Some ideas for trip to California
Replies: 35 - Last Post: Jun 18, 2013 9:31 PM Last Post By: kurja
Feb 1, 2013 3:18 PM
15Don't know where you're coming from, but if it's across the Pacific, a flight to New York isn't a lot more expensive than a flight to LA. And a return from LA (with a US domestic flight in there) is not a lot dearer than a straight Australia > New York return. If you're coming from Europe, then no issue at all.
Feb 3, 2013 8:37 AM
16We come from Europe.
Now we are thinking something like this:
d1-6: First week at LA (also visiting some theme park)
d7-8: Train to San Diego. 1 night there
d9-11: Mexico. Few nights in Ensenada or Rosarito
d12-15: Las Vegas and Grand Canyon
d16-22: Driving with a rental car. Maybe visiting San Fransisco and Yosemite.
d23-28: New York
(day numbers isn't so exact yet)
Feb 3, 2013 12:17 PM
17I don't know Mexico, so cannot comment, but the balance of days for all the other sectors is quite good - except I would take a day each from LA and NYC maybe ... and see Bryce Canyon NP and Zion NP along with the Grand Canyon NP, since they are wonderful and unique.
Plus you can overdose on US cities pretty quickly - so busy and so much traffic.
Feb 3, 2013 2:06 PM
18I think your plan sounds fine, except you can cut a day or two from LA and add it to San Diego. Disneyland is on the way to San Diego btw, about half way. Universal Studios is right in LA near Hollywood.
I don't think either Ensenada or Rosarito or any other border town in Mexico is worth going there at all unless you literally want to say you've been to Mexico. These are not the highlights of Mexico by any means. Just run down towns. Instead, it would be much better to spend 3 days driving the coast between LA and SF stopping in places like Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Hearst Castle, and Monterey. That drive is the highlight that most tourists come to California for.
Feb 3, 2013 2:20 PM
Feb 4, 2013 4:52 AM
20Well, the OP has seemed to ignore the consensus advice here that the highlights of this region are San Francisco, the California coastal drive, Yosemite, and Bryce and Zion Canyon National Parks (along with Grand Canyon)...and instead focused his/her trip on LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Baja California....
Feb 4, 2013 4:57 AM
Feb 4, 2013 11:39 PM
22No, I don't ignore any tips. I don't think it's good idea to ignore your comments and have a poor vacation. :D
I think we skip Mexico. It seems like north-west part of Mexico isn't so great. We make another trip to Mexico in some day.
I think we'll take a rental car at least for two weeks. Then we have more days in San Fransisco etc. I think we don't need a car in Las Vegas. That's I thought maybe we save some money to not having a rental car there..
Feb 5, 2013 12:19 AM
Feb 5, 2013 2:39 AM
Feb 5, 2013 4:06 AM
Feb 5, 2013 2:18 PM
Jun 1, 2013 11:12 AM
27It's been almost four months after last post. Now we have bought flights to NY, from NY to Vegas and from LA to Buffalo. Also we have booked rental cars for three weeks. Also we have booked some racing tickets but everything else is still flexible.
We thought to have few days in Vegas without a car and make some bus trip to Grand Canyon. I'm not sure if one day is enought for us in Yosemite. Also a trip from San Francisco to LA is not very precise yet. We'll have a convertible car from d13 to d19. I hope we'll have some enjoyable miles there :)
day 1: We arrive Las Vegas at night
day 2: Day at pool, night at casinos?
day 4: Bus tour to Grand Canyon
day 5: Wet'n'Wild
day 6: Rental car. We drive through Death Valley
day 7: Yosemite NP, Driving to San Francisco
day 8: Few days in SF and having AirBnb-room
day 10: Watching IndyCar race at Sonoma
day 11: Santa Cruz
day 12: Santa Barbara
day 15: Los Angeles
day 18: Maybe Universal Studios or something
day 19: Night flight to Buffalo
day 20: Another rental car, Niagara Falls
day 21: Driving to Washington (390 miles, maybe splitted for 2 days)
day 23: Wathing Nascar race at Richmond
day 24: Philadelphia
day 25: New York
day 27: Last day with car
day 30: Home flight
Jun 1, 2013 12:13 PM
28A one-day tour to the Grand Canyon isn't really enough. You will spend most of the day on the bus. If you can take an overnight tour, you will enjoy it much more.
day 7: Yosemite NP, Driving to San Francisco
On Day 6, are you planning to drive all the way from Las Vegas to Yosemite, via Death Valley? It is 2-3 hours from Las Vegas to Death Valley, depending on your route, and another 5 hours or so to Yosemite Valley. Although you won't want to get out of your car much in Death Valley, you probably will find yourself making several stops in the high country on highway 120 into Yosemite. So this is going to be a very long all-day drive.
Then you are giving yourself only a half day or so before you make the 4-hour drive to San Francisco. So, yes, you will want another day in Yosemite.
However, lodging in Yosemite could be an issue, especially before September 3. Lodging books up rapidly and it may already be too late for you to stay inside the park.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Jun 1, 2013 2:06 PM
29I agree with nutrax, and suggest:
(1) Spend the night of Day 3 at the outstanding Grand Canyon NP, with most of the day either side as well, since four nights in Las Vegas isn't really better than three nights.
(2) Las Vegas > Death Valley > Yosemite NP > San Francisco is too much to do in just two days and one night - add a night (and have one either side of the Park - works very well).
(3) Travel to Monterey from San Francisco, and then the second night at Santa Barbara, and maybe another at San Luis Obispo or nearby - the coast road (and its towns and state parks) are great ...
And you can deduct a night or two from LA to enable the extra night(s) above. You do not need the car from the moment you reach New York - unload at your accomm and return it, in my view. I would also add a night at Richmond and/or DC - deducting it from NYC (where one less won't do much harm).
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