West Coast USA Honeymoon Road Trip - Advice Wanted!
Replies: 35 - Last Post: Jul 25, 2013 4:56 AM Last Post By: patvegas1
Dec 17, 2012 4:15 PM
30Perhaps the OP was thinking Santa Barbara but wrote Santa Monica. As said, Santa Monica is really a part of LA and very close to Malibu. With six days, I think your two options are 1) fly to Vegas straight away, spend two days, and then fly to San Francisco. Spend three days in San Francisco and then take three days driving down to Malibu. Option 2 is to drive to Vegas, spend two days there, and then spend six days doing a loop drive through the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and other spectacular places in that area. Have fun!
Dec 19, 2012 1:52 AM
31Ah yes thanks all - we are toying with the idea of trying to change car hire and so on - or leaving the car in LA, flying to and from Vegas giving us more time to get up the coast and see San Fran, maybe extending the trip by a day or so and finishing up in LA doing the touristy bits there.
What we'll probably do however, is drive to Vegas, drive from Vegas to San Francisco (some how!) and then make our way down the coast. We just need to work out how to break up that SF journey as it looks hideous - especially in one day, but can't really see anywhere to stop on the way.
So much to do and see and so little time - We also wanted to see San Diego - I think two trips might be in order!
Dec 19, 2012 6:08 AM
Dec 19, 2012 8:11 AM
33very true! Will probably be leaving nice and early on the weekday to get their so no traffic and we'll be going out of vegas on the Friday rather than going in
Annoyingly can't change it because we got a great deal on a hotel, but am warming more to just exploring now and not booking much else - will see then what happens when we're there! All I know is - I cant wait to see it all - definitely going to have two trips now
Dec 19, 2012 8:25 AM
34If driving to Las Vegas right after arriving, most flights from the UK land at LAX in the early to late afternoon, so after border formalities, bag claim and customs, getting to the rental car stations (all off-airport requiring a shuttle bus ride) it's very hard to be on the road before 4 PM at the earliest. In that case, four hours to Las Vegas is not possible (IMO) as one needs to transit the entire E/W width of the LA metro area during peak traffic times. Assuming a stop en route (for a meal, nature, fuel) it's hard to see arriving at a hotel much before 10 pm, i.e. 6 am UK time.
Flights from LAX to LAS cost around $75 and take an hour; counting transit time at LAX they could easily be in their hotel by 7 PM.
I also checked (having no life I guess) and a 2-week rental car contract picking up at Las Vegas airport and dropping at LAX two weeks later is actually cheaper (lower taxes) than a contract picking up at LAX the same day and dropping it there two weeks later. The difference isn't quite the $150 it would cost in the one-way plane ticket, but close (and probably less all in counting fuel) and the time savings would be substantial.
Jul 25, 2013 4:56 AM
35Hi there. A friend and I did a west coast road trip last September spread over 2 weeks. Hope this helps and doesn't bore you.
We flew into San Francisco and stayed there for 5 nights. Whilst being an amazing city with so many diverse areas I prefer wide open spaces to cities so for me maybe 5 days was too long in the grand scheme of things.
From San Fran we picked up the car on the last day and drove to Monterey. This wasn't a bad drive although getting used to the sat nav proved fun. We drove into an airport car park without meaning to and then back out through a one way road. Monterey was one of my favourite places we visited. It was out of season so was pretty quiet but has got a kind of chilled surfer vibe going on. Visited a great pub called Canary Row Brewing company. A lot of beers on tap and a great outdoor area with seats and firepits. Excellent for those spring/summer evenings. Nice food too...especially the Chicken Parm.
We spent 2 nights here which I think was just enough.
Next stop was Yosemite National Park. I can't recommend this place enough. This was by far my favourite place we visited. We were only there for 2 nights but I could've easily stayed 4 or 5. There's so much to see. If you do this be sure to have a lot of space on your camera as photo opportunities occur every second. We stayed in permanent tents. If you do this beware of squirrels hiding they're nuts in anything on the floor. You can book hotels but do this way in advance. The views are spectacular.
Next stop was Lone Pine. A nice little town en route to Death Valley. I'm glad we stopped here as we saw the 'Alabama Hills'. They've filmed various movie scenes here and you can see why. The rock formations are other worldly. If you go here make sure to get there before sunset as when its setting everything turns a shade of pink. Its like being on Mars.
Next was the drive through Death Valley. This was pretty long and arduous. If I did the trip again I would maybe avoid going this way. The views were great but after about an hour it gets pretty tiresome. It was one of those places I'm glad I visited once but I wouldn't do it again.
Next was Vegas. I'm glad I went and we even had a win on the slot machines but I don't think I'd go here again as its not really my kinda place. Very touristy and plastic. I did however enjoy a bar called 'The Double Down Saloon'. A 24 hour punk rock 'dive bar' way off from the main strip. This place is responsible for us getting in at 5am and missing our flight to LA meaning we had to drive.
We got at our hotel at 2am which meant that we only had one full day to experience LA. I would have like about 3-4 days in LA as we didn't go downtown and I would have liked that but I definitely enjoyed the beaches and food.
The West Coast is so varied. Whatever you do I'm sure you'll have an awesome time.
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