last minute advice southwest
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 31, 2012 8:48 AM Last Post By: nicole
Oct 30, 2012 6:02 AM
last minute advice southwestHello,
Our flight from Brussels (last monday) to phoenix was cancelled because of sandy. We will leave friday and will have 12 nights instead of 16....(original plan was grand canyon, south Utah, Las Vegas etc.) We are thinking about visiting southern Utah next year in May . Thinking about south eastern Arizona and southwestern new mexico for this time ( with or without grand canyon?)...Looking for advice ( we like mexican food, sun, culture, scenery, pubs, weird stuff etc.) .
Gilla hot springs ...
Oct 30, 2012 6:55 AM
Oct 30, 2012 7:17 AM
2Start your trip with a 2 hour drive north to Sedona, AZ - fabulous red rock layered formations, weird stuff in the form of "vortexes", and great hiking for all skill-levels - then head south. We had planned a 10-day Sedona/Tucson vacation one year but were so captivated by Sedona we stayed there and enjoyed daily excursions nearby. Some of the town is tacky-tourist; the attraction is the scenery. Depending on time remaining you may want to just stay in Arizona and not go over to New Mexico. In Tucson (which we got to another year), we really enjoyed the Pima Air Museum.
Oct 30, 2012 8:28 AM
3But if you've never been to the Grand Canyon, it seems to me you'd regret not taking the time for the 4 hours drive from Phoenix (2 hours from Sedona) to visit. That's "close" in SW USA distances. It's a good way to spend 2 days of this vacation, and it will help as you structure time for your next-year vacation to explore Utah to know whether you want to include a second visit there or instead spend the time going to other parks (e.g., Arches or Death Valley).
Oct 30, 2012 10:33 AM
I for one am perfectly happy to encourage you to take your planned itinerary this time, and save Grand Canyon and southern Utah for your next trip. The trip you have planned will be interesting, and will actually tick off more of your stated interests, even if the scenery isn't on quite as grand a scale (still pretty nice though):
You'll have plenty of opportunity for all the above. Tucson has great food, loads of regional attractions, and you can combine "pubs" and "weird stuff" with a couple of nights out to Tucson's legendary dive bars.
The general quality of mexican and new mexican food in the region is quite high, even if there are few indivual standouts (although everyone has their personal favorites). On the cheap end, I like Taqueria Pico de Gallo and Tania's (both in Tucson). El Minuto, Mi Nidito and Guadalajara Grill are local favorites in Tucson. Jalisco in Silver City is one of my favorite New Mexican restaurants. Poca Cosa offers a decidedly more upscale take on Mexican/Central American food, and features really excellent and unique fare. Tucson has a fine restaurant scene in general, and if you're interested in other recommendations, drop me a PM.
Tucson has several highly worthwhile historic attractions, spanning the range from the Cold War (Titan Missile Museum, Pima Air Museum) to the Spanish Colonial period (Mission San Xavier, Tumacacori Mission). The new Presidio Historic Park downtown is worth a stop, and the Tucson art museum isn't half bad for regional and pre-Columbian works (if you're going to be downtown anyway and have an interest in that sort of thing). The live music scene is active and varied.
This is really a question unto itself, there is a lot to see. From the foothils of the Catalinas on the outskirts of Tucson, to the top of Mount Lemmon (a fabulous drive), to Saguaro National Park...there is a lot right around Tucson. A little further afield, you'll pass numerous mountain ranges with excellent hiking and scenery (Madera Canyon, Ramsey Canyon, Cochise Stronghold) and there is fine hiking around Gila Hot Springs and Silver City.
pubs, weird stuff etc.
Bisbee is pretty much all "weird stuff", particularly if you spend the night, wander the alleyways and hang out in the bars with the locals. The underground mine tour is fun, as is the nightime "ghost tour", which is more than a little ridiculous, but a good time just the same. Tucson's "dive bars" are diverse, popular and "divey" without being overly sketchy or dangerous - it has actually become something of a scene unto itself (you can find web articles and Yelp! pages dedicated specifically to Tucson dive bars). You can go to the Meet Rack and ask the owner (who goes by "God") for "the tour", but don't say I didn't warn you. Not for delicate sensibilities. The Shelter is not a dive bar, per se, more like a retro lounge, but it's a fun place with good drinks at reasonable prices. Things are spread out, so unless you are staying at the Hotel Congress (like so much of Tucson - tons of personality, but not for everyone), or near 4th Avenue, and can walk to everything, plan on either a designated driver or paying some cab fares.
Edited by: FlagStuff
Oct 30, 2012 11:34 AM
I feel a bit silly (but really beyond our control), but the plans have changed once more....normally we would have visited New York on our way back home, but not possible....so we will have our original 16 nights back for the southwest.... So I think we will stick with the original plan (utah)'.
thank you for your help, great post Flagstuff, you make me wonder if I made the right choice...
Oct 30, 2012 8:31 PM
7Perhaps not quite 'weird' but certainly unique: http://www.titanmissilemuseum.org/
Tour the Whipple Observatory. http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/facilities/flwo/visit_center.html
I think they keep running into November, until snow or wet weather mucks up the road.
Hike Sabino Canyon.
If you arrive soon, drive to the summit top of Mt. Lemon to see great fall colors.
A bigger adventure would be a big day hike to Ash Creek. Best in early Nov.
This is a great time to hike the Dragoon Mountains.
Conquer the Sheepshead if you're in decent shape.
Oct 31, 2012 8:48 AM
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