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Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

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Belfast, United...
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Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

My friend and I are planning to a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas next June and we're going to rent a car.

Does this sound like a good itinerary

San Francisco: 5days

Lake Tahoe: 1 day

Yosemite National Park: 1 day

Los Angeles: 4 days

Orange County: 3 days

Las Vegas: 3 days

Grand Canyon: 2days

Any suggestions on changes or other places to visit along the way or things to do would be very helpful.

Thanks

San Mateo...
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1. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

My first thought is: what sights are you planning to see in LA and Orange County? 7 days in that area seems a bit much to me - I'd knock off at least a day or 2 from that part of your trip, but maybe you have good reason for wanting to spend so much time there.

I would add a day to Lake Tahoe and a day to Yosemite. Just as with the Grand Canyon, you really should spend at least 2 days at these beautiful destinations, especially Yosemite.

Belfast, United...
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2. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

In LA we were thinking about going to Hollywood, long beach, the Venice broad walk and paramount studios.

And in Orange county we wanted to see Newport beach, Laguna beach and spend a day or two at Disneyland.

Also it worth having a car for San Francisco or just using public transport and then renting a car to drive to LA?

Long Barn...
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3. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

One day in Yosemite is really not enough. Figuring in your drive in/drive out time, you really will not have enough time to see this huge park. You can take the scenic drive from Lake Tahoe on hwy 395 over Tioga Pass and into Yosemite Valley. I hate to say it..... but you need to work on lodging in Yosemite Park now.

Belfast, United...
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4. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

Yeah I've heard that camping and hotels fill up pretty quickly near Yosemite. Could you recommend a good campsite?

Long Barn...
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5. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

This article may help you with lodging at Yosemite:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c59487/Yosemit…

Check out the California Yosemite National Park Forum for a lot more information about Yosemite. This is a great place for information about San Francisco, but I am out of my element here.

Auburn, California
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6. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm is your website to make reservations for camping in Yosemite Natl Park. You will need to try to make a reservation in Jan or Feb 2013 for camping in June 2013. Be aware that sites go FAST! People set alarm clocks to be online and ready @ 7am PST when the window opens for the dates they want. Also, don't use a site like craigslist or ebay to buy a campsite if you don't get a reservation; it's illegal to resell a reservation & they aren't transferable, so if you buy from a 3rd party, chances are you will be turned away at the entrance because your ID will be checked & if the name doesn't match the reservation you're out of luck. Yosemite Natl Park is quite big & some campgrounds are not near the valley floor (that's the area you are probably familiar with from pictures), so check them out on google earth to get familiar with where the various campgrounds are. Some of them are quite a drive from the valley. I agree w/CaSwede, you need more than one day in the park & the trip down 395 & over Tioga Pass is not to be missed!

As a native of So Calif, I can tell you that you'll find plenty to do in your 7 days! You can take in Newport & Laguna in a day if all you're doing is sightseeing, 2 days if you want to laze on the beach for a day. 2 days at Disney is fine. Are you going to Paramount Studios or Universal? Paramount is a 2-4 hour tour, Universal is an all day amusement park. Long Beach/Queen Mary area can be a full day, too, depending on how much you want to do. It's about 30 miles from there to Venice, but the drive time can be anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours depending on traffic! You could do both in a day if you wanted to, or spend a day in Long Beach, the go to Venice and the wonderful Santa Monica Pier (2 miles north of Venice) the next day. Again, use google earth to see these places and the distances.

And finally, yes, you can get around SF no problem on public transportation. Cable cars, Muni and city buses. And it's a wonderfully walkable city, if you don't mind those hills!

I hope you have a wonderful time!

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

You have plenty of time to plan and get your pick of places to stay in Yosemite where places book up to a year in advance. I agree that you may want to do a couple of days in any place -- so please add a day to Tahoe and at least a day to Yosemite.

Typically your itinerary should be posted in the California Forum as this is the SF forum to discuss all things San Francisco

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

It gets down to your own personal preference, and a little on your arrival times at your 1 day stay locations, but having just toured over there, I'm with everyone else: I'd do one day less in SF, and 1-2 days less for your combined LA/Orange county stay.

Definitely don't need a car in SF, but it's great having one in LA. We stayed in Hollywood and had free parking. It was a good base for touring around.

Yosemite, we arrived around 3.00 pm so it gave us time to do one of the sites that evening (Mariposa Grove, as we were coming from LA. Took 2.5 hours once there), and spent the whole next day trying to cover as much as possible.

If you don't plan to hike to anywhere far, and just want to see the big ticket items that you can drive to, one day is ok... if you don't strike traffic. We had very little traffic, but we went in May. Any hike that involves gaining altitude will take you twice as long as you expect it to.

3 days in Vegas is ok, but once again depends on what you want from your holiday. We did 5 days in Vegas and it was just enough, but one of those days was a GC tour.

I'm sure you'll find out that the GC has different areas to visit.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g143028-c105217/Grand…

Be sure you go to the area you want to be in. As you are driving (?), I guess you can do the West and South rims, even the North if you are super keen. Visit the GC forum for advice, and be aware of rental car restrictions about unmade roads. Story is, rental cars have a hidden GPS in them that shows the rental company where you've travelled.

GC next time, I'm doing the mule ride. Not many places in the world you can do that.

Washington State
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9. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

Hi California-bound12, and welcome to TripAdvisor forums.

This page is all about San Francisco and its lodgings, attractions, dining, and everything else. The Top Questions (upper right) has some terrific ideas about selecting a neighborhood to stay and transferring from the airport.

On the California state forum page, the Top Questions includes info about general itineraries and driving along the coast. As belo says, that's the forum where most folks plan multidestination itineraries. (And forum folks usually suggest that travelers plug their proposed itinerary into Google Maps to see the vast distances proposed.)

The Yosemite forum page has info about what to see & do, where to stay, and all that. After you read some of that page, you'll conclude that one night's stay with a few hours spent driving there and many hours spent driving away won't be nearly enough time to actually experience much in the Park.

Derby, United...
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10. Re: Road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

I am with you on this one. Staying In Yosemite in Curry Village is thoroughly recommended to really get some quality time in Yosemite but getting somewhere is a nightmare though. You will probably not get anywhere now as its so late in the year unless oyu have a good travel agent with connections. I am doing the reverse trip from Grand Canyon to San Fransisco and LA in August. I ended up only getting the tents in Curry Village but you know what, that will be an adventure.