Have I got this right? (14 days LA - SF - LA in October)
Replies: 27 - Last Post: Jul 6, 2012 7:42 AM Last Post By: ianw6705
Jul 4, 2012 10:48 PM
Have I got this right? (14 days LA - SF - LA in October)Day 1 Fly into LA.
Day 2 Hollywood boulevard, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
Day 3 Tour that will let us see the Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Sunset Strip etc.
Day 4 Universal Studios.
Day 5 Fly from LA to Vegas early morning. Afternoon + evening free in Vegas.
Day 6 Fly from Vegas to Grand Canyon. Stay overnight.
Day 7 Grand Canyon back to Vegas. Fly from Vegas to SF in evening.
Day 8 Free in SF (Alcatraz).
Day 9 Free in SF.
Day 10 Free in SF.
Day 11 Muir Woods and Sausalito.
Day 12 Rent a car, leave early morning from SF to Monterey. Visit Big Sur. Overnight in Monterey.
Day 13 Leave early morning from Monterey to LA via Santa Barbara. Late afternoon & evening in Santa Monica/Venice.
Day 14 Fly out of LA.
- Does this seem doable?
- Any recommendations for the day 3 tour in LA?
- Is it possible to get to Muir Woods using public transport?
Thank you :)
Jul 4, 2012 11:43 PM
1With all the flights, your trip isn't as hectic as it first appears. IMO, it looks pretty reasonable.
There's a part time shuttle...
But it looks like it's quite crowded.
I'll bet you could rent a bicycle in Sausalito, Mill Valley, or even S.F. (the ride across the GG bridge alone would be worth the price of admission.)
Jul 5, 2012 3:06 AM
2Other knowledgeable regulars on here have advised that Muir Woods can be visited by public transport. The other option is to (a) stay somewhere in SF that has parking, and (b) rent the car on your second-last day and drive to Muir Woods and the nearby beaches, and have the car for an early kick-off the next morning ... the Muir Woods trip is more pleasant with your own car, for sure.
In terms of your trip, I would have one less night in SF, and add a stop between Monterey and Santa Monica (San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara perhaps). More rewarding there than that extra night in SF, in my view.
Jul 5, 2012 3:52 AM
3Thank you both. Renting a bike (or the car a day earlier) for Muir Woods seems like the sensible thing to do.
I definitely don't want the coastal drive to be rushed so I'll either add on an extra day or swap one of the SF days as you suggested. Thanks again!
Jul 5, 2012 4:27 AM
4Indeed ... not sure I would rent a bike to go to Muir Woods, but going over the Golden Gate Bridge (either walking or biking) is okay ... the biggest downsides being (1) the sidewalks are crowded and there are conflicts between bikes and pedestrians, and (2) you are only a few metres from the roaring traffic, which can be a little unsettling.
Renting the car a day earlier is your best bet, I reckon. The ferry ride to Sausalito and back is nice.
Jul 5, 2012 4:52 AM
5you could all the hollywood stuff in one day easy, then have the other day for a wander along Santa Monica beach and that Muscle Beach (??) and all the crazy beachside avenue shops etc, esp if its a weekend, it would be good if you had a little more time in Grand Canyon too as mornings and sunsets are when its at its best
Jul 5, 2012 6:04 AM
6As your planning on two days...Renting a car out of Las Vegas Would allow views (or a tour) of Boulder Dam & a drive along "Old Rt 66"...And perhaps Oatman on the return...However you travel to the South Rim,be sure to have your lodging reservations confirmed in or near the Park...carracar
Jul 5, 2012 9:39 AM
7Thank you very much everyone. Bike-wise I'll stick to what geo_nerd said and perhaps rent one just to go over the Golden Gate Bridge or for the day in Sausalito.
I wasn't aware that a reservation was needed for Hearst Castle, so thank you for that *Nutrax*!
Carracar, thank you that's definitely something to consider.
ThurstonHowell4th, I was worried that if I tried to do all that in one day we'd be rushing about like headless chicken :) If we end up doing it all in one day that would be a brilliant. Thanks for your suggestion.
Ian, I hope you don't mind me asking where this photo was taken?
Jul 5, 2012 9:47 AM
Allow about an hour & a half for the tour. It's about 45 minutes plus 2 15-minute bus rides.
Jul 5, 2012 10:11 AM
Jul 5, 2012 12:25 PM
Jul 5, 2012 12:32 PM
11Oh, and I strongly agree that you should add a night to the coast. My favorite itinerary would be to leave San Francisco in the morning and drive down via Half Moon Bay, then spend that night in Monterey. Do not miss the aquarium there. You can also go whale watching. Visit Point Lobos State Reserve, which is just south of Monterey, in the evening - it's a beautiful, tiny little park that can be fully explored in a couple hours.
The next morning, head south and spend the night in Big Sur. There's really no substitute for a night among the redwoods. Lodging in Big Sur is pricier than in Monterey or San Luis Obispo, but it's totally worth it. Lots of nice hikes and beaches - Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Pfeiffer Beach, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, lunch at Nepenthe, etc...
The next day, leave Big Sur and be prepared to take a few hours along Highway 1 to get to San Luis Obispo - it's a short drive but it's so incredibly scenic that you will find yourself stopping every few minutes to gawk at the view. Be sure to stop to visit the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas, just south of Hearst Castle.
You can spend the night in San Luis Obispo, or you can continue on to Santa Barbara or even Los Angeles depending on your taste for long drives. Personally, I try to time it so that I arrive in San Luis Obispo just before dark (so that I don't do the scary bit on Highway 1 in the dark), then drive on home to Los Angeles in one go.
Jul 5, 2012 12:40 PM
12No one has really answered this yet so I'll chime in again... you can get to Muir Woods via public transit, but the shuttle stops running in late September. So it looks like you're out of luck.
Don't despair. An even more beautiful alternative is to pick up your car in San Francisco and drive down the coast via Half Moon Bay, as I described above. Then turn inland a bit and visit Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Don't worry that it's a "state park" rather than a "national monument" like Muir Woods; it's every bit as beautiful and a lot less crowded.
There are other, smaller redwoods parks along your route as well. Butano State Park and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, to name two, plus you'll see redwoods in Big Sur.
Jul 5, 2012 1:04 PM
13Thank you so much stopthebus, this is great information. It looks like the coast has a lot more to offer than I realised. The reason why I've decided to fly from Vegas to the Grand Canyon (by helicopter or fixed wing plane) is purely to save time. I understand that it's a 6 hour drive each way, and I'd rather maximise my time at the Grand Canyon itself seeing as I'll only have a day and a half there. Would you suggest otherwise? Is it a scenic drive?
ETA: Just had a look at some photos of Big Basin Redwood State Park and it looks lovely. Google maps tells me it's only an hour away from Santa Cruz. Would I be missing much if I turned inland at Half Moon Bay, or would it be better to go to Santa Cruz via the coast and then go back on myself, say as a day trip from Santa Cruz if I stayed overnight there or at Monterey?
Edited by: sarah7117
Edited by: sarah7117
Jul 5, 2012 1:37 PM
14Be sure you understand what "fly to the Grand Canyon" entails I recommend this post by zeldasdad.
The Grand Canyon airport is 7 miles/ 11km south of the park. There are no scheduled commercial flights from Las Vegas--it's all private planes, tours and charters.
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