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Vegas to Carlsbad

Midwest

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We will be vacationing with friends from England the end of January into February; in Las Vegas and Carlsbad at the Carlsbad Inn. We will be driving between the two. Internet mapping indicates that it should be about a 5 hour drive. Is this time realistic? We plan on leaving on a Friday morning and driving back to Vegas to catch a 4 PM flight that same day. If we leave about 7 AM will this be sufficient time? Any potential problems we should take into consideration?

Also, we would like to show them something of the real America rather than just the glitz of Vegas and the major tourist attractions around San Diego. To show the founding of CA we are thinking of visiting one of the missions, which Mission would be a good choice? Is whale watching a possibility? If so, where would be a good spot? Anyone have other suggestions?

Thanks for any help.
 

Karen G

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Midwest said:
something of the real America rather than just the glitz of Vegas and the major tourist attractions around San Diego.
While in Vegas you could take a drive through Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire, and to the Hoover Dam.
 
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isisdave

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It's about 325 miles from Carlsbad to Las Vegas, and it will probably take you 5 1/2 hours plus any stopping you do. Leaving at 7, you will probably miss most traffic because it'll be a little early for local commute traffic, and the I-15 traffic will mostly be going the other way until you get to San Bernardino.

Go up Palomar Airport Road and through San Marcos. You can take Rt 78 east to I-15 in Escondido, or continue under 78, turn left on Twin Oaks Valley Road, and join I-15 some distance north of Escondido. Prettier. Ten years ago this would have been very old-california rural road, but now it's -- well, developed.

The mission question is easy. San Luis Rey mission is on rt 76 east of Oceanside and very easy to find. It's active, partly restored, and you can learn something about the mission system there. San Juan Capistrano is also within easy travel, as is the one in San Diego. Both of those are now located right next to modern development; at San Luis Rey, if you gaze in the proper direction, you can ignore the nearby houses and mobile home park. Again, this was easier ten years ago.

Whale watching should be in full swing through January and most of February. Places at Oceanside Harbor do it. Look in that rack of brochures at the resort; you'll find them. Of course you can do this in San Diego too. They usually have a "see a whale or come again tomorrow for free" guarantee.

Oh yes, the stopping on the way to Vegas: about halfway, just before Barstow, get off at Lenwood Rd (not, surprisingly, Outlet Center Drive, which actually seems to go nowhere). Lots of food, both fast and sit-down, and a hundred places to buy stuff to take home. http://www.factorymerchantsbarstow.com/main2.htm

Welcome to California. Toot the horn as you go through Murrieta.
 
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taffy19

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Karen G said:
While in Vegas you could take drive through Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire, and to the Hoover Dam.
Yes, they will really appreciate this scenery as they do not have this in England. My husband's family is from there and they liked our desert the best, especially the high desert. We were surprised because we showed them many National Parks in California, the Oregon coast and Lake Tahoe and San Francisco and San Diego too.
 

David

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Midwest said:
To show the founding of CA we are thinking of visiting one of the missions,

I'd consider catching the Coaster from Carlsbad to Old Town, San Diego, and going on the 1 hour free guided walking tour of Old Town-they occur twice a day, 11 am and 2 pm, I think. We found it very imformative and interesting.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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iconnections said:
Yes, they will really appreciate this scenery as they do not have this in England. My husband's family is from there and they liked our desert the best, especially the high desert. We were surprised because we showed them many National Parks in California, the Oregon coast and Lake Tahoe and San Francisco and San Diego too.
Weather permitting, you could snow ski on Mt. Charleston in the morning, then water ski on Lake Mead in the afternoon - of the same day!!

You also could go to Carlsbad via Lake Havasu, and show them London Bridge. :)
 

mtngal

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The only thing I could add to this is to keep an eye on the weather. If it is like it has been the last couple of weeks you'll be fine, but it is possible that it could be rainy and/or snowy (yes, it does snow once in a while on some of the higher passes along I-15). Plan for lots of extra time if the weather turns bad.
 
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