Five-State Road Trip via
Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Utah

(29 March to 7 April 2013)

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Denver, Woodland Park, (Manitou Springs), Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, Cedar City, Moab and Breckenridge.      Click on photos to enlarge.

Two friends on an adventure of a lifetime.  That's how I would sum up our 5-state 9-night road trip through the American Southwest.  My best friend in the whole world flew out from London, UK for this road trip and it was a holiday neither of us will ever forget.  The weather was great, the roads not congested, not much in the way of crowds, exceptional scenery, bonus sights (Zion and Red Canyon) and great company!  We laughed our heads off as we caught up on the past two-and-a-half years, oohed and aahed at what we saw, loved our fantastic accommodations, and just had the most glorious time together.
More than a couple of people said "Thelma and Louise" when I described our trip.

(Here is the route and map we took.)

Bronwen (we called her Bonnie on this trip—I call her B) and I had been planning this trip since August last year, and it's difficult to believe it's now a check mark on our bucket lists.  When we started planning this trip, the starting point was Las Vegas which Bonnie really wanted to see, so we worked around that, and ended up with a huge circle encompassing five states.  We ended up driving approximately 2,500 miles in total, including a few detours or unexpecteds (we got lost sometimes!).
After picking B up at the airport and checking into our B&B for the night, the Castle Marne, we went to a recommended spot for supper, notably the Vine Street Pub and Brewery around the corner from our B&B.  We both had Maryland Crabcake Sandwiches and salads, and we sampled two of their beers: Raspberry Wheat and Annapurna Amber Ale.
Armed with a list of roads (Interstates, Highways and the odd byway) we were to take, we set off from Denver in the morning.

Before leaving Denver we stopped at the Capitol Building, which sadly was undergoing maintenance and thus didn't afford us pictures of the gold cupola, as it was covered in scaffolding.  We nevertheless saw the mile high mark on the front steps.

Driving south from Denver on I-25, we had a glorious view of the Rockies to our right, and before long we could see the majestic Pikes Peak.

(TIP) I brought along a case of bottled water which was a very wise thing to do.  Both of us slurped our way through about 21 bottles!  It's wise to keep hydrated at such high altitudes, especially upon arrival in Denver.  Also, we always had water on hand and didn't have to shell out $s for water along the way.  Of course it meant a few more pit stops (whiz stops).


Our next stop was in Fountain, where I live, to show Bonnie my local spots before heading to Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs.  The weather was a little overcast but quite warm.  We sampled a few of the spring watering holes in Manitou Springs (B loved the 7-minute spring water) and then headed to Woodland Park through Ute pass to our second stop of the trip.  Woodland Park was absolutely deserted on this Easter Saturday evening around 5pm!  We bought some chicken wings and salad which we enjoyed in our room along with a glass of wine courtesy of our B&B host at the Edgewood Inn.

The next morning we detoured via the airport to swap cars as the one I originally got had a slow leak in the front right tire.  Being a Sunday, the only Enterprise office open was the airport, not too far out of the way, and a huge dose of peace of mind!  We set off down the I-25 to Santa Fe, New Mexico, our third stop.  The trip took about five hours but we stopped in Trinidad for a whiz stop and a milkshake at McDonald's (one of quite a few en route!).

(TIP) The last week of March and/or first week of April is a great time to go as the weather is likely to be mild, the crowds thinner than in summer, traffic lighter and prices not that high.  You will need to take along a warm coat or jacket as we encountered a few times we needed a little more than t-shirts.


Santa Fe was about a 5-hour drive and we arrived early evening to a very quiet city on Easter Sunday.  Before checking into the La Fonda Hotel, we took a walk up and down Canyon Road to see the art and art galleries.  Most were closed and there were very few people about so it was very pleasurable walking around.  We did get to enjoy many sculptures on show as well as do some window shopping.  The Plaza was all but deserted so we popped in and out of curio/souvenior shops.  Some of the items on sale made us laugh, like highly blinged out cowboy boots and purses.
The next morning before we left Santa Fe, and after a scrumptuous breakfast at the La Fonda Hotel's La Plazuela Restaurant, we stopped in at the Loretto Chapel to see the miracle staircase.

The next leg of our journey was a long drive to Flagstaff but we stopped three times along the way: once at a souvenir store, once at Walmart in Gallup, and once to get gas.  This section of the trip was the busiest traffic-wise, and even then it wasn't bad.  Not as many trucks as I anticipated.  B kept a lookout for a "sexy" truck but wasn't to see one until much later.  We were hoping to make good time and get to see the Meteor Crater Museum just after Winslow, AZ before they closed at 5pm.  However, because I didn't know about the Arizona time, we just missed it by the skin of our teeth.  Turns out that Arizona doesn't change clocks and we gained an hour and could therefore very well have stopped to see the huge crater.  We could have also seen the Walnut Canyon which our B&B hosts recommended.

