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Tripletdad Feb 25th, 2012 07:22 AM

Southern California-Grand Canyon-LasVegas
Has anyone ever done a road trip from LA to San Diego to the Grand Canyon and back to LA? I'm planning for the end of July or beginning of August. Family of five including 3 16-year-olds would fly into and out of LAX based on $300 R/T airfare from Philly. Would 10 days be enough? Or, is this too aggressive to cover in 10 days? Loong drive to/from the GC -- Maybe include Las Vegas to break it up? But LV not a high priority. Any other overnight stopping points? Must sees include Hollywood, San Diego Zoo, Southern Cal Beaches, MLB game, Grand Canyon. Lodging suggestions would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

tracys2cents Feb 25th, 2012 07:35 AM

I'd plan 3 days/nights in L.A, 3 for San Diego, 2 days worth of long driving, and an overnight at Grand Canyon. So it would be tight, but 10 days might do it. If you have more time available, the kids would love a couple of nights in Las Vegas and the rooms are incredibly cheap in July and August on weeknights. Nice home base to visit Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead and Valley of Fire, though it will be HOT. Should you have more days, the drive up to Zion National Park is only 2.5 hours, then you could circle around the north rim of the canyon over to lake Powell and the south rim.

Los Angeles is famous for having lots of interior-corridor hotels and motels that only allow 4 persons per room due to fire codes, and very few "suite type" accomodations. Or do you generally look for 2-connecting-rooms? Do you have a per-night budget it mind?

spirobulldog Feb 25th, 2012 07:59 AM

If it were me, I would skip the GC and save it for later.
Instead, consider Sequoia National Park or Yosemite, if you haven't been to those. The GC at the end of July is going to be HOT. Plus you are doing a lot of driving. The GC is something everyone should see, but we like Zion, Bryce, Yosemite, Sequoia much more. The Grand Canyon can be done in a day or less(unless you are doing some serious hiking or rafting-which is a great thing to do). All of the other parks have so much to do. The trees at Sequoia and the waterfalls in Yosemite offer just about as much shock and awe as the GC(although the falls could be just a trickle in August-depending on snowfall this year).

The coast between LA and San Francisco is pretty amazing too. Maybe stop at the Channel Islands, Hearst Castle, Mcway Fall, Point Lobos, Montery/Carmel/Aquarium and a couple of days in San Fran.

Really you can't go wrong, I was just trying to save you 2-3 days of driving. Death Valley, Mojave, and Joshua Tree would be brutally hot at that time.

ansh Feb 25th, 2012 08:44 AM

well, what do you want to do in Grand Canyon? Is it your first time there? Do you want to just 'visit' it or have interest in 'exploring' it?
These questions are important b'coz, if you are not interested in Las Vegas, then going to GC wont be a good idea considering driving times. But if you want to some hikes there, its a different story.
Abt flying, (if you want to cover GC) you could fly to Vegas, visit GC, and then fly from Vegas to LAX ($60 pp approx), and then fly back to PHL from LAX. Airfares would be same, but you would save time and may be some bucks on the gas....remember, gas is expensive in CA ;-)

Tomsd Feb 25th, 2012 09:53 AM

I think the Grand Canyon is the most spectacular sight of any of the places mentioned above. And being from SD - we have driven over and back a number of times.

Check, and find a good deal - and then spend 2 or 3 days each in LA and San Diego - and then get up early and make it a long day driving to the GC - 9-10 hours or so.

From there - head back to Vegas (5? hours) for say a night - and then back to LAX (4 hours or so) - for the flight home.

Tomsd Feb 25th, 2012 09:56 AM

There are other posts in here about where to stay in SD and LA - and for t the South Rim - Bright Angel Lodge was good - and try to get a Canyon View room.

For Vegas - just Google away and get a place on the Strip - and double check the bargain rates to see that they aren't sticking you with some extra charges - such as daily resort fee even if you don't use their spa, etc.

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