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Going from Carlsbad Caverns to LA

Bay Area
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Going from Carlsbad Caverns to LA

We're going to Vegas for a conference this August, and we figured we'd add a short family vacation afterwards. This is my plan so far

Day 1 - Leave Vegas, stop at the Grand Canyon, Stay in Flagstaff

Day 2 - Hit a couple of stops between Flagstaff & Albuquerque, stay there

Day 3 - Check out Albuquerque and maybe Santa Fe, drive down & stay in Alamogordo

Day 4 - Hit White Sands in the Morning, then go to Carlsbad Caverns and stay in Carlsbad.

After that, we need to head back to LA. I'd like to do it fairly quickly, but as we have 2 kids in the car, it has to be somewhat fun as well. Any recommendations as to what route to take back to Los Angeles, which sights to hit and what towns to stay in? The only thing I don't want to do is end up in San Diego, or the kids will never let us leave :-)

Thanks

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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1. Re: Going from Carlsbad Caverns to LA

I suggest you drive the 285 South,from Santa Fe ...The kids might enjoy lunch in Roswell in the Flying Saucer McDonalds... Or the whole Alien "thing" for that matter...to Carlsbad for the night... The Caverns, in the AM and White Sands for Sunset...On to Las Cruces for that night. The I-10 to Tucson for lunch & up to the I-8 to Yuma for the overnight, Stopping at Dateland for "date shakes"... Into El centro & drive up the West side of the Salton Sea, to Indio & into LA before the PM traffic gets heavy ... happy trails ...carracar

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Going from Carlsbad Caverns to LA

Don't think you'll have the time for a Santa Fe visit day three and I agree to go to Carlsbad Caverns first. Maybe you can see the bats fly out at dusk and return for the caves next morning. Fun thing for young and old is Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson but it will take extra time.

Bay Area
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3. Re: Going from Carlsbad Caverns to LA

I definitely want to do the Caverns in the PM to see the bats, we all LOVE bats. And I do want to see Santa Fe. I so wanted to go in the 90's, when so many women seemed to congregate there, I don't know if that scene is still there, but I am curious :-) My husband says there isn't much to see in Albuquerque, so we can skip that.

So how about this:

Day 1: to Flagstaff

Day 2: to Albuquerque (or push it to Santa Fe, if we're not too tired).

Day 3: Santa Fe, then up to Carlsbad for the bats, stay in Carlsbad

Day 4: Caverns in the morning, White Sands in the late afternoon, stay in Alamogordo

Day 5: Drive down to Tucson, do the Desert Museum, stay in Tucson (anything else we should check out there)

Day 6: Drive from Tucson to LA (anything we should stop for?)

Between Flagstaff and Albuquerque I'm thinking we'll stop at the crater (for my hubby) and at Acoma (for me). Would there be a time for a third stop? If so, what should it be?

thanks so much!

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Going from Carlsbad Caverns to LA

Meteor Crater easily takes 1-1.5 hours depending on what you want to see. It's $ 15,-- pp entrance fee. On your way east you'll find Petrified Forest NP. Acoma Pueble aka Sky City took us 3 hours. Nothing to see in ABQ? It has a wonderful old town and excellent museums surrounding it. It also has R66 but the whole drive from Flag has many places for that. Saguaro NP west in Tucson is close and we also like Mission San Xavier del Bac and Pime Air among other places. You'll find Tombstone the "Town to Tough to Die" before Tucson with a detour.

5. Re: Going from Carlsbad Caverns to LA

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