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Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

Ireland
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Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

Thanks in advance if you take the time to read and reply:

We haven't ventured any further West than Florida so our trip to California and Nevada will be our first and I just don't know where to stay.

My good wife wants to have a few days lying in the sun and definately wants to visit Vegas.

Here's what I think. Fly into LAX and head for a few nights in Palm Springs, drive up to Vegas, return the car have 3 nights here, fly to San Fran(Southwest probably) and spend 3 nights here and maybe pick up a few nights heading south along the Pacific Coast Highway(2nd rental car).

We have 13/14 nights to kill. Budgeting for 4 star resorts/hotels.

Frankly I have no ideas. The "Visit California" websites are no help because they really discuss places I have maybe heard of but no little about so cannot make an informed decision.

I'm a simple red blooded male. Pick up big truck, load up in Walmart and give me a sun lounger and I'm happy.

Dublin, California
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1. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

What time of the year? Palm Springs and Vegas can be very hot in the summer. A few days lying in the sun can be accomplished in a number of southern California cities. There are many beach cities in LA, Orange and San Diego County that are great for lying in the sun. You can fly to Vegas cheaply from LA, so I'd probably not rent a car, unless you are set on Palm Springs.

Washington State
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2. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

A typical drive from SF to L.A. might be ...

SF - Yosemite - Monterey - Cambria / Pismo Beach - L.A.

The Hwy 1 portion of the drive is described in the Top Questions in the upper right.

Ireland
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3. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

The title of the thread is "Big Stupid" I seriously didn't use that title, some Mod or Admin is playing tricks. LOL

Thankssocials....

What time of year? June, hotter than hot Season I assume.

I hadn't considered San Diego because of its Southerly location from LAX. It appears to be cheapest to fly in and out of LAX than San Fran or Vegas so I had originally considered an anti clockwise drive from LA - Palm - Vegas - Yosemite - San Fran - Monterey - Santa Barbara - LAX - Home I'd like to have the freedom of a rental car as well

PacificNWfami..........

I didn't think of SF -Yosemite because my brain was considering what I mentioned above and Yosemite was a good trek East when I was considering heading South through Monterey. Also Highway 1, I thought PCH was 40 but Google Earth tells no lies. I must re-read that discussion thread.

Edited: 20 June 2012, 20:56
San Diego
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4. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

WHEN would you be coming on this trip?

The coast of California may be sunny in high summer but it is not HOT.

Many of us who live within a few miles of the ocean do not even have aircon in our homes. Temps are more likely to be in the 70s F than higher!

Desert areas like Las Vegas will be HOT in summer(100+F)

IF you truly just want to lounge in the sun then this may not be the best place for you to visit on your vacation?

Let us know if you have any other interests like-scenic views/walking/hiking/seeing historic sights/gardens/ music/ animals etc.We can help you plan more intelligently if we know more.

There are flights to Las Vegas that are not expensive. Only drive if you want to experience 5hrs. of desert!

WE were writing at the same time so IF you are interested in driving/scenery etc. then it might be OK.

Edited: 20 June 2012, 20:59
Ireland
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5. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

Riff

It will be hot for us. 70+ is hot for us. It was 63 here on Sunday and people were dressed like it was 80+. We're not used to sun in Ireland. Hottest I have had was about 130 in Crete with no air con. :(

Scenic Views. All views to us would be scenic from a small village in Ireland.

Would like San Fran for visiting Alcatraz and the Golden Gate. Wine Country maybe?

"She" changes her mind every few minutes so it could easily end up in Cancun+Vegas

San Diego...
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6. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

June is a great month for travel because of the long days. In fact today is the longest day of the year. The desert areas such as Palm Springs, Las Vegas and especially Death Valley, will be very hot though. My friend who lives in Chandler, Arizona told me it was 118 F there on the weekend. If you don't like heat, I wouldn't go to Las Vegas at that time of year.

On the southern California coast, though, June is noted for often having cool, cloudy overcast weather known locally as the "June Gloom" which might be familiar weather for someone who lives in Ireland. I like the June Gloom because without it we could have very hot days. But for travelers looking for sun and heat, the coast won't provide that in June. Inland areas such as Palm Springs will.

Other than those weather factors I think June is a great month for traveling around California, because the big crowds of summer don't really start until mid-June, and it's not as hot as July or August. The long hours of daylight mean more time and opportunities for sightseeing. The famous waterfalls of Yosemite National Park will usually be still in strong flow in June.

Where to visit depends on what you like. Since you mention scenic views, what comes to mind are Yosemite National Park, the central coast, including Big Sur, Point Lobos, etc. and the Grand Canyon, which is not in California but often included in with tours of California that are planned on this forum.

San Luis Obispo...
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7. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

It's a beautiful state, sand dunes to snowy peaks, but it doesn't sound like you're here primarily for scenery. Still, driving down Highway 1 can be a spectacular experience, unless you're in a hurry to get somewhere. San Diego is moderate, 85ish, sunny most of the year--maybe end up there? In June, much of the central-northern coast can be cloudy ("June Gloom") or foggy, while Vegas-Palm Springs can scorch the skin off you. Vegas and Reno have lots of indoor activities, though, or you could laze on Lake Mead in a boat. If you like Vegas, you might like the studio tours--Universal, Warner Bros., etc.--or live tapings (need to reserve ahead of time) in the LA area, and there are entertainers at Disneyland, but gambling only on the tribal reservations. The gorgeous parks--like Yosemite--are pretty crowded this time of year--there are hotels there but getting a reservation now ...--but if you're only going to be here once you shouldn't miss them. Monterey has the aquarium (with an amazing jellyfish room), and it's a nice town, but it's often cloudy there now. Stay high-up in San Francisco, maybe at the Omni, where you can get a view of the water and maybe the bridges, but definitely of a beautiful city (no sunbathing). Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo (or any of the coastal towns that take your fancy and aren't booked up) could be a good stopping place on the way down the coast, Santa Monica in the LA area.

Cambria, California
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8. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

Even when it's hot, in Palm Springs or Las Vegas, you either spend time in the pools or inside, so I wouldn't worry terribly about the time of year. You will, however, use more gas in your rental car because you'll have the air conditioning on...so consider that for your vacation budget. Consider seeing Grand Canyon (really, a must-see - nothing like it in the world) or Hoover Dam while you're staying in Las Vegas. Most hotels can help you find packages for flight excursions or directions on how to drive there.

I think you're correct in focusing on SF - Yosemite - even include Napa/Sonoma - price out what it would cost to fly into LAX and out of SFO in case you don't want to do the drive on Highway 1 back down the coast. There is a lot to see and do on that drive, as others have mentioned. If you do stay in Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo (inland, and usually clear and warm when it's foggy and cool 10 miles away on the coast) keep in mind that June is graduations, so book way in advance for your hotel.

San Diego
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9. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

Lodging will be less expensive in Las Vegas and Cancun but WE have much more variety in terms of what you can see/do!!

BTW I think that small towns in Ireland have their own scenic beauty we just have different scenic beauty!!

It sounds like you might need to sit down with "herself" and make some decisions!!

Let us know what you decide and how we can help.

You WILL need some lodging reservations!

10. Re: Big Stupid - Where to Even Visit

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