This should be plenty of time depending on what you want to do in each place. You could easily spend 4-5 days in San Fran, drive south on Hwy 1 to LA and spend another 5 days and then go to Vegas for the rest of the time. 3-4 days is more than enough time in Las Vegas. It gets pretty redundant after that. In San Fran take the city/Alcatraz tour. It is a great way to see the main sights of the city and be assured a ticket to Alcatraz. Wander around Ghiradelli Square, hang out at the Wharf, meander in Chinatown. There are museums, theatres etc as well. You can go north of San Fran about 40 minutes to Muir Woods to see the giant redwoods. After San Fran you can go directly to LA or make stops on your way at Big Sur, Hearst Castle, Santa Barbara. In LA there is shopping, dining, studios, etc. It all depends on what you want to see and do. Buy a guidebook or peruse Frommers online for suggestions.
What time of year are you visiting? Where are you flying into and out of?
Are your traveling with children? What do you enjoy doing? Sight seeing, nature, museums, food, wine, etc...
Planning to fly out mid Sept from London. Travelling with no children, just 3 adults. We all enjoying sight seeing - but are planning a leisurly pace!
LV can be a nice relaxing place, weather should be fab in September. Great place to end your holiday. I would do 3/4 days SF, drive Highway 1 down over 2 days then 3/4 days LA (Rennaisance Hollywood great) then drive to LV (MGM Signature is nice - luxury condos with concierge services) to round off your trip.
ohhh my, you've picked three terrific cities to visit! 14 days is perfect : )
I agree with the previous poster, start with San Fran, fly in there, and get your rental car. So much to see there, 4 days would be great, 5 better.
Alcatraz, Fishermans Wharf, China town, Sausalito, Muir Woods, Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, Union Square
Then drive on down to Los Angeles, I'd recommend staying in Anaheim rather than right in LA. Anaheim gives you some of the beach area too, which may still be warm enough. Disneyland, Huntington Beach, a day for Hollywood, maybe try to get tickets to a game show taping like the price is right....4 days is good.
The trip from there to Vegas is 4 hours unless you go on a friday afternoon, then it's 8 hours of horrible traffic....so go mid week to save time!
Vegas has....well everything : ) In a 3 mile strip you get gambling, great food, wonderful entertainment, great pools, top of the line spas, shopping that goes on forever, and just ...well, the WOW factor. Yes I live here so I'm prejudiced, but I lived in California for 15 years so I'm prejudiced about it too! Just remember to bring good walking shoes...save money to see at least one great show, and if you want hotel recommendations I say, anything with an "M" is a great choice. Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Monte Carlo, MGM, or the M....can't go wrong for great pools, great atmosphere, and great service. Just pick the one that best fits your budget.
Don't you want to visit Yosemite NP, Death Valley NP, Grand Canyon NP?
How long do you want to stay in cities? Where are you flying? (roundtrip or one way?) Amusement Parks? Hiking? etc etc.
we plan to stay in SF 5 days, LV 4 days - from there to Grand Canyon with the remaining days in LA.
Current tickets from LHR to SFO returning to LHR from LAX cost £500 - is that a fair amount for September??
You never know with flightprizes. Don't worry, 500 pound is an average amount.
With 5 days in SF, 4 days in LV, a visit to GC and back to LA for the remaining days won't give you the time to drive the awesome stretch from San Francisco to Yosemite and via Death Valley to Las Vegas. 3 days already will be short then with the stops.
You could do:
Day 1-5: San Francisco
Day 6: Drive down hw1 to Monterey and to Cambria for the night.
Day 7: Long drive (app. 7 hours) to las Vegas
Day 8,9,10: Las Vegas
Day 11: To GCNP south rim (5 hours)
Day 12. Morningvisit to GC and the drive to Kingman on your way to LA.
Day 13: Kingman-LA (6 hours)
Day 14: LA.
Better make a reservation for GCNP far in advance at www.grandcanyonlodges.com
Maybe spend a little less time in SF or LV and add it to LA.
Many more options.
I personally would not do 5 days in SF. 3 days should allow you to get to see most things, then the extra 2 days can be used for LA or the drives described previously. LV is a wonderful place, but you could also cut this to 2/3 days, as you will probably want to head off early morning for the GC. Make sure you stop at Hoover Dam on the way...it's amazing!
Thank you all for your comments / recommendations!
Just booked my flights so very excited :-)