April Road trip
6 limeys are planning a three week road trip in April 2005
and we would appreciate any input and advice you guys could give.
Below is our current plan and we are pretty happy with the trip upto Sedona.
However, we are currently debating (arguing!)the second half of the trip,
options being spend one less night in Rosarito to:
a) stay an extra night in Sedona
b) split the trek from Sedona to Tijuana - ideas of where to stay more than welcome
c) spend a night in an 'authentic' Mexican town
d) spend an extra night up the West coast - we're looking
at San Jose or Monterey but again we're open to suggestions
as to alternates.
Date Start End
Saturday, April 9 MAN San Fran
Sunday, April 10 San Fran San Fran
Monday, April 11 San Fran Near Yosemite
Tuesday, April 12 Near Yosemite Near Yosemite
Wednesday, April 13 Near Yosemite Death Valley
Thursday, April 14, Death Valley Death Valley
Friday, April 15, Death Valley Las Vegas
Saturday, April 16, Las Vegas Las Vegas
Sunday, April 17, Las Vegas Las Vegas
Monday, April 18, Las Vegas Grand Canyon
Tuesday, April 19, Grand Canyon Sedona
Wednesday, April 20,Sedona Tijuana
Thursday, April 21, Tijuana Rosarito
Friday, April 22, Rosarito Rosarito
Saturday, April 23 Rosarito Rosarito
Sunday, April 24, Rosarito San Diego
Monday, April 25, San Diego San Diego
Tuesday, April 26, San Diego Santa Monica
Wednesday, April 27,Santa Monica Santa Monica
Thursday, April 28, Santa Monica Big Sur
Friday, April 29, Big Sur San Fran
Saturday, April 30, San Fran MAN
Any advice would be most welcome and appreciated -
for instance is this trip 'do-able' and reasonable,
suggestions for inexpensive places to stay, alternative
PS anybody who wants to meet us for drinks, just give us a nod!
TJ wouldn't be on my list
I am sure you will get plenty of responses, so just a couple of notes. Tioga Pass (over the Sierras from Yosemite) will still be closed in April. Therefore it would be a VERY long day to go from Yosemite to Death Valley in one day -- you either have to go north up to US-50 or south to CA-58 to get over the mountains.
TJ is not that fun a town and it would be a crazy long haul from Sedona to Tijuana in one day! Especially since there are some really fun Mexican towns closer to the your line of march. I would vote for Agua Prieta (south of Douglas) or even Mexicali over TJ. Actually since you have indicated wanting to go as far south as Rosarito -- you might consider crossing into Mexico at Nogales and drive down to Guaymas on the mainland and then take the ferry over to Baja and then north to Rosorita. But the biggest problem you have is that the distances are very significant on this ramble.
Actually, what I would recommend would be to cross at Mexicalli and then take Hwy 3 to Hwy 5 and stay at San Felipe -- a very nice town -- amazing shrimp and then back up to Ensenada -- again a fun town and then back through TJ and San Diego and points north.
The RTA offices are in Las Vegas -- so maybe we will meet you for a drink -- good watering holes here!
After Sedona, check out Jerome and Prescott on your way south. Jerome clings to the side of the mountain above the Verde Valley -- great views -- there is a great saloon downtown on the main drag where you can meet a wide variety of human beings. Also, one of my favorite places for lunch is called the Haunted Hamburger -- in the "top" part of town (what "top" means will be obvious to you when you see the town) near the Grand Hotel. Over the mountain in Prescott, there is often a street festival of some kind at Courthouse Square, and there are always the attractions of Whiskey Row.
(Since I am suggesting saloons...) Not to be a wet blanket, but drinking and driving is a very serious crime in most USA states, Arizona included -- so if you DO visit the saloons of Jerome and Whiskey Row in Prescott -- please choose someone to stay dry and be the driver that day!
Thanks a heap for the advice thus far!
Keep it coming...
Don't worry Bob - we're sensible young fellows, especially with a rented $30K+ minivan in our hands!
