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July Fly drive trip in Cali

Perth, Australia
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59 posts
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July Fly drive trip in Cali

Hi Everyone,

So things have changed a little and I have firmed a few things up so trip at the moment goes a little like this:

Fly into LAS VEGAS directly from Perth Australia (Lordy 20 something hours later)

4 nights LV Mandalay Bay - opted for the helicopter half day trip to the Grand Canyon that lands on the floor of the canyon and then boat trip on the Colorado river etc... Heli back to Vegas.

Then we are flying into San Fran for 3 nights - In SF for July 4th celebrations :)

We are going to pick up a car from SF and drive to Anaheim/San Diego.

I have pre booked one night Monterey,

One night San Simeon and then

One night Santa Barbara...

We then check into a motel 8 for 5 nights in Anaheim and decided to base ourselves there rather than LA as we will have a car for the entire duration - also plan on driving down to San Diego..

We then fly to Hawaii for 7 nights in HNL..

Then the long journey home.

Any tips on must sees on the drive between SF and Anaheim?

Would you recommend changing any of the stops to alternate places??

Thanks again

x ness x

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

Read more about the helicopter ride to grandcanyonwest on the Las Vegas forum. Be aware that you will not be visiting Grand Canyon National Park.

There are lots of suggestions of things you might want to see between SF and L.A. / Anaheim / southern CA. Some folks "must see" Hearst Castle, but it doesn't match my travel style so it's not a "must see" for me. There are parks for walking, fine dining opportunities, views of marine mammals, photo opportunities and more. Have you had a chance to read through the relevant Top Questions on the right?

Ask on the Anaheim forum about the location of the Super 8 (I think that's what you mean.)

=========

FYI ~ the usual abbreviation for California is CA. Years ago it was Calif and most folks still recognize that as an abbreviation.

Edited: 30 April 2014, 14:15
Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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21,945 posts
5,139 reviews
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2. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

Nese - have fun on your trip, sounds great.

There are lots of things to see along the coast.....but three things that are good to see is

1) Point Lobos - just south of Carmel and before you get to BIg Sur

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=571

2) Drive through Big Sur will take about 3 to 4 hours even though its only 90 miles (so that is a key thing to see)

3) Then beach areas around Santa Barbara such as Refugio on is pretty spectacular with palm trees, etc.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=603

Also be sure to see the elephant seals just south of Big Sur by San Simeon area.

http://www.elephantseal.org/

There are various other attractions, but these are some I would consider highlight visits.

Many opt to just see Grand Canyon as there is so many wonderful things to see on your delightful trip.

Have fun and enjoy

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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48,104 posts
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3. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

There is a lot to do and see in LA and SD and SF and most would suggest 3-4 full days in each city but you are short changing each place IMHO plus plan on a lot of driving if you use Anaheim as your base which is great for Disney only

Southern California
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4. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

Don't take the helicopter tour, it does not take you to the Grand Canyon National Park but rather to the west rim. I'd drive and spend a night there at the South Rim.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
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26,506 posts
90 reviews
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5. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

Welcome to the forums Ness,

I hope you dont mind, but Im adding your updated info that you posted in another thread to your original Post here on this thread so people can help you on your own thread plan your trip. Let me know if you dont want to do that for some reason, and I will remove this post. But it will allow people to help you more if they know what your plans are

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

>>>>>"Hi Everyone,

So things have changed a little and I have firmed a few things up so trip at the moment goes a little like this:

Fly into LAS VEGAS directly from Perth Australia (Lordy 20 something hours later)

4 nights LV Mandalay Bay - opted for the helicopter half day trip to the Grand Canyon that lands on the floor of the canyon and then boat trip on the Colorado river etc... Heli back to Vegas.

Then we are flying into San Fran for 3 nights - In SF for July 4th celebrations :)

We are going to pick up a car from SF and drive to Anaheim/San Diego.

I have pre booked one night Monterey,

One night San Simeon and then

One night Santa Barbara...

