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West Coast

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West Coast


I want to plan a holiday for myself and the hubbie and want to do like a multi stop trip along the west coast.

Wheres best to go and how long do you reckon? 3 weeks? I know all about teh east coast but nothing about the west coast!

All help greatly appreciated!

Newbury Park...
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1. Re: West Coast

What time of year are you planning on visiting? Budget? What are your primary interest? Big cities, outdoors, scenery, eating, shopping, shows? etc...

California is a huge diverse state. Many people who visit love to drive the coast highway between San Fransisco and Los Angeles stopping along the way at places like Monterey, Big Sur, Cambria, a visit to Hearst Castle, and Santa Barbara. Do a search on this forum for driving San Francisco to LA and you'll come up with lots of good ideas for that portion.

Yosemite is definitely a not too miss national park to add to your trip. Also Sequoia National Park/Kings Canyon is very different and a drive through and possible stop in Death Valley is something to consider.

If you are interested in the National Parks - continue on to Las Vegas (to play for a few days) and then to the Grand Canyon and Zion & Bryce National Park in Utah.

If you are interest in relaxing by the beach, amusement parks, etc... spend some time in Los Angeles and then head down to San Diego.

There are a lot of post with itineraries on this forum for the type of trip you are looking for. If you can give us a little more specifics - we can help you better plan.

Have fun.

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2. Re: West Coast

We are planning on going in june for our anniversary.

I don’t really have a budget, we never do when we plan our holidays!

I checked out the web and decided on San Fran, LA and Vegas, and maybe even San Diego.

Primary Interests is sightseeing and shopping. We would like to see a show too while were there.

My husband loves driving in America and would love to do the drive from San Fran to LA, so driving isn’t an issue.

Is there any outlet malls in these cities?

Thanks for your help!

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3. Re: West Coast

Hi there, we did a three week trip last April. We flew into and out of San Francisco and visited:

San Francisco (Fishermans Wharf) x 2 nights

Cambria x 1 night

Santa Barbara x 1 night (wished we stayed here longer!)

Los Angeles x 3 nights

Palm Springs x 1 night (an extra day by the pool here would have been nice!)

Lake Havasu x 1 night (stopover to get from Palm Springs to Grand Canyon)

Grand Canyon x 2 nights (recommend helicopter flight)

Las Vegas x 3 nights

Death Valley x 1 night (weird place but well worth a visit!)

Mammoth x 1 night

Yosemite x 2 nights

San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge) x 2 nights

It was the best trip we've ever done but alot of driving is involved. We covered approx 2,500 miles over the 3 weeks. We booked out hotels through Virgin and if you'd like to know where we stayed let me know. The stretch from San Francisco to LA is known as the Big Sur and is beautiful - we've posted a few photos on our profile. We have plenty more from that trip but just need the time to post them.

Any questions feel free to get in touch.

Destination Expert
for San Jose
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4. Re: West Coast


3 weeks in June???

Start with a few days in Las Vegas, assuming it’ll be less hot and more comfortable earlier than later.

See some shows. Yep. A few days to see Zion, Bryce & Grand Canyon is a good idea. See the earlier reply.

Take a budget flight from LAS to SFO.

BART to hotel in central SF.

Stay for at least a couple days without a car.

See some shows. You didn’t say what kind did you? Opera?

Now get a car and follow the coast to Santa Cruz along Hwy 1. (2 hrs drive south)

Hang out in Santa Cruz.

Drive from Santa Cruz to Big Basin Redwoods on Hwy 9. (1 hr drive nw) See Redwood Trees.

Follow Hwy 9 into Silicon Valley but don’t stop, proceed to Gilroy via Hwy 85 and then Hwy 101. (2 hr driving south)

Spend a night in Gilroy. There’s outlet malls there.

Depart Gilroy along Hwy 101 towards the coast.

Stop to see half of an old volcano at the Pinnacles National Park.

Spend some time in Monterey & Carmel. Aquarium, kayaking, 17 mi drive, etc.

Follow the coast down to Paso Robles for some wine tasting?

Drive to Lancaster Co to see the other half of that volcano.

Go to Los Angeles.

Where do you fit Yosemite? I don’t know.

How about San Diego?

You could rearrange something to get that Aer Lingus nonstop service between Dublin & SFO.

Destination Expert
for San Jose
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5. Re: West Coast

Get a National Parks pass at the first National Park you get too.

It'll get your car and everybody in it into:

Zion, Bryce, Yosemite, Pinnacles, etc.

See how far you can get without putting your name on it and EBay it when you're done, unless you'll be back in the US for more within the year.

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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6. Re: West Coast

I would follow Impala's route. This is a route which we suggest all the time and most people really enjoy it since you get to see so much of the West. You pass through so many different climate zones and within a few hours. It is so different from Europe and really worthwhile if you don't mind the driving.

On this route you'll find some excellent outlet malls;just after Santa Barbara towards Los Angeles in Camarillo. Also, on the way to Palm Springs at Cabazon. The 3 rd large one is just before Las Vegas at Primm. These are all just off the highways.

Use www.mapquest.com(or any other map engine) then put in the destinations which Impala mentions and you will get a good idea of distance and travel times.

For the Yosemite portion of this trip, then it's best done after June because the Tioga pass is closed prior to that time because of snow.


Destination Expert
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7. Re: West Coast

The only problem with Impala's route is that it doesn't satisfy anyone's urge to drive down the coast.

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8. Re: West Coast

Aren't the first three stops a drive down the coast?

San Francisco...
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9. Re: West Coast

A visit to the DRIVING DIRECTIONS page geocities.com/touringsfo/…DriveDir.html will provide you with many ideas as will the augmenting reports "A Trip to Las Vegas…" and "A Trip to Anaheim…"

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10. Re: West Coast

I hope you are able to spend some time in Carmel if you like shopping, the shops are much more interesting than the outlets in Gilroy, Carmel is full of charm and there is also the Carmel Plaza for shopping. The beach is gorgeous in Carmel, lots of art galleries and restaurants, a very unique place and definitely worth spending some time here.

Have a wonderful trip! :)