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US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

Buenos Aires...
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US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

Hello people,

I am trying to prepare an itinerary for visiting some cities which I find extremely interesting and that I haven't visited in the past... I will have 15-18 days for my visits and I would like to see:

Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco. L.A. and maybe the Grand Canyon

Can you help me arranging my itinerary with these places and my available time? Would you add anything? This would be my attempt and please tell me what you think:

Days 1,2,3: Vancouver

Days 4,5,6: Portland and Seattle

Days 7,8,9: San Francisco

Days 10,12: LA

Days 12,13: Grand Canyon

I could add something in California or earlier in the trip. Would I be missing any must-sees? I am particularly interested in history, beautiful architucture / modern cities as well, music and arts... Nice landscapes...

What do you think people, would you add/delete anything here? I will probably be travelling by train or bus, or maybe rental car, If adviced, and during spring, but I'm still trying to figure out which is better for each part of the journey,

Thanks a lot people, hope you can help me!

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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1. Re: US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

I started reading it as a road trip, but you're talking about traveling via public transportation, which makes it more complicated and limited.

Cut out the Grand Canyon and devote the extra days to Portland and Seattle. Divide your time between the two as you see fit: I personally like Seattle better, but Portland is a younger, more hipster sort of town that may appeal to you.

You could also potentially stop for a night in Santa Barbara, California. The train from San Francisco to Los Angeles goes right through there, and it would worth your time to get off along the coast and check it out. The train does not follow the coast for much of this journey, so you would not see much of it without getting off somewhere.

The Grand Canyon is difficult to access by public transportation. You would have to take a train to Williams, Arizona, then take a shuttle to the canyon. It's very expensive and limits your time there. You would also then need to go back somewhere to fly out to Argentina, either Phoenix or Los Angeles. Phoenix would be reached by the same shuttle, but to Flagstaff, then a Greyhound bus to Phoenix. It's not an easy trip and I believe it would require an overnight stay in Flagstaff. http://arizonashuttle.com/

If you do end up going by rental car, you will need to check the price. If you rent in one city and return in another, it's know as a "one-way," and there is almost always a hefty fee for doing this. If it works out for you though, you would need to serious rearrange your trip, as you're missing the best part of this region: the Pacific Coast. The coast is best outside of the major cities.

Good luck in your planning.

Buenos Aires...
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2. Re: US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

Dear colinas, thanks a million for your very complete answer! Now I am starting to consider this rental car option, but it will be much more expensive I believe because I'll be travelling alone ir maybe with one more person. Any additional suggestions will be welcome!

Wednesbury, UK
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3. Re: US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

Hi.

As a foreigner you can get certain rental deals that offer capped one way fees. National have such a deal which limits it to $250 plus tax with brokers like www.usrentacar.co.uk. Worth checking all the majors too just to check they have no offers.

Also, it has been reported that Europcar, part of the Alamo/National group are not charging one way fees in the US at present ( maybe to increase their presence) but I suggest you get them to confirm this in an email as the website is not very informative.

You will find it hard if not impossible at a reasonable cost, only Hertz as far as I know, to get a car in Canada and drop it in the Southwest, so cross the border to Seattle by train and start the road trip, if you use a rental from there.

You can also get fee free one ways between any CA location and Arizona by using brokers like the one above or rentalcars.com.

Colin has pointed out the issues with trying to use public transport for a trip like this. Can be done, but it will be a logistics challenge, eat up a lot of time, may prove costly and limit your range.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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4. Re: US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

Here is another version that has lots of city time, includes a few days of natural beauty (Hwy 1), and minimizes duration of car rental

Day 1 Arrive Vancouver. Transfer to city. Stay Vancouver.

Day 2 Vancouver

Day 3 Vancouver

Day 4 Amtrak to Seattle. Stay Seattle

Day 5 Seattle

Day 6 Seattle in AM, fly to SFO in afternoon. Stay SF.

Day 7 SF

Day 8 SF

Day 9 Pick up rental car. Drive to Monterey.

Day 10 Continue drive on Hwy 1 / Big Sur to Pismo Beach.

Day 11 Arrive L.A. Stay L.A.

Day 12 L.A.

Day 13 Flight out of LAX

============

Of course I'd try to add in Yosemite, especially in spring when the waterfalls are so full. But you don't have much time.

Oregon Coast
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5. Re: US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

When are you visiting, midnightrider1989?

Buenos Aires...
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6. Re: US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

People, you are being great with your suggestions, now I've get lots of new ideas, thanks! I will probably be going during next spring (2014)

Edited: 04 October 2013, 05:24
Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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7. Re: US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

Spring will still be very cool and rainy in the northwestern USA.

Vancouver
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8. Re: US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

Just some suggestions for the Pacific Northwest leg of your journey. Have you considered Whistler, it's two hours north of Vancouver, and worth a visit. The drive along the Sea to Sky Highway is breathtaking. You said you are interested in history and the arts, when in Vancouver you might want to check out the Museum of Anthropology which is dedicated to the art of West Coast natives. In Seattle, there's the Underground Tour; you'll learn a lot about the history of the city. Oh and when you're at Seattle's Waterfront, just near Pike Place Market, try Ivar's clam chowder - yum and perfect for a cooler day. The Oregon Coast is beautiful, you can drive from Portland to Cannon Beach in 1-2 hours; Cannon Beach is a quant little oceanside town with gorgeous Pacific beaches.

In Los Angeles, the Getty Museum is worth visiting both for its architecture and the collection it houses. If you like the work of Frank Lloyd Wright the city of LA owns and runs tours thru Hollyhock House, one of Lloyd's masterpieces.

Because I also live part of the year in Arizona, I think it is best you save the Grand Canyon for another trip. The American Southwest is a journey in itself and you wouldn't want to miss any of it. When you do make it to the SW, again if you like Frank Lloyd Wright, when in the Phoenix area visit Taliesin West which was Lloyd's winter home and a stunning piece of architecture.

Edited: 24 November 2013, 17:31
9. Re: US Wesr coast plus Vancouver

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