Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Las Vegas / Grand Canyon Southwest Road Trip

Hi Jamie!
Your book is fab, and has given us (my Husband and I) food for thought for the next few years!

We are planning a trip in April and need a little help. It won't be the fully blown Road trip we plan to take in the future, but we have a few days and wanted a little advice. Indeed we are planning to fly to Vegas and spend a few there before heading off. As it's the second part to our honeymoon, we thought we'd enjoy the shows and fun of the strip before heading off for the more "relaxed" part of the trip... We plan to exit Vegas via Lake Mead and head to the Grand Canyon. Here's where we are stuck as need to go the opposite direction and get ourselves to LA.

Our departure from Vegas is planned for the 22nd and ideally we'd like to be in LA on the 26th as our flight back to Europe is planned for the 29th.. any ideas as to create a loop so that we could include a night in the Grand Canyon? where should we sleep and what do we absolutely have to see! :)
Hope you can help us!

Many thanks
Pascale from Paris


Bon Jour Pascale from Paris --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA.

Las Vegas should be a blast -- and once you've had enough of its bright lights, you can take an amazing road trip, looping around thru the beautiful landscapes of southern Utah (Arches National Park, Lake Powell, Monument Valley...) , before heading down into Arizona to the Grand Canyon.

If you want the full "American Experience", you can follow some great stretches of old Route 66 Whether or not you do the Route 66 trip, having spent a few days in the desert your eyes will be better prepared to appreciate the spectacle of the Grand Canyon. Maybe you can plan to stay at the Grand Canyon for more than one night, since walking down into the canyon is the best way to appreciate it.

(And the Grand Canyon looks best at sunset and sunrise!)

There are many nice lodges on the rim of the Grand Canyon, or if those are full there are other hotels just outside the park (in a town called Tusayan).

I would suggest renting a car at the Las Vegas airport when you land -- driving down "The Strip" is the best way to experience its garish spectacle, staying in Vegas as long as you like then hitting the road.

You can do a nice loop around Las Vegas in 4 or 5 days, including a stay at the Grand Canyon, before returning to Las Vegas and flying to LA. You'll definitely want a car for your time in LA, but to be honest the 300-mile drive between Las Vegas and LA feels like a waste of time... It's may end up much better to fly -- and flying into LA is an amazing experience, giving a good sense of the miles and miles of suburban sprawl that make up that huge metropolis (my home town!)

OK -- hope this helps -- Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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