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Family Road Trip July 2007

Newbury Park...
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Family Road Trip July 2007

Looking to take a family road trip next July (2007) through Arizona, New Mexico, Southern Colorado, and Utah. We will be starting at my parents place in Chandler, AZ and ending in Ventura County, CA. Don't want to drive more than 4/5 hours on any given day. Hoping to take 10 days.

Some places we want to hit are: Kartchner Caverns State Park, El Paso, TX, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Nm, Roswell, NM, Santa Fe, NM, Durango, Co, Zion National Park / Bryce Canyon, Las Vegas, NV

Any suggestions on routes, places to stay, things to do would be appreciated. Especially those wonderful places usually left out of guide books or understated. Also, anything that probably isn’t worth stopping at.

Our travel preferences:

Hotels - clean, suites if possible (kids will be 9, 6 and 1½ next summer). Pools always a big plus - nothing fancy - just something for them to play in after dinner. Preferably in the $100 - $150 range (although will splurge if worth it)

Food - any and everything except fast food. Our kids could also do without kids menus. Local joints great, preferably no chains.

Activities - hiking, exploring, museums, theater, shopping, biking, horseback riding, anything water oriented, anything "local" that is different than what we have in SoCal.

Thank you in advance for your input!!!

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1. Re: Family Road Trip July 2007

I noticed you hadn't had a reply yet. I've actually replied to a few others with suggestions. There are so many fantastic things to do in any of these states. I would be happy to give you suggestions and I can help you create a route, but it looked like you already have some cool ideas. From Chandler, you're pretty much looking at a east - north- west route and of course, you can head south at any point.

If you are interested in National Parks, I can recommend the following: In Arizona, you can't beat Chiricahua National Monument, it is absolutely beautiful and they have a really nice campground there, if you plan to take camping gear. It's a bit southeast of the Chandler area. Fort Bowie is also really interesting and historical, but it does require a long hike to get to the main site. Of course, there is the Grand Canyon and not far from there is a cool site called Pipe Springs, which is pretty interesting.

New Mexico is really fantastic. Carlsbad Caverns is amazing. I loved it and highly recommend it. Be sure to have breakfast before braving the hike down into the caverns. It's pretty strenuous, but if you have folks in your party who can't handle the hike, there is an elevator! In the Northwest New Mexico area, I HIGHLY recommend El Morro National Monument. It's fantastic and so is Chaco Canyon Histoical Site and Aztec Ruins National Monument.

Utah - well, you can't beat those sites. Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion are absolutely awesome.

I'm actually into the "unusual" stuff, though. We did a tour through the Queen Mine (copper mine) in Bisbee Arizona and stayed the night at the Shady Dell which is this totally retro motor home park where you can rent out a vintage trailer for the night with nothing but black and white tv and old 50s games. SO COOL! Apparently there is something called the bicycle house in Bisbee, too - an oddball house with unusual things hanging off the outsides - I somehow missed this while there.

In New Mexico, there is the obvious - Roswell, but then you also have Albuquerque - there is so much to see and do there! Albuquerque has quite a few museums, inlcuding the Atomic Museum, the Hot Air Balloon Museum and the Rattlesnake Museum. North a bit, you also have Chimayo, the "Lourdes of America" where people belive inthe healing properties of the dirt and tent rocks National Monument where you can see some really unusual rocks. Off highway 40 in the west, you can visit a wolf retreat and some great Pueblos, like the Acoma peublo and North, there is the famous Taos area with it's arts and Peublo. It's quite lovely there, but take some money! They cahrge for every camera!

In Colorado, you can find Cripple Creek, home of not only the old gold miner historic area, but also the history of the "soiled doves". It is considered one of the most haunted areas in the US. In Denver, you can visit a US Mint and just west, in Golden, you can not oonly do a tour of the Coors Brewery, but you can also visit Buffalo Bills grave and museum!

As you can see, there are SO many things you can see and do on a trip like this. I'd be happy to help you with any specifics. I really enjoy planning road trips, but you have to tell me your priorities! Mine are usually the unusual =) Just email me at ladyjadegd@yahoo.com

Royal Oak, Michigan
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2. Re: Family Road Trip July 2007


Ladyjadegd covered a lot, but let me add that a visit to the Southwest isn't complete unless you visit Mesa Verde. In addition, there is a Ute Tribal Park immediately south of Mesa Verde, which has more remote ruins, and requires that you go with a Ute guide.

Acoma Pueblo, mentioned by Ldyjd, is very interesting. It is about forty miles west of Albuquerque. If you are willing to get off the beaten path, two choices are Chaco Canyon (bring it up on the internet) and the Hopi Mesas. The Hopi Mesas are not very welcoming for tourists, but just driving through them is an experience. Monument Valley on the AZ/UT border is very worth seeing, more because of the scenery than because of the Indian culture you see.

If you get up to Moab, there is every kind of hiking, exploring, biking, rafting and viewing you can imagine. It is a little out of the way from your basic route, but it has most of the activities you mention.

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3. Re: Family Road Trip July 2007

All suggestions above are good. Carlsbad is a must for the kids, and Chaco Canyon is amazing. Santa Fe is a little busy in the summer, but a great place to visit. If trains are interesting, look into the train in Chama New Mexico or the train from Durango CO.

4. Re: Family Road Trip July 2007

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