Hey everyone. I am currently planning a trip to visit the greater Las Vegas area. Here is my background: This trip will be me and my wife. We are not die hard gamblers, but do wish to see Vegas, but also want to take advantage of the surrounding area as well. Right now, we may only have eight (maybe nine) days for our trip. I am hoping my wife can get a few more days off, unpaid if possible. While I like to hike, my wife isn't a die hard outdoors type, but we both really like seeing new places and grand sights and such.
In the early planning for this trip, I discovered that S. Utah is home to many national parks, with the GC close by as well. I have already discovered some info on this forum and have ordered travel guides from the respective states. I plan on ordering information from all the national parks, and hitting up AAA as well.
So far, my plan is to fly into Vegas early, rent a car, and head out to S. Utah first. My initial plan would be to stay in the area of Moab, UT. This would allow us a central location to visit both Arches, Canyon Lands, and Capitol Reef NPs. Next would be to stay somewhere in S. Utah as a point to branch out to see Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon. The end of our trip would be going back to Vegas, and hopefully seeing things like the Hoover Dam, Little A'Le'Inn, Nellis AFB (if the have tours), Death Valley NP, Red Rock Canyon, etc..
I know there will be a lot of driving. Been there, done that, it is the only way due to our limited time window. We are both fine with that, I am totally fine with driving hours if need be. We are both younger, and as long as we get our three meals a day, we can easily do 14 hour days, even if many of those hours are in a car.
My main questions are:
What parks/sights are must see? What parks/sights should we skip because they really ain't all that?
What are the good cities/towns to stay in? We are your basic Holiday Inn, Ramada, Red Roof Inn types. We don't need a pool or hot tube, just a decent, safe place to stay.
What are the driving distances like? Does Utah have slower speed limits? Interstates/highways curve a lot?
Best time of year to go? I hate the heat, big time. I would rather go when things are on the cool side. Wife really doesn't care, she would rather go when there are fewer people, and I also like that as well. However, we still would like to go when things are happening, places are open for business, etc.. I saw that Bryce has a night program and I really like that. We have even thought about making our trip during one of the meteor shower events.
I am going to post this in a few forums, so if you reply one place, no need to reply back. Thanks in advance for any tips you can provide.