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Taking the Hubby to Phoenix/Scottsdale for the first time

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laurac260

Any suggestions of things to do? We are traveling during winter break, and have 2 kids in tow (11 and 5). I know I can research this on my own, and will, but I wanted to see what people who travel there regularly like to do for fun/sightseeing. Will go to Grand Canyon for sure, how far is Hoover Dam? We have 8 days.
 

BevL

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You're planning on overnighting near the Grand Canyon? It's I think between four and five hours drive one way.
 

tompalm

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Scottsdale in the winter is all about golf and it is very expensive. If going to Grand Canyon, stop for a few nights in Sedona. Or stay up near the Grand Canyon and make Sedona a day trip, Hoover Dam a day trip and Grand Canyon a day trip.
 

zinger1457

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It will be cold in January at the south rim and snow storms are not unusual that time of year in northern Arizona. Make it a day trip if weather permits, you shouldn't have any problem finding a last minute hotel room in Tusayan if you want to spend the night there. The Hoover Dam is another 5 hour drive (one way) from the south rim.
 

Rose Pink

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I like the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. http://www.dbg.org/

Phoenix also has a zoo your children might enjoy.
 

Quiet Pine

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I live in Prescott, which is 2 hours north of Phoenix & 2 1/2 hours south of the Grand Canyon. Like Sedona, it's a good place to break the trip. Prescott was AZ's first territorial capital and has a wonderful downtown. Whiskey Row is where Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers hung out before going to Tombstone. It's AZ's Christmas City and the courthouse in the central Plaza will be decorated with lights. We're a mile high in the mountains, adjacent to the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the world. Check this site: http://www.visit-prescott.com
 
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laurac260

Thanks for the replies! I should include some more info I see. We are flying in and staying at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale Dec 21-29, and since the rate is extremely cheap, we don't plan on staying over anywhere else. We're not golfers, and I need to find things to do that are disability friendly (no hiking, sightseeing needs to be something we can drive to). I did not realize that Grand Canyon is 4-5 hours one way. I guess I better do some serious research before we go, huh?
 

SunSand

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First, the Westin Kierland is a spectacular spot. It will be difficult to keep the children entertained, but they still will enjoy the pools, nature, etc. There is great shopping and food, very close to the Westin. Take a day trip to Sedona, its beautiful, with lots of moderate hiking paths,etc. There's an outlet mall along the way too. Scottsdale in the winter is an a adult place, but you still can get out there and keep the kids moving. The majority of the time, just stay and enjoy the Westin Kierland, its a very beautiful and relaxing place.
 

nightnurse613

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A four hour detour to CrackerJax in Scottsdale might be a fun diversion for your 11 and 5 year old. Someone already mentioned the Phoenix Zoo. :whoopie: If you are going to Sedona, you might look at the World Wildlife Park - just outside Camp Verde on the way to Cottonwood; again, a diversion for your children.
 
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heathpack

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Sweet Republic Ice Cream

We were at Westin Kierland recently and there was one of those "city" magazines in the room- "Phoenix Today" or something like that. There was an article in that about a local ice cream shop, one of their sundaes, The Toffee Banofi, had recently been featured on a Food Network show. Of course we had to check it out. EXCELLENT!!!! The Toffee Banofi is vanilla ice cream, bananas, salted caramel sauce, nut brittle, whipped cream. Well, the bananas and nuts are healthy, right?

Google it for directions, it was a 10-15 minute drive from Westin Kierland.

You ask about the Grand Canyon, I post about an ice-cream sundae. Now you know where my priorities lie, lol!

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heathpack

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More Kierland/Phoenix ideas

We were at Kierland over Labor Day. It was so hot that it made us pretty lazy, we mostly hung out by the pools and had awesome service. If it is warm enough, I highly recommend this "activity."

The main hotel has a pool with a lazy river, great place to while away an afternoon.

We visited the Heard Museum, which was interesting but maybe not for kids.

Fairly close are two architectural sites, Talesin West and Cosanti. Google them if you think this might be possible with your kids.

We were jealous that there seemed to be a good number of performing arts venues in Scottsdale/Phoenix, but most were shut down for the season when we were there. Maybe you could catch a family-friendly show.

Years ago, I spent a month in Phoenix and drove over to meet a friend in Tuscon. Somehow getting to her house, I drove through Saguaro National Park (saguaros are the big cactuses, usually with two "arms" heading out perpendicular to the cactus' body and then turning up at a right angle, the kind you see in Western movies)- and endless expanse of giant cacti, it was spectacular. Tuscan is about 2 hours from Phoenix, you could visit the Desert Botanical Museum (zoo/botanicals, very interesting) and the national park in a day.

H
 
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laurac260

Keep the ideas coming!

I'm on the computer right now, and came across the Grand Canyon Railway. That sounds like a blast! If it wasn't for well, an $89 rate at the Westin Kierland, I would probably be more willing to change overnight accommodations. Has anyone done any of the 1 night or 2 night stays on the Railway? I am going to see if I can find some review on it. How about other Grand Canyon Tours? There are so many to choose from. I know it is 4-5 hours drive, but we HAVE to go there.
________________
hmmm... looking at a map, it's obvious that we cannot do Hoover dam and the Grand Canyon without either driving our butts off, or staying overnight somewhere else other than the Westin.
 
