First up, thank you so much for all the love on our Powder Room yesterday! My head is still spinning with that whirlwind project, but I’m always up for a challenge…especially when I get to cross a room off our Home To Do List!
Now on to today’s travel post…we’ve known for years we’d take a Grand Canyon adventure when the kids were old enough, but daydreaming about it was as far as we’d gotten. So when we decided in January this was the year, we weren’t left with much time to plan, and as we soon discovered, our early Spring Break would strongly dictate the itinerary.
We’d always assumed we’d spend a week at the Grand Canyon, but once we realized the North Rim and most of the rafting was still closed in early March, we were forced to find a new route and itinerary. And turns out our unfortunate timing was the best thing to happen to our vacation! We ended up in parks we’d never considered, saw more amazing natural beauty, and had a ridiculous amount of fun.
Obviously, touring National Parks is a quintessential family vacation because y’all have been burning up my email for more details! I’ve broken down each of the main stops in stand-alone posts already (find those at the end of this post), but I know it’s helpful to see the itinerary in full, with all the details in one spot. So here you go…The Sugarplum Family Spring Break!
DAY ONE // Arrive Las Vegas, pick-up rental car
While Vegas was never part of my family vacation scenario, flying into Las Vegas and out of Phoenix allowed us to see more parks, without spending more time in the car. And actually, the kids loved it!! The lights, the huge hotels, the water shows…all of it was mesmerizing for them. I will say, walking the Strip with a curious 11-year-old was tricky, and resulted in a lot of questions! #dontstare
Where We Stayed // The Venetian Las Vegas
The hotel is massive & awe-inspiring, with huge suites perfect for families. There’s several restaurants on property, along with a big food court with more causal (inexpensive) options. It’s also centrally-located for exploring the most well-known hotels, and has free parking.
What We Loved // The Beatles LOVE, Cirque du Soleil
Located in the Mirage Theatre (across from the Venetian), this show is non-stop fun, regardless if you know and/or like the Beatles music. It’s performed in-the-round, in a small theatre, so there’s not a bad seat in the house…but be warned, it’s crazy-loud.
What We Loved // Seven Magic Mountains
Just outside of town, this outdoor art installation is comprised of seven towers of colorful boulders. Sure you could just look at pictures, but there’s something really cool about seeing it standing all alone in the middle of the desert.
DAY TWO // Drive to Zion National Park ~ 160 miles, 2.5 hours
DAY THREE // Zion National Park (see full post here)
DAY FOUR // Drive to Bryce Canyon (see full post here), 80 miles, 1.5 hours
Since we only had one night in Bryce, we left Zion right after breakfast so we could have the majority of the day to explore. The drive is almost as spectacular as the destination, so allow some time to pull over a few times.
DAY FIVE // Drive to Page, Arizona, 160 miles, 3 hours. We left just after sunrise, which shouldn’t be missed!
5:00 pm Sunset at Horseshoe Bend (see the full post here)
DAY SIX afternoon // Drive to Grand Canyon, 140 miles, 2.5 hours
DAY SEVEN // Explore Grand Canyon (see full post here)
DAY EIGHT // Drive to Phoenix, 230 miles, 3.5 hours for flight home
It was a busy trip, with a fair amount of driving, but there was also a lot of down time for hanging out and laughing. And in my experience, those are the times my kids open up the most, and start talking! I live for that, don’t you?! I hope this itinerary is helpful for your own trip planning, but feel free to leave questions in the comment section if I missed something.
Several of you have also asked about the camera we used for this trip…other than the selfies, I used this camera/lens combo. It’s pricey, but it’s truly amazing! The wifi connectivity comes in extremely handy for posting on social media, too.
What’s your favorite family road trip or vacation? We’re hooked on exploring National Parks and can’t wait to add more to our list!