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This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

London, United...
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This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

We are planning our own self-drive tour of some of California. We'll be travelling from San Francisco to Los Angeles, then on to Las Vegas, stopping at places along the way. We are a family of 5 (4 adults plus one 13 y/o). This is the plan so far:

3 nights in San Francisco

2 nights in Yosemite NP

2 nights in Monterey

1 night in Santa Barbara

3 nights in Los Angeles

2 nights in Las Vegas

Is there anything you would change about this plan? I.e. would you stay somewhere for longer/shorter than stated? Also, where is the best street or area to stay in Santa Barbara? Somewhere close to the sights. And out of curiosity, are there any 'special events' in California around the end of May?

Thank you!

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1. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

Since I like the Big Sur coast a lot, I would move your overnight stop between Monterey and Los Angeles further north, such as San Simeon or Cambria, instead of Santa Barbara. That would give you a couple more hours to enjoy the Big Sur coast that day. That's the only change I would make. The drive from San Simeon or Cambria to Los Angeles is about 4 hours of driving time, and you still could stop in Santa Barbara for lunch or sightseeing.

You are visiting Yosemite at a good time to see the waterfalls. The Memorial Day weekend (which in 2014 will be May 24, 25 and 26) is always very crowded at that park. I would try to schedule your visit to that park either before or after those dates if possible.

As far as special events in May, try looking through these listings: www.findfestival.com/california/2014/may/ or www.2014s.org/events/california-events-2014/

Edited: 20 November 2013, 20:00
Fremont, California
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2. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

While on the surface it looks good

we know very little of your likes and dislikes

For example, what do you want to do in Los Angeles

See Hollywood, do the beaches, go to the theme parks, go to Hollywood Bowl, enjoy the historic areas of LA; go to some fabulous dinners; see some great places like Huntingon Library

Well, you could fill the full 2 weeks with just having a fabulous time in one spot.

We also have no idea what you want to do in Las Vegsa -if you love shows, see the dam, Lake Mead and Red Rock Canyon, enjoy some great bars, clubs, fine dining - then you need more time here defintiely. And if you throw in Grand Canyon do you want to see it by air or by divnig there (south side is best

With 4 adults and a 13 year old what does the 13 year old want to do

In general, you can drive like heck, check in and out of hotels

or you can let us know more what you like to do would do.

Yeah - you can do this but we really can't say more than yeah , you can do this.

Pasadena, California
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3. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

Agree with Sunrise. While I dearly love Santa Barbara, and would highly recommend spending most of a day there, I do agree that it is too far south for an ideal stopping point. Pismo Beach or Cambria would be good.

The next day, drive to Santa Barbara (2 hours), stop for most of the day, or even until after dinner, and drive another 1.5-2 hours to LA. If on a weekday, I highly recommend staying in Santa Barbara until after an early dinner, to avoid rush hour traffic into LA. The Pismo-Santa Barbara-LA drive is easy, freeway all the way.

Everythng else looks excellent. Get your Yosemite reservations as early as possible.

Edited: 20 November 2013, 20:13
Pasadena, California
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4. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

I don't know what Mini means about "drive like heck, check in and out of hotels". This seems like a reasonable itinerary, with several days in most locations, and drives of 4 hours or less between destinations. LA-Las Vegas may be quite a bit longer, depending on traffic. I like your basic plan. It may be difficult to get reservations in YNP; check immediately and continue to check for cancellations if not available. Ask on the Yosemite forum for alternative options, and strategies for finding rooms, if sold out.

Fremont, California
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5. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

How can it be excellent - we do not know what they like to do.

Pasadena, California
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6. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

They are just asking for general guidelines regarding destinations and driving distances. If they want more information, they will ask.

London, United...
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7. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

We know generally what we would like to see but I guess what I'm asking specifically is: have we allocated enough time in each destination to see all of the worthwhile, sightseeing-ish things that are there?

We don't want to spend too long in one place if we don't like it/see everything worthwhile when we could have spent longer elsewhere and seen everything. I know I'm still being quite vague but I hope this clears things up a little bit lol.

San Simeon does look very good and has been recommended to us before so we'll have to think about that.

Thank you all for your help!

Pasadena, California
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8. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

You won't see everything in any of your destinations. Yosemite National Park is huge and has so many things to see. San Francisco is a great city. Los Angeles is huge. Perhaps spend a little more time figuring out the top things you want to see. For instance, if your "must see" list in the LA-area includes Disneyland, Universal, the beach, parks, museums, Hollywood, Beverly Hills...then no, 2.5 days will definitely not be enough. So perhaps spend a bit more time planning and deciding on a 'must see" list before making reservations. But...you WILL need to reserve Yosemite soon.

As is, your schedule is not terribly rushed and will give you a reasonable taste of each destination.

Edited: 20 November 2013, 21:37
Uden, The...
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9. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

San Simeon has a row of motels at both sides of the hghway and not much else. It's the starting point for visits to Hearst Castle and 3 miles north of it is Piedras Blancas with elephant seals on the beach. Think Cambria is much nicer but with a 13 y/o I prob stay Pismo beach.

Corona del Mar, CA
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10. Re: This is our itinerary, is there anything you would change?

I'd take one night away from Monterey and use that night at Pismo Beach or Cambria.

In Santa Barbara, the best area for hotels is along Cabrillo, either West Beach or East Beach.

http://goo.gl/maps/CJErz West Beach

http://goo.gl/maps/Gxkx8 East Beach