Things to do from Florida to San Diego

Looking for suggestions of interesting things to do on the return leg from the Florida panhandle to San Diego. Lots of Texas in between and constant headwinds as usual

Unfortunately, one of our planned stopovers has fallen through. So we’re flying back midweek from the COPA Bahamian Adventure faced with a 10-1/2 hour 1655 nm leg. We need to break it up into 3 legs, perhaps go for a nearby hike, stay overnight and get to San Diego the next day.

Travel planners, any recommendations?


Off the top of my head, Tucson is a good stop - good Mexican food and the Pima museum, or hike through the Saguaros. Maybe it’s worth diverting north of ELP to Alamogordo, NM to see the White Sands. Have fun.
I’m jealous :slight_smile:

Fly the Grand Canyon, then land at the airport and hike down to the bottom and back. You will be happy to get back in the plane.
If you are going to fly the canyon be sure to get the necessary VFR map ahead of time. When I need it I checked several sources before finding it available.

Santa Fe. Carlsbad Caverns NP. Monument Valley. Page Arizona and Lake Powell. Bullfrog Basin on Lake Powell. Big Bend NP. Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Capitol Reef & Canyonlands NPs. Bryce Canyon. Zion. Do a 1/2 day air tour of Southern UT and Northern AZ, including flying the Grand Canyon–unforgettable (I have my own list of waypoints for such a tour, would be about 4 hr in the SR22, contact me if you’re interested). Sedona AZ. Great surplus aircraft boneyard/museum near Tucson (Davis-Monthan?). Chiricao Summit if you like WWII museums and memorabilia. Great food stops at Santa Fe, Farmington, Sedona, Scottsdale AZ, and those are just the ones that I know about personally. REALLY cheap fuel at Holbrook AZ ($1.79/gal in February; I wish they would ship to Palo Alto). Note: if it’s hot in the desert, do most or all of your flying before noon as thermal turbulence gets going in the afternoon. You can make this into a real treat if you can take an extra day or two!