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California/Nevada road trip itinerary

Milton Keynes...
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California/Nevada road trip itinerary

Good morning folks,

I wonder if could cast your eyes over our itinerary and see if its do-able?

We leave Heathrow, london 24/09/14.

Landing LAX 25/09/14

4 nights in LA

Leave LA 29/09/14

Drive to Las Vegas

3 nights in Las Vegas

Leave LV 02/10/14

Drive to Grand Canyon National Park

2 nights in GCNP

Leave GCNP 04/10/14

Drive to San Diego

7 nights in SD

Leave SD 11/10/14

Drive to LA for final night before departure 12/10/14

Please advise if you think there is somewhere worth a stop between Grand Canyon and San Diego.

i did see on here about driving the Route 66 for this part of the journey which appeals to us.

SD will be the relaxing part of our holiday but i'm unsure whether there will be enough to keep us occupied for 7 days?

We had considered nippign down to Tijuana but we've decided against this now due to the queues to get back in to California

Many thaks

jodie

London, United...
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1. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

Jodie, welcome to the TripAdvisor forum.

Your itinerary is certainly doable.

First things first, yes, I think seven nights in San Diego is too many. I love the city. It's wonderful. But you can happily relax there for three or maximum four nights and use the others elsewhere to improve your itinerary.

Should we assume you've already booked flights?

Have you booked your Grand Canyon accommodation yet? If not, that's got to be a priority. The priority. Don't be lazy over this. Book it. And cancel it if you have to. You might already have slim pickings so get it done!

Are you not interested in San Francisco and the California Central Coast? If you're not, fine. But if you just haven't considered them have a little read.

You have the flexibility to add a couple of days up or down the coast and a couple of days in San Francisco, either after Los Angeles (if your flights are booked) or before (if your flights are not).

As for the day between the Grand Canyon and San Diego, well, yes, this is a long day if not breaking it up. There are lots of Route 66 towns and attractions along the way. For an overnight, if you're considering one, I would suggest you look into Kingman and Lake Havasu City. One is very Route 66, the other has London Bridge!

The arguments for Tijuana is it's exciting and in another country and you can tell your friends you went and they'll think you're cool. The arguments against are that it's very dangerous and that's it's not real Mexico. Skip it.

Milton Keynes...
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2. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

Hi LDN,

Thank you for the welcome & your reply :-)

We are starting the booking from Monday and everything is available as it stands.

We don't really want to go as far as SF however i have always wanted to see Winchester House in San Jose so might consider a change to the itinerary and use that journey north to take in some of the pacific coast highway for a couple of days instead.

Thanks for the recommendations for route 66 towns, i've just been looking at maps and trying to work out where to stop for a rest and you've helped me out with those suggestions.

London, United...
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3. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

You're going a huge distance east so the journey north to San Francisco isn't a real stretch. But it is out-of-this-world well worth it.

If you haven't started booking I would consider flying in to San Francisco, spending a couple of nights there, pick up your rental car, spend a couple of nights (or three) travelling down the coast, Monterey and Santa Barbara would be my two stops, Cambria, San Luis Obispo or Pismo Beach would be my third, Los Angeles, up to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Kingman or Lake Havasu City and finish up in San Diego. I probably wouldn't stay another night in Los Angeles. I'd go straight to the airport from San Diego or stay in an airport hotel for ease.

That's a trip.

Don't wait until Monday to book your Grand Canyon accommodation. If you're not already stuffed I promise those five days could finish you off. Then you're looking at an array of really naff alternatives to making the Grand Canyon work.

It should be easy to back time from the end of your trip and work out your Grand Canyon dates. And, as I said before, the booking is fully refundable so you really have nothing to lose.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

As you already are driving between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon you can see some of R66 on the way already.(and Hoover Dam) No need to do it again on the way to San Diego . I suggest to drive from GCNP to Sedona www.visitsedona.com and stay 2 nights. Then for your next leg drive to Palm Springs for the night (you also easily could stay 2 nights there) and for the leg to San Diego take the scenic route via ca74 (Palms to ines hw) to Anza Borrego , to Julian (apple pies) and to San Diego. That will limit your time for San Diego but I also thing 7 days there will be too long.

Tet

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5. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

Tet14, would you choose Sedona and Palm Springs over the California coast and San Francisco?

Uden, The...
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6. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

The OP has 4 nights in LA and 3 nights in Las Vegas. No time for the coastal drive. And no I would not want to make such a long detour for Winchester House only. Maybe for Hearst Castle. If the OP stays shorter in San Diego I'd still would not want to do the drive between GC and SD in one day. Maybe flying SF and drop down to LA is a good idea but I don't know if the OP is willing to do that. The would need a couple of days in SF also then.

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7. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

Detouring just for Winchester House is obviously daft. But do you not think the itinerary I laid out above is a good option? I didn't write it well so here it is in the usual format with two from four options in brackets:

San Francisco

San Francisco

(San Francisco)

Monterey

(Cambria, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach)

Santa Barbara

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

(Kingman or Lake Havasu City)

San Diego

San Diego

San Diego

(San Diego, LAX or neither)

This is an itinerary that maintains how long Jodie wants to stay in all of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, only impacting her time in San Diego, which we've both agreed is too long at seven nights, and her spending the last night in Los Angeles.

Edited: 19 March 2014, 11:28
London, United...
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8. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

I would add my hesitancy about Sedona and Palm Springs being that a) Sedona doesn't cut down the journey from Grand Canyon to San Diego, which is the point of having stops between those two places and b) Palm Springs is a destination larger designed for relaxation, something Jodie will be doing plenty of in San Diego.

Uden, The...
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9. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

Are you kidding LDN? We spent weeks in Palm Springs and not only for relaxing. It's close to Joshua Tree NP, It has its aerial tramway a great thursday evening market, Indian Gardens and desert parks and some great other places around it. I never would recommend to do a coastal trip and drive between Monterey and Santa barbara in one day unless they only want to drive and not sightsee.

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10. Re: California/Nevada road trip itinerary

The OP doesn't have two week's for Palm Springs in your itinerary. They have the amount of two days, one night that isn't the eight hours of driving involved in going Sedona-Palm Springs-San Deigo.

Monterey to Santa Barbara in one day wouldn't be my choice, either. But it is an option. And not one a great deal different to driving from Sedona to Palm Springs in one day.

I'm not diminishing the value of Sedona and Palm Springs but I don't think they compare to San Francisco and the California Central Coast. Especially to someone who I assume (my apologies if wrongly) is visiting, and road tripping, this region for the first time.

Edited: 19 March 2014, 13:06