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zinger1457

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You really don't need a tour. Just drive there, park at the Grand Canyon Visitors center and enjoy the views. There is a rim trail between the Grand Canyon Visitors Center and Bright Angel Lodge, it's a paved path and an easy walk. If you're not able to walk it there are free buses that loop between both places and stop at several places in between. You'll need to get off the bus to catch the views. Make sure to visit the Yavapai Museum along the route. Bright Angel Lodge has a very good restaurant with great views looking out into the canyon, a good place to go for lunch or dinner. I've never been there in the winter so not sure if all the restaurants stay open.
 
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laurac260

Well, I looked on mapquest at Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and Phoenix. They aren't close to each other, are they?? :p Can you tell I've NEVER been west?? Then I made a change that I am sooo excited about!

We will fly into Las Vegas, stay two nights or so (off strip, on points), see Vegas (we are not gamblers, so probably won't do much there), go to Hoover Dam, drive to Grand Canyon, and then head to Scottsdale, then fly out from there. We have 9 full days.
 

Karen G

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We will fly into Las Vegas, stay two nights or so (off strip, on points), see Vegas (we are not gamblers, so probably won't do much there), go to Hoover Dam, drive to Grand Canyon, and then head to Scottsdale, then fly out from there. We have 9 full days.
Sounds like a great plan for someone who has never been west. You'll get to see lots of cool stuff.
 

nightnurse613

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Well, it is true that you drive past the Hoover Dam on your way to the Grand Canyon - it is also possible to take a day trip to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas. That would give you longer at the Grand Canyon and the Dam which could occupy your days and still give you time to see LV at night- Fremont Experience downtown and all the neat stuff along the Strip (fountains, volcano, ships). Cram everything you can if it might be a while before you get back here!! :whoopie:
 
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laurac260

Well, it is true that you drive past the Hoover Dam on your way to the Grand Canyon - it is also possible to take a day trip to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas. That would give you longer at the Grand Canyon and the Dam which could occupy your days and still give you time to see LV at night- Fremont Experience downtown and all the neat stuff along the Strip (fountains, volcano, ships). Cram everything you can if it might be a while before you get back here!! :whoopie:

I'm 6 days shy of 45, so it's taken me 45 years to make it there. At this rate I might never get back!

I've never planned a 9-10 day itinerary for anyone, save for Disney. We had a week in Disney and I planned every day out. The family liked knowing what they were going to do each day, and it was a good idea to do so, but personally I don't always like being so pigeonholed. BUT, this trip I think we do need to plan ahead, and since I insist on keeping this a secret, it is up to me to plan everything (and I'm not so left brained that this is an easy task, nor do I like being in charge of everyone's happiness). So, please do keep the ideas coming. Thanks!
 
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laurac260

has anyone ever stayed at any of the lodging accommodations at the Grand Canyon?
 

zinger1457

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has anyone ever stayed at any of the lodging accommodations at the Grand Canyon?

I have, most of the accommodations are very basic but comfortable. There is also a town (Tusayan) just outside the entrance to the south rim that has some hotels. Use https://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/ to make reservations for lodging inside the park. You'll pay a premium for the lodging located right on the rim. All the other lodging are a short walk away so it's not a big deal. If they don't have the lodging that you want available for your dates check back often, there are always last minute cancellations.
 

NWL

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Well, I looked on mapquest at Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and Phoenix. They aren't close to each other, are they?? :p Can you tell I've NEVER been west?? Then I made a change that I am sooo excited about!

We will fly into Las Vegas, stay two nights or so (off strip, on points), see Vegas (we are not gamblers, so probably won't do much there), go to Hoover Dam, drive to Grand Canyon, and then head to Scottsdale, then fly out from there. We have 9 full days.

From Las Vegas - rent a car and do an easy day trip to Hoover Dam. For Grand Canyon, there are many tour companies that will get you there and back in a day. Prices vary based on how you get there and how much time you want to devote to the trip. If the pocketbook allows, consider a helicopter tour to the south rim. It's pretty cool. :)

Both destinations are more "doable" from Vegas. The chopper tour will take you over Hover Dam. If you want a closer look, do the day trip.

Cheers!
 
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laurac260

Marriott's near Grand Canyon?

What are the closest Marriott's to the Grand Canyon?

Thanks in advance.
 

ondeadlin

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There's a Residence Inn, a Springhill Suites, a Fairfield Inn and a Courtyard in Flagstaff and a Fairfield Inn in Williams.

If you're talking timeshares, it's Canyon Villas in Phoenix.
 
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laurac260

Plans are taking shape! I got two free nights at the Renaissance in LV, and two nights at the HI Express near Grand Canyon. Then on to the Westin Kierland for 6 days. That's going to be quite a switch from Renaissance to HI Express! It looked like a clean hotel though, and there isn't much to choose from there. I'm still looking at my options though. I just saw that NOAA predicted warmer than avg temps for that area in Dec/Jan. I hope they are correct!
 

Ron98GT

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If your looking for a Marriott TS, don't forget about Vegas. People do drive there for the day, although it is a long drive there and back. There are also tour buses that take people to the GC for the day from Vegas.

Here's one example, I'm sure there are others:

http://www.lasvegasgrandcanyontour.com/
 
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