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California road trip!

grimsby
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California road trip!

Hello, i will be flying into Los Angeles on 7th June 2014 and flying out of Los Angeles on 28th June. So will basically be in California for 3 weeks. I would like to see Los Angeles drive down to San Diego then up to Vegas. I would

Then fly from Vegas to San Francisco then proceed to drive back down to Los Angeles. Could anybody recommend how much time to stay in each destination and some kind of rough budget I would need. Flights are booked and paid, looking at taking somewhere in the region of 13000 American dollars, would this be adequate for 2 people. Me and my girlfriend are both 25 and like to do most things. Nights out included. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Wigtown, United...
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1. Re: California road trip!

- replying to keep this up the top - as I'm in a similar position! (no flights booked yet though) eeek!

San Francisco...
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2. Re: California road trip!

With 3 weeks you should be able to do this comfortably. It all depends on what you plan to do in each city . Typically 3-4 days in LA, San Diego , Vegas and SF each and you may want to do Yosemite and then Monterey and Cambria on the way down . There are sample itineraries on the right side top questions

Budget is a very personal issue and all depends on type of hotel attractions and restaurants you like. A decent hotel could average 200 a night and meals per person can be 50-100 per day again depending on your style not including drinks

San Francisco...
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3. Re: California road trip!

H_clark. It is best to have your own post as I think you nave done and not confuse the two itineraries. No need to bump as all questions will be answered during the course of the CA day. It is very early in Ca

Wigtown, United...
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4. Re: California road trip!

- sorry!

Chula Vista...
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5. Re: California road trip!

Hi Rob,

You could probably spend:

4-6 days in the L.A. area, depending on how much you want to see. Keep in mind that L.A. is quite spread out and is known for its horrendous traffic, so while attractions may be relatively close together, you can spend considerable time sitting in traffic between them. (It once took me 2 hours to drive 40 miles from Anaheim to Santa Monica.)

4 days in San Diego. You could get a good sense of San Diego in a very rushed 3 days. Four (or five) would be better. When you come here, look for lodging in the Pacific Beach/Mission Beach areas (very much the young, surfer vibe to those areas) or, if you don't want to be by the ocean, downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter.

On the way to Las Vegas from San Diego, you may want to check out Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Monument, or Mojave National Preserve. (I'd spend a night in Palm Springs and then take a full day to drive through Joshua Tree and Mojave on your way to Vegas.) Keep in mind that, in June, it will be very warm in the inland deserts and Las Vegas--easily upwards of 40° C or more. Keep plenty of water in your car, and make sure your gas tank is full before entering Joshua Tree and Mojave NP.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of Vegas, but I'd say it warrants 2-3 days. Maybe 4 if you're really into gambling, drinking, and shows.

San Francisco warrants 4 full days at least so you can get a good feel for the city. You may want to take a ferry over to Sausalito as a day trip, or a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area for some spectacular views of the bridge and the city.

You'll only be 4 hours' drive away from one of the crown jewels in America's National Park system--Yosemite National Park. If you could manage to add at least one night there that would be great. Two would be better, but book your reservations NOW, as rooms can be booked nearly a year in advance.

Enjoy your planning and your trip.

Zed

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6. Re: California road trip!

You'll be doing a one way rental car from Los Angeles to Vegas, so check out the price on that sooner rather than later.

I'd do 5 nights L.A., 4 nights SD and 1 night Grand Canyon before Las Vegas (3 nights max). I'd then drive to Lone Pine (seeing a bit of Death Valley on the way; I wouldn't fly to SF, btw - I'd have a real road trip). 1 night Lone Pine, then 1-2 nights in the Yosemite region.

Then 2 nights Big Sur and the remainder in SF. (If there's a remainder).

If you're convinced you want to skip Yosemite and Death Valley and fly to SF, then the trip down the coast should be at least 3 nights (might as well really see it, it is beautiful). That gives you more time in SF, which you will probably be glad of.

Coastal stops: Monterey, Carmel or Santa Cruz; Cambria; Santa Barbara. This gives time to see Big Sur, do some hiking, do Hearst Castle, and have some beach time. It's still a lot of driving, don't worry, it'll feel like a road trip.

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7. Re: California road trip!

If I were doing this trip I would drive the LV-SF leg also and visit Death Valley and Yosemite on the way.

Edited: 12 November 2013, 20:25
Uden, The...
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8. Re: California road trip!

Yes, I agree with the previous psters. The drive via Death Valley and Yosemite is one of the most scenic in the USA. Missing Grand Canyon NP would be a shame but count on 2 nights (one on the way to GC and one night at the rim) coming from San Diego. Maybe also check www.visitsedona.com

We usually spent $ 300,-- per day for the 2 of us. Not counting flights and carrental.

Tet

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9. Re: California road trip!

I normally would agree with driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite, but the OP wrote, "Flights are booked and paid," and I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that that included the flight between Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Freeling, South...
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10. Re: California road trip!

Hi Rob S,

We are planning a similar trip from Australia in June 2014.

I am noting all the replies to your post. I need all the help I can get.

I have been to CA once before and didn't see too much countryside (2days driving only)

The state is so beautiful and I really am keen to see more.

For us, Vegas is a must to see Celine Dion at Caesars, NASCAR (which looks like being in Sonoma), GC for hubby to fly over in a helicopter, LA attractions for 15year olds, the southern beaches and of course Disneyland.

The trip planned so far will cover approx 2000 miles ($800 fuel) RV rental and loads of food to feed hungry teenagers.

I will continue to watch this post closely for other hints and tips.

Thank you to all for helping to make our trips more special :)

Good luck with your trip Rob. We may just see you on the road somewhere!