We checked into our B&B, the England House, and then went for a walk into town to see what was what.  Flagstaff is small and we found some nice stores to pop into.  One being a kitchen shop.  We came across Criollo restaurant and decided to eat there as they had calamari on the menu.  Quite an enjoyable evening until the waitress asked us if we "wanted change" when B handed her the money to pay the check.  I piped up that "Yes, we did want change!"  Turns out had she kept the change, she would have made a 30% tip!  I absolutely abhor waitstaff asking if we "want the change", and have refused to leave such a presumptuous person a tip at all.  B was more tolerant and left a 10% tip.

(TIP): Check daylight savings times before you depart on your trip as Arizona doesn't change their clocks.  You could gain an hour!  But you'll lose it on the way back.


Next morning bright and early we set off to go and see the biggest, deepest, longest hole in the ground in the world, the Grand Canyon.  This is where we bought our Annual Pass which costs $80 and will allow us entry to any national park in the country.  The Grand Canyon was pretty crowded but not horrendous.  We used the free shuttle bus to take us to Bright Angel Trailhead and to bring us back to the parking lot.  The scenery is spectacular.  Enormous doesn't do the canyon justice, and I have to say, this is a must on anyone's trip to this area.  We drove along Hwy 89 north out of Flagstaff until Hwy 64 west to the Grand Canyon which turned out to be a really pretty drive.

The next leg was getting back onto I-40 west and heading towards Las Vegas.  We were a little late and arrived in the city after dark, which for the driver (me), was a little terrifying.  I detoured a bit off course because we didn't notice the turnoff which wasn't clearly marked.  However, the drive up Tropicana Ave was deliciously apprehensive as we were no sooner turning right onto the famous Las Vegas Strip.  The enormous MGM hotel was on our right and both of our mouths dropped open as we proceeded along the glittering lights of glitz and glamour.


Harrah's hotel was our stop for the night.  Right in the heart of things and you don't have to walk too far to see Caesar's Palace, Paris Hotel, the Venetian Hotel, the Mirage, Bally's and the Bellagio.  We dropped our gear in the hotel room and headed out to stretch our legs along The Strip.  Before we ambled over to Paris Hotel and enjoyed watching some free-spirited ladies dancing to a live band belting out hits from yesteryear, we stopped and caught a glimpse of the musical fountain show at the Bellagio.  We even tried our hand at a slot machine!  Do make sure that you see the ceilings in at least The Venetian and Caesar's Palace and the Bellagio!


The next day we spent most of the morning walking even further up and down The Strip.  We set out by first popping into the Venetian Hotel and saw some incredible blinged-out jeans, some gorgeous cakes in their bakery and stopped by the Flamingo Hotel and saw live flamingos.  We decided that an early supper (or late lunch) was in order.  We'd been checking out the buffets as we went and thought that the Mirage's Cravings Buffet suited us best.  We got there three minutes to three and were told that we'd just made it!  Meaning that we could go and stuff our faces with the dinner buffet at the lunch buffet price.  These are just some of what was on offer: crab legs, shrimp, mussels, prime rib, lamb chops, barbecue ribs and all the fixin's, Chinese, Italian, wonderful desserts, ice cream, and more!  B and I paced ourselves and spent two hours eating, resting and chatting.  Oh, their gelati is to die for!

We spent the second night in Las Vegas at the Stratosphere Hotel downtown.  Not the best area but worth it because of the spectacular views at night.  We didn't try any restaurants as we were still full from our lunch buffet.

(TIP): Make sure you have comfortable walking shoes as the sidewalks can play havoc on your feet.  I ended up with blisters that I didn't think I'd get!  I also took along a first aid kit which I stocked with a few essentials like band aids, heachache tablets, eye drops, nasal spray, a stretch bandage, motion sickness tablets and such.


We left Las Vegas around breakfast time but neither of us felt like anything else other than coffee, so we stopped at Denny's to get some.  B nearly wet herself laughing at some bacon items on their menu!  Only in Las Vegas, or only at Denny's!  We stopped later on in Mesquite for a McDonald's $1 breakfast burrito.

North on I-15 to St. George, Utah which was our next stop so that we could check that we were going in the right direction.  Strangely enough, I had brought along a little Garmin GPS thingy but I didn't use it.  I had all my directions printed out and also seered into my brain.  We also wanted to make sure that there were no road closures because of bad weather.  We were assured that they hadn't heard of anything and that we'd be fine.  So we headed off along UT-9 towards Bryce Canyon.  Little did we know we would be in for a few wonderful surprises.  We were going to take UT-14 and connect with Hwy 89 but we came across UT-9 and are we glad we did!  The first surprise was stumbling upon the quaint little town of Springdale.  We just had to stop and take a quick look around.  We went into Worthington Gallery which was quite large and full of interesting artwork.

Just a little further along the road we came across the entrance to Zion National Park, not on our route and not included on our itinerary.  We had our Annual Parks Pass which gave us entrance, and what a spectacular drive it turned out to be.  Winding and twisting turns with sheer cliffs and the most lovely colors made it a really beautiful drive.  We only went about a third of the way before we exited at the east entrance.  That was surprise number two.

Surprise number three came in the form of Red Canyon near the entrance to Bryce Canyon, our original destination.  I had never seen such a bright red on rocks and sand before and just had to stop and take a few photos even though we were running off schedule.  There is nothing like a little spontaneity along the way, and it was worth it.