Mark - the Mexicali, San Felipe, Enseneda/Rosarito route sounds good. Any ideas on distances and times between those places if we begin from Sedona. Also, without meaning to be patronising to any Mexicans out there, is the road between San Felipe and Enseneda a sealed road?
Sedona to Mexicali
Sedona to Mexicali is 357 miles more or less by the most direct route. If you drove flat out (at least close to the speed limits) and never stopped you could make it in 5.5 hours. However, since there is plenty of good things to see enroute and stopping for food and fuel is a good idea -- you should figure about 8.0 hours of driving.
If this a rental -- it is extremely unlikely that you can cross the border into Mexico -- without paying huge fees.
It has been a while since I drove from San Felipe to Ensenada -- but I think it is paved all of the way.
Sedona vs TJ
Sedona is beautiful.... You won't be disappointed. Take the jeep ride, but not the pink one... The pink one looked like it was short and not much fun, unless you have small children in your vehicle. The smaller competition was cheaper, and more extensive. They have outside concerts in Sedona, so you may want to check out their web site. We stayed in a condo... They are everywhere... You can probably get a cheap one at rentalo.com Hiking/biking is nice and mild or challenging if you want. My husband and I also took a horseback ride with a steak dinner at the end. Yummmmy.....
I agree with the other person who told you to go to Mexicali, and go on down to San Felipe. It's about a 2 and a half hour ride from the Mexican border to San Felipe. We just got back from their Shrimp Festival yesterday. Great food, and lots of fun and entertainment. We stayed at Casey's place. Don't pick condo 6 or 8. There was nothing in them... Condo #1 is on the beach and is fully equipped with kitchen stuff, bedding and towels. 2 BR 2 bath, (shower) It can accommodate up to 10 people, but you may need to bring additional bedding. ($135/night.. plus 12%) The upstair balcony is very nice too. You can walk to town in 5 minutes. There are all kinds of restaurants and bars. There are better places to stay, do a seach of San Felipe.
After you stay there a day or two, take HWY 3 to Ensenda. We love to stay at Estero Beach, resort. They run specials all the time. You can ride horses on the beach, rent SeaDoo's etc. It is not a swimming beach per se... But the swimming pool and jacuzzi is large and beautiful. There is also a restaurant on the premises. If you are part of the young crown, you may want to stay somewhere else closer to town where all the action is. Don't forget to go to Mama's and Pappa's. The night life in Mexico starts around 11 pm and goes to the weee hours in the morning. Rosarito is alo a nice place to stay, but I can't remember any of the condo's we stayed at. Between Ensenada and Rosarito is a nice little village called Pueto Neuvo??? It's a unique lobster village, but fun with all kinds of displays and restaurants. 1st restaurant to your left has $1 margarita's.
Driving in Mexico watch the signs... Sometimes there are none. Be patient, don't drink and drive. There are strange turn offs when you're in TJ going to San Diego, that ver to your right and then to your left to get on the free way to the US. If you miss, try not to panic. It is best to drive during the day hours. Cars drive at night without lights, and animals cross the highways. It is best to get MEXICAN auto insurance. If you are in an accident in Mexico, it is not the same as in the US, and they will not accept US insurance. You have to report accidents to the police, because it is a federal offense. DO NOT BRING GUNS OR ANY AMMUNITION INTO MEXICO. It is against the law, you will probably go to jail. Of all the years we have been going to Mexico, we have felt safe. You just need to respect their culture and their people and ways. We love Mexico... It is beautiful. You may also come across the federal military police. They will generally just be asking where you are going or where you have been, and whether or not you have guns, ammunition, or drugs (don 't hide them)... They may have you get out of your vehicle so they can inspect them. Be cordial, they are also there for your protection. We have never had any problems. Your longest line will be getting back in the US. Bring your vehicle registration and don 't forget to have everyone bring their drivers license, or birth certificate, or passport if you have them. Have fun. I hope this helps.
PS.. The roads are paved.