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  1. Default San Francisco - L.A. - Las Vagas - San Diego

    We are a 'soon to be' honeymoon couple from Dublin, Ireland. We've just booked our trip to the West Coast commencing 11th to 25th Sept and then on to New York from 25th to 29th. We are so excited about visiting and can't wait, its such an amazing country and we love it.

    The plan is to spend 4 nights in San Francisco with no car then drive to Sacramento to visit friends, we've not planned to stay there as we have booked accomadation in Monterey for the 5th Night. From Monterey its down to Cambria for the 6th Night and then to Santa Barbara for nights 7 & 8. From there we drive to Santa Monica for nights 9,10 & 11 we've booked nights 12 & 13 (Fri & Sat) in Las Vagas and then have to have the car back to San Diego for the 14th night for onward flight to New York.

    I am getting a bit scared that I may have bitten off more than I can chew as I've been doing most of my research after booking the accomodation. I think i'll be ok with the drive from San Fran to Santa Monica as we've broken it up quite well, its the drive to from Santa Monica to Las Vagas and Las Vagas to San Diego that has me worried. The last thing i want is a new wife who is going to be screaming at me "I told you so".

    I very much appreciate any tips, comments, suggestions and information you can offer us. I'd also really like some good suggestions for the LA-LV-San Diego bit regarding fuel stops, weather/heat etc. The car we've rented is a standard convertible chrysler serbring or similar. Even if you can point me to other threads in the forum that would be useful.

    Many thanks in advance and happy driving to you all.

    Apologies in advance if this post is the same as hundreds of others.....I've just checked and the total road distance being covered over the 10 days is 1370 approx which is just over the same distance as travelling from Brussels in Belgium to Malaga on the south coast of Spain, a trip i'd probabely never take on in Europe.

    Your reassurances would be helpful and would ensure a great Honeymoon.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-27-2006 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Similar idea as first post

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Honeymoons R US (today)

    Quote Originally Posted by HoneymoonCouple
    We are a 'soon to be' honeymoon couple from Dublin, Ireland.
    Cogratulations on the pending marriage and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    We are so excited about visiting and can't wait, its such an amazing country and we love it.
    It sounds like you have an amazing, if busy honeymoon planned as well,
    The plan is to spend 4 nights in San Francisco with no car then drive to Sacramento to visit friends, we've not planned to stay there as we have booked accomadation in Monterey for the 5th Night.
    This is a bit of a zig zag, Since Monterey is only about an hour south of San Francisco, but by the time you drive from San Francisco to Sacramento and back to Monterey (and spend some time with your friends in Sacramento) this could easily be a 10+ hour day. Would it be possible to spend one less night in SF and one with or near your friends in Sacramento?
    From Monterey its down to Cambria for the 6th Night and then to Santa Barbara for nights 7 & 8.
    These two legs are very reasonable.
    From there we drive to Santa Monica for nights 9,10 & 11 we've booked nights 12 & 13 (Fri & Sat) in Las Vagas and then have to have the car back to San Diego for the 14th night for onward flight to New York.
    Driving time from Santa Monica to Las Vegas is 5.5 hours. Not a big deal. Driving time from Las Vegas to San Diego is about the same.
    The last thing i want is a new wife who is going to be screaming at me "I told you so".
    Hey, you gotta get used to that....
    I'd also really like some good suggestions for the LA-LV-San Diego bit regarding fuel stops, weather/heat etc.
    It is likely to be quite warm in Los Angeles during your stay, but quite pleasant in Las Vegas. Daytime temps in LA could be ~100+ degrees, but in Las Vegas it will probably be 85 to 95 degrees. It is nearly impossible to drive between Santa Monica and Las Vegas and not see a fuel station more than every 10-25 miles.
    over the 10 days is 1370 approx which is just over the same distance as travelling from Brussels in Belgium to Malaga on the south coast of Spain, a trip i'd probabely never take on in Europe.
    There is a book written by an Englishman that you might find helpful -- Drive USA has lots of good advice in it.
    Your reassurances would be helpful and would ensure a great Honeymoon.
    You are going to have a wonderful time. Here are some ideas for fun things to do in Las Vegas...

    Mark

  3. Default Thanks a million

    Thanks Mark for the great reply, its been very reassuring indeed to hear back from somebody on the ground so to speak.

    We've pre-booked accomadation in San Francisco for the 4 nights but I think I'll take your advice, give up the room and stay the night in Sacramento with the friends. It is a honeymoon after all and the last thing I want is for us both too tired after too much driving. The links you posted are also very helpful as i was looking for some good travel books before we leave.

    This is a great site and a resource i'll be using during my travels.

    Thanks again.

    P.S. is the convertable a good option or should we go for a sedan. That's it for now but i'm sure i'll have a few more questions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Convertible

    Quote Originally Posted by HoneymoonCouple
    P.S. is the convertable a good option or should we go for a sedan.
    I am a bit of a stick-in-the-mud and don't like the wind battering quailties of convertibles. I would choose a sedan. More comfortable, better A/C, better security, less obtrusive. But maybe not as romantic...

    Mark

  5. Default

    *Grins* Now I do have to chime in here..

    According to www.weather.com, in September, the average high in LA is 83 F. In Las Vegas, the average daily high is 94 F. Moreover, if you go closer to the ocean than LA (which is 20 miles or so inland), to say Santa Monica, the average high is about 5 degrees less. Other places along the coast near LA (such as Newport Beach), the average daily high in September is only 73 F. It'll probably be hotter in Vegas than LA...