Then it was onwards to Bryce Canyon.  The whole stretch lies within the Dixie National Forest and is so pretty to drive through.  There are farms here and there and it is not devoid of life.  The anticipation of getting to Bryce Canyon was mounting, not to mention the need for a whiz stop.  When we finally entered the park, and drove straight to Inspiration Point where we were literally in awe of Nature and our surroundings.  The colors were quite amazing and the spires (hoodoos) were magnificent.  I couldn't take enough photos.  We were both a little alarmed at the lack of barriers as there were a few kids acting up who might have taken an unexpected leap into the chasm below.  We also stopped at Sunrise Point which was equally spectacular.  Had we had more time it would have been nice to explore some more of this vast park, but we saw the main event and had to head off back along the way we came and make our way to our stop for the night in Cedar City.

Making our way to Cedar City for the night proved yet another adventure.  Up until now we'd not seen much wildlife at all other than some antelope in southern Colorado and two tired old elk and a ground squirrel at the Grand Canyon.  However, we had to take a detour along UT-143 as UT-148 was blocked because of snow.  Well, we came across some spectacular scenery as we were about 8,000 feet up and right in the middle of snow!  We were still in the Dixie National Forest.  Thankfully the roads were absolutely clear until UT-148 that is.  Along UT-143 we came across some deer grazing by the side of the road.  That's all we'd seen.  We drove down a spiralling road past Brian Head ski resort to Panowan.  We made it to Cedar City and checked into our B&B for the night, The Anniversary House.

We unpacked a little and went off to stretch our legs and see what we could see before the sun disappeared completely.  A short walk found us drooling at the window of Sizzlers.  In we went for a huge salad buffet which was delicious.  Their chicken was really good.  We sat around eating slowly and dissecting our day, when all of a sudden a tired young waitress started clearing the ice from the salad station and another friendlier young lady started vacuuming around us.  We weren't late and we certainly weren't the last customers.  In fact, it was about 8.45pm and a couple more tables filled up in the meantime.  Anyhow, their food more than made up for the early clean-up.

On the way back to the B&B we did a little window shopping and enjoyed the sparkly lights in the trees lining the main street.  The next morning we came back to a little home store in whose window B spotted a little robin.  Turns out they had two robins which she bought; one for her and one for me.  Mine is on my windowsill in my line of vision.  We found out that Cedar City hosts a Shakespeare Festival from June to October which is a huge deal, so if you're into Olde English, do check out what you can expect at the festival.

In the morning after a leisurely breakfast and chat with B&B host Nan, we headed north on I-15 to get to our next destination, Moab, Utah.  We branched off onto I-70 east and travelled through some stunning scenery, even for an Interstate.  Not as much traffic as we expected and the trip was a breeze.  Joy of joys!  B spotted her "sexy truck"!  The drive was quite long but not boring and we soon found ourselves driving down Hwy 191 south to Moab.  Yay! 

(TIP): Moab is a wonderful activity place to visit; whether you like hiking, bike riding, mountain bike riding, rock climbing, river rafting, camping, canyoneering and more, I suggest you go online and check out all the things you can do to make your trip to Moab intense and exciting.  You could request a copy of the Moab Guest Guide which is full of useful and inspirational information.  You need to protect yourself against the elements.


Driving into Moab itself filled us with expectation despite the larger chain hotels we saw.  Always a sign that the mobs have moved in.  We don't really like crowds.  There were lots of people about and the weather was mild and we had enough time to check into our B&B for the night, the Sunflower Hill Inn which we found even though the street names and numbers in Utah tests one's brain.  We decided that we should go out and see Arches National Park as we still had about four hours of daylight left.  Once again our trusty Annual Parks Pass gained us entrance to the famous park.

We wanted to see the Landscape Arch so we hiked the mile or so to get there.  We missed getting a great photo by about 10 minutes as the sun had disappeared behind the rocks.  We didn't want to chance getting caught in the dark by hiking further out to see Double O Arch and we both felt sufficiently satisfied at what did manage to see and walk around.  This park is phenomenally huge and begs to be discovered, but you must have the time to spend taking it all in.  We did the best we could and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Oh, and this is where we managed to actually see some wildlife!

We were hungry after all that sightseeing and hiking so we went in search of somewhere to eat.  The unmissable sign of Zax Restaurant and Watering Hole caught our eye and we popped in.  Lively doesn't begin to describe the atmosphere.  We didn't have to wait for a table and I ordered a light beer and B had a glass of wine.  We opted to have the All-You-Can-Eat Pizza, Salad and Soup for $12.99 which turned out to be a feast of heavenly pizza and great salads.  I sampled about five slices of different pizza and all were delicious, thin crust and all.  Their salads were yummy as well.  I didn't hear B complain about her pizza choices and salads, and all around it was a great supper.

