ONE: HIRE A KICK-ASS CAR.
We hired a black, convertible (we didn’t realise how cold it would be) Mustang or similar, with Alamo. After phone calls, emails, tweets to make sure we didn’t end up with ‘or similar’, it worked! Do not underestimate the power of a good badgering to get what you want. Top down, heaters on, AC/DC on full volume and off you go….
TWO: STAY AT A RANCH.
Not only do you get to go horse-riding through the cactus-lined desert and pretend you’re an extra in a Western, you also get called ‘ma’am’ by cowboys and wranglers. Not that I really noticed or anything.
THREE: HELICOPTER RIDE OVER THE GRAND CANYON
As much as you’ve seen the movies and pictures to death, nothing compares with standing on the edge and seeing it for yourself. It’s big. The best way to see the bigness in all its glory is on a helicopter. It’s not the cheapest thing to do, but there are a few different companies offering it, so don’t just go for the first one.
FOUR: PHOTOS IN ANTELOPE CANYON
Antelope Canyon is seriously cool. The winding path through the bottom of the canyon at certain times of the day is breathtaking. Filled with colour and light (but no actual antelopes, sorry) is breathtaking. Though it can be busy at times, the guides are pretty good at keeping the small groups apart. Click away!
FIVE: DRIVE THROUGH ZION NATIONAL PARK
If you like driving, you’re going to LOVE Zion Nation Park in Utah. Once through a mile long tunnel, you’ll emerge into a Jurassic/Never-Never Land landscape full of hairpin bends and jaw-dropping scenery. I literally think our photos do not do it justice. It’s incredible. Go. Go now. Also it’s a hikers paradise with lots of walks/hikes/climbs available.
SIX: VIVA LAS VEGAS
Of course, no trip to the Southwest is complete without going to Vegas. Love it or loathe the idea, it is a must-do at least once in your lifetime. It’s a feast for the senses shall we say. Don’t forget to pop along to Old Vegas in the evening if you can, and experience the Freemont Street Experience!