We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

Melbourne, Australia
2 posts
Save Topic
a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for dropping by this thread. My wife and I are looking to visit USA for the very first time (for a honeymoon actually, both mid 30's) in our lives this coming April. We've booked our flights but that's just about what we've done.

We did of course browse through the net looking for suggestions on where to go, stay, eat, see, and do BUT we haven't nail down anything as yet. At this point, we only know that we will get into San Francisco on 16 Nov and depart San Francisco on 5 Nov. We plan to cover as many places as possible (including NY) but just focus on main iconic/popular attraction spots.

So here goes... our draft itinerary. Not sure if this is super ambitious. Hoping to get some feedback and suggestions as to what we might be missing. Most of the research was done using google maps and looking at what others have done. Below are also some of the things we are considering to do in each of the places we are thinking of visiting.

Sun - 16th Nov 2pm (SF) : arrive San francisco, hotel check-in, rest

Mon - 17th Nov (SF) : San francisco - golden gate bridge, union square.

Tues - 18th Nov (SF-DC): early flight-out of SF to Washington DC, hotel check-in, rest

Wed - 19th Nov (DC): take a day tour of Washington DC

Thurs- 20th Nov (DC-NY): early bus to New York - hotel check-in, time square at night

Fri - 21st Nov (NY): 2 hour Circle Line cruise, 9/11 Memorial / Ground Zero, Wall Street,Brooklyn Bridge.

Sat - 22nd Nov (NY-BC): Top of the Rock (early morning), afternoon/evening flight to buffalo, bus to Niagara Falls, Ontario, hotel check-in, rest

Sun - 23rd Nov (Ontario): Niagara Falls, bus back to BC

Mon - 24th Nov (BC - LV): flight to Las Vegas, hotel check-in, night in LV

Tues - 25th Nov (LV - GC): rent a car and drive to Grand Canyon, overnight in G.C

Wed - 26th Nov (GC - LV): Grand Canyon, drive back to Las Vegas

Thurs- 27 Nov Thanksgiving (LV - LA): Lav Vegas - Los Angeles

Fri - 28th Nov Black Friday: shopping :)

Sat 29th Nov (LA) : Hollywood

Sun 30th Nov: Disneyland

Mon 1st Dec: Los Angeles

Tues 2nd Dec: Los Angeles

Wed 3rd Dec: drive from LA towards San Francisco via Pacific coast hw, overnight somewhere on pacific hw

Thurs 4th Dec: pacific hw, overnight in San Jose

Fri - 5th Dec: San Jose, back to San Francisco airport - leaving at 9pm flight

Feedback and suggestions will be highly appreciated. Plus, how's Nov-Dec like for road trip generally (especially Grand Canyon south rim)? Heard about road closures on certain months etc. We'll definitely get a GPS unit all the way when driving.

Thanks heaps everyone. God bless.

Cheers, Leo

Ferry Building Marketplace
Shopping Malls, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Third Street Promenade
Theatres, Shopping Malls, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
60,237 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

Hi Leo

Hmmm. I guess you like a very busy / every moment stuffed full type of itinerary. Is that right?

For the non-California parts of your trip, try the Road Trips forum tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

Glad you're aware of Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

I'd recommend going to Disneyland after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, tho' you might not get fireworks if you go on Monday instead of Sunday.

Stay in romantic Cambria for your one night on the coast.

Why San Jose?

No time for Yosemite? Darn! Save it for your next visit. (Or drop Niagara Falls and go to Yosemite instead.)

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
51,389 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

Wow this is a lot of travel in a short time in any case please use the road trips forum to iron out your itinerary

Let me commend you for taking time to really research and come up with an itinerary good luck and happy travels

In general SF takes 3-4 days (jet lag will take its toll to do a one day trip ) so does LA, SD. And. DC and take NYC 5-7 days

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
20,496 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

Also keep in mind that we have MUCH shorter daylight hours in Nov-Dec, so you'll be limited on how much you can see/do during the day.

The California coast drive will need a minimum 2 night stops en route to do it justice. Lots to see/do between the 2 cities. LA to SF via the coast route is a 10 hour drive WITHOUT stops, so you'll want to make sure you don;t end up driving any of the important scenic stretches after dark.

Manhattan Beach...
Level Contributor
4,008 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

Niagara Falls is beautiful, ordinarily a must-see, but I would suggest dropping it, or combining it with time in Toronto. I really like the area and I was just in Niagara Falls the week after Thanksgiving (on business) and it was COLD! I almost had the whole park to myself. The walkways on both the US & Canadian sides were treachorously slippery. The mist from the Falls makes a cloud right in front of the Falls. One day it snowed so hard that I couldn't see the 500m to the water. I ended up getting my car searched by Canadian customs officials, I think because my story of wanting to cross the border on a 10 degree F day to see the Falls strained credibility. The other downside to both Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon is their geograhic isolation, which is a big factor on a tight schedule.

Manhattan Beach...
Level Contributor
4,008 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

Photos of Niagara Falls in winter: <a href="tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g48261-d99555…"><img alt="Photos of Hampton Inn Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls" src="…tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/05/32/e8/1b/h…"/></a><br/>This photo of <a href="tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g48261-d99555-R…">Hampton Inn Niagara Falls</a> is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Edited: 23 January 2014, 03:04
Level Contributor
1,713 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

Can I comment on the overall plan? You have a very large part in California, including 5 days in the LA

area. But only a one and a half days in New York. I would urge you to add one of the LA days to NY, at a minimum. Maybe you should skip Washington DC. You spend a lot of travel time to get to a place, and checking in, packing, etc. I think the payoff is not there. Or skip Niagara Falls. New York is so amazing, has a unique feel, plus it's very large. You spend real time getting around Manhattan, not to speak of other parts of NYC. Please give it at least 2 and a half days, or 3. Glad you are doing both coasts, though.

Melbourne, Australia
2 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

Thank you everyone, I can't believe I received many invaluable advices in a short period of time since posted. I'll review and update our plan soon. Thanks so much.


8. Re: a realistic itinerary for 3 weeks in US ??

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 24 January 2015, 06:37