We left shortly after breakfast to go and see the Dead Horse Point State Park which was a short drive on the way out (north) of Moab.  Thinking our trusty Annual Parks Pass would give us entrance, I was proved wrong.  This was a state park and we paid $10 to get in.  The drive to the lookout point is fairly pretty but the view overlooking the river and canyons below is something else.  Another very high vantage point which is not good for those who suffer from vertigo.  There are many lookout points to visit but as time was of the essence, we chose to only go to this one.  I also saw my first lizard who kindly stopped and posed for a couple of photos before scurrying off to hide under a shrub.

We got back onto the Interstate and drove until we reached Colorado again, almost completing our circle of the southwest.  B took some photos of the surrounds which had gone from red to varying shades of sandy colors and yellows and ochres.  We stopped briefly for a whiz stop and a $1 hot and spicy chicken sandwich in Fruita before making headway to Breckenridge, our last stop of the journey.  All this time the weather had been mild to warm with the exception of the Grand Canyon where we both felt a little chilly.  However, the closer we got to the ski areas, the more snow we saw on the mountains.  By the time we reached Breckenridge, it had started to snow lightly, and it was decidedly cold! 


Breckenridge is a very cute place with arty stores lining the main street into town.  Very much still ski season, there were skiers hobbling along all over the place.  Before walking into town for a look around, we checked in at the Allaire Timbers Inn B&B which was spectacular in its vastness.  We definitely needed coats this evening as it was snowing.  It was late evening and the shop lights were coming on which made everything look a little like a fairyland.  This was our last night on the trip and it was nostalgic to look back over the past nine days.  B and I enjoyed each other's company so much that we vowed to do it again as soon as possible.  Dinner was at the Breckenridge Brewery and Pub which wasn't that great.  We had to wait for ages for a table in a very noisy pub (there was a basketball game on huge television screens which was a bit intrusive for our liking) and the food so-so.  Tasty but so-so.  As generous as they were with the size of their ribs, they were downright stingy with their coleslaw.  We had a light brew of theirs which was nice.


We had ample time the next morning so we walked back into town and took a free ride on the gondola up to the ski resort.  We both screamed when this little bubble hanging from a hook hundreds of feet above the ground took off and wobbled its way to the top.  It was fun, and after the second docking and setting off, we got used to it.  The ski area was abuzz with serious skiers all trying to get in a few last skiis before the season ended.  It was very beautiful up there but not enough to entice either of us to ski.

The last leg of our trip was a leisurely drive back to Denver International Airport and some sad farewells.  However, I had one more trick up my sleeve.  I wanted to show B Idaho Springs, a quaint little town I stumbled upon when I got lost on a previous trip in this area.  She loved it and we had to stop a few times so she could take some photos of the gingerbread houses.

We decided to get a bite to eat as it was past lunchtime and we were both a little peckish after the drive through snow and really cold weather outside of Breckenridge.  We walked around town a little before discovering a deli, The Two Brothers Deli and Yoga Room.  No, we didn't go to the yoga room.  What a wonderfully eccentric find this was.  Our orders for panini-like sandwiches were taken and we picked them up and sat at long wooden tables.  B ordered a toasted cheese and tomato panini with a pickle.  I ordered the special which was a loaded Reuben Sandwich that included not only corned beef, but also turkey and pastrami with a pickle and a side of baked beans!  I opted to have a rootbeer for a change.  Their menu is quite extensive for such a small shop, and included things like pizza, smoothies, soups and salads, breakfast frittata or wraps and more.  They also had cakes and cookies and a little "deli" fridge.

We were ahead of schedule so I also took B off the Interstate to look at a couple of little gambling spots namely Black Hawk and Central City, the latter being a little historical place.  We didn't stop or take photos but both places are worth looking at, or stopping for a meal and a flutter in the casinos.


Next was tackling Sunday afternoon traffic as we headed east on I-70 towards the airport.  I was filled with apprehension and I didn't dare ask B how she felt.   I knew I would cry or at least shed a few tears (I can't help myself) saying goodbye.  The trip worked out so well and we saw and did an enormous amount.  The food was wonderful, the accommodations just magnificent, and of course, our friendship all caught up.  This was a trip both of us will remember for a very long time, and I look forward to planning our next adventure together.  B was a great co-pilot as she helped me by looking when I couldn't see clearly, encouraged me to go for it, and was a positive influence from start to finish.  Thank you B for being so special and for spoiling me so with all your kindess and love.  Till next time...

My trip didn't end after saying goodbye at the airport.  I needed a bit of time to absorb and realize just what a monumental road trip we had had.  I drove back into Denver to spend my last night at the Capitol Hill Mansion B&B which was just what I needed.  I was sad but happy that all had panned out so beautifully.  And very grateful that we were both healthy and didn't get sick or hurt in any way.  After a nice breakfast, I headed off down I-25 south to my little spot on the map.  Completely happy and content and I didn't want to return the car!


