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  1. Default New member from UK & our 1st roadtrip

    Hi everybody, I have come across this great roadtrip website which will hopefully be a huge help on our planned trip in Sept next year.

    I am Tracy and I will be travelling with my partner Iain, who will be the only driver on this trip and looking forward to the driving...crazy!

    I'm not asking for advice on where to visit, as I'm a demon planner and we've already figured this part out! Basically I'd like to tell you our plans and you can let us know if you think that they are do'able in the 21 days planned and if you could also tell us if we've missed out any must see places, this would be great.

    We plan to fly into and out of Los Angeles LAX, with a hire car to be collected and dropped off at the planned is either an SUV or people carrier (mini van) for the room and comfort offered. Okay here's the plan: -

    Fly Manchester UK to LAX...
    2 nights at Buena Park - Hampton Inn & Suites...Knott's Berry Farm & Medieval Times.

    1 night at Palm Springs - Pepper Tree Inn...Palm Springs Tramway, Land Tour.

    1 night at Scottsdale, Arizona - Hospitality Suites Resort...Shopping at Fashionsquare Mall, but this stop is mainly to break up the driving.

    1 night at Grand Canyon, Arizona - Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins...Canyon South Rim.

    1 night at Lake Powell, Utah - Days Inn & Suites...Tourist hotspots apart from the Lake of course?

    1 night at Bryce Canyon, Utah - Bryce Canyon Lodge...Historic Navajo Bridges, Canyon Mule Ride.

    4 nights at Las Vegas - Bill's Gamblin Hall & Saloon...Freemont St, Cirque, Stratosphere, heli tour, Siegfried & Roy, visiting hotels.

    1 night at Fresno, California - Econolodge...Basically just a rest stop.

    1 night at Yosemite, California - Hotel Charlotte in Groveland just outside the park...Yosemite National Park (feel reluctant to stay in the park, due to my fear of being eaten by a bear!)

    3 nights in San Francisco, California - Chancellor Hotel...Golden Gate bike ride, Alcatraz, China Town.

    1 night at Monterey, California - Monterey Bay Lodge...Aquarium, wineries :)

    1 night at Santa Barbara, California - Marina Beach Motel...Boat trip, beach, wineries :)

    1 night at Santa Monica, California - Bayside Hotel...Boat trip, beach, winery :)

    2 nights in Los Angeles, California - Hollywood Hills Hotel...6 Flags Magic Mountain, Hollywood, Rodeo Drive & possibly Disney's California Adventure park depending on time.

    We have started collecting books & dvd's to aid us with our planning, California, San Francisco & Las Vegas guide books..also plan to purchase a Grand Canyon book. Rand McNally and National Geographic Atlasses and also a guide book on Vineyards in California is on it's way to me, which was shown on the homepage of this website last week. We have also ordered a box set of dvd's, showing road trips all over the USA.

    I have chosen the hotels using tripadvisor and google maps, I have also worked out the mileage using google maps and now I've also found this website. I've also found You Tube a great help.

    Any advice on the average weather in the various locations in September would be brilliant.

    Hope I haven't rabbled too much, think I've got everything in now though.

    Thanks....Tracy x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Good Job Planning

    Welcome to RTA.

    It looks like you've done a good job with the planning. You are really going to see a lot of the best the country has to offer.

    Perhaps, while at the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas area, take a ride along old Route 66 for a taste of old America.

    We spent a night at Williams, Az, and were able to get a room within walking distance of town and sure enjoyed the nightlife.

    Plus, for some jaw-dropping scenery and driving, try the old 66 between Kingman and Topack. Feed the wild burros in Oatman.

  3. #3



    While you definitely can do what you have planned, in my experience you are trying to cram too much in on each day and you will proabaly not have enough time at each of the places you are going to see them properly. I've 'been there and done that' in my early days of flydrives in the USA. This is OK if you are able to go back at a more lesurely pace in the future but its not so good if you cant. I regretted spending less than a day in Yosemite in our first flydrive in 1990 and only just got back there to see it properly last summer.

    As you are a demon planner, try the following.

    For everyday work out what time in the morning you think you will be ready to set off. Take your driving time ex google and add an hour a day for unplanned stops to get out and see the views etc. The country you are driving through is glorious and you will want to stop and take photos / videos / drink in the scenery / stop at the Navaho road side jewellery stall etc. Now add on some time for lunch and you have your total travelling time for the day. What time do you arrive at your destination ? How long do you have to see it in the evening ? if you dont see it in the afternoon / evening you will have to see it the next morning which will influence your start time on that day. Also bear in mind that outside of the cities, you will probably have to eat in restaurants earlier than you could in most places in the UK. We've had trouble getting in for a meal later than 8 or 9 in the evening as places were closing down for the night.

    In my opinion you are not giving yourself enough time to see the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon or Yosemite and you are not visiting Sequoia between Fresno and Yosemite.

  4. Default LA times look a little tight..

    You have basically three nights in LA. 1 night in Santa Monica, and 2 nights in Hollywood.

    Not sure what winery you're going to visit near Santa Monica, as Santa Monica isn't known for its wineries. (I know maybe 3-4 wineries in LA, but nothing significant near Santa Monica). The beach at Santa Monica is nice, but can be crowded.

    If you're in the Hollywood hills, just be aware that its at least an hours drive to 6 Flags Magic Mountain (which is in Valencia, near Santa Clarita -- about 30 miles away). Disneyland (and Disney California Adventure) is going to be about 30-35 miles away in the opposite direction in Anaheim. Hollywood is not really near the freeways in the middle of a densely urban area, and I am concerned about the time to get to places, and you having to battle traffic.

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