    The drive from Santa Monica to Vegas is a pretty nice one, with the worst part in my opinion, being getting through LA's rush hour traffic and out into the desert. If you start mid-morning after the rush hour has died down, you'll still be in Vegas by mid afternoon. The roads are excellent -- superhighways all the way -- with good emergency services, and gas/ rest/ convenience store locations every 10 miles or so. It's about a 6 hour drive with minimal stops -- but you will probably have to stop at least once to get gas, stretch your legs, and use a restroom.

    It will be warm along the way -- which is no big deal with an air conditioned car, and air conditioned restaurants, etc. Just in case, I always have a small cooler and some water or soft drinks in the car because even in air conditioning you can get parched and dehydrated without realizing it. That's probably the biggest problem you'll find -- and its not uncommon to have someone forget to drink water, or not want to drink water because they'll have to stop and find a bathroom, etc. If you start getting a headache or feeling poorly, you're probably getting dehydrated from lack of fluids -- just chug down a half liter of water, and follow it with another in 10 minutes or so and you'll probably start feeling better. I figure its better for me to stop and stretch my legs at a rest area every couple of hours rather than feel bad by not drinking enough water.

    Heading from Vegas to SD, you'll got a couple of choices of routes. One interesting one is to come straight south through Searchlight NV, to Needles CA, and then south along the Colorado (Vidal Junction, then south). There are some large Indian Intaligos near the road about 10 miles north of Blythe, or you can go south on the Arizona side through Quartzite. This route goes south to eventually head west into SD via I-8 -- picking it up either at Yuma, or bending west via Brawley and the south end of th Salton Sea. Depending upon how you want to go, you can either do the high speed run in via I-8, or detour up through Borrego Springs/ Anza Borrego Desert State Park , and then the old mining town of Julian in the San Diego mountain back country, before heading into SD.

    Another route would be to return pretty much the way you came to Vegas, then then head south to SD on I-15, which is an excellent superhighway.

    All these roads are in good shape, and are at a minimum State Highways (2 lanes, good maintenance). Services along the roads depend upon the region, but I've never had a problem finding a gas station, bathroom or small store within about 30 minutes or so.

    Check the distances and drive times you'll be going with something like www.maps.msn.com, or www.mapquest.com or the yahoo maps, and figure out what you'll be comfortable with driving and where you'd like to sightsee or visit. The shortest/ fastest route is to retrace your steps and head south on I-15, which will be around 5 hours drive time (plus stops, etc.). The longest route will be 10+ hours of drive time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,059

    Default Care to make a small wager on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison
    It'll probably be hotter in Vegas than LA...
    Summer slams shut here in Las Vegas on Labor day (most years). I think the only wiggle room you have is the determination of what constitutes the temperature for LA. I will wager a tank of fuel that the temperature at LA City Center will be higher than the temperature at city center in Las Vegas over the 48 period of Sept 11-12, 2006.

    Mark

  7. Default The Weather

    Hi Guys and thanks for the reply Larrison, again very helpfull. I will look into the different routes you suggested for the return journey from Las Vagas to San Diego.

    I don't want to be the source of a good arguement but we'll be driving from L.A. to Las Vagas on the Frifday 22nd September and returning on Sunday 24th September, being Irish I'm not sure when Labour Day is in relation to these dates.

    Hope this is helpful in the weather arguement.

  8. #8
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Labor Day... you'll miss it.

    Labor Day (or Labour Day as our friends from across the pond spell it) is in the beginning of September, you'll miss the Labor Day Chaos by about 2 or 3 weeks.

    I don't think the end of september will be too hot, lest theres a heat wave or something. Typically it starts cooling down every where end of september/early october. Even in Phoenix, AZ. I don't have the specifics about me right now, but it shouldn't be in the 100's.

    Speaking of the weather in Phoenix... it was excellent out last night. A perfect night for a stroll if anyone was in town to enjoy it! Some lightning off in the distance made it even better.

    Have a great honeymoon!

    -Brad

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default I love to disagree with our esteemed Editor sometimes, too!

    I won't get into the debate on the temps in LV and LA, but I think you should get a convertible if you can find one and can afford it.

    Convertibles are a kick. The A/C in them works just fine. You can use the A/C with the top down if you're getting a tad too warm. If won't cool you off as much with the top down, but it still has a cooling effect. If you're really hot or that sun if beating down too strong on you, just put the roof up. The A/C works just as good as in a sedan with the top up.

    The views from a convertible can't be beat. I wish I had one and my next car will definitely be a convertible. I'm old, I've worked hard, and I deserve one. So there! LOL

    Oh, do get hats. I'm thinking more for sun protections than from wind or to avoid whipping your hair around. Something like a cheap straw hat with a wide brim and a tie for around the chin, or something like that. You definitely want something that will cover the part in your hair, your ears, neck, etc. If you forget sunscreen on these, they can really get burned if the sun is out full-force.

    Enjoy!

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    Summer slams shut here in Las Vegas on Labor day (most years). I think the only wiggle room you have is the determination of what constitutes the temperature for LA. I will wager a tank of fuel that the temperature at LA City Center will be higher than the temperature at city center in Las Vegas over the 48 period of Sept 11-12, 2006.

    Mark
    *laughing* thanks Mark, but I'm not going to bet.

    FYI -- www.weatherunderground.com has a almanac feature that you can check historical weather for places.

    Last year. Sep 11, 2005 the relative high temperatures were..

    Los Angeles, CA (downtown) had a high of 74 F.
    Las Vegas, NV was 88 F for a high.

    The average for Sep 11th, for Los Angeles is 84F on that day.
    For Las Vegas, for Sep 11th, the average high is 96F.

    Not a good bet on your part..

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