We then check into a motel 8 for 5 nights in Anaheim and decided to base ourselves there rather than LA as we will have a car for the entire duration - also plan on driving down to San Diego..

We then fly to Hawaii for 7 nights in HNL..

Then the long journey home.

Any tips on must sees on the drive between SF and Anaheim?

Would you recommend changing any of the stops to alternate places??

Thanks again

x ness x">>>>>>

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

6. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

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Removed on: 30 April 2014, 17:58
Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
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7. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

To answer some of your questions...

Keep in mind that the adjusted itinerary you are planning on is still visiting the West Rim, as there are no Helicopter flights that land at floor of either the Grand Canyon South or North rim.

If you want to visit the South or North Rims which have the wonderful views everyone thinks about when wanting to visit the Grand Canyon. And that needs really an overnight as its farther from Las Vegas, about a 5 hour drive.

The West Rim is pretty much a Tourist trap, and will not offer the same views. But thats up to you of course.

You can also post in the specific City forums you are thinking of visiting. Most forums have a "top questions" part in the upper right of the page to look through that are helpful. Each forum can also help you with finding good places to stay ect.

Keep in Mind if you are wanting multiple days in LA, then it makes sense to stay in that area to visit. LA is about a 1 hour drive North of Anaheim. San Diego is about a 2 hour drive South of Anaheim, and is also a nice place to spend a few days there. But you can stay in Anaheim if thats what you really want to do, some people do that. Just making you aware if will involve some traveling to do so.

You can post in the Anaheim forum as well, and we can help you find somewhere to stay. Its helpful to include a budget per night and your dates, as prices will vary with the different times of year.

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g29092-i65-Anaheim…

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

I like your pace down the coast with three nights. Monteray is a cute town. The drive down Big Sur as mentioned is spectacular, so take your time. +1 for the elephant seal rookery just north of San Simeon. I was just amazed! And I think Hearst Castle is incredible. Has to be seen to be believed - an incredible accomplishment really. I know lots of people choose to bypass it, but I'm so glad we toured it and I wish we had had more time. Be warned that advance tickets are important for Hearst.

We camped in Morro Bay and I have to say, had the most amazing wildlife viewing: sea otters, peregrine falcons, pelicans, sea lions and dolphins. Its probably not the most spectacular place on the coast, but its where we ended up spending a day and I thought it was great.

Also, there is Solvang before you get to Santa Barbra. Its your typical recreated town, but I thought it was worth a stop, if only because the Danes are the masters of pastry and ice cream!!

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

I also meant to check on your plans to stay in Anaheim. How many days are you planning for Disneyland? Depending on your balance of time, you might want to stay somewhere close to Disney, but maybe a bit nicer. We were staying with friends in Irvine, which is fairly close to Disney, but also close to other features like Balboa Island and Newport Beach. We did one day up to Hollywood and Santa Monica and it was a really long day with a lot of driving. Doable, but exhausting and you don't want to do that more than once during a short stay.

So, if you are planning on 3-5 days in Disneyland, then stay in Anaheim. If you are thinking only one day in Disneyland, then maybe look at staying closer to the beach (Newport area perhaps?) and then its a pretty short drive to Disneyland, but you aren't stuck in the concrete wasteland that is Anaheim (or at least, what I saw of it outside the park gates). If you think you want to spend most of your time in LA proper, then get some more advice on where to stay.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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10. Re: July Fly drive trip in Cali

There is zilch in San Simeon, I'd stay in Cambria instead, down the coast a few miles. It has much better hotels and good places to eat.

As others have said, the helicopter ride to Grand Canyon West is not what you want. While technically it is the Grand Canyon, it is nothing like the Grand Canyon National Park that you've seen in pictures. It is like looking at the tail of a tiger and think you've seen the entire animal.

In the Top Questions about California are several topics about the drive between SF & LA and I would peruse those topics.

I also agree with happy that you should ask questions in the specific city forums to get info on where to eat, what to see and maybe where to stay.