Accommodations
Castle Marne (Denver); Edgewood Inn (Woodland Park); La Fonda (Santa Fe); England House (Flagstaff); Harrah's (Las Vegas); Stratosphere (Las Vegas); Anniversary House (Cedar City); Sunflower Hill (Moab); Allaire Timbers (Breckenridge); Capitol Hill Mansion (Denver);

Castle Marne Bed and Breakfast Inn, Denver, CO

The first night of our road trip was spent in the Presidential Suite which included a whirlpool no less!  Unfortunately we didn't get to try it out but the shower was glorious.  Not to mention the huge bed which was very comfortable.  We couldn't get over the size of the bedroom which included a little sitting area and another sitting area complete with wrought iron table and chairs and a little balcony.  The entire house is actually a lived-in home and the décor is simply magnificent.  The house dates back to 1889 and I was particularly taken with the coffee and tea pot collection.
Tasty home-made cookies and pastries awaited us as part of the afternoon offering, and we were also treated to some nighttime teas and freshly baked cookies.  Thoroughly spoiled we were.  Jim filled me in on the history of his home and also offered numerous options for us to consider as to where we wanted to have supper.  The staff were friendly and welcoming and B and I couldn't get enough of the house, both inside and outside.  It really does look like a castle.  They don't have any televisions but that didn't worry us in the least.  B didn't fly out thousands of miles to sit in a B&B room watching American television!
Breakfast consisted of a southwest quiche with salsa, fresh fruit, juices, coffee and/or tea, fresh-out-of-the-oven mini muffins (blueberry and almond) and lively chatter amongst the guests.
Contacts and links to their website are below.
My TripAdvisor ReviewMy BedandBreakfast.com review.


The Edgewood Inn Bed and Breakfast, Woodland Park, CO

Our second night was spent in the almost-a-year-old B&B up in the quietest part of the Rockies, overlooking Pikes Peak.  Kathy and Dean's exquisite home is about 9500 square feet with some of the most beautiful B&B rooms I have ever seen, complete with their private wine cellar.  We were in The Loft room which had hickory floors and we even had a private balcony.  Two closets were bonuses we never expected and we also enjoyed the use of a fridge and microwave and crockery and cutlery!  A home away from home.  There was even piped music throughout the house.  The enormous sitting room downstairs has a very high ceiling, a large fireplace, is part of the fantastic kitchen, and has access to the wrap around porch.  There are no televisions but they have a little cinema, complete with comfy chairs and huge screen.  There is garage parking but you need to ask about this ahead of time and make a reservation.  They offer wedding and other celebration facilities at this beautiful location, so do ask.
Contacts and links to their website are below for more information.
My TripAdvisor ReviewMy BedandBreakfast.com review.


La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel, Santa Fe, NM

Our third night was at this fabulous hotel right next to the Plaza where there is usually something happening.  We had room 629 which exceeded our expectations.  A huge room with two large beds, a closet, balcony, and a gorgeous big bathroom.  We liked the fact that there was a concierge desk on our floor which made checking out easy.  The hotel has beautiful gift shops which beg to be visited, and a lively bar.  We opted to have dinner in the La Plazuela Restaurant in the hotel, and we weren't disappointed.  We shared a steak fajita which was scrumptuous.  Our breakfast was also in this restaurant and B had granola with yogurt and mixed berries while I indulged in a Heuvos Rancheros.  Both were consumed with gusto!
We found the staff friendly and helpful and we also got free undercover parking which was a godsend as the parking in Santa Fe isn't the greatest.  From the balcony of our room we could see the cathedral which is just a block away.  The room was quiet and we had a television and a little fridge.  The swimming pool was undergoing renovation.  One thing you should not miss, is the ladies' bathroom on the ground floor of the hotel—check out the exquisite tiles!
Contacts and links to their website are below for more information.
My TripAdvisor Review.

England House Bed and Breakfast, Flagstaff, AZ

Our fourth night was at the charming England House B&B.  Just four rooms but each a delight.  Hosts Richard and Laurel have done a great job furnishing their 1902 home with French antiques and with much loving care.  We had the Star Gazer room which was smallish but had a large bathroom and shower.  No televisions which suited us as we needed a good night's sleep after that long drive.  We took Richard's suggestion and walked into town to look for somewhere to eat and we found Criollo.  The B&B kitchen has all sorts of goodies which you can try, like cookies and soft drinks.  Richard's well-rehearsed speech about their home, their city and the surrounds, is full of helpful information.  Breakfast was warm grapefruit, eggs gruyére and apple sausage, and was served in the little addition to the house which had a beautiful old stove in it.  Their wi-fi apparently had been giving them problems (whose doesn't?) but I was told later that all is well again.
Contacts and links to their website are below for more information.
My TripAdvisor ReviewMy BedandBreakfast.com review.

Harrah's Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

Our fifth night was our first night in Las Vegas, at Harrah's hotel.  We were greeted by a very friendly and obliging check-in lady who informed us that because we'd booked through booking.com, we were being upgraded and given a complimentary breakfast at Starbucks in the hotel (to the value of $9 each).  Our room was on the 20th floor (room 2066 and set back from the Strip but facing the Strip) and had two large beds, a great bathroom and a lovely shower.  We were more than satisfied with our $38.00 per room!  Wi-fi was available but at $11.95 for 24 hours we didn't think it was necessary or worth it.
Contacts and links to their website are below for more information.
My TripAdvisor Review.

Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

Our sixth night was our second night in Las Vegas and we spent it downtown at the Stratosphere Hotel.  Not the greatest neighborhood but the room was very reasonable and we wanted to get a view of this incredible city.  The Strat is the best place for that as it's over 800 feet up in the air.  There are a couple of rollercoaster rides outside the hotel all those feet up, and NO, we didn't ride any of them.  Our room was on the 23rd floor and looked exactly like the room at Harrah's, with different coloring.  Just as comfortable.  They offered us wi-fi but this was also at a fee of $11.95 for 24 hours.  We paid a resort fee of $7.95 which afforded us the 27-second elevator ride to the 108th floor for the rollercoasters and observation deck.  Somehow we forgot to go a couple of floors higher to the Top of the World revolving restaurant!
Contacts and links to their website are below for more information.
My TripAdvisor Review.

The Anniversay House Bed and Breakfast, Cedar City, UT

Our seventh night was in Cedar City, UT in the Anniversary House B&B.  It was getting late but not dark yet when we arrived and Nan came out to greet us.  She was so welcoming and friendly that we felt right at home.  She settled us into our beautiful big room, which we checked out carefully, and discovered the most wonderful bathroom.  It was huge and the shower was a complete delight.  Nan Johnson has a huge backyard and deck which would make sitting outside in the summer evenings a pleasure.  Her breakfast was delicious and her company even better.  We hadn't laughed this much at breakfast in a while.  I loved her fruit smoothie!  It was a sad farewell but I hope we meet again and I would like to discover more about this quaint city.
Contacts and links to their website are below for more information.
My TripAdvisor ReviewMy BedandBreakfast.com review.

Sunflower Hill, A Luxury Inn (Bed and Breakfast), Moab, UT

Our eighth night was spent at the fantastic Sunflower Hill Inn which is actually two separate buildings on the same property.  Between them is a lovely swimming pool and gardens in which you can wander.  We had the Lookout Room on the second floor which was as comfortable as can be.  We had a little balcony to ourselves.  The bed was comfortable and I loved the quilt and quilted pillow cases.  The bathroom was small but comfortable and I loved their Molton Brown toiletries—nice touch, Gregg!  You could spend time in the other building in the beautiful sitting room, complete with fireplace and well-stocked bookshelves.  The staff were friendly and helpful and the buffet-style breakfast was hearty and delicious.  We walked around the garden in the morning before breakfast and found it to be charming with birds chirping as the day was just beginning.
Contacts and links to their website are below for more information.
My TripAdvisor Review My BedandBreakfast.com review.

Allaire Timbers Inn, A Distinctive Bed and Breakfast, Breckenridge, CO

Our ninth and final night was spent in the huge and beautiful Allaire Timbers B&B just on the outskirts of town.  Very quiet and comforting.  We had the Timberline room on the second floor which was big, comfortable, airy, and had a lovely little balcony overlooking snow-covered forest trees.  We were suitably impressed with the enormity of the large room downstairs where guests could sit and read, look out of the panoramic windows, enjoy a glass of wine by the fire, or help themselves to a hot drink and cookie.  The shower and loo room was tiny but one didn't spend too much time in there and we found it ample.  There is stunning original artwork on the walls of this inn which begs to be enjoyed (and/or bought).  The inn resembles a large log cabin which is so pretty when lit up at night with fairy lights.  They have a hot tub which is also available to guests.  I came down after dinner to back-up my photos and their wi-fi worked just fine.  It was cozy sitting in that huge and warm room!  Their breakfast was ample and satisfying, skiers or not.
Contacts and links to their website are below for more information.
My TripAdvisor ReviewMy BedandBreakfast.com review.

Capitol Hill Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn, Denver, CO

After a sad farewell with B at Denver International Airport, I retreated for one more night at a B&B at the Capitol Hill Mansion in Denver to collect my thoughts and gather all the information we collected on our trip.  This old home (1891) had red stonework and turrets, much like the first "castle" we stayed at.  How romantic that I spent my first and last night at B&Bs that resembled castles!  This one was right up the road from the Capitol Building but I didn't get to see any more sights as there just wasn't any more time.  I had the leftover Reuben sandwich for my dinner, looked through my photos, enjoyed the beautiful décor of the B&B, and tried to take it all in.  The B&B was quiet and I had a television which I switched on, the first one since I left home 10 days ago.  I loved the little writing desk in my large and spacious room, the comfortable bed, lovely linens and towels and the great shower.  I felt a little more relaxed after a nice shower.
Breakfast was gorgeous and I had a Belgian waffle with praline cream, fresh fruit, bacon, and delicious coffee which I shared with Carl, the owner of the B&B.  I had the Forget-Me-Not room which I thought was apropos.   Contacts and links to their website are below for more information.
My TripAdvisor ReviewMy BedandBreakfast.com review.


