201 forum posts
We are startling to plan our 2009 family summer vacation. As is typical with Michelle and I, a simple idea to take our kids out to the Canyon has morphed into a 2+ week odyssey across our fine Nation visiting the National Parks from Virginia to Arizona. I have a couple thoughts as far as the itinerary but since Michelle and I have never taken a big road trip like this, other than as a passenger in our parents cars, I wanted to get some input in a couple areas.
My first though was, looking at the map on Google Earth (I love that tool), it looks to me like the Eastern part of the Southern Route from VA to AZ is sparse when it comes to National parks but as you get out west there are quite a few more to choose from so...
Option 1 - Would you recommend a marathon drive to get out west and hit places like Petrified Forest National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and continue on through Colorado...
Option 2 - Take it slow and hit The Great Smokey Mountains National Park 1st night. On the second night Hot Spring Arkansas, 3rd night McClellan Creek National Grasslands, day 4 arrive Grand Canyon National Park. Hike the Canyon for 3 days and then ???
We will be traveling with our 3 boys age 9,10 and 13. The suburban is set up for entertainment with DVD, Xbox and PlayStation, the long hours are going to be a challenge for them but they do have some diversions to keep them occupied.
We are taking the Southern route which will take us out of DC on I66 to I81 to I40. I40 will take us all the way from Tennessee to Arizona.
Any input is more than welcome and I hope to tap into some of your personal experience and suggestions on places not to be missed.
This is a big undertaking but with planning and foresight we can make this an epic trip for the entire family.
Hope to hear from everyone soon.