renting a car. Las Vegas is the #1 city in America for car accidents, mainly because the tourists are goo-goo eyeing the fancy lights and glitz and glamour and forget that there are other cars and people out there. The majority of the people renting cars have never, ever driven a car before they get to Vegas. (Lord knows how they ever rent a car but they do!!) I believe you said you were staying at The Luxor. Good choice. Once you get here, you will notice that there are a kazillion taxis or, most often, people walk The Strip. We also have a pretty good bus system on The Strip. There is a monorail system right at the Luxor which goes to the Excalibur and Mandalay Bay. These 3 hotels are side by side. It's free, too! LV also has a monorail system from about the LV Convention Center down the Strip but you pay to ride it and service usually sucks.

    As for Hoover Dam, I actually drove out to the Dam myself this morning. It is a nice drive and is approx. 30 miles east from the Luxor. I would suggest that you consider Pink Jeep Tours to take you out to the Dam. They have several different tours available. (See this website). Their website initially shows these pink Jeeps, open sides, going up a mountain. Don't worry....the ones that go to Hoover Dam are enclosed and more "Sport Utility Vehicle" type instead of Army type jeeps.

    Pink Jeeps also goes to Red Rock National Preserve. Sorry, I don't know the Red Rock website address. It is a spectacular mountain range where the different layers of rock n' stuff has washed away, leaving bright red rock. Right now, we have snow on Red Rock and it's gorgeous.

    Other places to visit here are the Atomic Testing Museum and M&M (candy) Museum. "Only in Vegas, Baby!"

    Today is Friday , 1/25/08. I'm sure you heard that we had a fire at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino this morning. It's about a block north of the Luxor and the fire dept put it out in record time.

    Anyway, I hope you have a simply marvelous time here in Sin City. I hope you can post some photos of the trip!

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-25-2008 at 03:33 PM. Reason: added links to some of our articles about places that Carol mentioned

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