Grand Canyon-ish

Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:34 AM
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Grand Canyon-ish

I'm faced with some "unscheduled" forced vacation time...and although I shouldn't be spending any money, I could really use a vacation!

For years theres never been the right time for me to visit the Grand Canyon, and I'm looking for suggestions on where to go to get the most out of a visit there. I'm thinking of going with my 13 year old daughter sometime in April. Is that a good time go? We are NOT campers/hikers and I'm embarassed to say but kind of hotel snobs...are there any hotels that would be options? Is saying high end lodgey unheard of? What about flying in from NY...what are the best options? Could we realistically fly into Vegas and drive?

Would love some suggestions!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:45 AM
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The Grand Canyon is about 4-5 hours I think from Las Vegas. We flew into Las Vegas in April once and drove to Bryce and Zion National Park, which are awesome.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:49 AM
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You can definitely fly into Las Vegas and drive - or Phoenix (I've done both). I'm not a camper/hiker either, so don't be embarrassed there. I would ask that you consider adding Sedona to your trip - one of the most beautiful places in the US.... You could fly into Phoenix, drive to Sedona, spend a day or so, then go to the Grand Canyon, then head towards Las Vegas (and do the Hoover Dam - very cool place). I think it will be quite cool there, but I think it's probably not a bad time...
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Hi; At this late date, you would be hard pressed to find anything in the 'park'. But you could try, El Tovar being the best. Outside the park; iris1745/dick
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:59 AM
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April is a wonderful time to visit the Grand Canyon, and it is an easy 4.5 to 5-hour drive from Las Vegas. That is the best way to visit there---rent a car and drive.

As for hotels--I'm not sure what you mean by "hotel snobs." There are no luxury or 5-star lodgings there. The best place to stay is inside the park, where you can walk out the door and be right at the canyon edge. The nicest lodge inside the park is El Tovar, an historic national park inn. It is nice, but by no means a luxury hotel. I guess "high end lodgey" would describe it well, espeically the "deluxe" rooms. don't book a "terrace" room, which is small and below grade level.

If you are a breakfast eater, the El Tovar breakfasts are something to look forward to.

The Bright Angel Lodge is rustic cabisn. The others are newer and more utilitarian, like motels.

April is a very popular time to visit and these get booked up months in advance, to you might have to call Xanterra to find a room if nothing shows up on the web. is the official website.

There are also standard "chain" hotel/motels just outside the park in Tusayan, incuding th eusual suspedt: Best Western, Quality Inn, and Holiday Inn Express.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 10:08 AM
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We stayed at el Tovar a few years ago and loved it. It is not luxury but is confortable, and very near the canyon edge.

Initally, we were not able to get a room there, but we called every afternoon on the way West and got one due to a cancelation for two of the three days we stayed there. The other nite we stayed at Holiday Inn in Tusayan.

Be sure to watch at least one sunset and one sunrise . . spectacular!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 10:32 AM
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As noted, El Tovar is the best place to stay. Don't let the late date deter you, I called last minute - maybe 10 days ahead - at the height of tourist season and got a wonderful room for our 20th anniversary. It was the closest you could get to the rim, we stumbled out of bed for the sunrise. So call Xanterra, what have you got to lose?

If you drive up through Flagstaff, I recommend the Hotel Monte Vista. There's a lot to do in that area to interest your 13 year old. And of course Vegas has lots of hotel deals right now. Enjoy!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 12:31 PM
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Why not fly into Phoenix... stay a day or 2 in Sedona and then trekk up to the GC??
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