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road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

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Portland, Oregon
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road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

Hi, we're planning to drive from los angeles to arizona with our 3 kids, 8,7 and 3. Any attractions along the way we shouldn't miss? We plan to stay in phoenix and tucson. Any good places for family fun? I appreciate any advice. Thanks!

Phoenix, Arizona
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1. Re: road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

When is your trip? If it's in the summer, then your best bet is to leave REALLY early in the morning, to avoid the heat of the day, and drive straight through.

In general, there really isn't much between LA and Phoenix - it's a pretty boring drive through mostly desert. How long is your trip? Unless you have a week or more, I personally wouldn't stop at all, except for gas and food. You could get a meal at In-N-Out Burger along the way, depending on the time of day. They do have In-N-Outs here in Phx, but we always used to like to stop at them in California. Great burgers, fries, and shakes.

The only other place where you could stop if you have tons of extra time is near Palm Springs, to take a ride on the tram up the mountain. But that takes hours, by the time you drive there, buy tickets, go up and back down the mountain, etc. It's an option, though.

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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2. Re: road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

In Cabazon, CA are the big dinosaurs that have been in movies like the PeeWee Herman movie.They have been there as long as I can remember.

www.cabazondinosaurs.com

Nearby that is Hadleys where you can get date shakes.

In Palm Springs is the tram.

www.pstramway.com

Further down the valley in Palm Desert is the Living Desert. Part zoo/ part botanical park.

www.livingdesert.org

On top of Chiriaco summit is the Patton Museum.Probably not that intersting for kids, but they do have tanks outside to look at.

Nearby that is the Cottonwood entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.

From there to the river on the interstate is not very interesting.

Phoenix, Arizona
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3. Re: road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

Ah, forgot about the dinosaurs! :)

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

Thanks for all the input. We'll fly from Oregon and stay in LA with my parents-in-laws from Dec. 14 to Jan. 6. We'd just like to find something different to do this time because we've been in LA many times. We've been to Disneyland, Legoland, Sea world, Hover dam, Las vegas. Just like to find some 4 or 5 nights road trips around the states near California.

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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5. Re: road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

Grand Canyon? That's the biggest attraction within a day's drive of LA. It would require an overnight stay at least, and winter clothes.

Southern Arizona has much to offer, but you would need a few days here to make the drive time worthwhile. Tucson itself, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro Natl Parks, Kartchner Caverns, Tombstone, Bisbee. Phoenix is a little closer and could also offer a lot of activities.

Manhattan Beach, CA
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6. Re: road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

If you decide to head up Highway 40 to Grand Canyon don't miss Seligman Arizona. It's halfway between Kingman and Williams Arizona. This place has 'kids' written all over it. There is a drive-in diner there which was the inspiration for the movie Cars. Kids walk through the parking lot of transformed cars and all call out, "Hi Doc; Hi Mater; etc." Europeans seem to know about these places but I'd never heard of this or a few others discovered on this trip. Newberry Springs along this road near Barstow houses the Bagdad Cafe. It was used in a movie of the same name. It was another place we met many Europeans on this trip.

In addition, a great train trip replete with singing cowboys and a 'desperado hold-up" runs between Williams Arizona and the Grand Canyon. You can either ride it round trip in one day or spend the night in the canyon where I can assure you, children will find plenty to see and do. If you were making this trip in summer months, Sedona has a few marvelous state parks. Kids love the water slide down the red rock chute.

Manhattan Beach, CA
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7. Re: road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

If you decide to head up Highway 40 to Grand Canyon don't miss Seligman Arizona. It's halfway between Kingman and Williams Arizona. This place has 'kids' written all over it. There is a drive-in diner there which was the inspiration for the movie Cars. Kids walk through the parking lot of transformed cars and all call out, "Hi Doc; Hi Mater; etc." Europeans seem to know about these places but I'd never heard of this or a few others discovered on this trip. Newberry Springs along this road near Barstow houses the Bagdad Cafe. It was used in a movie of the same name. It was another place we met many Europeans on this trip.

In addition, a great train trip replete with singing cowboys and a 'desperado hold-up" runs between Williams Arizona and the Grand Canyon. You can either ride it round trip in one day or spend the night in the canyon where I can assure you, children will find plenty to see and do. If you were making this trip in summer months, Sedona has a few marvelous state parks. Kids love the water slide down the red rock chute.

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8. Re: road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

A bit late, I'm sure, but the Children's Museum in Phoenix is great for kids in that age range. Lots of hands-on activities. Also, the botanical gardens are beautiful, and there is a nice arboretum in flagstaff.

9. Re: road trip from los angeles to arizona with young kids

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