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Thoughts on itinery for America trip

sydney
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Thoughts on itinery for America trip

My husband & I are planning our 1st trip to America for October this year. I have had a few ideas but have this in mind & wondering what your thoughts are as to whether it is a good way to go about it. We have 15 nights.

Fly to Los Angeles Hire car & have5 nights Los Angeles then drive to San Diego 3nights(staying with relatives) drive to Las Vegas for 4 nights(return hire car when we arrive) then fly to San Francisco for 3 nights.Fly home from San Francisco

Accommodation thoughts were Los Angeles Loews Hollywood, Las Vegas Aria & San Francisco Omni.

So many options but thought this might be the way to go.

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San Francisco...
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1. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

Sounds ok I guess. You have not listed what you want to do and see in each area so hard to say if 3 or 4 or 5 nights is enough. Also there is a lot more in Ca outside the major cities and not knowing your interest,again hard to suggest things

The good thing is you are not rushing it and kudos to you for that as we see many spend a day and rush to the next spot IMHO cities such as LA which is huge need 4 full days to get a flavor based on doing a few highlights . SD and SF need 3-4 full days and unless you want to see each show and gamble at each hotel, not sure I would spend that long I Vegas but that is in a different state and I am sure the folks in that forum would strongly disagree

Btw you have relatives and I bet they can help craft a better itinerary given they know you compared to a bunch of strangers

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San Diego...
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2. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

Are you interested in the cities only, or would you also be interested in what lies between the cities, such as the coastline, mountains, forests, deserts, national parks, and so forth?

Manhattan Beach...
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3. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

The places that you don't mention are Yosemite and the drive up the Central Coast. Adding in those stops though might put you into a car for longer than you would like and take away from the other stops and make the trip more rushed.

Four nights in Las Vegas is good if you like gambling, shows, restaurants, or unwinding by the pool, but as previously stated, it is longer than I'd go for. Aside from that, given how much time that you have, I like how much time that you are spending in each location and the pace sounds good.

Edited: 12 January 2014, 11:46
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sydney
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4. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

Thanks to all your responses. The things that most interest us are the coastline so we will be doing some

driving while in Los Angeles. Also Unniversal Studios. Looking for other must do things while in LA. We love sport my husband is a keen golfer. Las Vegas I thought also was good for shopping so was thinking it would be chill out time as well. Yosemite would have been great but probably won't fit it in. Husband also wants to do the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. How far is this from Las Vegas.

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Manhattan Beach...
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5. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

The helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon is slightly controversial on Trip Advisor. The helicopter ride takes you to the "western rim" of the canyon and not the national parks on the northern or southern rims. The western rim is privately owned by an Indian tribe and is far less developed than the national parks. A lot of people feel cheated by the high fees, lack of amenities, and difficulty driving there, which should not be an issue if you fly in. I've been to both sites, though not by helicopter, and I think that the western rim is a good place to go from Las Vegas if you are tight on time, especially if you are flying in. It has dramatic scenery, but is different than the national park. The national park has more to see, but if you drive there from Las Vegas you lose two days of vacation. My opinion is that most tourists have had their fill of the canyon after an hour.

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San Diego...
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6. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

If the coastline is a prime interest for you, then you should drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Your original plan has you flying from Las Vegas to San Francisco, which does save a lot of time compared to driving, but in the process you miss out on the coastal scenery, ans the highly scenic drive on Highway 1 through the Big Sur area. The coast of Los Angeles is not as scenic and does not compare to the central coast. As you state that the coastline is a major interest for you, I would suggest you rearrange your trip so that you drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco, either direction.

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Pasadena, California
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7. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

Do you have the flights already?

The drive to Las Vegas is tiresome, not scenic and often takes a lot longer than estimates.

The drive between LA and SF, on the other hand, features spectacular scenery and some lovely towns.

I'd consider taking a night away from LA and LV, and adding them to a coastal drive in California. If coastal scenery is high on your list, you shouldn't miss this drive.

Maybe make LA into a two-stop trip:

Arrive, rest up for a day or two, drive to SD.

Spend time in SD.

Drive back to LA for a day.

Drive to Cambria on #101, via Santa Barbara (stop for several hours). Sleep Cambria.

Drive to Monterey via Rte. 1, along the spectacular Big Sur coastline. Make lots of stops. Sleep Monterey.

MOnterey-San Francisco.

Fly to and from LV from whichever city you prefer. There will be lots of flights from LA, SD, or SF. Try to time the LV visit based on flight prices and hotel prices, which can fluctuate wildly from really cheap to very expensive (midweek being generally cheaper for LV, barring conventions). Look at Southwest Airlines for lots of flights. You need to use their own website; they don't appear on expedia et al.

Southwest.com

Edited: 12 January 2014, 21:03
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Pasadena, California
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8. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

Given you will have a rental car, perhaps go to Vegas either at the beginning of your trip or the end, so you don't have to turn a car in twice. Perhaps LAX-transfer to flight to Vegas-SD. Pick up car in SD.

Or, arrive in SF, turn in car at SFO, fly directly to Vegas, fly back to SF, visit SF without car.

Edited: 12 January 2014, 21:08
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sydney
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9. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

thanks pasca another way to consider it. Sounds good.

San Francisco
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10. Re: Thoughts on itinery for America trip

I think you have some work to do on your itinerary if you want to drive the coast from LA to SF .. which is not to be missed. Las Vegas on the other hand, meh.

However, the primary reason for my weighing in is your mention with regards to staying at the Omni in SF. IMO it's not a tourist hotel, I love the Omni brand and have stayed at them in other US cities. But the SF one is definitely a business district hotel. The area gets very quiet nights and weekends. There are better options. Look at the Top Questions on the SF forum and post there.

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