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Road trip itinerary -

Auckland
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Road trip itinerary -

Hi there - we're a couple of Kiwis and very excited to have finally booked our trip to the US. We've come up for an itinerary for the California/Arizona/Nevada leg of the trip (trying to do it all obviously) and very keen to hear whether we're being overly ambitious. We're there Dec 2010-Jan 2011. Any feedback/suggestions would be great!

Days 1-3: LA

Day 4: Drive to San Diego

Day 5: Drive to Palm Springs

Day 6: Drive to Grand Canyon

Day 7: Grand Canyon

Day 8: Drive to Las Vegas

Day 9: Las Vegas

Day 10: Drive to Death Valley

Day 11: Drive to San Simeon

Day 12: Drive to Monterey

Day 13: Drive to San Francisco

Days 14-15: San Francisco

Galveston, Texas
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1. Re: Road trip itinerary -

That's alot for 2 weeks, what else are you doing, as you say CA/AZ/NV leg?

Who's going on this trip? Any children?

1 night in SD, definitely isn't enough. You'll drive there from LA, have what's left of that day, that back up again in the morning to drive again, this holiday is alot of driving. SD needs 3-5nights, as does LA and San Francisco, Vegas could do with 3 nights.

If you've taking kids, you should definitely visit Disneyland, just south of LA, for 3 nights.

You've in DVNP, while's it's winter [it's coolest time if yr], I would try to spend more than 1 night, to see more of the beauty of it.

I'd noticed, you have missed out one of the best National Parks in the area -- Yosemite, worth aleast a 3night stay.

I wouldn't stay in San Simeon, instead the town of Cambria - a cute town about 5-10mins south, with a much better choice of restaurants and hotels. I presume you've visiting Hearst Castle.

2 nights in Monterey, would be better than 1 night.

San Diego
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2. Re: Road trip itinerary -

I don't know exactly why you are going to San Diego for one day.

It is a large beautiful place with lots to see/do.

Palm Springs is only 2 hours from San Diego and so not halfway to the Grand Canyon for a stop off!

San Simeon is a little blip in the road, not a real town. IF you want to stay nearby then Cambria has more to offer.

Los Angeles, CA
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3. Re: Road trip itinerary -

Between your Palm Springs and Grand Canyon stops, I recommend going through Joshua Tree National Park. Especially the more scenic north end of the park. The park's not far from Palm Springs and along your planned trajectory. Since you're heading in a northeast direction, you can then travel north out of 29 Palms on Amboy Road and hook up with Interstate 40 heading to Grand Canyon.

http://www.joshuatree.org/

http://www.nps.gov/jotr/

Los Angeles, CA
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4. Re: Road trip itinerary -

When you leave Death Valley, take Highways 190 and 136 to Lone Pine. The town sits at the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States at more than 14,000 feet. Lone Pine is on Hwy 395, a major north-south route running along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada range.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mt._Whitney

San Diego...
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5. Re: Road trip itinerary -

If you just changed it so days 1-2 are LA and Days 3-4 are in San Diego that would help a lot. Other than that I think it is doable, but it's more like a whirlwind tour, just glancing at each of these places rather than seeing them in depth. It would be a LOT of driving: 1,694 miles (2,710 km), about 28 hours of driving time, but spread out over 2 weeks I guess it's manageable. Late December and January is our winter here and the daylight hours are very short, and if you eat up a lot of daylight hours with the driving you will have scarcely little time left for sightseeing before it gets dark. For example, in Los Angeles on December 20, the sun rises at 6:55 am and sets at 4:48 p.m, less than 10 hours of daylight and 14 hours of darkness. Most of the United States will be cool or cold at that time of year. Palm Springs may be warm and sunny but the coast will be cool and inland areas will be cold. Grand Canyon may have a cold wind at that time, so be prepared for that. Your itinerary doesn't include any of the mountain areas such as Yosemite National Park, although many areas will be closed for the winter, Yosemite Valley will be open. Las Vegas is fun on New Year's Eve, there is a huge fireworks display at midnight and partying in the streets.

Edited: 13 September 2010, 16:46
Auckland
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6. Re: Road trip itinerary -

Wow thank you for your very speedy feedback - very useful thanks. In response to your questions emmaxoxo following this leg we fly to New York City for 2 weeks, so at least we'll be staying in one place at that point. And it's just my partner and I (in our late 20s) so no kids.

Based on feedback we're thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to go to San Diego a day earlier, which means we would get there in time for for New Year's Eve. Does anyone have any suggestions for New Year's in San Diego? Are there public events, fireworks etc?

Unfortunately we couldn't squeeze in Yosemite this time - I would love to go but probably would rather do so in the spring. And thanks bigdog1382, we were definitely keen to go through Joshua Tree National Park so glad to get the recommendation.

And thanks for the tips about staying in Cambria over San Simeon, we'll go with that plan.

Really appreciate all your suggestions!

San Diego
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7. Re: Road trip itinerary -

As mentioned by bw, Las Vegas REALLY does New Years Eve in a big way!

Here in San Diego there have been great fireworks on the bay in past years but last year there was a threatened court case that stopped the fireworks. I don't know what will happen THIS year!!!We had booked a hotel overlooking the bay in anticipation of the fireworks but we cancelled it so let's hope it works out in the coming year!!

8. Re: Road trip itinerary -

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