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Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

Cookeville...
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Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

It has always been my mother's dream to see the GC, so I am going to try to make that happen in 2008. She will not fly, so we will be driving from Nashville, TN. (!!) I have never been west of the Mississippi and know little about the GC so I need help. We are planning a 2 week trip. We thought it would take about 3 days to get there and back, so that leaves about 8 days to see everything. We are not really hikers, so will be just seeing the canyon from above. She also wants to see Las Vegas. I would appreciate any advice from the experts on here as far as where to stay, an itinerary, etc. Thanks in advance!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

Since the GC is your primary destination, plan to spend at least 2 nights there. Call or go online to book your room reservations now. Get them secured and then you can plan the balance of your trip around those dates. I would suggest another 2 nights in LV and at least 2-3 nights in Sedona. That will pretty much fill your schedule, but will give you a full taste of the Southwest. Check back with us and we'll help you to fine tune the trip.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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2. Re: Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

Ok.. here's some ideas...

It is over 1600 miles from Nashville to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I don't know how much driving you can do in a day, but think about 6 hour avg.

That would be about 3 1/2 days each way.

You can take I40 all the way across!

day 1 Nashville to somewhere in AR, you will know better how far you can get.

day 2 Arkansas to Amarillo Texas.

Day 3 Texas to Gallup NM

Day 4 Gallup to Grand Canyon. I would make reservations now for a hotel for at least 2 or 3 nights inside the park. Check with nps.gov. El Tovar is awesome!

Day 5 & 6 visiting the park. Free shuttles in the main areas.

Day 7 drive 5 hours or so to Vegas. Some places to consider MGM, Mirage, Bellagio, Venetian....

Day 8 Vegas- see the sights, rent a cabana at the pool, enjoy dinner

Day 9 Depart Vegas

Day 10-14 Driving home. Maybe stop and see the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert in AZ, Albuquerque in NM.

Have fun planning. It is totally doable trip!!

Aubrey, Texas
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3. Re: Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

You should be glad that your mother won't fly. You are in for a real trreat. Along with many boring miles of driving you'll find scenery and places unlike anywhere else.

I recommend you get a good guidebook to the Southwest. I use Rough Guide to Southwest USA. I also use Insight Guide to Arizona and the Grand Canyon. Others are out there which people swear by. Just get one and start reading about what to see and do along and near your route.

Consider leaving !40 at Gallup, NM. Go up to Hwy 264. It's a good highway which will take you west through the Navajo and Hopi reservations. It is actually a few miles shorter to Grand Canyon Village that way compared to going through Flagstaff.

The Hubbell Trading Post near Ganado, AZ is not to be missed. You may find a Navajo woman weaving a rug there. Further along the highway, the old Hopi village of Walpi is worth a stop. You can see dinasaur tracks neat Tuba City off Highway 160. A few miles through painted desert down Highway 89 takes you Cameron and the turnoff to Grand Canyon.

I agree that you need to get your GC reservations sorted out, then plan the trip around that. If you can get a room at El Tovar (and can afford it) stay there.

GA
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4. Re: Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

You don't say if there will be any men going with you.So if it just you and your Mother I would join AAA travel club they can give you driving directions and if you have any car trouble tha can help you and you can get discounts at hotels.If you join AAA tell them you want trip planner and you cna ge books from them at what there is to see in do states you will be driving through but I would tell them you are leaving 2 months earlier than you are leaving so you can get the trip books and driving directions

northwest Georgia
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5. Re: Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

Here's a suggestion: take a cooler, even a small one. You can

have a cool drink and a quick sandwich or snack at any time. It

has been our experience that just when lunch time rolls around,

we are out 'in the middle of nowhere' ! Also, you can save your

money to eat at the really good places.

This sounds like a fabulous trip! Have fun & stay safe.

Sunnyvale, CA
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6. Re: Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

Many small towns near tourist destinations get most or all of their

revenue from speeding tickets, so once you have a route selected

you should search online for references to speed traps in towns

near your destinations--could save you hundreds of dollars in fines

and insurance fees. With an out-of-state license, they know you

can't return to fight even an unfair ticket in court.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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7. Re: Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

Or... you can just drive the posted speed limit.

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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8. Re: Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

LOL! I get a big kick out of some of the odd fears sometimes mentioned. I have been driving for 47 years, and all over this country. I can count on one hand the number of speeding tickets I have received in my lifetime. In all those years I encountered a speed trap once while traveling on business, but was able to fight it successfully long distance. And I do drive the speed limit unless the traffic flow is a lot faster.

9. Re: Advice: Planning cross country trip to GC first time

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