I have some older relatives visiting me from Germany (their first trip to the US). I think they are not the flamboyant city kind (I think Las Vegas may be a bit too extravagant for their tastes) They are more into culture, national parks and monuments. They mentioned places like Carlsbad Caverns, Sunset crater, Pertrified forests, Canyon de chelly and of course Grand Canyon is a must.
My thought is to land in a major city (SF?) then drive around to some sights (Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone etc). I don't know what route and places would make sense. I have a week to take them around.
I would really appreciate any advice
So - Gran Canyon is a must. Well - San Fran is a little far away. Flying into some place around Vegas would be much closer if you want to go to the Canyon. One week isn't alot of time and just going to the Grnad Canyon will take up a couple of those days. A day travelling there from wherever you land and you won't be able to see even a quarter of the Canyon. If you are going I would suggest giving it a good two days. Plus figure losing a day in travelling time trying to get there.
Otherwise, I would look into spending the week ina specific city. Don't waste all you time travelling and trying to get somewhere and not enjoy it.
Let us know if you narrow things down. People can help out alot more if you have a little more direction.
Thanks a lot for your input- thats what I thought too but was not sure..
If I land in Vegas, spend a night there and leave for Grand Canyon the next day- maybe see Hoover dam on the way? Anything else on the way that would be worth seeing- something they can remember the States by?
Or would Phoneix be a better starting point? I really don't know anything in the West so I really need help.
Suggest you try the following route. Fly to Las Vegas.
Next go southeast past Hoover Dam (Hwy 93 to I-40), down to Sedona, Arizona (just south of Flagstaff). Then go north through Flagstaff (Hwy 180) to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Then head east along the rim of the canyon (still Hwy 180) and turn north to Kayenta (Hwy 160), turn left on Hwy 163 and go to the border of Utah (Monument Valley). Tour the valley then backtrack via Hwy 160 and Hwy 98 to Paige, Arizona, and stop at the Lake Powell Resort on the south edge of Lake Powell.
From here head west on Hwy 89 to Kanab, and go north (also Hwy 89) past Hatch. Turn right and go on Hwy 12 over to Bryce Canyon. Then backtrack down Hwy 89 back to Mount Carmel Junction. Turn west here and go through Zion National Park, then into St. George, and down I-15 back to Las Vegas.
Make sure you see the following spots in the daytime--Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley (great right before sunset), Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park. Even the canyon just south of St. George is spectacular in the daytime. See Las Vegas in the daytime and at night.
This is about a one week trip or so, and will show you some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. I think your relatives will be impressed. Here's a few shots.