Las Vegas to Grand Canyon to LA
I am planning a west coast trip for February of 2004.
I will be flying to Vegas and from there would like to see as much as possible, but I am concerned I may be trying to
do too much. I have taken many 5 hour road trips in my life and enjoy driving.
If you have experience or know these areas, please review my trip and alert me to any stops I must make along the way and/or if this trip can be done and enjoyed.
Or recommend other directions, any thoughts are welcome.
Am I incorrect to assume that the weather will not be an issue to these places in February? Please advise...
Is a convertible a good or bad idea?
I will need to travel main Interstates to save time.
I live on East Coast (Boston) and have never been further west than Texas.
Arrive in Vegas 6th PM.
Stay in Vegas on the 7th.
Leave Vegas for Grand Canyon early AM on 8th
Site see the canyon - hopefully see Hoover Dam along the way.
Leave Grand Canyon for LA (mid-day) on 9th.
Possibly see Big Bear Lake on the way.
Site see LA (Hollywood, Pacific Ocean)
Leave LA on the 11th for a quick drive to San Diego
Site see in San Diego, thought about a quick hop over the border to Tijuana(just to say I did), then leave the
12th from San Diego in the afternoon back to Las Vegas.
Leave on the red eye on the 12th from Vegas back to Boston.
Overview: Vegas (2 nights)
Grand Canyon (1 night)
Los Angeles (2 nights)
San Diego (1 night)
I would like to book in advance at hotels online.
Is this enough time allowed.
Thank you in advance for your time and suggestions.
Lots of driving
This would have to be a "whirlwind" tour -- not that this is a BAD thing!
Weather: In February, it can be great, or it can be "bad." Bad, you understand, is a relative thing. While we CAN have severe storms at times, even closing the interstate across northern Arizona (I-40), this is not a LIKELY occurrence -- more likely, you'd have good conditions or even if you encountered rain or snow, it probably wouldn't slow you down MUCH.
Hotels: You probably do NOT need reservations at too many places along this route in February. If you're more comfortable making them, no problem, you may be able to find better rates that way, but I seriously doubt there is any need for them -- and you might prefer to keep a little more flexibility in case you decide you want to get off your schedule somewhere or another.
If you think you'd enjoy a convertible, I'd get one -- the chances that you'd get to enjoy some top-down driving are very good. I do this occasionally also -- even when it IS cold. I put the top down, turn the heater on full-bore, and drive all over the place. People think I'm nuts, but I enjoy it. A couple of years ago, I spent three days in South Dakota in October -- Mustang convertible -- 70 miles an hour -- the Black Hills -- the Badlands -- Wall Drug. What could be better? Yee HAW! I didn't put the top up until my scalp got sore on the way back to Omaha (wind and sun DO take a certain toll...)
My recommendation to you is to spend a little more time at the Grand Canyon, a little less in LA or Las Vegas, if that would suit you -- I think you'll want to see everything at the Canyon -- and there is a lot to see.
Seeing San Diego is a great plan -- it is one of my favorite cities. Be sure to take the scenic drive out to the end of Point Loma while you are there, and visit the Cabrillo National Monument. You'll get a spectacular view of the harbor, the city and North Island, and the Silver Strand stretching all the way to the Mexican border and beyond. If you like city night life, check out the Gaslamp Quarter near downtown. Also, Coronado and the Pacific/Mission Beach areas can be fun, day OR night. Be sure to try a fish taco at Rubio's -- they don't sound that good at first, but once you try one you'll find they are delicious! Even for people who don't like fish much. Be a TOURIST -- take the harbor cruise! I've been going Insane Diego for 35 years, and I STILL take the cruise EVERY time I go back! :)
Finally, my buddies at Rand McNally.com say it is about 5 hours from San Diego to Las Vegas -- so give yourself an early enough start to get back in plenty of time to catch your flight -- you never know when things are going to be crowded in an airport and what effects that will have on the security queues.