Hello! This is my first post. I have read some of the other posts for similar trips, but thought I would post this anyway as there are some other points I have that I couldn't find answers to :-) I have been on a similar trip with my family when I was a young teenager so have a good idea of what's what, but I was much younger than and a lot of the specifics have escaped me!
We are three 20-something guys from London, UK who are landing in San Francisco in mid April and Flying home to England from Los Angeles 2 weeks later. The flights are booked so that bit can't be changed...
What we were aiming to do is drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles, via Las Vegas and stopping at various other points along the way, e.g. Yosemite, Death Valley etc. We don't want to have too much of a plan as we want to have an element of randomness and spontaneity to the trip. But saying that, we know we need to have a rough idea of where we're going!
Originally, I thought that we'd start by driving to Yosemite from San Fran and after a night in Yosemite move on to Death Valley, but I have read several posts about this not being that straightfirward due to the road (Tioga Pass?) being closed at the time we go. My brother did a similar trip in 2005 and said he has to drive north all the way north to Lake Tahoe before going south to Death Valley. Is this right? Looking at a map it seems to be a very long way round.
Also, we know only three definite destinations. San Fran (beginning), Las Vegas (middle) and Los Angeles (end). We know we only want to be in San Fran a maximum of 2 nights, Las Vegas for 3/4 (depending on whether wego to the Canyon or not) and enough time in LA to visit most of the area (Bev. Hills, Hollyuwood, Malibu, Santa Monica etc etc). Everything else in between these stops we want to make up as we go. We'd like to visit smaller towns for over night stays and stop-offs, to see a bit of "real america" and not just the commerialised side of things.
On top of that, if anyone has any suggestions for things we should see or do, or any comments or suggestions on our suggested route, then please reply to this post of email me as we'd be interested to hear ideas and suggestions from local folk! Thanks!