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  1. #1

    Default Travelling with teenagers in the Southwest and California

    We are from Norway, and this will be our first road trip in the US. Two parents around 40 with two girls aged 13 and 16. We hope to find pleasant things to do together and need some advice.

    This is our plan:

    1: Arrival in Phoenix: Rent the car
    2: To Grand Canyon (Williams or Flagstaff); Where to stop?
    3: Spend the day in the Canyon;
    4: Head for Las Vegas; Which route is the best? We plan to stop at Hoover Dam.
    5: Las Vegas; With underaged kids, what is possible?
    6: To Huntington beach/Laguna Beach, Ca
    7: LA
    8: LA; Universal studios
    9: LA
    10: Santa Barbara;
    11: Santa Barbara; "Sideways"
    12: Santa Barbara
    14: Monterey
    15: San Fransisco
    16: SF
    17: SF
    18: SF

    We would very much like to get some advice on activities that are interesting and fun for all of us. (The grown ups are are interested in hiking and winetasting, and the girls are above average interested in american popular culture.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Bits and Pieces, Here and There

    Velkommen! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Just a few observations and suggestions. On the way up to the Grand Canyon, go through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. The kids would probably particularly enjoy Slide Rock State Park. I'd pick Flagstaff over Williams as the place to stay before visiting the Canyon for a couple of reasons. First it's a larger town with more to do including the Lowell Observatory and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Driving north from Flagstaff through Cameron also sets you up to enter Grand Canyon National Park from the east so that you will be driving along the scenic South Rim Drive with the Canyon on your right, so that pulling into and out of scenic viewpoints will be easier.

    There's really only one way from the Grand Canyon area to Las Vegas and that's I-40 to Kingman and then US-93 across Hoover Dam. Parking will be on your right after you cross the dam. You will get more "American popular culture" in Los Angeles than you can handle, and one of the best wine making areas in America is Napa Valley north of San Francisco.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It has to be mentioned !

    Hi there, it looks like a great trip !

    As you have a lot of time in city's and along the coast I just wondered if you had thought of, or were even aware of Yosemite. It would mean a couple of days and at least one night inland [probably best between Monterey and SF] but it is a truly amazing place ! [just a thought I had to share !]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    With underaged kids in Las Vegas, there is still a lot to do that's "family friendly" - you just have to stay out of the casinos and bars themselves. You can still go to attractions and shows.

  5. #5

    Default From Las Vegas to LA

    Thank you for the advice.

    Without the kids, we would definitely have preferred Yosemity to Huntington Beach. However, hiking is not one of their favorites.

    They are more interested in going to places known from motion pictures and TV series.

    After Las Vegas, we plan to drive to LA. We plan to visit Huntington/Laguna/Newport beach as requested by the kids. If we do this trip in two days, where is the best place to stay the night (any recomendations for the area south of LA). I guess it is feasible to take the ride in one day as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default My picks for teenagers here in Las Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by Einar View Post
    5: Las Vegas; With underaged kids, what is possible?
    Las Vegas has become a shoppers destination and the opportunities for window shopping are unmatched. I would certainly go to Caesars Forum shops and the Wynn for that. There are also several outlet malls.

    We just saw the Louie Anderson show -- the humor is appropriate for teenagers, here's Megan's review.

    There are several afternoon shows that are fine for kids -- I like Mac King and Ronn Lucas.

    The Bellagio fountains and the Mirage Volcano are both free and awesome.

    The Shark Reef is a world-class aquarium

    Personally, I like the feeding times at the fish "tank" in the Silverton Resort and I also like the fish aquarium behind the check-in desk at the Mirage.

    The Garden Conservatory at the Bellagio is pretty amazing any time.

    The Ethel M garden and chocolate factory is interesting.

    For more ideas, check out which is also produced by us.


  7. Default

    Just a quick idea....Corona Del Mar, which is near to the Newport Beach area is a great place. You can have a bonfire on the beach at night, which is great fun. Smaller beach. Enjoy your trip!

  8. #8

    Default Las Vegas to LA

    We probably want cover this distance in two days:

    There are several alternatives:
    Mojave national preserve?
    Palm springs?
    Joshua tree

    What do you recommend.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two Days Worth of Desert

    Rather than the parks you list, which do admittedly have the advantage of being on the direct route from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, I think you might rather enjoy doing a bit more driving and head first up US-95 to about 30 miles north of Beaty and then take NV-267 into Death Valley National Park and take the tour of Scotty's Castle. There are also a couple of short nature hikes that will let you get the feeling of the below sea level desert without feeling the worst of the heat. You could then spend the night at the Furnace Creek Inn (reservations recommended!). On day two, you would continue south out of the park using CA-178/CA-127 with another possible stop at Amargosa Canyon Dumont Dunes Natural Area. Such a drive would add to your overall mileage, but would take you to some of the 'best' of the desert.


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