Southwest roadtrip with kids
March 18, 2009 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Family friendly places to stay from Phoenix to El Paso?

In the next few weeks I will be flying into Phoenix, AZ with my two kids under 3. We will be renting a car and driving to meet up with family somewhere around El Paso, TX. We'll be spending the night somewhere around Tucson or within an hour or two east of there. Do you know of any interesting places to stop with the kids along the way? Restaurants, rest stops, parks, etc? As I am a woman traveling alone with two little ones I would like some safe suggestions. Also I am looking for a hotel/motel suggestion in an interesting/safe town.
I have never been to this part of the country and I can hardly wait to get roadtrippin.
posted by I_drew_an_angelfish to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
If you're going to pee anywhere, Texas Canyon, about 50 miles east of Tucson is very scenic (strange and dramatic boulder outcroppings) Your kids are probably too young to appreciate scenery, though.
posted by teg4rvn at 3:11 PM on March 18, 2009

There are lots of signs for "The Thing" that your kids would make you stop for if they were old enough. Be happy they're too young to read. It is a tourist trap but there's a Dairy Queen.

There isn't much within an hour or two of Tuscon in the places to stay. Of course, Tucson has all of the major hotel chains so a nice Marriott Courtyard or Hampton Inn type place would be ideal. As you get east of Tucson there isn't much in that department until you get to Las Cruces NM and if you've gone that far, you might as well keep going on to El Paso. There is a little town just east of the NM/AZ border called Lordsburg but it seemed to just have dumpy little hotels that may not fit into your definition of "safe".
posted by birdherder at 3:35 PM on March 18, 2009

I'm from Las Cruces originally. There isn't a terrible lot to see between Phoenix and El Paso. You could try La Posta in Mesilla, NM (a little town attached to Las Cruces). It's really popular with tourists and it's kind of the obligatory place to bring out-of-towners. It serves New Mexican fare - think green enchiladas, chile con carne, taquitos, refried beans, etc. Worth giving a try if you are not familiar with this style of Mexican food. But then again, Las Cruces is only 1hr away from El Paso anyway.

Mesilla itself has a little square, an old church, and some gift shops. It's kind of like a mini-Santa Fe, except less interesting.

If you like quirky signs, there is an old building in Deming with the sign "Spanish Disco Dancing."
posted by pravit at 5:22 PM on March 18, 2009

I forgot to mention, though - if you are willing to make a bit of a detour around Deming, there is a state park called City of Rocks. It's really quite an amazing place.
posted by pravit at 5:26 PM on March 18, 2009

If you can afford a small detour, maybe the Shady Dell in Bisbee? The little ones might enjoy the Queen Mine Tour as well. On the way to Bisbee you can stop at a saloon in Tombstone, the town too tough to die, and get a sasparilla. The country down there is beautiful, and even a short walk into the woods should be fun for the kids.
posted by ldenneau at 5:28 PM on March 18, 2009

My family's obligatory Tucson stop is the the Desert Museum which is super kid friendly, and requires no sitting still.

Kartchner Caverns is out of the way, but also awesome.
posted by aint broke at 10:22 PM on March 18, 2009

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