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Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

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Gaithersburg...
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Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

This may be an "unfair" question to post in this forum but trying to decide on a family vacation for early August for husband and I and 15-year old daughter. We live on East Coast and have seen very little of West Coast, with the exception of California.

We have about 6 nights and trying to decide between Santa Fe/Taos OR Sedona/Grand Canyon. We like to see historic sights as well as natural beauty.

Thanks, all guidance is appreciated!

New Mexico
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1. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

That's a toughy.....really, we're talking two wholly different experiences here. Taos and Santa Fe are great and there's lots of things to see and do....so don't get me wrong here when I say that neither hold a candle to the Grand Canyon, which is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Of course, your enjoyment of either trip will greatly be dependent on your personal tastes and interests.

If it were me, I would opt for the Grand Canyon/Sedona. Not that I particularly care about Sedona....but I'm absolutely in love with the Grand Canyon and you'll be hard pressed to see anything like it anywhere. I personally would recommend staying a few nights at one of the hotels/cabins....or better yet, rent an RV and camp at Mather Campground if you really want that whole experience. They have another campground....Trailer Village I think it's called; I don't recommend unless you don't mind camping in what amounts to a parking lot....though they do have hookups if you really need that.

The reason I recommend at least spending a few nights there is because this will allow you the opportunity to really do some exploring...take some hikes....walk the rim trail....do some guided walks, etc. This way, you'll really get the most out of it. All too often people drive up to the rim....park at the visitors center....peek over the rim and say, "Hmmmm big hole in the ground." Then they get in their cars and leave, often dissatisfed with their visit. You really need to spend some time and do some hiking, etc to really "get it."

Gaithersburg...
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2. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

Thanks for the thoughtful response! Are we too "late" to find a hotel/cabin in the GCNP for first or second week in August? We do camp near home but also enjoy nice hotels while on extended family vacation! If you wouldn't necessarily recommend Sedona as a companion destination to GCNP, what other nearby city or town would we possibly enjoy?

New Mexico
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3. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

Not sure if you're too late....I do know things book up quickly, so you'd want to get on it asap. You have a few options here....you can look to stay in the park itself at one of the hotels/cabins, but you can also look at hotels that are just outside of the park. I can't remember the name of the town, but there's a little town just outside the gate of the park that has several hotels, restaurants, etc (I think it's called Tusayan). As I recall, there are also accomodations in Valle, AZ which is at the junction of 180 and 64.....probably 20-30 minutes from the parks gate.

If you are interested in camping, I looked quickly and there look to be plenty of camping sites available and reservable on line (though I didn't know your exact dates...just put some dates in mid August). Here's a link if you're interested.

http://www.recreation.gov/campsiteSearch.do

Absolutely nothing wrong with Sedona, it's an absolutely beautiful place. It's an excellent companion destination and I'm sure you'll love it; there's probably not a better companion for this particular trip. Sorry, I didn't mean to imply otherwise by my statement "I don't care about Sedona.".....it was just the Grand Canyon part that got me excited and made me want to post a response. I'm absolutely in love with the Grand Canyon since our 4 night camping trip there last October, and I can't wait to go back. It was a long time coming for me and something I've wanted to see my whole life....ironically, I only live about 6-7 hours away; how ridiculous is it that it took me 37 years to get there!

Albuquerque, New...
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4. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

I opt for New Mexico. I love the Grand Canyon too, but in August it is knee deep in tourists. To me, the best time for the Canyon is from mid-September to the first of May. Yes, it can be cold, but you are not fighting the crowds.

There is so much to do in New Mexico. Our state ranges from about 2000 ft. in the south to 13,000 ft. near Taos. Most of the state is considered high desert as we don't get a lot of rain, although this past winter we beat out Colorado for snow on the ski hills.

Ancient indian sites all over the northern part of the state, high country pines and small lakes abound, Santa Fe is fun to visit for the galleries, museums and the beautiful setting. Good restaurants too.

Albuquerque is great for museums, the Petroglyph Nat'l Monument, Sandia Peak Tram, and much more.

It is warm here in August, but June/July are usually the hottest times of the year.

Check out the new New Mexico Tourism website, as well as Santa Fe's, and also itsatrip.org for Albuquerque for more ideas. 2012 is New Mexico's 100th birthday as a state, and a lot of events going on all over the state.

Check out some of the other posts on Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos, and see if you don't agree with me, looking espeically to KthSchr, who I consider a long distance resident of New Mexico. His posts are really great and have tons of info for you.

Have a great trip..

New York, New York...
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5. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

We have the same problem, but don't want to camp out. We are 2 adults with

a son, 20, and a daughter, 18. We would like to do both, but too much driving

is required. We are considering a Az. bus tour, Caravan.com which covers 4 National Parks, Sedona, and Lake Powell. The other choice is to book a nice hotel or resort in Santa Fe and do day trips. Besides Taos what else is there?

We live in Brooklyn and don't want to do more shopping! The bus trip is 2K more than the Santa Fe trip.

New York, New York...
3 posts
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6. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

We have the same problem, but don't want to camp out. We are 2 adults with

a son, 20, and a daughter, 18. We would like to do both, but too much driving

is required. We are considering a Az. bus tour, Caravan.com which covers 4 National Parks, Sedona, and Lake Powell. The other choice is to book a nice hotel or resort in Santa Fe and do day trips. Besides Taos what else is there?

We live in Brooklyn and don't want to do more shopping! The bus trip is 2K more than the Santa Fe trip.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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7. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

At least 5&6 the bus tour will provide a assured place to sleep ...carracar

Edmond, OK
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8. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

Well, this is a tough decision! Grand Canyon/Sedona with all the great scenery, landscape and history or Santa Fe/Taos with all the great scenery, culture, history and FOOD (my favorite thing) and shopping...yes, but it is a totally different shopping experience - farmer's markets, open air art shows, street vendors, and, of course, the artists at the Palace in Santa Fe. Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos offer a truly unique experience and a glimpse into history at the same time. Everyone should see the Grand Canyon once in their lives, true - I'm not sure the teens would appreciate the long bus tour though. Just a thought.

New York, New York...
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9. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

Thanks for the feedback, it's a tough decision!

Little Rock...
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10. Re: Santa Fe/Taos or Sedona/Grand Canyon

We're going to do both - 3 nights in Santa Fe and 4 nights in Sedona - this coming late October/early November. We've had a previous stay in Santa Fe/Taos so it's not like it's a first time visit to those towns for us.