One month (West coast + NY + Boston)
Replies: 8 - Last Post: May 30, 2012 1:38 PM Last Post By: Christnp
May 29, 2012 9:09 AM
I'm planning a trip with my family and would like some feedback on our planned route. We are a family of four travelling from mid Sept to mid Oct. My brother and I are in our early/mid 20s+, parents are in mid to late 50s. Hope to limit driving to 3 - 4 hrs per day (except for the trip to Grand Canyon),
Also as we are coming a long way from home (Singapore), would definitely like to visit some major cities and attractions, are we too ambitious in covering the places below ? We would like to keep a balance between seeing the "main" attractions of each area and also experience some local culture. Generally, we would like a mixture of nature, city sights (architecture, museums etc) definitely try some good local food as well! Might want to include some shopping in NY before heading back home.
So far, we have booked accommodations in Grand Canyon and Yosemite. We are flexible revising our itinerary, if we can work around the 2 park accommodations. We have not booked any flight to and within the country yet. Travelling within the country would be a mixture of drive/fly.
Appreciate some advice on the following areas:
1. Car rental - I'm turning 25 this year in October - will I still be considered as under 25 by car rental companies in Sept?
2. Is it advisable to do a day trip from San Francisco to Napa Valley? Maybe stop by Muir woods in the morning and head to Napa before lunch. (According to Google Map, it takes about 1/2 hr to Muir Woods and 1hr+ from Muir Woods to Napa Valley - was wondering if that is an accurate estimate as I have read that the traffic can be quite bad at Napa Valley)
3. Any particular attractions/places worth highlighting along our route?
4. For Day 8 --> is it better to fly from LV to LA or drive to LV, in terms of total travel time.
5. Any other feedback on our itinerary
Here's our preliminary plan:
Day 1: Arrive in San Francisco ~1pm
Day 2: San Franc
Day 3: San Franc
Day 4: San Franc (Maybe a day trip to Muirwoods/Napa Valley ?)
Day 5: Fly from SF to LV
Day 6: LV
Day 7: Drive LV to Grand Canyon (We have secured our accommodation in the park - south rim) - 21 Sept
Day 8: Drive Grand Canyon to LV (Night flight to LA)
Day 9: LA
Day 10: LA (Universal Studio)
Day 11: LA
Day 12: Drive from LA to San Luis - overnight (drive 4 hrs)
Day 13: Drive and stay overnight at Monetary (Visit Hearst Castle in the morning)
Day 14: Overnight at Monetary (Aquarium)
Day 15: Drive to Yosemite (4hrs) - overnight at Yosemite (accommodation has been booked - 2 nights) - 29 Sept
Day 16: Overnight at Yosemite - 30 Sept
Day 17: Drive to SF and catch a evening/night flight to Boston
Day 18: Boston
Day 19: Boston
Day 20: Boston
Day 21: Fly from Boston to Buffalo (Niagara falls)
Day 22: Fly from Buffalo to New York
Day 23: New York
Day 24: New York
Day 25: New York
Day 26: Depart New York (~8pm)
Thanks in advance!
May 29, 2012 9:34 AM
There are many wine regions in California where excellent wine is produced. They just aren't as well-known as the Napa Valley. You was pass through a number of wine regions between LA and San Luis Obispo. Not only will the wineries be less crowded, but they are less likely to charge a hefty tasting fee as can happen in Napa. You will have a chance to try wines that are not sold outside of California or even ones that can only be bought at the winery.
May 29, 2012 9:36 AM
2If I understand you correctly, you will be less than 25 when you rent the car, so you should expect to pay the surcharge for drivers less than 25.
San Luis Obispo is usually said like that, not just San Luis. And it's Monterey, although I kind of like Monetary.
Book a tour at the Hearst Castle ahead of time. They sell out.
The timing of the itinerary looks fine, although I would have spent another night at the Grand
Canyon, and maybe one less in LA to compensate. You may wish you hadn't spent the money and time on Niagara. I can't say whether you would prefer the Napa Valley to another day in San Francisco.
May 29, 2012 9:45 AM
Book Hearst Castle here
You can buy Monterey Aquarium tickets in advance.
If you plan to see Alcatraz in SF, you should also book in advance, especially for the highly recommended night tours. here
May 29, 2012 9:47 AM
May 29, 2012 2:28 PM
5Three days each in LA, New York, and Boston seems a bit unbalanced to me. Los Angeles is not one of our more interesting cities, to be honest (though I can understand the appeal). Meanwhile, three days in New York may not be enough. Three days in Boston is just about right.
As for the trip to Buffalo for the sole purpose of visiting Niagara Falls, here is what I've said about that in the past.
May 29, 2012 7:35 PM
May 29, 2012 8:06 PM
7Boston is a ton of FUN! make sure you save time for that City. It doesnt require a car like LA would.
May 30, 2012 1:38 PM
8You may want to rent a car for one of your Boston days drive into the mountains to see autumn foliage. It's breathtaking. Closer to travel time, take a look at this foliage forecast map to decide exactly where you want to drive. Foliage times vary from year to year. http://www.yankeefoliage.com/peak-foliage-forecast-map/
I agree that you might prefer adding a day to NYC rather than doing Niagara Falls. Since you are interested in shopping museums and architecture, you'll be disappointed if you have only 3 days in NYC. The Boston portion of your trip can include some great nature as well.
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