5 Week trip in USA
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jan 15, 2013 11:10 AM Last Post By: willysnoutredux
Jan 12, 2013 10:34 PM
5 Week trip in USAHi
Partner and I are heading to end of August to early October, wanting to start with a road trip from Vegas through to San Diego via San Francisco and LA. Rough itinerary below and just want to see what people think and any suggestions:
-Las Vegas to Sequoia National Park overnight stay
-Sequoia to San Francisco (3 Nights)
-San Francisco to Santa Barbara overnight stay
-Santa Barbara to Los Angelas (2 Nights)
-Los Angelas to San Diego (3 Nights)
Then will fly out to Austin and make our way to New Orleans, Nashville, Chicago and end with 10 days in New York. Roughly about 4 nights at each stop to New York.
Any recommendations on the road trip or places to go in between please let me know :)
Jan 12, 2013 10:56 PM
1What are your interests? History? Art? Music? Food? Shopping? Hikes? Bikes? Photography? Night clubs? Strip clubs? Remember, we don't know you, and what we like may be what you hate.
The first Monday in September (2 Sept year) is Labor Day. That weekend (Fri-Mon) is the unofficial end of the summer travel season. Places, especially parks, get very busy, and some can book out months in advance.
Jan 13, 2013 6:46 AM
2It is too far to drive from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, unless you take the 101. There is just so much so see along scenic Highway 1. Try and add a night and stay in Monterey or Carmel. Can it be done, yes, will you enjoy it, probably not as you will miss a lot of places to stop at. If you only can take one night along Hwy 1 then stay in Cambria or maybe San Luis Obispo (I'd pick Cambria). Enjoy.
Jan 13, 2013 7:15 AM
3I would add a lot more time for San Francisco, the Bay area and Wine country Sonoma/Napa. like 4 days easy. Also per above, if you plan to drive the scenic coastal rt 101, allow 3 nights for this wonderful area south of SF to SB/LA.
As for the rest, NYC hotels can be very expensive in Oct/early Nov.
Keep in mind its hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico, so storms can impact the entire southern, and eastern half, of the USA, just so you know.
Jan 13, 2013 7:49 AM
4Why Sequoia and not Yosemite?
You cannot enter Sequoia from the east, so you will have to drive this route It's an all-day drive through some pretty uninteresting countryside.
Yosemite can be entered through the east like this It is a much more scenic route. There are groves of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite.
One thing to be careful of--Monday, September 2, is Labor Day. The preceding weekend is a major travel time. Yosemite can be very crowded then, but much less crowded after Sept. 2.
If you cannot add a day to the coastal drive, then I'd suggest stopping in Cambria, Morro Bay, or San Luis Obispo, rather than driving all the way to Santa Barbara. All those places are shown on this map which is the route you want to take\e, through Big Sur.
If you are interested in visiting wineries, there are several win regions around San Luis Obispo and between SLO and Santa Barbara. They are not as well-kniown as the Napa/Sonoma areas, but they produce equally first-class wine. They will also be less crowdd and won't have the hefty tasting fees that Napa wineries do.
Jan 13, 2013 9:02 AM
5Laguna Beach is a cute beach town between L.A. and San Diego if you have the time.
Jan 13, 2013 10:37 AM
6If you haven't been to the Grand Canyon, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to consider altering your plans to accommodate a visit there. It's 275 miles east of Vegas, i.e., the opposite direction from Sequoia, so you'd have to adjust your plans. If there was ever something worth adjusting your plans to see, that's it. You'll need two days to do it right.
Jan 14, 2013 6:39 PM
7Thank you all for the responses! I actually had no idea about the Labor Day weekend or the hurricanes, I didn't even think of these things when planning and will definitely do some more research.
Our interests are history, bars, music and food. Throw a little bit of nature in there. Really just want to experience as much as we can in the short time we are there.
Going to drive the 101 from San Fran to Santa Barbara so do you think we skip Santa Barbara and spend a day and night in Monterey then head to LA from there? The wine region is something ill definitely look into, thank you :). Also Laguna beach was a guilty reality tv pleasure of mine so I have already looked at that haha!
The only reason I thought sequoia rather then Yosemite is from a blog I read, if Yosemite is better and easier then we will definitely spend a night there instead that will give us more time in the park - will this be busy for the long weekend? Only spewing that we miss the burning man festival!!
We are spending 4 nights in Las Vegas before we make our way on the road trip so already looking into the Grand Canyon, helicopter ride the best way to experience this?
Have also added Cape canaveral for the Kennedy space centre and stay in Orlando for a couple of nights between New Orleans and Nashville.
It's a rushed trip for that part but end with 9 days in New York. Just fingers crossed everything smooth and no hurricane dramas!!
Jan 14, 2013 7:15 PM
Jan 14, 2013 7:51 PM
Any helicopter trips from Las Vegas go to the west rim. This is a section of the canyon on native land, and where you'll find the skywalk. However, the iconic pictures you see are almost assuredly from the south rim, inside the national park. The park is where it is for a reason, as this is where it's widest and deepest. Any helicopter ride there involves land or fixed-wing travel first.
If you want a quick overview from the air, it's fine enough. If you want to spend time there, skip it and get to the national park.
Btw, time in Virginia would be well spent for someone who likes history. I'd aim for Alexandria, Charlottesville and Harpers Ferry, at the least.
Jan 15, 2013 10:57 AM
Jan 15, 2013 11:08 AM
11Also, however you drive to L.A. from S.F., you need to take California Hwy. 156 to California Hwy. 1 south from the split from U.S. 101 at Prunedale (or, alternatively if you plan to visit Santa Cruz, then Calif. Hwy 17 to Hwy. 1 out of San Jose, or Hwy. 1 all the way from S.F. if you'd like to see Half Moon Bay).
In any case, Calif. Hwy. 1 between Monterey and San Luis Obispo, and particularly between Monterey and roughly Cambria, is one of the world's great drives, and is absolutely not to be missed. Taking U.S. 101 from S.F. to Santa Barbara would be a tourism disaster of the highest order.
out of Monterey to San Luis Obispo rather than U.S. 101
Jan 15, 2013 11:10 AM
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