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Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

bangkok
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Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

Dear fellow tripadvsor,

I am planing our big family vacation trip in October 2014. We (4 adults, 2 seniors and 3 kids) will probably be renting a full size van (12 seater) hoping it would accommodate all of us and luggage.

My initial itinerary is posted below. Note that I haven't made up my mind on where to stay on several cities so any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. We would look for hotels and/or activities that are family oriented and good fun for both adults and kids.

October 12(sun) Los Angeles - Pick up car rental at 2PM

October 12(sun) Drive from Los Angeles to Pismo Beach. Overnight stay in Pismo Beach (Pismo Beach LightHouse hotel)

October 13(mon) Drive from Pismo Beach to Monterey. Scenic drive to monterey on highway 1. Overnight in Monterey (Where to stay in Monterrey?)

October 14(tues) Monterey – Aquarium, lighthouse (Where to stay between Monterey and SF?)

October 15(wed) Drive to San Francisco. San Francisco sightseeeing (Where to stay between SF and Sonoma?)

October 16(thur) Drive to Sonoma Valley (or Napa which do you think it's more suitable to bring little kids to? We are not planning on wine tasting but prefer to go somewhere with nice view & food). Drive from Sonoma to Reno (this might be a little off this forum but a suggestion on a family oriented hotel in Reno would be greatly appreciated. Circus Circus/Peppermill Resort Spa Casino/ Atlantis Casino Resort Spa/Grand Sierra Resort and Casino)

October 17(fri) Drive from Reno to Yosemite

October 18(sat) Overnight in Yosemite

October 19(sun) Yosemite – Anaheim (stay in Anaheim for 4 nights)

October 20(mon) Anaheim- San diego (seaworld)

October 21(tues) Anaheim - Carlsbad (Lego Land)

October 22(wed) Anahiem - Disneyland

October 23(thur) Los Angeles - Airport

Thanks guys.

Watee

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

Hi

Question first. How late arrives your flight from Bangkok? You'll have to go through immigration and you'll be jetlagged and tired from the flight. To Pismo still can take up to 4 hours. You have to get used to driving on the right hand side of the road in a big rental car. Rent the car as soon as possible because this type of car is not very common. Alamo rents cars like a Chevy Express. Type LM.

Your time for San Francisco is far to short. FHS why do you want to drive to Napa and on to Reno same day and then drive to Yosemite??? That doesnot make sense to me at all. I'd stay SF and drive to Yosemite directly after that and make your reservations for Yosemite.

Tet

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2. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

I wanted to say, from LAX airport, first day, going to Pismo Beach... it's quite rushed. But looking at your itinerary... the whole itinerary is rushed. You are covering lots of distances and places with hardly much time on each destination. Oh well...

But why staying in Anaheim for 4 nights? You are going from Anaheim to San Diego and back one day. And (again) Anaheim to Carlsbad and back one day. Many back and forth. Since you are used to driving, and staying in many places, why not consider going to San Diego, stay there for one night for Seaworld, then move to Carlsbad, stay there for one night, for Legoland, before going to Anaheim for Disneyland? At least save you some repetitive driving on the same route to and back.

bangkok
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3. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

Dear Tet,

We'll be flying into LAX from Philadelphia at around 2 PM (we will be visiting our relatives in PHL first, then the California trip before heading home.)

My plan after a day at SF is to briefly visit Sonoma area and then to Reno (Mapquest shows 3:30 hours drive from Sonoma to Reno). Some of my family members on this trip have never been to the US, so I really want to show them as much as I possibly could. Was thinking about showing them Lake Tahoe on the way to Reno.

Concerning the driving, I used to live in the states for some years and had a car so I'm familiar with driving on the other side of the road. I drive a 7-seat MPV here in Bangkok but I am still a little concerned about driving a 12 seater though. Went on Avis and already book the 12 seater.

bangkok
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4. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

Dear Happyfeet 1234,

Your proposed idea was also my first plan but the reasons I decided to just stay at one place (in Anaheim) were because,

1. My drive from Yosemite back down would not be too long. (6:30 hours from Yosemite to Anaheim as opposed to 7:45 hours from Yosemite to San Diego)

2. I reserved for a vacation house in Anaheim so we wouldn't have to pack and unpack everyday. we will be travelling with young kids and seniors so I think its more convenience for them not to have to move everyday.

Norwich, United...
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5. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

Anaheim to SeaWorld in San Diego is about 93 miles each way.

Anaheim to Legoland in Carlsbad is about 65 miles each way.

Therefore can I suggest that it might be worth considering staying somewhere such as Bakersfield for one night after Yosemite, then somewhere closer to San Diego for SeaWorld and Legoland, before finally moving to Anaheim for Disneyland.

Yosemite Valley to Bakersfield is about 200 miles and Bakersfield to Carlsbad is also about 200 miles, so you could perhaps omit the overnight stop if you're happy to drive 400 miles in one day, including getting through the complexity and possible congestion of Los Angeles.

EDIT: Apologies, I see the discussion has moved on while I was typing.

Edited: 18 June 2014, 10:23
Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

>> we will be travelling with young kids and seniors so I think its more convenience for them not to have to move everyday. <<

That's a good consideration. But you realize that you are almost moving everyday for your entire California trip except in Anaheim. :)

Re: 12 seater van

Shouldn't be a big issue. You will get used to it. In USA roads are much wider and parking spaces are too, compared to many Asian countries. I am confident that you will not have much problem.

bangkok
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7. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

555 @ happyfeet1234 you're absolutely right. I know it will lots and lots of driving and I am willing to sacrifice myself doing the driving. My only concern is whether the passengers can endure it :)

Washington State
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8. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

I would plan to leave LA on Monday instead of Sunday when you fly in.

Stay in Monterey two nights.

Stay in San Francisco longer.

Drop Reno entirely. Maybe consider Lake Tahoe.

Spend more time in Yosemite. If you're concerned about the long drive or the lodging costs, spend the last "Yosemite" night in Oakhurst on the way to Southern CA.

Choose either SeaWorld or Legoland. Spend more time in Anaheim.

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9. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

Has the family been to SF and LA before? Is so, I can see why you are skipping over these cities. Given the time you have and the group you are traveling with, I think your itinerary is to rushed. I know you want to see everything, but you're sacrificing "seeing" for driving, packing and moving. I'd drop Reno and Sonoma/Napa.

10/12 - Hollywood/Santa Monica

10/13 - Sightsee and Leave mid-day and go to Pismo Beach

10/14 - Monterey

10/15 - 10/17 - SF

10/18 -10/19 - Yosemite

10/20 - 10/22 - Anaheim (Beach Day at Newport or Laguna?)

10/23 - Either stay in Anaheim or move to LAX area depending on the time of your flight

bangkok
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10. Re: Itinerary comments please (LA-SFO-RENO-YOSEMITE-LA)

Considereing comments on skipping sonoma and reno route, maybe i will just drive from SF to Yosemite. Any recommendation for nice family oriented place to stay in Monterey and SF area with out costing an arm and a leg?