Route    
A swift drive north on I-25 took me to Denver where I picked Bonnie up at the airport.  We came down south on the I-25 to start our memorable five-state road trip.  After a stop in Woodland Park (west on Hwy 24) we were once again heading south on I-25, this time to Santa Fe, NM.  Getting back onto I-25 we headed south via Albuquerque where we joined I-40 west towards Arizona.  Quite a long stretch of road but very picturesque.  We left I-40 and got onto the old Route 66 for a short stint into Flagstaff.  To get to the Grand Canyon we got onto Hwy 89 north and AZ-64 west to the Grand Canyon.  The return trip was south on Hwy 180 branching onto AZ-64 south to I-40 where we headed west to Kingman then we got onto Hwy 93 north to Las Vegas.  We took I-15 north out of Las Vegas and branched east on UT-9 (stop in Springdale!) and entered Zion Canyon National Park and continued to the junction with HWY 89 and went north to UT-12 to Bryce Canyon  (If you want to cut out Las Vegas, you can continue north on Hwy 89 from Flagstaff all the way to Bryce Canyon.)  We went east on UT-12 and followed the signs to Bryce Canyon.  The return trip to Cedar City was back along UT-12 to Hwy 89 but we went north to Panguitch then south on UT-143 to the junction of UT-148 which was closed because of snow.  We had to go north on UT-143 to Parowan and then south on I-15 to Cedar City, not that much of a delay.  Next we headed north on I-15 to the junction of I-70 and we headed east for Moab.  At Crescent Junction we headed south on HWY 191 to Moab.  On the return trip we turned onto UT-313 and headed off to Dead Horse Point State Park.  Back along this road to Hwy 191 and north to I-70 where we continued east until CO-9 where we turned south for Breckenridge.  Back north on CO-9 to I-70 and we continued east until we stopped in Idaho Springs and a little further east on I-70 where we turned off for a few miles to Central City on Central City Parkway before heading back onto I-70 and travelling east to the airport.  I returned home going south on I-25.  We drove about 2,500 miles in total.
See the map above.
I had a little Garmin GPS gadget but I didn't feel the need to use it at all.  I simply plotted our route, made notes which I printed out and kept on hand.


Contacts/Links   Contact Me

Enterprise Rent-A-Car (Motor City, Colorado Springs, CO): We started off with a Ford Fusion but changed it once we discovered a slow leak in the front right tire.  The airport branch happily exhanged cars and we drove off in a Dodge Avenger.  Not as comfortable as the Fusion but it did the job just fine.  $295.16 for a 10-day rental with unlimited mileage!  I booked a few months in advance and checked the rates on a weekly basis.  I saved $40 by doing this as the rate came down over the ensuing weeks, and I also used the 10% discount coupon I was given when I initially made the booking.  On this trip I didn't keep track of what we spent on gas or the mileage per gallon rate (mpg) as there was so much else to keep us busy.  Both cars had nice size trunks, plenty big enough for our two medium-sized suitcases and other junk.
Enterprise once again offered their "we'll pick you up" service and the staff were polite, friendly and very helpful.  I highly recommend you try Enterprise.
Web: www.enterprise.com  Tel: (719) 635-8029   Toll-free (Reservations): 1-800-261-7331   Toll-free (Customer Service): 1-800-264-6350
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/enterpriserentacar


Accommodation Contacts and Links
Please always check on the B&B/hotel website or call for information on latest rates and special offers (sometimes you can get really incredible bargains on rooms at different times of the year) and to ask about their pet policy.
All of the accommodations below (unless otherwise stated) had free wi-fi, hairdryers and off-street parking.  Check-in times are also important to make note of ahead of time.
See more B&B reviews on my Bed and Breakfasts web page.




Castle Marne - 1572 Race Street, Denver, CO 80206 (between 16th & 17th Avenues)
Tel: (303) 331-0621
Web: www.CastleMarne.com
E-mail: info@castlemarne.com
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DenverBedBreakfast?sk=wall
No television.
This beautiful B&B also hosts weddings, so do contact them if this is something you would like to investigate.  No children under 10.

The Edgewood Inn - 10975 Loy Creek Rd., Woodland Park, CO 80863
Tel: (719) 687-0845
Web: www.edgewoodwp.com/
E-mail: info@edgewoodwp.com
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/edgewoodwp
No television but they have an in-house cinema.
This location is ideal for weddings and other celebrations, and Kathy, Dean and James will be happy to answer any questions you may have.  Ask about the discounted rate for their Pike View and Aspen rooms which could be as low as $72!

The La Fonda Hotel - 100 E. San Francisco St., Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: (505) 982-5511   Toll-free: 1-800.523.5002
Web: www.lafondasantafe.com/
E-mail: reservations@lafondasantafe.com
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lafondasantafe
Twitter: twitter.com/lafondasantafe
Television and DVD in room.
Gorgeous restaurant in which we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and a delicious dinner.

England House B&B - 614 West Santa Fe Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Tel: (928) 214-7350   Toll-free: 1-877-214-7350
Web: www.englandhousebandb.com
E-mail: innkeeper@englandhousebandb.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EnglandHouseBB
No television.
Do be sure to make a note of their check-in time as they are sticky about this!

Harrah's Hotel - 3475 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Tel: Toll-free: 1-800-214-9110
Web: www.harrahslasvegas.com
E-mail: Email on their website
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HarrahsVegas
Twitter: twitter.com/HarrahsVegas
Television.
Wi-fi at $11.95 for 24hrs.
Close to the center of things on The Strip.

