Some ideas for trip to California
Replies: 26 - Last Post: Feb 5, 2013 2:18 PM Last Post By: smartcookiee
Jan 29, 2013 8:14 PM
Some ideas for trip to CaliforniaHello,
we are dreamin' about travelling to California on August or September. We have four weeks to spend there. We are now planning our trip.
Some ideas we have currently:
-rent a room using airbnb.com (maybe from LA)
-rent a car for 1 or 2 weeks
-visit Las Vegas
-maybe visit Mexico (if it possible and safe)
-visit some theme park
-buy clothes and stuff
-some beach days (I hope weather is good enough for that)
We would like hear tips and ideas for our trip. Thanks! Btw, we are young(?) couple (25/31) :)
Jan 29, 2013 8:56 PM
1Four weeks is a very good amount of time for California (plus some nearby parts).
Here is a 28-night itinerary that you might like.
Night 1 — LA (airbnb)
Night 2 — LA (airbnb)
Night 3 — LA (airbnb)
Night 4 — Anaheim Motel (theme parks)
Night 5 — Anaheim Motel (theme parks)
Night 6 — San Diego
Night 7 — Mexico (safe bits)
Night 8 — Mexico (safe bits)
Night 9 — Palm Springs (overnight stop)
Night 10 — Las Vegas
Night 11 — Las Vegas
Night 12 — Grand Canyon NP (South Rim)
Night 13 — Grand Canyon NP (South Rim)
Night 14 — Bryce Canyon NP
Night 15 — Zion NP
Night 16 — Zion NP
Night 17 — Las Vegas (overnight stop)
Night 18 — Bishop or Lone Pine (Hwy 395)
Night 19 — Yosemite NP
Night 20 — Yosemite NP
Night 21 — San Francisco
Night 22 — San Francisco
Night 23 — San Francisco
Night 24 — Monterey
Night 25 — San Luis Obispo
Night 26 — Santa Barbara (Beach)
Night 27 — Santa Barbara (Beach)
Night 28 — Los Angeles
If you didn't want to visit the Utah national parks (they are wonderful) you could have 2-3 nights north of San Francisco seeing the coast and the redwood forests - also very good - but I would do the parks. Note that you are travelling at peak time, and you will need to pre-book accommodation.
Jan 29, 2013 9:37 PM
Jan 29, 2013 9:46 PM
Jan 30, 2013 5:48 AM
4Ian's trip is AMAZING! However, I do understand the desire to park yourself in one city and really get to know it. That's a very different type of trip. If opting for that, I'd do that in San Francisco instead of LA. It's a much more interesting, pleasant, and walkable city. (In LA, you would need a car the entire time and spend half of your time stuck in traffic.) You could stay in SF for 14-20 nights renting a car for occasional day trips to explore the surrounding areas. Then, for the last week, you could drive down the coast to LA and San Diego.
Jan 30, 2013 6:15 AM
San Francisco, via I-5 (quickest route) - 382 miles (614 km)
San Francisco, via CA-1 (scenic route) - 469 (754 km)
Yosemite Valley - 310 miles (500 km)
Las Vegas - 265 miles (426 km)
Grand Canyon - 491 miles (789 km)
Tijuana - 135 miles (218 km)
Jan 30, 2013 7:14 AM
Jan 30, 2013 7:59 AM
7Any advice is welcome for us. Our first plan was to stay most of the time in one place because it would be nice to relax and not have to move too much. I know there's lot of places to visit.
Maybe we could stay one week in LA and one week in San Francisco..
Would it be a good idea to travel using public transport? Let's say from LA to San Francisco. At least that would cut down driving miles and car rental days.
Jan 30, 2013 8:11 AM
8Yes, public transport connects LA and San Francisco. However, the bus or train will travel inland, which won't provide much scenery or excitement. One of the best parts of that part of California is the scenic Pacific Coast and places like Big Sur, Carmel, Monterrey, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, etc, etc. To see/visit any of that would require taking Hwy 1, which can only be done with a car. Many consider that drive one of the best in the world, though, personally I think that's a bit of a stretch. It is really wonderful, though, no denying that.
Jan 30, 2013 11:31 AM
9I think your new plan of staying 1 week in SF and 1 week in LA is a much better plan. Here's what you can do on day trips from each city.
- 1.5 hrs to Napa or Sonoma wine country area
- 2 hours to Sacramento
- 2 hours to Monterey
- 2 hours to Santa Cruz
- 4 hours to Yosemite (an overnight stay is recommended)
- 3.5-4 hours to Lake Tahoe (an overnight stay is recommended)
LA (this city is spread out, so I'll include some suburbs as well)
Jan 30, 2013 1:29 PM
10Such a plan could be good if you're really keen on unrelenting traffic, delays, and lots and lots of backtracking through suburbs and unexciting urban scenery. But it's your trip. And it still has no Mexico, Las Vegas, or the Grand Canyon.
Staying up to a week in one place can be rewarding ... but less so if you're driving off each morning.
Jan 30, 2013 2:34 PM
Jan 30, 2013 3:40 PM
12Sure ... but two points: (1) some of the very best experiences in California (and Nevada/Arizona) are out on the highways, rather than in the cities, and (2) we stayed a few days with friends in Redondo Beach, and they took us for day trips in several directions - it wasn't a bad experience, but my goodness it felt like modest reward for a lot of hassle each day, and we weren't even driving.
Feb 1, 2013 7:36 AM
Feb 1, 2013 8:18 AM
14I would recommend to skip Mexico. Border towns are not very interesting. They're pretty run down. It's really not worth the hassle. But if you really want to, there is a shuttle from San Diego. Most rental car companies won't allow you to take your car to Mexico and some will by charging extra and/or additional Mexican insurance.
1 week in NYC is fine. There is plenty to do. Really 4-5 days is minimum.
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