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Itinerary options for my trip

Cologne, Germany
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Itinerary options for my trip

I am planning to head to Las Vegas with friends, and have some time to explore a bit of California beginning of October.

I can either arrive in SF on a Tuesday, or in LA on a Wednesday - and would leave LA on a Sunday 19 days later. The only constraint I have is that I have to be in Vegas for 10 days (Tuesday - Thursday the following week) - which gives me some time before and after.

I have done some initial research, can came up with two options, and just wonder about preferences and suggestions.

Option 1: Flying to LA

The first option would be flying to LA, arriving on 1st October. The plan would be hiring a car, and doing a road trip to SF, leaving LA on the 2nd. I would plan three days for the scenic route, which means I arrive in SF on a Saturday evening. That would give me 2 1/2 days to explore SF, before flying to LV. From LV I would then fly to LA on a Thursday, giving me around 2 1/2 days to explore LA

Option 2: Flying to SF

Second option is to fly to SF from the UK, arriving on the 30st September, explore SF an then hire a car for 4 days to LV, with a 2 nights at Yosemite Park. I would then fly from LV to LA after my stay there to have 2 1/2 days in LA for sightseeing.

So a couple of questions I have are:

Is 2 1/2 days for SF and LA each sufficient to see the main attractions?

Are either of the two drives I am considering better / easier for the time I visit?

I read so many positive things about both routes - and I think I would enjoy both (great scenery for pictures, and to enjoy the drive (might consider getting a car you won't get easily here in Europe..)). Any advise / thoughts about general preferred routes?

I know it is always difficult to provide advise for such questions, but it is a difficult choice, and any tips would be much appreciate - so I can book my flights.

San Diego
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1. Re: Itinerary options for my trip

My first response to your trip is "10 DAYS in Las Vegas?????"

I cannot begin to imagine that and then only 2 days for major cities like LA or San Francisco!

What types of things did you want to see/do in those cities?

I know that when I go to Europe I need at the very least 3 full days to even begin to get the flavor of a city.

Not sure really why you'd fly to California 2 different times instead of just doing a portion in Las Vegas and then a 2nd portion in California but I suppose the designated time with friend in Las Vegas is the reason for the broken up California visit?

Depending on where you live in Scotland I'd say if you've seen coastal vistas then perhaps the route through Yosemite would be more unique for you.

Fremont, California
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2. Re: Itinerary options for my trip

You have two excellent routes to take and I appreciate your dilemma.

Given that you are in Scotland, its closer to the ocean instead of tall mountains like Yosemite, so from that perspective I would go with the Yosemite route. Be sure to book your lodging in advance (check that as it might be the deciding factor of if you can do Yosemite as you plan. Things do book up a year or so in advance but there are periodic cancellations, so sometimes you are lucky to find a spot even closer to your dates. Other option to find lodging in the park is to check Yosemite West.


We just did two weeks in Las Vegas and too short - so many amazing parks around the area; things to see; eat enjoy (one week we were at Consumers electronics show for work,) You will enjoy Las Vegas even if the 10 days are either personal or work related. If you have questions regarding Las Vegas, I would post on the Las Vegas forum, a friendly trip advisor site with lots of great people who can answer any questions you have there.

Have a great trip.

In my humble opinion, both of your plans are excellent options and doable.

its sort of like "flipping a coin" and going with one or the other if your mind is still not made up.

Edited: 28 February 2014, 18:14
Cologne, Germany
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3. Re: Itinerary options for my trip

Thanks for the advise.

Riff, usually I would change the order of the trip, but as the main reason for going is to join my friends in LV, I need to work around that. And being 8 full days in Vegas should be nice, especially as it covers my birthday as well.

However, for either option I might check if I can add a day each for LA and SF.

But both your points give me some food for thoughts, and will check accommodation availability as well. Slightly more research needed before booking the flight

Pasadena, California
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4. Re: Itinerary options for my trip

Your itineraries are both great, but as others have mentioned, completely different. California is so huge (especially north-south) that the two itineraries are totally unlike each other--especially when you add Oregon to the mix. Like deciding on a trip to France: Provence and Cote d'Azur, versus Brittany and Normandy? No wrong answers here.

Oregon Coast
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5. Re: Itinerary options for my trip

To me, the coast of California isn't much like Scotland ;-) However, the Yosemite route would offer dramatically different landscape. Tioga Pass should(?) still be open in early October, and you could cut through Death Valley.

The key element with this option is getting lodging in/near Yosemite.

As far as Las Vegas, there is sooo much to do and see that does not involve gambling or partying. (Nothing against that, just not my idea of fun.) The museums are great (there are several), Fremont Street Experience, nearby interesting parks .... just lots of stuff!

So Cal
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6. Re: Itinerary options for my trip

"Is 2 1/2 days for SF and LA each sufficient to see the main attractions?"

I was going to answer that with: Is 2-1/2 days enough to see the main attractions in Edinburgh? But then I thought, I've never been there, perhaps it is.

The answer is no, you cannot see the main SF or LA things in that amount of time. But you'd be pressed to see everything in the oft-recommended 3 or 4 days, as well. The question is, is that enough time for *you* to see what interests *you*, or at least enough time to make a stay there more worthwhile than a stop somewhere else?

7. Re: Itinerary options for my trip

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