I'm taking my family to Vegas and Laguna in South LA for a couple of weeks. I was going to spend 3 days in Vegas and was thinking about hiring a car from Las Vegas going to the Grand Canyon and then back via Monument valley or Joshua Tree park on the way to Laguna Beach.
I'm still at the early stages really so I was looking for some advice on where the best places are to stay, the Grand Canyon is a must but I don't really know much about Joshua Tree park or Monument Valley or Mojave Reserve.
I've got some friends in Laguna Beach so was looking to spend at least 5 days at the end of the trip relaxing there but the rest is to be decided so any advice would be appreciated
Many Thanks in Advance
First thing you need to know is that there is no place to stay in Joshua Tree except in a tent--and I wouldn't suggest that. However, nearby is Palm Springs and Palm Desert--and this area has lots of great resorts--although you need to know that they are much better in the Spring and Fall--but way too hot in the summer (118 to 120 degrees F is the normal high then--this is 48 to 49 degrees C).
Also, I wouldn't suggest you go up to Monument Valley unless you have the extra time--this is another day's drive past the Grand Canyon in the opposite direction from Laguna Beach. Instead head south through Sedona and then head west to Joshua Tree and Palm Springs/Palm Desert. Then head west and drive on through Riverside and Corona, and down to Newport Beach/Laguna Beach.
If you have the time spend a day in Sedona, otherwise stay at the Grand Canyon, then in Palm Desert, then in Laguna Beach or Newport Beach. You might also consider going to San Diego with your friends for a day trip or else (if you are visiting in the July/August time frame), enjoy the many art shows in Laguna Beach and enjoy the wonderful beaches, a walk through Balboa Island, and maybe take a bay or ocean cruise.