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WindSpirit
04-27-2012, 07:51 PM
My best friend and I are planning a little trip to Arizona, mainly to see the Grand Canyon, but we'll have a few days (Wednesday to Sunday, although we won't have time to do anything else on Sun but to fly back to NYC)

Our general plan is:


fly to Phoenix and rent a car there, drive to Sedona (get a hotel there), see what we can in and around Sedona



drive to Grand Canyon (South Rim) and spend a day there and see everything we can


drive to Las Vegas (get a hotel there), see the town and a show (maybe Cirque du Soleil); fly back to NYC

I've been trying to choose a Cirque du Soleil show, and I'm torn between Mystere and O! Any other shows (not necessarily CdS) that I should check out?

If we have enough time in LV, maybe we could drive to Death Valley.

Any advice (favorite places/things to do and those to avoid) about Sedona, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas? Maybe a jeep tour worth checking out? (there are hundreds of those between Sedona, Grand Canyon and LV) Favorite, accessible (and not terribly expensive) hotels?

Personally I'd rather go on a jeep tour around Sedona and go to places I could not go by myself there (I'm not planning on driving on any back roads myself, let alone rocks), but at Grand Canyon I would prefer not to be tied to anyone's schedule. But maybe there is some great jeep tour there that I don't know about. One I was interested in was a one-day river trip, but it doesn't operate on the days we're going to be there. Right now, driving there by ourselves, leaving the car in the parking lot and jumping between free shuttles seem like the best way to go about it. I want to have lots of time to just enjoy the views and take pictures.

I think we might need one more place to sleep between Sedona and LV, something relatively close to the Grand Canyon (or at least something on the way to LV, as we're not going back South or go East after reaching Grand Canyon) Any suggestions?

BTW, is it more worth it to see Las Vegas or go to Death Valley? I'm not a gambler and we can see a show late at night, so we could spend the day doing something else.

Any advice or suggestions will be much appreciated!!

Jenny
04-27-2012, 08:06 PM
At the South Rim, do try and stop into El Tovar, (http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/el-tovar-409.html) a historic lodge, even if just for a drink or cup of hot chocolate. If you like history, it's a former Fred Harvey lodge, so to get in the mood for the trip, you and your friend might want to check out the Judy Garland classic The Harvey Girls.

Around Vegas, I know you are into photography, so Red Rocks Canyon is a great spot, right outside of town. If you are into Americana and feats of engineering, the Hoover Dam isn't too far, and the tour is interesting.

If you are interested in UFOs and other :sekret:, a day long drive to the infamous Area 51 is a lot of fun. The drive through the desert is beautiful (photo ops!), and at the end of it there's a kitschy little restaurant that has a display of alien stuff and of course a little gift shop. Do a little research in advance to sort out the directions to the entrance to Groom Lake (it's unmarked).

Have fun!

Vagabond
04-27-2012, 08:11 PM
Almost the only thing I have ever done in Sedona is eat dinner at L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek (http://www.lauberge.com/sedona-fine-dining/). :swoon:

Since you're going to be in the area, you should think about buying turquoise jewelry. There are roadside stands and shops on the way up to the South Rim as well as stores in Sedona and Flagstaff.

The choice between Las Vegas and Death Valley depends on your tastes. I'd go to Death Valley for the spectacular scenery, but Las Vegas does offer shows and shopping that may appeal to you.

znachki
04-27-2012, 08:58 PM
If you're driving between the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, stop off at Hoover Dam and take the tour. I found it really interesting.

I think you go through Kingman from GC to LV. I can't remember where I stayed, but they have several hotels of the Comfort Inn, Best Western ilk.

You didn't say when you are going, but if you want to stay at specific places, you may want to book now for anything in or around a National Park. Also, Death Valley will be hot, and a lot of the facilities there are closed. The Inn (Hotel California!) will be closed, but the Furnace Creek Ranch is open year round.

As for Vegas, I'm of the opinion that it's worth a trip once. It just has to be seen to be believed. Nothing in Vegas is cheap, but there are mid-week deals to be had. As for O v. Mystere - haven't seen either, but my sister has seen both. She recommends O - especially since that's one you won't see anywhere else.

Kasey
04-27-2012, 10:00 PM
I'm in Northern NV as opposed to the Vegas area, but have been down there (and Grand Canyon). I'm not sure how far of a drive it would be to Death Valley, and if you are just wanting to go there to say you've been there; but about 50 miles or so from Vegas is the Valley of Fire state park (http://parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire-state-park/), which is beautiful, and closeby to that is Lake Mead (http://www.nps.gov/lake/index.htm), which is also beautiful and peaceful if you are a nature/photography person. Also, further on (if you want to drive 2 1/2 to 3 hours) you can get into southern Utah's Zion National Park (http://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm), which is gorgeous and kind of a smaller version of Yosemite. Having been to all three places (and Hoover Dam, which was already mentioned as well), I would much prefer them to anything in Las Vegas on the strip, although I can't say I've seen either of the Cirque shows (maybe I'll take a short road trip down there some week soon just to visit the shows).

