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  1. Default First time West of Manhatten!

    We've had a week in New York (some years ago) so we jumped in at the deep end this time!! Three days in Las Vegas then Drive from there to SanFrancisco on 14th to 19th September. What's the best Route (via death Valley and Yosemite)? Best places to stop? worthwhile diversions? do they speak english? you know the kind of questions; any advice welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Does who speak English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stollery
    Three days in Las Vegas then Drive from there to SanFrancisco on 14th to 19th September.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! This is one of the most discussed questions on this Forum. Here is one of those posts, and if you look at the bottom of this page you will find some more ideas and if use the Search tool (in the green navigation bar) you will find about 700+ threads addressing the drive between Las Vegas and San Francisco!
    do they speak english?
    Who are you referring to?


  3. Default Las Vegas to San Francisco -- Need Ideas

    We are in San Francisco (Fisherman's Warf, I think) without a car from 19th to 22nd September. All suggestions for: transport, places to see, walking (We're English - we walk!) places to avoid....Anything! Get back to me.

  4. Default Sorry Mark!

    Random Irony...But it got a reply! What I meant was "Anything that may help a foreigner (me) to enjoy Nevada and California". Unless you've been to Europe you would not believe how "Foreign" America can be.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Some cultural adjustments

    Quote Originally Posted by Stollery
    What I meant was "Anything that may help a foreigner (me) to enjoy Nevada and California". Unless you've been to Europe you would not believe how "Foreign" America can be.
    Hmmm, I have been, several times. In any case, you might find the International Visitor page useful and this book "Drive USA" was written by a citizen of the UK and you might find his comments helpfult as well. Beyond that, there are hundreds of posts from fellow UK travelers on this board.


  6. Default Just relax and enjoy the area...

    Hmm.. I wasn't quite sure how to answer this when you first posted it. I've done several trips to the UK (as well as other places around the world), so I wasn't quite sure what you meant when you started asking these questions.

    Maybe we should start by asking you what you like? scenery? people? different cultural events? foods? wine? solitude? off the beaten track type places? birds? wild flowers? music and conversation? art & music? other stuff?

    First of all, everyone speaks English. Maybe not the quite proper British English of public school education in the UK, and there will some words used differently and some cases other things used for common place items -- but it'll be pretty understandable. (eg -- Boot of the car = "Trunk", Petrol = Gas, and so on).

    Plan on Las Vegas to Death Valley and spending all day in Death Valley if you want to see all the sights, with a possible stay near Lone Pine or Bishop. The best route is up the back side of the Sierras and across on Tioga Pass. There are possible side trips to the June Lake loop, Mono Lake, Mammoth Mountain (ski resort area, plus some nice scenery and possibly the Devils Postpile National Monument). Then over the Sierras on Tioga Pass, and then into Yosemite.

    If you can, stay in Yosemite -- failing that somewhere near. You can spend a couple of days in Yosemite just hiking and sightseeing and not see enough -- so plan on at least one full day there to look around. There are a number of very good trails and sightseeing options around the Yosemite valley floor, and up into the Sierras for a day -- bring good walking/ hiking shoes, a day pack, and plan on water and a picnic lunch (and the usual hiking 10 essentials just in case).

    From Yosemite you have a couple of options, depending upon what your interests and tastes are:

    - You can go up north along the western side of the Sierras through California's Gold Rush country towards Sacramento. Gold panning, some nice towns and scenery, the museums around Sacramento (including the California Rail Museum), and etc. Possibly you can duck east for a couple of hours each way to visit Lake Tahoe and Donner Pass.

    - You can go south west across the state from Yosemite to come out near San Simeon and Hearst Castle on the California coast (that's about a half day's drive from Yosemite). Then you can tour Hearst Castle, visit the coast, spend the night, and make your way north via the winding Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur to Monterey and San Francisco. Figure 2 nights to do this, although its doable in one longish day from San Simeon area.

    - You can head straight from Yosemite for Monterey and Carmel, and spend a day or two there. Carmel's scenery, California Missions, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Steinbeck's Cannery Row, Santa Cruz, beaches, and etc. It's about 2 hours or so drive from Monterey to San Francisco with no traffic. Dont forget that Gilroy is the world's garlic headquarters, with a world-famous garlic festival every year-- and lots of specialty food year round.

    - You can head NW from Yosemite up to Napa Valley, and spend the night there. That's about a 4 hour drive from Yosemite. There are over a hundred wineries there, with some very good restaurants and very romantic small hotels and bed & breakfasts in the Napa valley area. One caution though -- California is very strict on drinking and driving, so don't taste a lot of wine, visit a lot of wineries and then expect to drive long distances. If you spend all day tasting wines, you might consider spending a 2nd night here.

    You can mix and match from the above too, dependent upon your schedule.

    Once in SF, you mentioned you wouldn't have a car. Most of what you might want to visit once you get into the city is very doable with public transportation and a bit of walking. THings you might want to do include:

    - SF Bay tour, including Alcatraz Island.
    - Coit Tower (nice view, memorial to the SF Quake and Fire)
    - China town (plan a meal here somewhere.. some very good restaurants)
    - Fisherman's Wharf (a bit touristy, but some very good local seafood restaurants)
    - Ride the Cable cars
    - Wander through the Haight (home of the hippies in the late 60's)
    - Golden Gate Park for the scenery and musuems. (you'll need a bus to get here)
    - Drinks at the Top of the Mark
    - And for something completely different -- visit the Exploratorium. Its a very engaging hands-on science museum.

    There are some areas of SF I'd avoid after dark, particularly on foot. But most everywhere should be fairly safe during the day, unless you're doing something stupid.

  7. #7

    Default A Place to stay outside Yosemite

    I can recommend Murphy's Motel in Lee Vining. It's on the est of the park at the entrance to Tioga Pass. There's a pub in the town called Bodie Mike's which does excellent Bar food!

    In SF, if you can, also visit the Cliff House and the old Sutro Baths. Coit Tower gives lovely views and is a really nice monument to SF's firefighters.

    Also in SF, if you're without a car you might like to take a tour on a Segway Human Transporter. Really cool way to see the area. You can find them on Google.

    You'll have a fantastic time I'm sure! I'm prectically GIDDY anticipating our own trip to CA in November.

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