Within the next two weeks, we're thinking about doing a Palm Springs --> Laughlin, Nevada --> St George, Utah road trip. Any suggestions on what to see/do along the way (for a family of four, two adults and two kids)
Usually, we let
1. Offbeat Tourist Attractions - US File + other attraction POI files
2. Various places to eat POI files
3. Local events
help us figure out what to do.
We have a week or so for the trip.
Before the trip, here's what we got:
Palm Springs - Indian reservation, tram, date farm
Laughlin, Nevada - Rent boat on Colorado River, gamble
Oatman, Arizona - Wild burros freely roam the town
St George, Utah (or further north) - kids have never been to Utah
This is a great hotel to stay at in the Palm Springs area. We always stay there when in that area.
It was built and owned by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez and pretty much every famous star and entertainer of that era stayed there. The wall in the lobby is full of photos of those people taken when they stayed there.
Indian Wells Resort Hotel
76661 Hwy 111
Indian Wells, Ca, 92210
N33 43 17.6
W116 19 32.3
continue north from St George to Bryce Canyon National Park and/or over to the North Rim of Grand Canyon (which we think is much better than South Rim - not to diss South Rim). If forced to choose between Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon because of time constraints, go to Bryce Canyon.
While there, you should definitely walk at least one of the trails unless you have mobility issues or pulmonary/heart problems. (Bryce is at 8000 feet, so coming back up the trail from a walk down is not recommended for those with health issues.)
You may have a problem getting a room on such short notice, but there some relatively primitive facilities that might be available if you are willing to accept the inconveniences. (You might also luck out and pick up a last-minute cancellation.) Check the National Park Service web site for details.
With best wishes,
- Tom -
And even closer to St George is Zion National Park. Totally different than Bryce but spectacular in it's own right.
In Baker, CA is a pretty offbeat tourist attraction that might be part of the trip.
In Vegas, you might take the time to do the tour of Hoover Dam and see the new bridge that crosses the Colorado diverting traffic from the dam.
Don't know how interested in science you or the family might be, but the Atomic Testing Museum in Vegas is worth seeing.
The Clark County Museum in Boulder City is also interesting to see. It has houses and buildings from different eras of Nevada's growth. It also has some interesting railroad stock and early transportation items on display.
You might also take a drive West of Las Vegas to Red Rock Canyon State Park. It is something other than the glitter of Vegas. 13 mile loop with many different geologic formations. You can stop and hike or just drive to see the sites. This time of year, bring plenty of water and stay hydrated no matter where in the Mohave area you are traveling.
We travel to St. George and Laughlin almost every year. And occasionally take the back roads.
If you have the time, head east from Laughlin through Kingman and explore what is left of Route 66 between Kingman and Seligman. There are quite a few "unique" stops on that trip. The Route 66 museum in Kingman would be a great place to start the tour.
Then head north from Flagstaff to Page AZ. Lake Powell is beautiful, and be sure to take one of the cruises. The trip from there to Kanab is not too exciting, but you could take 89 Alternate, south of Page through Marble Canyon and Freedonia... that is a scenic drive!
From there you can take the slow drive through Zion National Park to St. George, which is always entertaining. Nothing like being wedged between a couple of motor homes going through the tunnels and switch backs .
This alternate route will be much longer than going the I-15 but is much more interesting and picturesque.
If you're going to Oatman from Laughlin, don't just double back to Laughlin. Continue northeast from Oatman to Kingman. That's part of the old Route 66, and it is a very scenic (and mountainous) drive.
From Kingman you can return to Laughlin via AZ 68.
We just got back from the trip. We didn't go to St George, Utah and now plan to visit Laughlin again (and do the things listed above that we didn't get a chance to do). Here's what we ended up doing (whole trip was 865 miles):
Palm Springs, California, Aug 12 (116 deg. F), Aug 13 (116 deg. F): Ate kangaroo at Hamburger Mary's, Saw Forever Marilyn giant statute, Rode Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Hiked Mt. San Jacinto during thunderstorm, Swam in hot springs, Went to Shield's date farm to sample dates
Laughlin, Nevada Aug 14 (117 deg. F), Aug 15 (116 deg. F), Aug 16 (111 deg. F), Aug. 17 (104 deg. F): Golden Nugget (about $35 a night), Swam in Colorado river, Snorkeled in Colorado river, Drove jet ski on Colorado river, Toured Davis dam (Mexico's water), Swam in Lake Mohave, Feed koi fish at Edgewater hotel, Toured Laughlin Casinos, Watched outdoor lightning show from Riverside buffet (it was monsoon season); (Missed the Aug 11-12 Laughlin River Run by one weekend)
Oatman, Arizona: Toured town, Fed burros, Went in ghost gold mine
Barstow, California: Saw Old Women Meteorite (2nd largest in US)
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