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Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

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Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

My hubby and I and 6 year old daughter will drive to Sedona from LA. We will stay in Junipine resort from Apr. 2-7th. My question is:

1) Which route should we take go and back? I checked online saying the fastest way is 210E-->15N-->40E-->17S toward 89A. I am wondering if there is snow on I40 when I am studying this forum? I'd like to take the different route to go and back to see more.

2) Do we need to make the reservation for the popular restaurants, such as Cowboy club, Elote cafe, Harry's hideaway, etc?

3) Any good recommendation for 4 or 5 days itinerary will be really appreciated.

We will go Pink Jeep tour, Out of Africa, some easy hiking and shopping. More is included in the plan is Meteor Crate, Wupatki/ Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon, Jerome,Montezuma's castle, Boynton Canyon. Anything else is 'must do' and 'must see'? I am looking for the best itinerary to fit them in each day.

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

All of the above are great to see - but once you're that 'close' why not go to the Grand Canyon and spend one night there! If you decide to do that, a rim lodge would need to be booked ASAP. For the in-park hotels, visit www.grandcanyonlodges.com or call 888-297-2757

Failing that you can get lodging right outside the south gate (main entrance to the park) in Tusayan, about ten minutes' drive from the rim.

A different route, more scenic and certainly not longer, and snowfree right now, would be east on I-10 into Arizona. 12 miles into AZ, take exit 31 onto 60 east as far as Wickenburg, which would make a good place for a short stop - there are shops and restaurants for anything you might want. Then take 89 north through Prescott (old mining town) - there onto 89A to Jerome (arguably one of the most famous, as well as inhabited ghost towns; now major tourist attractions with loads of quaint stores. Perched on the slope of Mingus Mtn, Jerome offers a breathtaking view across the vallEy to the red rocks of Sedona - and from there it's not much farther to Sedona.

If you want to take this easy, go as far as Wickenburg on day one, spend the night there and then drive to Sedona the following day.

The day you drive to the GC from Sedona, you can see Walnut Canyon and Sunset Crater/Wupatki, as it's on the way.

You can see Montezuma's Castle on an outing from sedona, and maybe include Montezuma Well as well, a few miles up I-17, a really, really special little pace, with native cliff dwellings as well (it's a limestone sink) in an enchanting setting. You could see Meteor Crater on the same day. Maybe go there first the day you drive back friom the GC to Sedona, then the two Montys, and back to Sedona.

Edited: 25 March 2012, 12:10
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2. Re: Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

It doesnot make much difference taking I10 or I40. Staying for the night in GC is a great idea but already count on 8-10 hours to get from LA to GC south rim (depending on stops, traffic, roadworks etc)

I you take I 10 it's a good idea to spend the night in Wickenburg or Prescott before Sedona. Fastest way is via Phoenix (west loop 101) though. (8 hours)

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3. Re: Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

I'd us one route each way for variety. As noted, the time factor will be about the same if you're using the interstates. Coming up via Wickenburg, Prescott,etc will add a couple of hours and even more if you decide to make some recommended stops along the way. I wouldn't worry about snow on the roads unless there is a new storm in the forecast at the time of your trip.

You'll want to make reservations at Cowboy Club because it's always crowded for dinner and Harry's Hideaway because they can only seat a couple dozen diners. EloteCafe doesn't take reservations. Get there just before 5PM to get a table at the first seating.

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4. Re: Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

Number one consideration is that you are travelling with a 6 year old. This means frequent stops. The "fastest" way there just won't work for you because the interstates have gaps as big as 80 miles or more between stops. Take it slow and enjoy the trip, and schedule plenty of easy, quick and/or long stops.

Take the I-10 into AZ. Many will tell you the gas is cheaper here which is true. In your case I do NOT recommend you stop at the giant gas station at the top of the hill once you get in AZ. A 6 year old can bolt out of your hand and be in front of an on-comming semi or motorhome in a heart beat. This is a very busy place. Also you will have to stand in line with greasy truckers and people from all over to get into the grubby restrooms.

Drive east until you get to the turn-off for 60...the "Brenda Cut-off" (google it newcomers). This is the SW AZ equivilant of

rte. 66 without all the trashy tourist stands.

Stop at Salome to gas up in safety. It will cost you a few pennies more but it will add to the local economy of a cool place and you can do it in safety for your little one. While there, go into the old-timey cafe. Let your little girl spin all the stools at the counter while you order a delicious slice of pie with good coffee. Look at all the stuff on the walls.

There are more stops along the way if you feel the need. Then you will drive through all the weird shaped boulders before you get to the real old west town of Wickenburg. I suggest you stop and rest here for the night. I think this is enough for a 6 year old for the day. You can get all kinds of really great food in authentic old-time places. Walk around the wooden sidewalks and look at 130-140 year old western buildings. This is also the place to get your most authentic western wear for the rest of your trip. You can also get home-made ice cream at the Chapparel and take a horse (pony) ride with a real cowboy if you like.

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5. Re: Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

Only you know how your daughter travels. Since you mention the "fastest way", I assume that's what you want. As RR wrote, going through Wickenburg and Prescott will add more time to your travel day. Although there would be more interesting things to see that way, it may also get more tiring and/or more "Are we there yets" if you don't have time to stay overnight somewhere before Sedona. I have driven from Sedona to LA and back many times. I am happy to go the fastest way. Eight hours is long enough for me. I would take I-40 one way and I-10 the other.

RedRox always suggests taking the Pink Jeep tour at the beginning of your Sedona vacation. It is a good introduction to Sedona. The rest of the sites you mention don't require reservations (actually I don't know about Out of Africa...never been), so I suggest just playing it by ear. But try to group the things that are in the same direction together for each day. Meteor Crater is furthest from Sedona and least desirable according to many on this forum, so I would leave that for last if you have time.

Other must do's in Sedona IMO is Chapel of the Holy Cross and Red Rock Crossing. Also Oak Creek Canyon which you will travel through coming in and out of Sedona from the north (Hwy 89A), but you may want to spend more time there exploring. West Fork trail in OCC is wonderful.

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6. Re: Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

It is a pretty long ride for a 6-year-old. I hope you can bring some entertainment to keep her amused!

We drive this route a few times a year. I like to take I10 (no chance of snow in winter or spring). We make stops in Palm Springs (the rest area or food places), Quartzite, and Phoenix (Happy Valley/far side) when we take the I10 to the 101 to I17 to 179.

Edited: 25 March 2012, 21:05
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7. Re: Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

I really appreciate all of the above answers! You guys are so fabulous!!!

8. Re: Travel from LA to Sedona for spring break

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