Las Vegas to San Fran and back in 8 nights - January
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Dec 14, 2012 9:16 PM Last Post By: myxanadu
Dec 9, 2012 2:37 PM
Mixed interest, but since packing light, no hiking, camping, etc.
I've found some great hotel deals, but in January seems like it will not be an issue, all are cancellable.
We were going to stay overnight in Bakersfield and try to see Yosemite, but reading forums decided the weather will make it a hassle, so what route would you take TO San Fran? A good one night stop on the way? My game plan is flexible, but want enough time to see the sites in San Fran. Booked the Motel Capri, because we will have parking, but would reconsider. IS a budget trip, however, would like to stay at decent interesting hotels and am planning on getting a go card? for SF sites.
So - on the coast, besides the aquarium in Monterey and Hearst castle, any other best bets? I have one night in Pacific Grove too, but reconsidering....
24 hours round trip drive time, trying to break it down to under 5 hrs a day.
Thanks much for any ideas.
The flight and car rental are really cheap, so non-negotiable to change.
Dec 10, 2012 3:34 PM
1Do I understand correctly that you intend to stay one night in Las Vegas, "at least" three nights in San Francisco, maybe one night in Pacific Grove, one night in Bakersfield, and "at least" one night near San Simeon -- and that you expect to do all of this from Vegas and back by car in a total of eight days, driving no more than five hours a day? If so, please tell us where you were able to rent that flying car, and on a "budget" no less. Thanks.
Dec 10, 2012 4:00 PM
2I assume you already have the plane ticket to Vegas. I would look for a cheap domestic flight onward from Vegas to the Bay Area, and do you travels from there. Vegas to SF is a long driving day and not a pleasant drive at all. Also, Bakersfield is not where you would stop to see Yosemite, more likely Merced. Even that is a couple hours up from the Central Valley to the Yosemite Valley and back. Though I do love Yosemite in the winter.
Dec 10, 2012 5:39 PM
Dec 11, 2012 4:00 AM
4Willy- it is not and i just found your advice in 2007 to a wisc woman fir a jan trip im reading up on. Sorry, we dont have unlimited funds but wanting to see sf and the whole coast.ive made many road trips to sd and back for 5 hrs at a stretch each way, so driving to sf with one overnight is not unsurmountable. All i was asking is if we take hwy 1 down, is it worth the scenery or stops to take 99 instead of major freeway there to sf? Since we have 8 full days.
I just read about mudslides, had not heard this is the time of year, so that coast plan may be a bust.
Family of 4 flying to vegas + car rental 8 days = 1000.00 flying to sf + car rental 2500.
Since we want to drive the coast anyway, will be all good.
And none of us want to wear windproof clothes and sit on a hill whale watching.
According to what i read in the other post, may not be too warm and sunny,
but for us coming from the midwest it will be enough.
Dec 11, 2012 10:36 AM
5Las Vegas to SF via the fastest route possible (I-15, Hwy. 58, I-5, I-580) is 8 to 8-1/2 tedious hours non-stop. Add gas and lunch and you've got an entire day. Any more scenic alternates (like your idea to visit Yosemite) add many hours and require an overnight.
If you want to visit Yosemite, you could consider staying at one of the towns near a park entrance (Oakhurst, Mariposa, El Portal), but check weather forecasts and have a Plan B. Winter is the wet season, which means rain on the coast but snow in the mountains. Yosemite Valley is at 4,000'. Winter temperatures there are such that it's often warm enough during the day for rain, and generally cold enough at night for snow. Hwy. 140 follows the river valley from the west and is the lowest elevation route to Yosemite. Hwy. 120 from the west and Hwy. 41 from the south both climb up to 6,200' or so; they may close for short periods during snowstorms until road crews can plow. Hwy. 120 from the east is already closed for the winter.
As for Hwy. 1, landslides occur every several years, but one that shuts the road for long periods of time is rare enough that it's not worth making a Plan B. Just check Caltrans road condition reports before setting off. It's not a very fun drive in crappy weather, however.
On the bright side, if it is dry when you visit, the weather is likely to be clear and glorious.
Dec 11, 2012 11:04 AM
6xanadu, your plan is almost comically unrealistic. Even in dry, warm weather, it's two days each way from Vegas to S.F. via Death Valley, U.S. 395, and U.S. 50. Adding the day in Vegas and three in S.F., that's seven days right there. Take Hwy. 1 back, and you just used the eighth day. And this is in good weather, with no possibilities of the kinds of travel issues that quite often come up in January in the Sierra Nevada.
Dec 12, 2012 3:24 AM
7Route i mapped per google -
Vegas 12/31 to
Los banos or coalinga 1/1 7 hrs (could stop in Bakersfield if tired)
San fran 1/2-
1/4 leaving 1/5 2 hrs to
Monterey long stop, but not staying over 2 hrs
San simeon 1/5 2 hrs
Solvang 1/6 2 hrs
Along hwy 210, maybe arcadia 1/7 3-4 hrs
In vegas at friends or maybe deal Hotel on Priceline, if tired, to fly out red eye 1/9 3-4 hrs
What is unrealistic? Best to cut over at los banos or go straight up on interstate?
Is that road impassable or chains (at los banos) in winter?
Thanks Yaguri, we dropped the yosemite idea. If you have better ideas, or good stops, great!
Traveling with 3 teens that do two hrs on school bus daily in winter looking at the same old view
Edited by: myxanadu
Dec 12, 2012 10:24 AM
8You can do that. If you can get up early on your first day and drive the 8.5 hours and VERY BORING drive from Vegas to SF (via tehachapi to bakersfield, across to the 5 to the 580) in one day, that would be best. Also, the Monterrey Aquarium is a must see and takes over two hours. The most important piece to save time for is the drive from Monterrey to San Simeon. Solvang is a cheesy tourist trap. You probably would rather spend some time in San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara. Also, plan for traffic swinging through on the 210 to the 15 back to Vegas.
But be aware, if a pacific storm system is taking aim at the Central Coast during your trip (a distinct possibility) than the drive will turn from gorgeous and scenic to white-knuckle and stressful very quickly.
Dec 14, 2012 5:12 AM
Dec 14, 2012 9:45 AM
10South of Santa Barbara take Highway 126 to the 5 to the 14 (at least that is one option). HA, I sound like "The Californians" on Saturday Night Live.
The 210 is fine, just try not to be on it during typical morning or evening rush hours. The same goes from the 101 from Ventura, to the 134 to the 210. It can be jammed!
Dec 14, 2012 9:16 PM
11ok - I mapped that as the back up plan, thought looks to be about the same distance whether 210 to 15 or the 5 to 14. I will keep rush hour in mind there and for San Francisco. Thanks for your help - at least for this time of year I dont have to have reservations all places except the ones we really want to be at on the coast.
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