East, West and some in the middle
Replies: 23 - Last Post: Jan 17, 2013 12:38 PM Last Post By: smartcookiee
Jan 16, 2013 6:32 PM
15I'm pretty much in agreement with key points above, but I think #1 sums it up best. But since you are interested in Louisiana, you could fly D.C. to New Orleans, then New Orleans to Dallas. As CB mentions, you should also look at flights on Southwest Airlines; while they are not always cheaper, sometimes their Web Specials offer substantial savings. This is especially true for flights to/from Dallas.
Two key points:
1) SWA does not show up in searches on Travelocity, Kayak, Orbitz, Expedia, etc. You need to check their website directly.
2) SWA flies into Love Field in Dallas (DAL), not DFW. This is generally more convenient if your family is in Dallas itself.
Jan 16, 2013 9:52 PM
16Disney in Anaheim sounds much better.
Would be happy to leave out Orlando then but we're quite taken by the idea of driving the coastal road (A1 I believe) from Orlando to Miami, taking 2/3 days to do it? Stops at nice beaches, etc. And then fly out of miami? Is it worth it or will be get a similar experience driving down the Californian coast?
Jan 16, 2013 10:13 PM
17The 5 weeks is after we've done Raleigh. He is there already and I'm spending 5 days there. The 5 weeks starts when we're finished in Raleigh.
Sounds like we'll be able to manage Boston/NYC/DC fine.
Then just need decide about Florida (see #16) and Dallas. New Orleans is staying on the itinerary for now.
Now, for the West I'm thinking:
- Fly into Las Vegas from New Orleans. Find an organised day trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas?
- Only rent car when leaving Vegas. Drive to Yosemite. Hopefully book accom soon, I see there is urgency in this matter.
- Drive Yosemite to San Francisco.
- Drive SF down coast to LA stopping at Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara. A few days to do this.
Question: Would you suggest driving Vegas to Yosemite OR flying Vegas to SF and driving from there for Yosemite. Are there buses that can take us SF to Yosemite? Or is it better to rent a car from Vegas if one-way-ing to LAX or does it not matter if the one-way rental is from Vegas or SF?
Jan 17, 2013 5:00 AM
18No, the Florida coastal road and the California coastal road are not comparable. Generally, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts are different physically, ecologically, and culturally. The Atlantic coast is flatter and sandier, which is why the beaches are great. However the Florida coast is very built up, it is essentially a giant suburb: houses and strip malls. The Pacific coast is rocky and well forested. The California coast is spectacular as it twists and turns over top of the waves crashing into the shore. At places like Big Sur you can go hiking in beautiful coastal forest. If lounging on the beach and shopping are your interests, then do Florida. If great scenery, funky towns, and a laid-back atmosphere are your interests, go for California.
I'm not sure why you would want to do an organized tour to the Grand Canyon. Even if you go for a day, do it yourself with a rental car. It'll likely be cheaper and you can make sure you go to the actual National Park and spend quality time on the rim or descending down into the canyon.
Jan 17, 2013 5:11 AM
If this is all after Raleigh, you can fit in both Dallas and New Orleans if you'd like.
Alternatively, you could add some time in Newport, RI between NYC and Boston.
Cost-wise, you may be able to avoid the one-way fees because of the route, or sometimes foreign brokers include this anyway. I think the drive is worth the added cost regardless.
Jan 17, 2013 7:11 AM
20Agree with bzookaj, the Florida coastal drive (at least the Atlantic part of it) is extremely boring. We drove part of it with friends a number of years ago when staying overnight in Ft. Lauderdale, it is just mile after mile of retirement condos with the occasional hotel or strip mall thrown in. We gave up around Boca Raton.
Jan 17, 2013 7:52 AM
21Yeah, I hate to give one/two guys so much credit, but bzook and ref are dead on correct about this.
Skip Orlando, the California coast drive is way better.
There are amusement parks in NJ, VA, and California, but going to the parks on east coast typically involves a weird car rental in an otherwise non-car part of your trip so i, (amusement park trips), would probably feel more natural in California.
I don’t know about the New Orleans-Dallas leg of you trip, (never been there)
Someone mentioned New England. If you have the time, picking up a car in Boston for side trips and for exploring New England sounds great. New England is great, but it’s kind of a time sucker, it’s a great place to slow down and enjoy. Given how packed your itinerary is you should probably skip it, stick to something close to your original itinerary, and make New England something you dream about for “next time.”
Jan 17, 2013 8:08 AM
Jan 17, 2013 12:38 PM
- While you can find a one-way car rental without a one-way drop off fee, it's not always easy. If you want to save the hassle, then plan on a roundtrip rental.
- Doing a day trip to the Grand Canyon from Vegas is not recommended. It's 4+ hrs each way and doesn't leave you much time to spend at the canyon.
- Death Valley is an interesting stop and the scenery is good between Vegas and Yosemite overall. It's also good to have a car at Yosemite to make it as convenient as possible to explore. While you can do an organized trip from SF, it's not cheap or very convenient unless you love organized group tours.
- What's the holdup on Dallas? And I agree with above, which I incorporated in my potential itinerary for you, that you should do New Orleans first and then Dallas. Look at the map. No reason to backtrack. Also, agree with recommendations to check both Kayak and Southwest Airlines websites separately for flight options since Southwest doesn't come up in flight search engines like Kayak.
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