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  1. Default Any tips? 7 week Road trip SF-SD, Route 66, Miami + Florida Keys

    Our plans are evolving somewhat and we're finding it a little overwhelming trying sort out the logistics!

    This is what we have so far (of our 7 week total):

    Weeks 1 -3
    This is part of the trip that we feel requires the most planning and is the most difficult logistically.

    We want to drive the coast from San Fran to San Diago. We will stop in SF, LA and SD for say 2 -3 days in each and do the tourist things in each, sightseeing etc and plan to fit as much a swe can in to a small amount of time.

    We want to focus our time enjoying the amazing scenery rather than spending a lot of time in the main cities.

    Can anyone recommend the best beaches along the way? As i mentioned, we are looking for more 'undiscovered' beaches that aren't overpopulated with tourists as I imaginge they would be around LA.

    We also want to camp in Yoesmite National Park, maybe camp for 2 -3 nights and do some treking. Again, if anyone could recommend the best routes to trek that would be great as our time is limited we really want to see the 'best bits'! Hopefully we will be able to book a site - i'm looking in to 'Camp 4'.

    We would like to stay in another National Park -maybe Redwood NP and see the eponymous Redwoods.

    Looking at this, what would make sense would be to do a circular Route, down the coast and back up through the National Parks to San Fran.

    But, as we want to do Route 66, this makes planning a little more difficult.

    Are there any National Parks worth staying a night at along the coast? I have looked at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park?

    Week 4- 5

    Route 66
    We originally thought approx 10 days to do this, but having looked in to this a little more we think maybe 2 weeks might be more realistic? We want to visit as many different towns as possible without feeling rushed. Any places worth seeing more than others? We want to see Grand Canyon
    and Death Valley along the way. Again, if anyone recommends places that we should maybe spend a night at this would help us plan our trip better.

    Week 6 - 3 days
    3 days or so to relax in Chicago, anyone recommenend must sees/activities to do?

    End week 6/ week 7
    Florida Keys, finish in Maimi then fly home :(

    It may be worth mentioning that my boyf loves fishing, any spots along the West coast that are particularly good spots?

    As i mentioned, its really the first half of the trip, esp how best to tackle the Coast and National Parks, which roads are best to take to take in the scenery.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Sarah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Devilish Details

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Actually, your trip looks pretty well thought out in general and makes excellent use of the time you have available to see quite a lot of the different regions of the U.S. I can offer a few tips and suggestions, so without further ado...

    Weeks 1-3
    Some of the best 'tourist' stuff to do along the stretch from San Francisco to Los Angeles is at the northern end of the Big Sur Coast, Monterey and Carmel especially: Cannery Row, The Monterey Aquarium, 17-Mile Drive, and the guided Historical Walking Tours in Monterey, each of which offers scenery as the main attraction or as an extra bonus. As you work your way down the coast, there won't be any undiscovered beaches, but plenty of stunning ones. Your best bet is, since you'll have the time, to simply visit every state park along the way. Just don't forget to also visit some of the forest parks on the inland side of the road as well.

    South of Los Angeles, the beaches do become quite a bit more crowded, but I had a good quiet time on the ones just south of Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, and of course La Jolla is worth a stop. Since you're not that interested in the cities, and there are limited road choices inland from Big Sur, what I'd suggest is that you come south as far as Santa Barbara and then use CA-150/CA-126 to bring you over to the Central Valley, backtrack north to see Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite. Then cross Tioga Pass on CA-120 and come down the east side of the Sierra Nevada on US-395 visiting Death Valley before using I-15 and/or I-10 to return to the California coast south of L.A.

    Weeks 4-5
    There's a great stretch of old US-66 in Arizona, but after that it gets pretty sparse and unconnected, having been essentially replaced by I-40 and I-44. Still there is great stuff to do along that route including the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, Santa Fe and Taos, the Cadillac Ranch, the Oklahoma City Memorial, the Ozarks, St. Louis, etc., plenty to fill a week.

    Week 6
    In the Chicago area: Indiana Dunes, the Field Museum, Lake Shore Drive, a Cubs or White Sox game, depending on who's in town.

    Week 7
    On your way down to Florida, see if you can fit in Mammoth Cave and the Great Smoky Mountains at least, and maybe a couple of the great Civil War battlefields such as Chattanooga and Shiloh.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-03-2008 at 10:32 AM.

  3. Default Week 7

    In the Keys, be sure to scuba dive at Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo also kayaking and glass bottom boat tour that is awesome if you don't dive.

    Islamorada is the sport-fishing capital of the world. Blue marlin fishing is tops here.

    For a relaxing day at the beach, Marathon has an excellent public beach called Sombrero Beach, reefs are located just off the beach for snorkeling.
    Walk a portion of the 7 mile bridge, fishing is allowed on the bridge.

    Before arriving into Key West, stop at Bahia Honda State Park and walk the old railroad bridge.

    In Key West, put on some flip flops, have a margarita and relax. Visit Hemingway's house, tour the lighthouse, have your photo made at the Southernmost point marker, and don't miss the show at Mallory Square at sunset each day. There is a great little Cuban restaurant that has live music at night with great Mojitos and authentic food right on Mallory Square.

    Give me one of those Kermit's Frozen Key Lime Pie dipped in chocolate on a stick, and I'm in heaven.

  4. Default

    In California, I found the drive from Jenner down to Bodega Bay really nice. Monterey is stunning, and I remember a quiet beach in Carmel to stroll on. I love Santa Barbara, and agree that after that you should cut inland to see other things.

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