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Old 05-03-2021, 12:10 AM
Location: Avignon, France
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Originally Posted by steiconi View Post
July is monsoon in the desert, so you could expect rain, heat, and humidity if you choose the Vegas/GC trip.

I'd prefer the California option, and include a trip to Muir Woods.
Lol.. Las Vegas only averages 4.2 inches of rain annually. I was born and raised in LV and I can only remember a couple of times that rain ( in the mountains not the city) caused any flash flooding in the city proper. I’d worry more about the heat and humidity than rain.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:14 AM
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I would probably fly into Las Vegas and do Zion, Bryce, and the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. Just expect very hot and dry weather at that time of the year and carry gallons of water.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:20 AM
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San Francisco is awesome with that age and so is Yosemite. My son and I have done both on separate trips last couple of years. San Fran--sailing in the bay, toured historic ships/subs, biked golden gate park, outdoor concert, chinatown, Japantown, restaurants, City Lights bookstore, trolleys, on and on. Yosemite--hired a guide and did backpacking for 3 nights, couple nights on Lake Tahoe, Donner Party museum (his choice :-/) , small towns like Truckee. Loved it. If you hire a guide in Yosemite they take care of the passes--we went during the pandemic and weren't sure how to get tickets etc. Guide made it easy.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:09 AM
Location: Durham, NC
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I would recommend the southern option. Vegas will be hot, but I wouldn't recommend spending a lot of time there. From Vegas, head north and see Valley of Fire State Park and then Zion NP (Don't miss the Kolob Canyons section). You can go from there to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and/or Lake Powell. There isn't much other than the lake in Page, but just south of there is the often photographed and very scenic Horseshoe Bend. Head south from there to Flagstaff and use that as a base to explore the surrounding area. There's tons to see within 60-90 minutes of Flagstaff: South Rim GC, Sedona, San Francisco Peaks, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monument, Meteor Crater, Oak Creek Canyon, Lowell Observatory, etc...

The North Rim and Flagstaff are at 7000' in elevation, so it likely won't get up to 90F, and even if it does it's super-dry heat; nighttime temps will be crisp and cool. The South Rim is at 6,000', Page and Sedona are ~5,000', and Zion is at 4,000' so they'll be a little warmer than Flagstaff, but certainly not Phoenix-like heat.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:45 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Bryce 'Night Sky' program is extrodinarily excellent (But OP did not mention Utah parks, only GC), Still too hot for me! (southern UT in mid summer).

If family is into Early rising!!! (eastern time zone). Accomplish everything between 5AM and noon, swim and relax 12 - until 5 PM, then explore until dark. (9 - 10pm at some latititudes)
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:17 PM
Location: East Coast of the United States
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I recommend option 2. There isn’t that much to do for children in Vegas. It is a seedy kind of place.

Grand Canyon would be excellent, however.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:32 PM
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One thing I feel is important to consider is how much time you want to spend driving. A road trip with my husband is a completely different experience than one with teens in the car, and what adults and kids find appealing aren't always the same thing. Have you gotten any feedback about what the kids might be interested in so you know which itinerary might be more appealing to all?
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:40 PM
Location: Amelia Island
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Originally Posted by Matthew in Jersey View Post
Greetings All,

Hoping for sound advice on better vacation option for a family of 5, children 15, 14, and 11. Love the idea of both. We will do some mild/midlevel hiking. have been to all places myself, but children have not. Unfortunately, news media on the east coast paints SF in rough light and it's been a while since I've been back. We do have some (distant) family in SF area, but not necessarily a huge factor.

Option 1: fly into Vegas, time there and then road trip to Grand Canyon and surrounding countryside.

Option 2: fly into San Francisco, time there and then road trip to Yosemite and PCH, including small towns, Big Sur.

Love the epic quality of both options ... Many thanks in advance.

(note: I mistakenly had posted this thread in the General US subforum because I hadn't realized this subforum existed.)
Like you we have explored both areas but have been revisiting a lot of the US with the twins (12).

In 2019 we flew into Las Vegas for 12 days (July). We did the strip, Fremont Street and hit Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam. We then left for Flagstaff. In a nutshell we very took our time and visited the South Rim, Painted desert, Petrified Forest, Seligman (RT 66), Lake Havasu, Joshua Tree, Mojave and then back to Vegas. We also followed Roadside America and there were plenty of oddities along the way (shoe fence in Rice, CA). It was great and we did it leisurely. At that time of year we were seeing highs of 117. It was hot but this was pre-covid-19 and we made great use out of the pools at each of the hotels we stayed at. We averaged just less than 4 hour's driving time each day.

Last year we were supposed to do the Bay Area, and this year it does not look like that is an option again not so much for the COVID-19 aspect as it is for the flight prices along with car rental prices.

Both options are great but I think the Bay Area has a lot more to do with distances having to drive by car not as long. Monterrey Aquarium, Hearst Castle, Pebble Beach Toll Road, boardwalk at Santa Cruz, Muir Woods, Muir Point, Yosemite, Sequoia, walking the golden Gate Bridge, are just a few of the options available.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:29 PM
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I can only speak from experience having never done the CA trip, but it's on my bucket list to start from Oregon and go down the coast one of these years. So I won't remark on that one.
I've been to Vegas in July and it is oppressive.
I have done a 2 week trip to Yellowstone in July, it was not oppressive, and it wasn't even too crowded. There might be a lot less vacationers from other countries this July as we still have scary numbers of covid to most of the world. Tetons, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, Black Hills, Mt Rushmore, and Deadwood with shooting reenactment everyday in the street. That was a great trip. Take some time to review pictures of Yellowstone before cancelling out that idea too.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:06 PM
Location: Las Vegas & San Diego
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I would say option 2 if middle of summer with kids - there are some other places if Yosemite doesn't work like Tahoe, redwoods or gold rush areas.
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