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  1. #1
    Jon and Sarah (London UK) Guest

    Default Honeymoon 2004- San Fran/LA/Vegas/Scottsdale/San Diego

    Hi, my girlfriend and I are getting married in September 2004 (finally, after 15 years 'getting to know' each other). We are planning to visit the West Coast of the States for our honeymoon. This will be our first visit to the West Coast and our first ever roadtrip. (Only our second visit to the States- previously visited New York)

    We would like a trip that allows us enough relaxation time as well as sightseeing. The stress of organising the wedding is already building. The schedule we have in mind is:
    San Fran (3 nights). Monterey or Carmel (1 night). Santa Monica (2 nights). Vegas (3 nights). Scottsdale (2 nights) and finally San Diego (4 nights).

    We would like the trip to be a mixture of time in the City mixed with Scenic drives and sightseeing. We would love to hear advice from anyone on the best way to use our time. Should we use Vegas as a base for exploring the Grand Canyon and National Parks. What are the most scenic drives from Vegas to Scottsdale? Is it wise to do this journey in one day?

    San Diego sounds like a beautiful city. Is this an ideal place for some time to relax in the sun at the end of the Holiday.

    These are just a few questions, but the research for the trip seems overwhelming, so your advice in guiding a couple of 'first timers' would be most welcome. To see something different, something weird and wonderful, will help us make it a fantastic journey.


    (London, UK)

  2. #2
    imported_Bob Guest

    Default Vegas to Scottsdale

    I'll start with that question. There are a couple of different options for the drive, any of which can be done in a 2/3 to 3/4 of a day. The scenery is a bit different on each. Head south on US93 to Kingman AZ, then east on I-40. A little over 20 miles east on I-40, you can take the most direct route by turning off onto south US93 again, and taking this desert route to Phoenix. Or, continue east on I-40 either to Ash Fork or to Flagstaff.

    From Ash Fork, you'd take highway 89 south to Prescott, highway 69 to I-17 at Cordes Junction, then I-17 to the Phoenix area. (This is my favorite of the three routes.)

    From Flagstaff, simply take I-40 to I-17 and then go south on that. This is also a beautiful route. The second two options involve more road miles, but the scenery is worth the extra in my opinion.

    Once you get to Phoenix, take the following route to Scottsdale to avoid lots of traffic headaches: From I-17, take the north-side Loop 101 east and south.

    There are other ways to schedule and route -- once you decide what attractions you wish to see, we can further assist. For example, if you'd like to see some of the Utah red rock country (highly recommended) along with the Grand Canyon, we can help you plan the trip from Las Vegas to Phoenix while seeing those places as well (you might be able to consolidate and make more efficient use of time this way). Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    Jon & Sarah,

    I would recommend that you firm up on your route very quickly and translate it into miles and hours of driving. The west of the USA is deceptively big to us Brits and what looks reasonable on a map turns into many hours in a car ever so easily.

    For example, Vegas to the south rim of the Grand Canyon is about 260 miles. Thats getting on for 5 hours in the car without stopping for eating or to see the Hoover Dam which is on your way. You cant really do this as a day trip.

    There are a lot of practical tips for UK people planning a fly drive to the USA on You should check this site out.

    With the appropriate planning this is the most wonderful part of the world you have picked to visit. You will have a marvellous time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Congratulations on the wedding

    Sounds like you have picked a beautiful place in the world for a honeymoon. As another poster, suggested the schedule you have outlined will leave little time for laying around resting, you might want to consider dropping some of those destinations and spend some more time relaxing.

    But to respond to your questions:

    Within five to six hours of travel (one-way) one can reach seven national parks from Las Vegas -- but it a huge stretch to try and use Las Vegas as the base (if you are planning on sleeping each night in LV) for visiting those seven. Zion, Mohave Preserve and Death Valley are OK as day trips, but the others (Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Bryce, Capital Reef and Canyonlands) should include over-night stops nearer the parks themselves. Just trying to see all seven or eight of the closest national parks is not possible in three days.

    US-93 would be my choice for the route between Las Vegas and Scottsdale. Rather than providing detailed routing suggestions are you sure you really want to do that much driving? The vacation could easily exceed 2200 Km depending how much of the parks you wish to visit.


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