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  1. Default Doing the whole west coast

    Hi guys,

    i'm looking make a trip from London, UK to the USA in August. Over 2 weeks i'm hoping to drive the whole west coast, starting in Vancouver..

    Vancouver - Portland - San Francisco - LA - Las Vegas - Grand Canyon (south) - El Paso

    Now i've lived on the east coast of the US and driven around it many times, however this is my first big drive on the west coast. There will be 2 of us, so driving will be shared.

    What are people's suggestions on the actual ability of this happening, and if i should change any of it?

    The other thing is, in true fasion, i'm looking to hire a Cadillac to do the whole trip in.. again what do people recon to this, will anyone hire me a car of that style that i can drop off 2,000 miles away?

    All comments welcome, tell me if i'm being totally nuts here please!

    Cheers

    Sam.

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

    Default How much time are you allowing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moosh View Post
    i'm looking make a trip from London, UK to the USA in August. Over 2 weeks i'm hoping to drive the whole west coast, starting in Vancouver..
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! I would love to have such a challenge before me. If you really stay on the coast the entire way, it could take as long as three weeks (but you are cutting off a big section by going inland at LA to Las Vegas).
    The other thing is, in true fasion, i'm looking to hire a Cadillac to do the whole trip in.. again what do people recon to this, will anyone hire me a car of that style that i can drop off 2,000 miles away?
    Most any national rental firm will allow drop-offs, but it can be pricey. National is running a promotion where drop-off fees are reduced.

    Mark

  3. Default

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your reply. There is a great show on TV in the UK called Top Gear, it's one of the most influential car review TV shows in Europe. The last episode that was on last weekend was the 3 presenters doing a cheap road trip from Miami to New Orleans, it was interesting to see how they got on!

    Anyway back to the subject at hand. My whole planned trip will be just over 2,100 miles, over 2 weeks that's just over 170 miles a day.. easy stuff. To be honest the Portland to SF route i will spend most days driving all day, as i have someone to share the driving with, that way we get to spend a few days in SF, LA, LV etc without having to move on to make up time.

    I'll take a look at National to see what we can get, i'm not holding out my hopes for a caddy as i know that it'll probably be way out of my price range, but never say never!

    If you've any tips on the route i'm planning, anywhere to add, or miss! Please do let me know.

    Cheers.

    Sam

  4. #4
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    Jan 1998
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    Default 2100 miles??? Um, maybe not

    Quote Originally Posted by Moosh View Post
    Thanks for your reply. There is a great show on TV in the UK called Top Gear, it's one of the most influential car review TV shows in Europe. The last episode that was on last weekend was the 3 presenters doing a cheap road trip from Miami to New Orleans, it was interesting to see how they got on!
    Were there any ideas or tips you could share with us?
    Anyway back to the subject at hand. My whole planned trip will be just over 2,100 miles, over 2 weeks that's just over 170 miles a day.. easy stuff.
    Hmmmm. I thought you were planning to drive the coastal routes? If you stick to the inner-state Interstate routes, it is true that you might be able to get the mileage down to 1800 miles -- but if your trip was to truly follow all of the coastal routes -- I don't think it can be done in less than 3150 miles (and even that would be rounding the corners a bit). Plus, the top average speed for some of those roads is 35 mph -- so a complete day of travel might only be 350 miles.

    But if, as it sounds like, you are going to use Interstate highways -- than two weeks will be relatively easy, like you said. So, tell what parts of the five states you would like to spend a little more time in and we can share some of our favorite places.

    Mark

  5. Default

    Yeah sticking to highways mostly, the 'west coast' is a general term! The only actual coastal road we're planning is between SF and LA, which i'm pretty sure is a 55 limit, then it's inland after that. Though to LA, the Grand Canyon, then a few other places before finishing in El Paso.

  6. #6
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    Jan 1998
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    Default Pacific Coast Highway or US-101?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moosh View Post
    Yeah sticking to highways mostly, the 'west coast' is a general term!
    Too bad! I was hoping it really would be a coastal trip. But there is no possible way it could be driven in less than 16 days!
    The only actual coastal road we're planning is between SF and LA, which i'm pretty sure is a 55 limit, then it's inland after that.
    Um... Are you referring to the Pacific Coast Highway or US-101. If it is the PCH -- you will not be able to travel as fast as 55 mph. If it is US-101, than you can expect to be able to drive closer to 65+ mph, (but US-101 does not go along the coast, except for a 2-3 key sections).

    Mark

  7. Default

    The costal trip between SF and LA is about 400 miles if i'm right? That's where we're planning to take some time and take is easy, so we can survive the costal roads and the 35mph speed limit. As we're planning to make time between Portland and SF on the fast roads.

    On a seperate note... Accomodation!

    I've only had vacations on the west coast, i've not experienced travelling around there much, as i mentioned before, i used to live on the east coast, and roadside motels were pretty bearable there.

    Our general plan was to just drive each day until we're ready to sleep and then stop at the nearest motel, i haven't checked but i assume they're pretty scattered around the place on the main routes?

    Is this a good idea do you think? We're both in our late 20's so we have no issues with how nice these places are! As long as the beds are soft and we can sleep on them!

    Also, what sort of rates are we looking at per night for the cheapo motels?

    Cheers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Coastal trip = 499 miles

    Quote Originally Posted by Moosh View Post
    The costal trip between SF and LA is about 400 miles if i'm right?
    If you are planning on driving down PCH (along the Big Sur) you need to figure about 499 miles and 9 to 11 hours.... If you were to drive down US-101 (Coastal hills and inland) it is about 475 miles 7-8 hours. If you were to drive the fastest route -- Interstate 5 it is about 385 miles and about 6-7 hours. So it really depends upon which highways you are talking about!

    Mark

  9. Default

    Yeah as much as it's not set in stone yet, we can probably spend 3-4 days between SF and LA, along the 'Big Sur'. It all depends on Accomidation.

  10. #10

    Default

    Why start in Vancouver if your just going to leave right away? If all you have is two weeks perhaps you should consider trimming the edges and sticking to say just California. You could see a lot just traveling in a straight line from Eureka to San Diego. Just a thought.

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