Stratosphere Hotel - 2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV, 89104
Tel: Toll-free: 1-800-998-6937
Web: www.stratospherehotel.com/Tower
E-mail: Email on their website
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StratosphereHotelCasino
Twitter: twitter.com/LVStratosphere
Television.
Wi-fi at $11.95 for 24hrs.
This hotel is quite a way from the hub of The Strip, but perfect if you want a little quieter venue.  Great views from the top of the tower.

The Anniversary House B&B - 133 South 100 West, Cedar City, Utah 84720
Tel: (435) 865-1266
Web: theanniversaryhouse.com
E-mail: stay@theanniversaryhouse.com
Facebook None
Television and DVD in room.  Nan has a lot of DVDs you can borrow.
You might be able to bring your pet along as there is an outside kennel.  Check beforehand.

Sunflower Hill B&B - 185 North 300 East, Moab, Utah 84532
Tel: (435) 259-2974   Toll-free: 1-800-662-2786
Web: www.sunflowerhill.com
E-mail: Innkeeper@sunflowerhill.com
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sunflower-Hill-Luxury-Inn/121162767899807
Television.
A beautifully appointed B&B away from the noise of Main Street.  A special treat.

Allaire Timbers B&B - 9511 Highway 9 at River Park Drive, Breckenridge, CO 80424
Tel: (970) 453-7530
Web: www.allairetimbers.com
E-mail: info@allairetimbers.com
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/allairetimbers
Television.
Just a short walk into town, this stunning B&B is more like a huge lodge in which you can spread out and feel completely comfortable in whichever room you are in.
Capitol Hill Mansion B&B - 1207 Pennsylvania St., Denver, CO 80203 (cnr 12th Avenue)
Tel: Toll-free: 1-800-839-9329
Web: www.capitolhillmansion.com
E-mail: info@capitolhillmansion.com
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/capitol.mansion
Twitter: twitter.com/CAPHILLMANSION
Television, cable and DVD.
Close to all sights and a very comfortable and homey atmosphere.

Sights
As this trip was for the most part a road trip, we didn't visit any museums, but we did miss the Meteor Crater Museum and Walnut Canyon National Park in Arizona (details below).  These are the sights we did enjoy along the way.
Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs, CO
Website: www.gardenofgods.com/home

Manitou Springs, Colorado
Website: manitousprings.org/

Loretto Chapel - 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: (505) 982-0092
Website: www.lorettochapel.com
E-mail: none
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LorettoChapel
Fee: $3.00 but check for more information beforehand.
A delightful little chapel with the most beautiful staircase.  Well worth a visit.

Cathedral of  St. Francis - 131 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: (505) 982-5619
Website: www.cbsfa.org/home0.aspx
E-mail: Check online.
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cathedral-Basilica-of-St-Franics-of-Assisi-Life-Teen/137659768077?ref=ts
Fee: None
A beautiful chapel well worth a visit.  Do notice the stained glass windows.

Meteor Crater Museum - Arizona
Website: www.meteorcrater.com/

Walnut Canyon National Monumnet - Arizona
Website: www.nps.gov/waca/index.htm
Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona
Tel: (505) 982-5009
Website: www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm
or www.grandcanyon.org

Worthington Gallery, Springdale, UT 789 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, UT
Toll-free: 1-800-626-9973
Web: www.worthingtongallery.com

Zion National Park - Utah
Website: www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm

Red Canyon in Dixie National Forest - Utah
Website: www.zionnational-park.com/red-canyon-utah.htm

Bryce Canyon National Park - Utah
Tel: (505) 476-5200
Website: www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm

Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, UT
Toll-free: 1-800-725-9849
Web: www.bard.org

Arches National Park - Moab, Utah
Website: www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm
Dead Horse Point State Park - Moab, Utah
Website: stateparks.utah.gov/parks/dead-horse

Restaurants
These are some of the restaurants we tried along the way.
Vine Street Pub and Brewery - 1700 Vine Street, Denver, CO 80206
Tel: (303) 388.2337
Website: www.mountainsunpub.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mountainsunpub


La Plazuela in the La Fonda Hotel - 100 E. San Francisco St., Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: (505) 995-2334
Web: www.lafondasantafe.com/dining
E-mail: reservations@lafondasantafe.com
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lafondasantafe


Criollo - 16 N. San Francisco, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Tel: (928) 774-0541
Web: www.criollolatinkitchen.com


Mirage Hotel's Cravings Buffet - 3400 South Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109
Website: www.mirage.com


Sizzlers - 199 N. Main Street, Cedar City, UT
Web: www.sizzler.com


Zax Restaurant and Watering Hole - 96 S. Main Street, Moab, UT 84532
Web: www.zaxmoab.com


Breckenridge Brewery and Pub, 600 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, CO 80424
Web: www.breckbrew.com/food/breckenridge-brewery-pub
Two Brothers Deli and Yoga Room, 1424 Miner Street, Idaho Springs, CO 80452
Web: www.twobrothersdeli.com

Information and prices quoted were correct at the time, April 2013.
Photographs by A. Petterson and B. Lewis


E-mail:  pettprojects@yahoo.com

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