Family Spring Break to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon

Chicago IL: Winter was mild in Chicago this year as we were hit by only a couple of heavy snow storms. To welcome spring this year by enjoying a few crispy sunny days, we took our family spring break in sunny California and Nevada area. After landing at the Los Angeles airport, overnight stay at Rancho Cucamonga was relaxing. The three-hour drive across the desert to reach Las Vegas is rewarded with great views of the scenic Angels forest, mountains, and typical desert trees.

Fabulous Las Vegas—the gambling and entertainment capital of the world—welcomes millions of visitors yearly to its various attractions. Every hotel resort in this Neon City is unique in its own way. We stayed at Circus-Circus, where the kids enjoyed Adventure Dome and the famous Midway arcade with its bunch of rides and fun games. With their varied restaurants, shops, entertainment shows, and of course gambling, the resorts have something for everyone. Shows like “Mac King”, a fabulous family show, win you over with fun, laughter, and magic thrills.

About three hours of driving towards west from Las Vegas takes you to the “Grand Canyon West Rim.” After just 30 miles on US 93, we stopped over at the site of Hoover Dam, the world’s largest and engineering marvel of its time. On the border of Nevada and Arizona, below the dam, you can launch paddle craft for a trip along the Colorado River or take a guided river tour. Driving through the scenic beauty of mountains and very small villages along roughly 12 mile of non-asphalt dirt roads, we reached the Grand Canyon Airport terminal, beyond which you can only go using shuttle. The red rocks and astounding beauty of these thousands of acres under tribal control have made the Grand Canyon one of the natural wonders of the world. The recently built skywalk across the mountains is just stunning. You stand 4,000 feet above the abyss on a horseshoe-shaped walkway with a glass floor that projects 70 feet beyond the canyon rim. Dramatic vistas spread out on either side and below. Look down and you seem to be “hovering” above the canyon. The Skywalk is situated on the Hualapai (WALL-uh-pie), Reservation at the western end of the canyon. An on-site cafe sells snacks and sandwiches. Beautiful picture opportunities, helicopter ride, boat ride, tribal costumes and music could keep you engaged whole day. You can explore history by staying at the Hualapai ranch where an authentic tribal village has been developed.

While driving back, we spent a night in LA again and drove a couple hours south, the next day, to San Diego. It was as if the glorious sunshine, warm breezes, and beautiful beaches of San-Diego were calling out to us. The city is also home to museums, a world-renowned zoo, theme parks, famous golf courses, and a lively theater scene, as well as great food, shopping and nightlife in the historic downtown. The Zoo Safari park and San Diego zoo are great attractions for all age groups. The largest safari filled our mind with ecstasy. We enjoyed zip lining and Jumper Rope activities at safari park. Along with animals and plants from different types of habitat, we also enjoyed colorful butterfly garden. Shiley’s Cheetah run was special. It was amazing to see this sleek cat accelerate from 0 to 65 miles-per-hour in a blink of the eye. Next day was spent monkeying around in our tropical oasis: San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park housing over 3,700 animals across more than 650 species and subspecies. It is also one of the few zoos in the world that houses the giant panda. We enjoyed a guided tour on a double-decker bus, an aerial view from Skyfari, and saw animals up close in the Children’s Zoo.

SeaWorld at San Diego has its own attractions with the amazing Shamu show, and thrilling rides like Journey to Atlantis, Shipwreck Rapids, and Wild Arctic. The hilarious antics of Clyde and Seamore’s sea lion and otter show and Pets Rule show cannot be missed. The kids enjoyed the ride on the Manta with dozens of twists and turns before the giant drop.

We also spent a day in Universal Studios at Hollywood, the entertainment capital of LA, where the kids had much fun. The last day before flying back home, we visited Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Street, where we visited Grumman’s Chinese Theatre forecourt, looked at the stars’ footprints, and visited the wax museum. It was indeed an amazing seven-nights spring break!