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Our plans so far!!

Bodrum City, Turkey
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for Gumbet
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Our plans so far!!

Me and my friend are planning a road trip next year. So far we have booked our flights (Manchester, UK to Las Vegas on 18 June and Las Vegas back to Manchester on 4 July). We have already booked our hotel in Vegas (four nights at the Luxor) and during this time, we plan to do a day trip to the Grand Canyon and a night tour of Vegas. Then we will hire a car and drive to Death Valley on Sunday 22 June (we have overnight accommodation booked at Stovepipe Wells). On Monday 23 June, we will make our way towards Yosemite and will need accommodation for two nights around that area. Would we be staying in one hotel for two nights or changing hotels (knowing that from there, we intend to drive up to San Francisco)?

On Wednesday 25 June, we will drive to San Francisco and drop off our hire car. Knowing that we want to do a city tour and visit Alcatraz, Fishermans Wharf and ride on a tram, where would we be best to stay (bearing in mind that we would want a decent budget hotel safe for two women)? We intend to have four nights in San Francisco.

We will then take the Amtrak Coast Starlight train to Los Angeles and spend four nights there. While in LA, we want to do a city tour and the Universal Studios tour so where would be best to stay (again a safe budget hotel in a decent area is needed)?

On Thursday 3 July, we will take a Greyhound bus back to Vegas - thinking that we will stay overnight in a hotel close to the airport so that we can just chill before our flight back to the UK the next day.

I realise that the middle of our trip (from Vegas to Death Valley to Yosemite to San Francisco) is only short in duration and is the only time we will have a hire car. Is there anything we shouldn't miss during that time?

I really would appreciate any comments or tips on what we have planned .... it really is going to be the trip of a lifetime for us and we so want to make the best of it.

Thanks in advance.

Jak xx

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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1. Re: Our plans so far!!

I'm not sure of your desire to go to Death Valley in the early summer. You're looking at temperatures approaching 50C, and your outdoor time will be virtually none. You can see it from the car, but even in the car it's hot.

It would be best to book two nights at Yosemite so that you have a full day. You need to book that very early, maybe not.

Book the Alcatraz night tour well in advance as well. It fills up quickly, particularly in the summer. Book directly through Blue Gold, as they're the only ones that can take you there and all others are reselling tickets. For lodging in SF, you may want to consult the San Francisco, California forum directly, but my first inclination is to direct you to the older motor lodges on Lombard Street west of Van Ness. It's not a bad walk to Fishermans Wharf, where you'll be spending your time I guess, and they're decent hotels. Not much of a neighborhood though. I would encourage to visit other parts of the city though as Fishermans Wharf is very touristy and does not give you a great feel for the city as a whole. The tram is colloquially referred to as the cable car. There are two lines, Powell and California. Powell starts from Fishermans Wharf and is incredibly crowded at almost all times, so either get there early or try to walk up to take the California line, which is slightly less crowded.

If you're not planning on renting a car while in LA, then you should look at staying Downtown. From there, you can access Universal Studios and Hollywood via metro. There are a number of restaurants and bars there as well, and you can sometimes get very good deals on hotels. Check the reviews.

On your drive, I think you should just get to your destination. That region is so hot in the summer that I don't really know what else you would do. You could visit Mount Charleston, near Las Vegas, but it will pale in comparison to Yosemite. You could also potentially visit Sequoia National Park, but I don't think you really have time, as that adds quite a bit of time to the drive versus entering the park from the east and going over Tioga Pass.

Hope that helps.

Edited: 02 November 2013, 22:49
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Our plans so far!!

Hi

The California state forum page has information that will help with your trip from Las Vegas to Yosemite NP. This is the main article: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361 The Top Questions are on the right side of the page on the full TripAdvisor website.

The Top Questions on the Yosemite page will help you with lodging ideas and activities for your very limited time. You MUST get lodging reservations soon. My guess is that you'll want to stay in tent cabins.

The Top Questions on the San Francisco (SF) page will help with time there. The official vendor for Alcatraz is www.AlcatrazCruises.com Usually there are 3 cable car lines running, but with on-going maintenance there might be only two. Be sure to read about neighborhoods to stay in and about budget lodging options.

The L.A. forum page also has excellent Top Questions that will help you to plan your trip.

Good luck with your planning!

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Our plans so far!!

How are you planning your daytrip to Grand Canyon NP (don't confuse the national Park to a place called Grand Canyon West, that's not the same). A bus tour will take 13-14 hours with 10 hours in the bus. You can take a fixed wing flight that app takes 8 hours also with linited time at the rim. In a trip of lifetime I suggest to stay overnight at the rim ad experience sunset and sunrise.

Tet

4. Re: Our plans so far!!

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