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October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

Dublin, Ireland
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October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

Could anyone comment/advise on our provisional plan

Couple (early 50s) visiting early Oct for 14/15 nights.

Day 1 Arrive in L A 5.40 pm collect car and stay one night in Santa Monica.

Day 2 Drive to Santa Barbara

Day 3 Drive to Paso Robles

Day 4 Drive to Monterey

Day 5 Arrive in San Fran , return car and stay 3 nights.

Hilton Union Sq (not yet booked) Get Hopon/hop off tickets, Book Alcatraz,

Day 8 Collect car and drive to Yosemite N P -we are planning on staying 2 nights.Should we stay in the park iself or outside?

Day 10 Drive to Death Valley. 1 night - recommend places to stay please (no shared bathrooms!

Day 11 Drive to Grand Canyon 2 nights -see dawn break , helicopter ride

Day 13 Drive to Las Vegas 2 nights- The Signature at Mgm Grand maybe?

Should we return car to airport when we arrive to save rental fees or will we need it to get around? How easy are transfer to airport?

Day 15 Flight from Las Vegas

Thanks

Uden, The...
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1. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Are you deliberately skipping a visit to Los Angeles?

Are you into wineries staying Paso ?

If this were my trip I'd do:

1. Arr LA

2. Drive to Cambria with a stop in Santa Barbara

3. To Monterey

4. To SF

5,6: SF

7: To Yosemite

8. Yosemite

9. Yosemite/Tioga pass/Bodie/Mono Lake/Bishop

10. To DVNP

11. More of DVNP and drive to Kingman

12. Kingman-GCNP

13. GCNP-Las vegas

14. Vegas

15. Home.

For lodging inside Yosemite please ask the Yosemite NP forum

For: DV: Stovepipe Wells or Furnace Creek Ranch.

DV to GC directly is a 7-8 hours drive and if you drive from Yosemite to DV and next day to GC you have very little time for DV but also on the way to DV. If you stay Kingman it's just a 3 hours drive and you can spend rest of the day at the rim, do the heliflight next morning (best time of the day) and drive back to Vegas.

Tet

Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

Hello tet

Thanks for your help, We have no real interest in L A and so many places to see! We are flying into LA because I'm told the coastal drive is more scenic going north and it seems to eliminate backtracking.

Your points about DVNP and GCNP make total sense

Thanks again

Uden, The...
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3. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

South north along the coast you'll drive with the sun behind you and that's an advantage imo. And best part is in the end of the drive. You also won't be driving along the rims but it's a bit harder to reach the overlooks because you need to cross the lane with uncoming traffic.

Lewes, United...
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4. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

Hi

Tet mentions that it's a little harder to get into the pull off on the drive up the Pacific coast, but to expand on that: Every turn off with parking is well signposted in advance, and has a turning lane for getting off the road, and a merge lane for rejoining the north bound lane.

I would be the first to support your view to not linger in LA if you have no interest! Santa Monica is a preferred location to stop, but it's pricey and you have to pay to park. If you only want somewhere for a bed for the night, I would suggest you also try for somewhere in Marina del Ray or Venice Beach (still pricey) rather than Westchester or Inglewood. Very slightly cheaper still, but illogical, is to head south for the night, to Manhattan Beach as there's a greater choice of hotels and motels there. It's still an easy drive the next morning.

We've stayed at the Signature in LV. I'm told it's a little tired these days, make sure you get a remodelled room or one via a private owner who has maintained their unit. It's a long, slow slog fighting your way through the whole of the MGM Grand to reach the Strip, but the spacious rooms and peace and quiet we considered worth it!

Have a great trip,

SWT

Uden, The...
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5. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

You also can stay close to LAX. Free parking. Maybe consider Hilton Garden Inn.

Tacoma, Washington
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6. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

a couple things...if you return to LAX you could avoid the one way fees that are potentially there.

Also....by doing that you save some backctracking time by doing

Deth Valley then to Vegas then to South rim then to LA.

dont know what sort of budget you are on..try to stay in the park if there is anything available. Staying outside the park youa re 30-45 minutes from the valley.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

Can I suggest that you reverse your itinerary?

There's no better place (IMO) to overcome 8 hours' time change and jetlag than Las Vegas - it's a 24 hour city so that when the clock says 4 AM and your body says noon, there's no problem rolling out of bed and going down to the casino to watch as the night owls contribute to the hotel's bottom line, or getting an early breakfast, or driving out into the desert to see the sunrise... lots of options. By comparison, hitting LA freeways, driving on the "wrong" side of the road, and trying to navigate through the LA basin is, well...

You want California Highway 1 from Monterey/Carmel to San Luis Obispo, not US 101. Visit Point Lobos State Park, see if the elephant seals are around near San Simeon, visit the Hearst Castle... it's a stunning drive and worthy of its reputation.

Edited: 14 February 2014, 00:59
Uden, The...
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8. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

We told you this before Dan P. but renting a car from Europe with an European broker has no drop off charges between Ca, Nv and Az. And the OP is from Dublin.

Dublin, Ireland
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9. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

Thanks everyone for the advice.

Flying into Vegas would be a great way to deal with the dreaded jetlag but then we would be driving North to South along the coast and would have the sun in our eyes.

Would it be silly to stay at an airport hotel in LA and collect our car rental in early hours (embrace the jet lag!) and get an early start? I know that sunrise will be about 7 am and we could aim to be somewhere nice to see it

Uden, The...
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10. Re: October Road trip (L A to San Fran To Vegas)

Best to cope with jetlag for us to drive a not too long distace the day after arrival. You'll be up very early.

You can pick a Lax hotel with a shuttle and collect the car next morning without problems.

The sun is not that a big deal but we also prefer to drive south north in october.