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One night stop in Lake Havasu

KIC
Bedfordshire...
Level Contributor
130 posts
72 reviews
One night stop in Lake Havasu

We (2 adults 2 kids aged 8 & 10) are planning to stop at Lake Havasu on our trip from Sedona to San Diego, for one night at the end of July.

At first sight it seemed like a really great place to stop, and we were planning to spend the afternoon exploring, but having read a bit more about the place I'm not convinced now! Our idea was to arrive around lunchtime, have some food, take a boat trip or do some kayaking & crash out ready for the long drive to SD the next day. I suppose we ought to see the bridge too, as we are from the UK!

I'd really value opinions on whether it is the right place to stop, what we could do for the afternoon, and somewhere nice to stay.

And how hot will it be?!

Thanks!

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
1. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

It will be hot as hell but other places in that area already will be. We found that bridge rather out of place but I can imagine you want to see it.

You prob find bargains for your stay that time of year. Check out Parker Dam. It may not seem that big but realize what's submerged. It's a huge dam but you won't see a big part of it.

Lake Havasu City will make a bit of a detour coming from Sedona on your way to San Diego. Fastest way to SD is via I17, west of Phoenix to I10. South to Gila Bend and I8 to San Diego. There really is not that much in between though. With a not too long detour you could drive to Palm Spings and stay there. Will be very hot as well. But Palm Springs always makes a very pleasant stay to us. Maybe check out Aerial Tramway before continuing San Diego.

Tet

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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2. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

In agreement with Tet. Lake Havasu, Gila Bend and Yuma are routinely the hottest places in AZ in mid-summer, and usually for the US as well.

No matter which route, there is not much to see between Sedona and San Diego without taking significant detours.

If you want to make this a 2-day drive, shoot for Yuma for an overnight stay. And book a hotel with a swimming pool. There's an old prison there to tour (might be closed due to AZ's budget problems, but the City of Yuma was going to pay to keep it open), some views of the Colorado River and not much else. It's about 4 hours from Sedona to Yuma, and another 3 from there to San Diego.

Palm Springs is also hotter than hell in summer but usually has really nice properties at bargain prices. The aerial tram ride up the highest escarpment in the US is really nice. I have seen snow at the top in July, but that was rare. Palm Springs is about 5.5 hours from Sedona. There is a very scenic "back country" route from there to San Diego through the mountains and small towns.

Frankly I would suggest packing food, beverages and water and just drive straight through. That also gives you more time for San Diego attractions like Seaworld, San Diego Zoo (maybe the world's best), and the beaches.

No matter which way you go, you need to know how best to detour Phoenix. Coming from Sedona, go south on I-17. In far north Phoenix, get on Loop 101 west and take it around to I-10. Get on I-10 west. If continuing to Yuma or San Diego, in about 10 miles watch for the Gila Bend exit, and take Hwy 85 south to I-18, then I-8 west.

Edited: 27 April 2010, 22:42
tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
Level Contributor
17,748 posts
90 reviews
3. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

Sorry.... should be "take Hwy 85 south to I-8, then I-8 west."

tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
Level Contributor
17,748 posts
90 reviews
4. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

P.S. - The bridge is not much to write home about. I took my kids there many years ago (also in July), and they were very under-whelmed by the bridge. It's certainly not a reason of itself for going to Havasu.

We spent our time "sledding" down some hillsides near the bridge covered with dead grass on cardboard boxes for sleds! Even back then (late 80's?) the little English village by the bridge was empty.

KIC
Bedfordshire...
Level Contributor
130 posts
72 reviews
5. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

Thanks Tet & bobbear for your posts.

We had considered the doing the drive in one day, but then some people recommended stopping along the way to break up the drive, & friends UK who've been to Arizona said to leave enough time to stop and see things as we make our way across, but then I realised just how hot it's going to be... We are used to temps up into the 90's in the summer here, anything over that and we won't want to hang around too long without somewhere to cool off.

Bobbear43 - the route you suggested is the one Google Maps gives, and looks nice and straightfoward. The distances are really what prompted us to do a stopover. We are used to crowded roads and frequent traffic jams on the motorways here and the 220 mile journey to see our family in the North is not something I look forward to at all. I'm hoping that out on the freeways the driving is relatively easy & not as stressful as in the UK!

Kate

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
6. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

You can't compare Europe and the Western Usa for that Kate. The drives from Sedona to San Diego are smooth and fast. For a European it's often a joy to drive those routes without the trafficjams. Just go for it. Max speed on interstates is 75 in Arizona and 70 in California. I don't want you to break the law but everybody is doing a little faster than that. (And I mean a little)

Tet

KIC
Bedfordshire...
Level Contributor
130 posts
72 reviews
7. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

Hi Tet - thanks! I will be careful not to break the law!! Kate

KIC
Bedfordshire...
Level Contributor
130 posts
72 reviews
8. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

After some more deliberation, we've decided to go straight from Sedona to San Diego by the quickest route we can (heading for the Del Mar area) and have another day enjoying everything that San Diego has to offer.

Counting down to our trip now, hoping that BA can sort out their differences and the volcano stays quiet...

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
9. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

I think you've made a good decision. Enjoy your trip.

10. Re: One night stop in Lake Havasu

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