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  1. Default Sedona to SanDiego

    Hello, my Aussie family (me, the misses & 2 kids) be driving from Sedona to SanDiego in April 2011 and we need to do this in two days.

    Can anyone suggest a good route with some must see sights along the way?

    My only restrictions is that one of the kids gets car sick so no super windy roads and we need a nice hotel somewhere in the middle to break the journey.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default What are your 'must See's ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    One common theme here is that "must See's" are a very personal thing based on interests and as such we don't really 'do' them. Your trip could be made in a day but as you have some spare time you could visit Tuzigoot NM and through the mining town of Jerome to Prescott valley. Joshua tree NP and /or through the Anza Borrego desert state park would both be 'on the radar'.

    Will you have been in the area long enough to visit Red rock canyon, Walnut canyon, Sunset crater and even the Grand canyon ? You could head along I 40 and visit some old route 66 towns like Williams with a detour off from I 40 to Seligman and to Kingman. An overnight stop in Lake Havasu City, home to the original 'London bridge' that was imported piece by piece from.....well London UK would you believe.

    Search around the forums and you will find Lot's of info and ideas

  3. Default Kid Friendly Stuff - Sedona to San Diego

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    One common theme here is that "must See's" are a very personal thing based on interests and as such we don't really 'do' them.
    Dave, thanks for the feedback.

    I guess my original question should have been more about the best kid friendly route - being from Australia we have no idea of the roads or terrain we will travel through.

    We will have been in the Grand Canyon before we arrive in Sedona, then we will be travelling from Sedona to San Diego - Mapquest shows three different suggested routes.

    1. Sedona down to Phoenix then along I-8W
    2. Sedona to Blyth then Yuma then along I-8W
    3. Sedona to I-10W via the Moreno Valley

    Which route will be less likely to make the kids car sick?
    Which route will have the most options for sightseeing and hotels along the way?
    Which route has a taste of the wild west?

    Any feedback or links to good research sites would be appreciated.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Wish I Had a Better Answer

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Unfortunately, there is no completely straight and smooth way into San Diego. The problem is that it is surrounded by the San Jacinto Mountains. Your choices for crossing that range pretty much boil down to using I-8 or taking CA-78/C-67 from the Salton Sea area. I've driven both those routes and the CA-78/CA-67 route caused my own two grandsons (veterans of zip lines, rope courses, and 'survival' training) to get a bit queasy and require a time out. And while Interstates are built to specifications that limit the steepness of grades and the sharpness of curves, I-8 over the San Jacintos pushes those limits and will require a steady hand and slow speeds on the downhills to keep things under control. Still, within those constraints, it is probably your best bet.

    If motion sickness is a real problem, you might want to consider I-10/I-15, taking I-10 from Phoenix all the way to Moreno, CA before using I-215 to connect to I-15 south to San Diego. That adds about 50 miles to the drive and makes it a fairly full day. Or you might consider meclazine, an over-the-counter medication. But it is not recommended for children under 12 years of age.

    I-8 also offers a couple of unique roadside stops. There is a dairy stand just off the highway in Dateland, AZ that specializes in date flavored milk shakes. (Other flavors are available.) In Yuma, the Yuma Territorial Prison State Park will show your children the consequences of breaking the law in the 'Old West'. The Desert Tower just off the Interstate in Jacumba offers a great opportunity to hike and climb around some outrageously carved rocks.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    This is what I'd do. Go up to I-40 and take that into California. Get off at the National Trails Highway exit - this will be about 40 miles after you cross the state line. This is old Route 66. Take that into Amboy and check out the old historic gas station and motel that's under restoration. Turn left on Amboy Road and take that into Twentynine Palms. You will have driven 360 miles and it's probably time to spend the night. 29 Palms has a fair selection of hotels. The Fairfield is expensive, but it's 2.5 stars and has excellent guest reviews. There's also a Holiday Inn Express and a Best Western.

    The next day, you can spend some time wandering around in Joshua Tree National Park. If you leave by the south entrance, that will take you to I-10, take that west to I-215 to I-15 to San Diego. From the entrance it's only about 3 hours to San Diego unless you get delayed by traffic.

  6. Default

    Grand Canyon to Sedona is windy, the road inclines downhill.

    I-8 has a windy section after El Centro uphill. I would classify this as pretty windy in spots. As stated I-10 is relatively straight downhill into Indio, I'm not sure what it's like after Indio.

    Because the majority of either route is long and straight it gets tedious and mentally wearing.

    The I-8 approaching Yuma dots with Saguaro cacti. Small towns with hotels line the freeway as you approach Yuma, such as Dateland as noted above. Yuma according to their visitor center has other things to do in Yuma besides the prison, but we didn't bother. Lutes' Casino Restaurant is worth a visit for a burger, you can head in just to gawk.

    As you approach El Centro, there's the Algodones Dunes where you can see people riding their ATVs.

    The road winds up the mountain past El Centro. After some miles, there's the Viejas Casino, which in addition has a shopping outlet outside of the casino with a food court and small dancing fountain. From here you will be approximately 1 hour to San Diego.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-20-2011 at 12:35 AM.

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