West Coast trip in June

Feb 26th, 2012, 10:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 12
West Coast trip in June

Traveling with my son, 21 to celebrate his birthday. He enjoys photography and the water so here's what I'm thinking. We have 7 days, 6 nights.
Leg 1: New York to Las Vegas. Catch a show and see the lights.
Leg 2: Drive from Las Vegas to Flagstaff.
Leg 3: Drive from Flagstaff to see the Grand Canyon.
Leg 4: Drive from the Grand Canyon to Phoenix (only because there's no direct flight from Phoenix to San Diego)
Leg 5: Fly from Phoenix to San Diego.
Leg 6: San Diego to New York.

Thoughts? Will we be exhausted at the end of the trip? I've never been to any of these places so it's all new.

nausette141 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 10:30 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Too ambitious. I would definitely drop Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and Phoenix. That would be require a whole different vacation, IMHO.

If you live in NY, you have access to shows, non? Unless you are dying to see Vegas, I would skip it, too. Your son likes the water, so head straight for the coast.

CA talks about its "June gloom", so I would look into which areas will probably have the best weather and then go there. SF, northern CA towns, central coast, vineyards, LA, Malibu, Santa Monica, Newport, Laguna, San Diego. . .
PeaceOut is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,275
So, you are going to see a show, some Vegas lights, and do a lot of driving.

Here is a sketch of another plan:
fly to Vegas
drive to Grand Canyon
drive back to Vegas
fly to San Diego

fly to Vegas
take a flight tour from Vegas to Grand Canyon and returning to LV.
fly from LV to SD

The flight tour to GC South Rim can be done in one day. There are overnight options too.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,275
btw, yours is not a "west coast" trip as it is mostly spent in Arizona and Nevada.

The only reason I can think of to go to Flagstaff would be in order to visit the two national monuments that are north of Flagstaff and on the way to the GC.

In that case then:
fly to Vegas
drive to Flagstaff
drive to GC
drive to Vegas
fly home
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
I don't like the trip at all. Way way to much.

I am nearly 100% sure that Southwest offers several flights per day to San Diego (non-stop). I am suprised that others don't have direct flights. I didn't check, just taking your word for it.

Another point--The water at San Diego is super cold even in the summer if swimming a lot is his plan, IMOP.

Don't stay at Flagstaff for a visit to the GC. Stay at the GC. No need to see Flagstaff at all, IMOP.

I would vote for San Francisco/Hwy 1 or San Francisco and Yosemite.

If the GC is a must, then I would see Zion and Bryce too with perhaps a visit to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
spirobulldog is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 6
Reverse the LV to Phx drive. Fly into Phx, drive to Grand Canyon. Drive to LV, then fly from Vegas to SD.
ivancpr is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,296
Lots of different ideas here.

No need to stay in Flagstaff. Go directly to the Grand Canyon - that alone gives you an extra day.

I don't understand the flight from Phoenix to San Diego. It's a 5.5 hour drive. The flight alone will take at least 3.5 hours of travel time when you factor in getting to the airport 2 hours before your flight to drop off the car, plus a one hour flight and at least 30 minutes in San Diego to collect luggage and rent another car.

And actually the most direct route from Grand Canyon to San Diego does not go through Phoenix - it's 8.5 hours direct or 9.25 hours via Phoenix. Skip Phoenix altogether and just drive to San Diego.

But the larger picture is that this trip is all over the place. If your son likes water and photography, do you even have to go to the coast? You're passing right over Lake Mead (Hoover Dam) on the way to the Grand Canyon. And Lake Powell (Page, AZ) is not far from the Grand Canyon. You could conceivably spend some time on the water and get some great photo ops without ever making that long drive to the coast.

It's hard to really pin down an itinerary based on your initial post - give some more info about your interests and I think the advice will start to become more focused instead of everyone having very different ideas. What does he like about the water? How serious is he about photography? What do you want to do? What are the must sees for both of you? What month? Are flights booked or still some flexibility there?
WhereAreWe is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,680
The downtown of Flagstaff still reflects its RR history and I recall that the Museum of Northern Arizona as having some interesting exhibits.
Michael is offline  

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