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  1. Default Californian honeymoon road trip...

    Hi, we 2 brits have just booked our honeymoon for a 14 night road trip tour around California in Sept. after lengthy research and discussion our itinerary basically is as follows.
    San Francisco 3 nights
    Yosemite 2nights
    Death valley 2nights
    Las Vegas 3nights
    Palm springs 1night
    L.A 2nights
    Carmel 1night.

    because we wanted to see so much and not just drive through and say that was it! we are stopping in some of the locations for longer than a night.

    Only reservation and questions is a days drive and night long enough to experience Carmel before catching our flight from san fran? We want to experience Highway 1 and not just drive it...

    Also not sure of what is to see between Vegas and Palm springs and then onto LA any ideas , places of interest would be helpful

    We understand Death valley will be hot in sept... Safe to get out of car and explore or too Hot stay in air conditioned SUV ?

    heres looking forward to it !

    TobyandEm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Fall in the Desert and on the Coast

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Looks like a good plan with one possible exception, and you've already alluded to it. I don't think one night in Carmel on your way back to San Francisco will let you do justice to the Big Sur coast, Carmel, Monterey and everything else along that stretch, especially if you are planning on getting from Carmel to SFO to catch your plane home. I'd leave at least two full days to make the drive up the PCH (CA-1) and have some time for the Carmel and Monterey. And I'd plan on being in or very near San Francisco the evening before your flight home unless it is a very late departure. I also think I'd get the needed extra time by skipping Palm Springs and/or taking a day away from my initial stay in San Francisco. Palm Springs is really kind of out of the way on your drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and you can pick up some of your time in San Francisco at the back of the trip if you still have time.

    It will still be quite toasty in Death Valley in September, with highs topping out around 105°F (40°C) on average, but that should certainly not prevent you from getting out of the car and doing some exploring on foot. Just be sure to bring lots of water and wear loose, light-colored clothing and a good hat with a wide brim. People hike in Death Valley year round and you can too.

    As for things to do in this general neck of the woods, be sure to read through the threads linked to in this post.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Congratulations on the pending wedding!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobyandem View Post
    Hi, we 2 brits have just booked our honeymoon for a 14 night road trip tour around California in Sept.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Congratulations on the pending marriage and honeymoon. Your schedule looks pretty good -- with this one caveat -- my idea of a road trip honeymoon -- would factor on 3 days of hanging out and resting for every one day of driving. I still think you have too many hours and days on the road -- but given your intentions.... personally, I would cut Palm Springs and spend that extra day on the California coast. Perhaps an overnight in Morro Bay/Cayucos and a second night in Monterey or Seaside (Carmel is a bit too pricey). The Seacliff Inn in Aptos would be my choice for this area -- pretty awesome walking beach and gardens.
    Also not sure of what is to see between Vegas and Palm springs and then onto LA any ideas , places of interest would be helpful
    Sunset on top of Kelso Dunes at sunset is pretty special and romantic. Here are some tips for visiting Los Angeles.
    We understand Death valley will be hot in sept... Safe to get out of car and explore or too Hot stay in air conditioned SUV
    It is starting to cool down in Death Valley in September. Daytime temps average 100 degree F. So, if you are staying at the Furnace Creek Ranch -- early morning hikes will be fine. Unfortunately, the Furnace Creek Inn will still be closed in September, but you ought to swing by and walk in the gardens!

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default

    Take a look at the Twentynine Palms Inn which I think is between LA and Vegas. I stayed here Oct 2002 as my sister got married in the Joshua Trees park (close by) and had her reception at the inn. It's a really gorgeous place tucked away in the desert, with each cabin very private and comfortable. It's where a lot of Hollywood types go out to hang out - my sister's place had a pull-down projector screen as so many directors stay there and watch the rushes from that day's filming in Hollywood!

    A really lovely break. On the trip between the inn and LA, we passed an amazing desert of giant wind turbines. Takes your breath away.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default And darn good food too!

    That cafe by the pool (at the Twentynine Palms Inn) is one of the best-kept secrets for lovely California cuisine-- all fresh ingredients and very yummy and special!

    Twentynine Palms is also known as the "City of Murals" and here is one of my favorite murals in the state.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobyandem View Post
    Hi, we 2 brits have just booked our honeymoon for a 14 night road trip tour around California in Sept. after lengthy research and discussion our itinerary basically is as follows.
    San Francisco 3 nights
    Yosemite 2nights
    Death valley 2nights
    Las Vegas 3nights
    Palm springs 1night
    L.A 2nights
    Carmel 1night.
    i would have thought it would be worth considering taking 1 night from san fran at the beginning,1 night from death valley, and 1 from vegas and add it to carmel and san fran at the end.
    i can't think of a nicer place to spend some "special time"than in yosemite,congratulations and good luck with your plans
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-19-2007 at 11:40 AM. Reason: removed the extra spacing

  7. Default

    Guys, thanks for your ideas and suggestions. We have noted and will discuss and have a look at our itinery.

    I know honeymoon does sort of mean relaxation and chill time so we have added a week in hawaii after driving back to san fran... The flight back to the UK will be lengthy but jet lag at the office will be worth it!

    One further question. we have hired a chevrolet trail blazer and because there is a shortage in the UK and from the internet it looks huge. Does this vehicle limit us in yosemite ie narrow roads etc. or are we being over cautious. We decided to not to hire a convertible soft top because of heat in the desert and luggage space.

    Thanks again

    T&E

  8. #8

    Default California coast

    I'll further encourage you to spend more time between LA and SF by overnighting along the way. My wife and I just traveled from the vicinity of the SF airport down to Ventura, CA two weeks ago, in one day, and it was marvelous, but we wish we'd taken more time (as we were well-advised to do herein).

    I'll add Cambria, CA to the list of places to spend the night. Pricey, sure. But, there are a number of very nice looking hotels right on the beach road (which looks like the former Coast Highway). There's a beautiful boardwalk along the beach bluff between the road and the water, steps down to the beach, and the beach is littered with moonstone pebbles, hence the name--Moonstone Beach. In addition, the entrance to the Hearst Castle, San Simeon, is only a few miles up the coast to the north.

    The slowest (due to tight curves) and most remote part of the Coast Highway is from just north of the Hearst Castle on up to Carmel. With a dozen to dozen and a half short stops for a picture and to enjoy the view, it took us 4.5 hours to cover this 100 mile stretch. We had the great pleasure of clear weather (no morning fog that day) so the views were terrific.

    I would not be concerned about the Trailblazer and US roads. While the Trailblazer is big by UK or European standards, the US roads, even in Yosemite and elsewhere on your trip, are entirely in tune to that vehicle's width. It's a good-sized vehicle with great visibility and you'll likely enjoy it.

    I see you're going to Hawai'i, too. I can heartily recommend getting over to the Big Island and taking a guided trip to the top of Mauna Kea for sunset and stargazing. Starting out at Kona (sea level) and seeing the sunset from 14,000' is incredible! The snorkeling along the many reefs is as good as any place I've been, too.

    Foy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobyandem View Post
    One further question. we have hired a chevrolet trail blazer and because there is a shortage in the UK and from the internet it looks huge. Does this vehicle limit us in yosemite ie narrow roads etc. or are we being over cautious. We decided to not to hire a convertible soft top because of heat in the desert and luggage space.
    just to reassure you,we just got back to the u.k. after 3 weeks in the u.s. with a 30ft r.v. that was just over 8ft wide and everything was fine.this was our first trip so you should have no worrys.we done yosemite and a lot worse!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-20-2007 at 02:52 PM. Reason: removed the extra white space

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