Also, if you stay at a hotel off the main Vegas strip, you can get much better deals, and still only be 10-15 minutes away from the action.

attyfan
04-27-2012, 10:25 PM
Re: Cirque shows ..... "Love" is excellent. Liked it much better than "Mystere", but I haven't seen "O".

Flatfoote
04-27-2012, 10:38 PM
My sister saw "O" and loved it. Stay at the Bellagio, and make sure you get a lakeside room. Viewing the fountain show from your room is a great experience. And make sure you find out what channel the TV uses to pipe the music in. We were silly enough to try and hear the music through the glass. I kept saying there must be a way to hear it in the room, and everyone pish-poshed me....until the room service guy happened to tell us what channel on the TV you could hear the music! LOL.

nubka
04-27-2012, 11:36 PM
Since you are going to be in the Vegas area, you might want to check out Hoover Dam. They have tours, and it's quite a sight to see. Lots of good photo ops there! :)

nyrak
04-27-2012, 11:42 PM
Re: Cirque shows ..... "Love" is excellent. Liked it much better than "Mystere", but I haven't seen "O".

I saw "Love" last year. Best show I've ever seen.

I saw "O" as well. Awesome & voidy ;)

manhn
04-28-2012, 07:14 AM
I will be going to AZ in May as well and make a 1-day road trip to the Grand Canyon, but for me, I'll be coming from Pheonix/Scottsdale. Besides Flagstaff and the outlet mall at Anthem, any other interesting stops between Scottsdale and the Grand Canyon?

Japanfan
04-28-2012, 08:48 AM
I'm in California now heading towards the Grand Canyon, will post as I go along.

paskatefan
04-28-2012, 01:35 PM
Sedona & Oak Creek Canyon!

Holley Calmes
04-28-2012, 01:48 PM
The Grand Canyon is wonderful, but I'd rather invest my time in southern Utah with all the different just-as-beautiful parks: Bryce Canyons is my absolute favorite, but Zion is gorgeous too. I believe Arches isn't far....I need to go look that up. Hoover Dam is fun, and so is Lake Mead. All of southern Utah is unreal. Wish I could go back soon!

Aceon6
04-28-2012, 02:23 PM
Dancing with the Stars show is in Vegas now. If you can't get Cirque tix, that might be a fun alternative.

WindSpirit
04-28-2012, 03:26 PM
Thank you, guys, for all the replies!


At the South Rim, do try and stop into El Tovar, (http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/el-tovar-409.html) a historic lodge, even if just for a drink or cup of hot chocolate. I'll keep it in mind. :)


Around Vegas, I know you are into photography, so Red Rocks Canyon is a great spot, right outside of town. If you are into Americana and feats of engineering, the Hoover Dam isn't too far, and the tour is interesting. Many people told me about it and many of you mentioned it as well. I'll talk to my friend about it.


Since you're going to be in the area, you should think about buying turquoise jewelry. There roadside stands and shops on the way up to the South Rim as well as stores in Sedona and Flagstaff. I like turquoise, thanks for the info.


The choice between Las Vegas and Death Valley depends on your tastes. I'd go to Las Vegas for the spectacular scenery, but Las Vegas does offer shows and shopping that may appeal to you. I'm planning to see a show in the evening anyway. Shopping doesn't appeal to me at all, especially in expensive places.

Death Valley was a good idea until I realized that it takes 3 hours one way to get there. Also I don't know how I'd take the heat. :yikes: Arizona is already as hot as I can take... or not. I count on it being more bearable without all the humidity.


You didn't say when you are going, but if you want to stay at specific places, you may want to book now for anything in or around a National Park. Also, Death Valley will be hot, and a lot of the facilities there are closed. The Inn (Hotel California!) will be closed, but the Furnace Creek Ranch is open year round.

As for Vegas, I'm of the opinion that it's worth a trip once. It just has to be seen to be believed. Nothing in Vegas is cheap, but there are mid-week deals to be had. As for O v. Mystere - haven't seen either, but my sister has seen both. She recommends O - especially since that's one you won't see anywhere else. I'm leaving on May 16.

Yeah, I read the Death Valley is more of a winter trip. But I thought that as long as I'm already there and it's still not summer, maybe it could be worth a trip. I loved seeing pictures from there.

I'm going to Las Vegas only because we decided it's not worth driving back to Phoenix since distances are huge in those parts of the US, and we need a major airport to fly home from. I don't mind seeing Vegas, it's just not very important to me. I'd rather see all the sights around it than go on the town.