Just going to throw my plans out there to see is anyone has any tips they think could help in any way. Please don't tell me to change any timings as it's already booked and I might cry :) I've spent a lot of time researching different places to stay, flights etc and I know driving times may be a bit strenuous in some places. I'm not averse to a long drive though, I doubt my husband will want to pick up much of the driving action! But if I need him to then he will do as he's told :) There's just the two of us, in our early 30s.
Ok, so here's what I have planned for this year...
22 May - fly from Manchester to Heathrow to Los Angeles. Arrive 7:45pm. Collect rental car from airport then drive to Magic Castle Hotel. Things to do in LA still undecided, but I would like to fit in a Warner Bros Studios tour, Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Boulevard. The usual touristy stuff I guess? We have 3 nights in LA.
25 May - make our way to Yosemite via Mariposa Grove. We are booked in at the Yosemite West High Sierra B&B. Now I know this is Memorial weekend, but I didn't at the time I booked! So I am aware things are going to be busy. We will just have to deal with that! The owner of the B&B has pretty much advised not to make concrete plans as she knows the park like the back of her hand and would make recommendations for us that would probably change our minds. But I won't say no to any tips on amazing things we shouldn't miss out on! Again, here for 3 nights.
28 May - make our way to Napa Valley. We are staying at the Best Western in Calistoga (again for 3 nights). My husband found a red wine called The Prisoner when we were in the US last year, so I have found a winery that stocks this (Orin Swift), and plan on stopping there to pick some up. Maybe even do some wine tasting. I see this stop as being a bit more relaxed and ad hoc. Maybe some spa treatments. Again, any tips on what to do are very welcome.
31 May - drive to San Francisco airport to fly to Jackson Hole. Arrive in Jackson Hole at 9:10pm, pick up the rental car, stay at the Miller Park Lodge for the night before heading up through Grand Teton NP during daylight the next day. I have printed off several maps of major sights in GTNP, but again, any must sees being pointed out are very welcome.
1 June - driving through GTNP to get to Old Faithful Inn. We have an Old House room with a shared bath. I have made dinner reservations at 7:45pm as I believe this can quickly book up. We have 3 nights here. As is the pattern, I haven't laid down specific plans of what to see/do. All work in progress, but local insight or traveller knowledge would help greatly!
4 June - driving up to Mammoth Springs. I initially booked a cabin, read reviews and wasn't too keen on having to go outside to the bathroom if I needed to relieve myself during the night! Today I found a cancellation for a hotel room with a shared bath, so switched to that instead. Recurring theme, but we're here for 3 nights.
7 June - drive back down to Jackson Hole, but stopping at the Jackson Lake Lodge, where we have a cabin. Just a place to sleep before our 10am flight back to normality in the morning. I'm sure I won't want to go home!
I am a keen hiker and would love to do some challenging and rewarding hikes. Husband not so much. So moderate hikes maybe with more difficult ones that I could pretend I thought were easier would be great. He also loves waterfalls, so difficult hikes with waterfalls may get me off the hook!
With regards to bears, from what I have read it would be advisable to get beat spray in Jackson before arriving in Yellowstone, and the brand CA seems to be recommended. I am thinking bear spray isn't needed in Yosemite?
Clothing wise, I have also picked up that we should be packing for dryness, heat, snow, cold, rain, and wind. As well as having a decent pair of hiking boots.
Wow, just typing all of this out has got me even more excited than I was before! Thanks in advance for any help and I apologise this is so long!
Roll on May!