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Thelma & Louise!

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1. Posted by natters (Budding Member 7 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


The gals and I are planning a two week road trip around south west usa and was wondering if anybody had any must-sees, possible itineries, or just any advice we want to fit in LA, Vegas, Grand Canyon and then some of Arizona but that is about all we know.

Would be v. grateful for any help!!!
cheers x

2. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Natalie,
I did exactly the route your are looking at and one thing springs to mind. Two weeks isn't nearly enough. We had 3 and were too ambitious.
It can be done, but the distances are quite large and you'll spend a lot of time travelling.
Subsequently, we only had 1.5 days in San Francisco (not enough), same again in Yosemite (not enough).
If Disney isn't on the agenda, then get out of LA fast - there's nothing to see, and I include Hollywood, a big disappointment. Only go there if you are an absolute film freak, as there is little to see.
Go west out to Santa Monica, Venice beach and then north to Malibu - nice beaches, dolphins frolicking. Further on, Santa Barbara is worth a stop - Spanish culture and history.
You can then drive up the freeway inland, but the Pacific Coast highway is best. Stops around Monterey and Carmel and Hearst castle are always recommended, but allow 2 or 3 days to do it justice.
San Francisco is worth at least 2 days - one for shopping, one for Alcatraz and the sights.
Back east (and south), Vegas is a must. I didn't think it was my kind of place, but it's like a playground and has a feelgood factor for a few days. The slot machines lose their appeal after a couple of days, as there's no skill - just put the money in and press the buttons.
But the strip is great and there's as much shopping as your pockets will allow.

3. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


If you are looking for the Thelma and Louise thing then you are going to be spending time in Arizona, Nevada, and southern Utah (also maybe New Mexico), but not too much time in California. I say this even though I like California best and work in Monterey, CA.

The places to go see in the Thelma and Louis areas though are Las Vegas, Grand Canyon,Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell (go to the southernmost point--look at this site to see an image: Lake Cove
and, Monument Valley is where Thelma and Louise got pulled over by the policeman in real life Here's a view:
Dead Horse point (near Moab, Utah) is where Tom Cruise was hiking up to the top at the beginning of Mission Impossible 2. Other National Parks and National Monuments in this area are: Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, and the Painted Desert. Sedona, Arizona is also beautiful, as is Santa Fe, New Mexico and the canyons and rivers all around Moab.

Personally I think you could see all of this in two weeks--though you would need to be always on the go. Distances are a bit far. The more important concern is weather, though. Temperatures in these areas are already 95 degrees F (35 degrees C) and these will be going up as we get to summer. Temperatures averaging around 106 F (41 C) are common in the summer, so plan accordingly. And book your hotels early--it's not uncommon for hotels to fill up--and the next closest one could be a 175 kilometre drive away. This area is remote.


[ Edit: link fixed up ]

4. Posted by jbur816 (Budding Member 17 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Natters,

I live in Phoenix area and I agree with everything that calcruzer just mentioned, especially if this is to be a "Thelma and Louise" style southwest adventure with the girls. How fun. However, it is HOT here. The expected highs for this weekend in Phoenix are 108-109 F. This is not uncommon in the summer here. I would stay in the higher elevations, if possible, to avoid the hottest weather. And make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen. I might add in the old mining town of Jerome (near Sedona).

Where are you from? How many of you are there going to be on this trip and what is your budget (approximately)? Are you going to be in a convertible? (I would actually not suggest this.)

Take care and have a great trip. Sounds like a lot of fun!!!

PS: I would avoid Phoenix area like the plague if you are going in summer.:)

5. Posted by natters (Budding Member 7 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


thanks for all your help, was wondering if there was any destinations or routes you would definately advise it doesn't have to be Thelma and Louise destinations the only places we are sure about are LA, Vegas and Grand Canyon. don't really want to travel up as far as San Fran sa we are limited with time! we are going on the 11th September.

cheers, nat

6. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

San Diego is only 2 hours South of LA and a really nice place.

7. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Travel100

San Diego is only 2 hours South of LA and a really nice place.

And if you go another 30 minutes South you could venture into Mexico (TJ) for a few hours.

8. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I would also suggest San Diego and possibly crossing over into Mexico and taking the toll road as far south as Rosarita Beach. A very fun town in the summertime, but a little sleepy afterwards. There is even a Fox Studios there (the movie Titanic was filmed there).

Two important things to consider if you do this. #1--Most car rental company's auto insurance will not cover Mexico--and if you don't have insurance in Mexico and are in an accident they will take your car. The solution to this is either to get Mexican auto insurance from your car rental carrier (they will sell this policy for as little as one day)--or stop in the town of San Ysidro (at the Mexican border) right before crossing over and buy Mexican insurance--this can be a problem, though since some insurance companies there require you to be the registered owner--which you obviously aren't).

  1. 2--if you are driving out of LA to San Diego make sure you aren't still in the LA area during the Monday to Friday rush hours (7 to 9 AM and 4 to 6 PM) periods. It will take you at least one extra hour if you are driving in or out of LA at this time.

One other place to consider visiting would be Sedona, Arizona south of the Grand Canyon--it's hot, but very pretty.