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Californian road trip

London
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Californian road trip

Hi Everyone,

We are a British couple in our late 20s and we are planning a road trip in California for the first two weeks of April.

This will be my partners first trip to USA and I have only ever been on a weekend trip to Boston, which I loved.

We are flying into Las Vegas as we have friends who are getting married there, so this will take up a bit more of our time than I would have hoped and I wanted to ask advice on timings for the rest of our trip.

My plan is as follows -

5 nights las Vegas (the length of time is unavoidable due to being part of a wedding party).

2 nights driving between Las Vegas and San Francisco in Death Valley

2 nights San Francisco

2 nights driving on pacific highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles

2 nights in Los Angeles

and the last bit I am a bit concerned about driving back to Las Vegas on the last day for a 4pm flight out of McClaren. if we left our Los Angeles hotel at say 6:30am (it will be a Monday, if that makes any difference with traffic) would we make a 4pm flight without too much panic?

Many thanks,

Carrie

Newbury Park...
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1. Re: Californian road trip

I would seriously look into flying between Las Vegas and San Francisco (Southwest Airlines has cheap domestic fares) as many roads could still be closed due to weather (i.e. Tioga Pass going through Yosemite).

Likewise - the drive between LA and Vegas is easy and through the desert so interesting (although those who drive it regularly find it boring) - with your limited time in the area, you may want to consider catching an inexpensive flight to Vegas from LA to help ensure your connection.

If you are staying in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, and decide to fly out - look into flights from Burbank Airport (a much smaller airport and easier to get in and out of).

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Californian road trip

Although it's a fantastic stretch between Las Vegas via Death Valley and Yosemite to San Francisco I also would fly between LV and SF for the reasons Juxie has mentioned. Hire a car for the drive between SF and LA and to Las Vegas. You'll have the time if you start early in the morning re LA-LV and you'll see some of the desert.

Must be some wedding 5 days in Las Vegas.

You also can make great daytrips around Las Vegas.

Have fun

Tet.

Visalia, CA
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3. Re: Californian road trip

If it was me I'd leave out Los Angeles. LA is very spread out, not like SF or NY. Use one of those days for a trip to the Grand Canyon, maybe spend a night in Sedona (about 1.25 hrs from the GC & a beautiful place). If you opt to not see the GC I would still cut out LA and spend more time on the central coast (Carmel, Monterey, Cambria, Avila Beach, Paso Robles wine country, Santa Barbara, etc.). If you do it this way you could drive from LV to Santa Barbara via Death Valley. Work your way up the coast to SF, and then fly back to LV.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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4. Re: Californian road trip

Following up on the previous post, what do you want to do/see in LA? You might think about spending more time in SF, as with only two days you won't be doing it justice. There are many day-trips you can make out of SF as well, to see the wine country, the redwoods, and so on.

London
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5. Re: Californian road trip

Dear all,

Many thanks for all your very helpful replies.

We shall be getting a flight over the Grand Canyon as part of our 4 days in Las Vegas (our first night will be eaten up by a late flight arrival and jet lag)!

I am panicing a bit about the rest of the route, as we only have 8 nights to do everything we want to do. Which is drive through the desert, San Francisco (including Alcatraz), the pacific coast highway and the main touristy parts of LA.

Would we really be missing out if we cut out the Death Valley part? I was really looking forward to drving through the desert, and have heard that Death Valley is a lot more spectacular than the drive between LA and LV?

C

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Californian road trip

Your route is unnecessarily long:

Here's the route you oughta take:

San Francisco to San Luís Obispo to Yosemite to Los Angeles to Death Valley to Las Vegas.

Details may be found on the page of DRIVING DIRECTIONS at http://geocities.com/touringsfo/ There are also two reports on recent trips that you might also find helpful.

Visalia, CA
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7. Re: Californian road trip

Carrie105,

I've been to DV only 1 time but I thought it was cool and would like to go back. However I don't know that it's a definite "must see" being as you have time constraints and it is out of your way. As for desert scenery, you will see plenty between LV & ?, California.

I still think it would be a good idea to go to LA first, then up the coast to SF, and fly back to LV. You can book a flight from SF to LV on Southwest Airlines for $80-$125(US) per person depending on day & time. This would save you several hours of travel time and probably not cost all that much more then taking the rental car (gas alone will probably cost you $100+ for this portion of your trip). Please let us know how your trip turns out.

8. Re: Californian road trip

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