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Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

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Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

Hi all,

My husband and I will be travelling to US from New Zealand for the first time for our honeymoon! We're staying in SF for 6 nights, then pick up a rental car 10am Sat 16 Sept, and have to drop it off in Las Vegas by 10am Monday 18 Sept. That give us two days to drive from SF - LV, and two overnight stops along the way.

Do you have suggestions on routes, and places (towns) to overnight?

Bit of background information:

- Would like to drive through Yosemite & Death Valley on the way

- Scenic route would be good

- We're already doing a day tour to wine country while in SF

- Saturday night stay don't mind where (we were actually just going to choose a place based on liking the name of the town!)

- Sunday night stay would need to be no more than 2.5 hr drive from Las Vegas (in order to return car in time)

- Accommodation budget - no more than $120US per night, not sure if that rules out any towns? Motel type/B&B accommodation is fine, would prefer to avoid backpackers/camping.

- As we're staying weekends, would we need to book far in advance, or could we get away with booking the week prior when we're in SF? (not sure if mid Sept is peak tourist season in this area). Not opposed to arriving at a town and then finding a place to stay but if all accommodation books out well in advance then we'll obviously need to book soon.

- Other than above, totally open on how to get to LV and where to stay!

Thanks for any ideas!

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1. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

Definitely drive through Yosemite to Las Vegas!

Go over Tioga Pass and out the park's east entrance and spend the night in either Lee Vining or Mammoth Mountain (accomidations shouldn't cost more than $80)

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2. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

The Tioga Pass is closed indefinitely. There was a landslide.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/now/tioga.htm

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3. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

RBCal mis-informed: "The Tioga Pass is closed indefinitely. There was a landslide. http://www.nps.gov/yose/now/tioga.htm"

It's not unusual that the Tioga Pass isn't yet open on this date.

The landslide was farther that fifty miles from the pass:

…ca.gov/JSPPageAssets/PriestGradeDetour800w6…

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4. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

The landslide is on highway 140 south-west of Yosemitie.

Tioga Pass is highway 120 which WILL be open by September

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5. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

In Lee Vining Murphey's Motel will suit your budget. The Best Western Lake View Lodge begins at $109 and goes up to $159. Those two are about all there is in Lee Vining.

If you go further, to Mammoth Lakes try Royal Pines Resort or Swiss Chalet Motel.

These rates come from the AAA Guide book. You might want to book ahead for your Saturday night stay, since other motels at Mammoth are more than your budget. unless you luck out and get their lowest rate, which I have found to be difficult.

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Mammoth Lakes
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6. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

Thanks everyone - looks like Lee Vining (love that name!) will be our first overnight stop.

I was searching in the Death Valley forums for info on good places to stay and saw a post with someone asking the same question as me - SF to LV via Yosemite and Death Valley with two overnights. People seemed to think that this was a too much driving and not enough time - would you agree? We're used to driving long, mountainous distances between places in NZ, so a 250 - 300 mile journey doesn't seem to far in a day (allowing for extra time to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road!) - is our itinerary really a no-go?

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7. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

JennaNZ said "looks like Lee Vining (love that name!) will be our first overnight stop."

Nothing wrong with Lee Vining but June Lakes, just a bit down the road, is quite lovely. If you want to visit Beatty, though, Lee Vining is a better choice.

Don't overlook the fascinating Mono Lake.

"SF to LV via Yosemite and Death Valley with two overnights. People seemed to think that this was a too much driving and not enough time - would you agree?"

NO! I vehemently DISagree!

I went from here through Yosemite, down Highway 395 to go through Death Valley to Las Vegas AND back the same route in 2004 enjoying it so much that I did it 2005. I'm heading to 'Vegas (and Phoenix) in a couple of weeks and will probably do the same, again, at least one way.

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8. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

Since you'll be travelling in our neck of the woods (Yosemite to Death Valley) I thought I might make a few comments. You will come out of Yosemite at Tioga Pass (a very winding, slow going road), which I'm sure will be open by September, at the town of Lee Vining, which is a very cute, but tiny town right on Highway 395. There really isn't much to see/do there in the short amount of time you have. You could travel further south to June or Mammoth Lakes, as previously suggested, or even Bishop, where I live. Normally I would choose Mammoth because there are great inexpensive restaurants, as well as fancy ones, and lots of places to stay. However, your weekend is the same one as Mammoth Wine and Jazz Festival and people book a year in advance. It will be very crowded, hard to find parking, but could still be fun. Check out Mammoth's website, www.visitmammoth.com.

June Lake is very beautiful, but also has limited lodging and restaurants. The Tiger Bar is a fun place to nosh. Bishop is also beautiful, but can still be very hot in September, if you don't mind that. It would probably be easier to find a place to stay in Bishop, but I would still make reservations. See www.bishopvisitor.com for info.

Keep in mind that once in Nevada, the cattle are out in the open (free range, they call it). I've driven through there at night and have seen them laying in the middle of the road with no regard to cars, etc. Be careful. Also, Death Valley will still be beastly hot. Take plenty of water, food, etc. Cell phone service is very iffy in the park. You should have a fabulous trip. Enjoy!

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Tioga Pass
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9. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

Thank you - looked online and the Alpenhof Lodge at Mammoth Lakes has rooms for under $100 available on the Saturday night, so we might drive that little bit further and stay there if it means something else interesting to see and do. The village at Mammoth Lakes looked interesting - is that the actual town centre or just a big resort development?

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10. Re: Please recommend where to stay - SF - Las Vegas trip

The Village at mammoth Lakes is a big resort development at the end of town where the ski slopes are located.

Mammoth doesnt really have a town center, rather a main street with lots of restaurants and shops. It's an upscale community and things tend to be on the expensive side.