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  1. Default Honeymoon help - SF/Coast/Vegas

    Hi guys, first post from me, John from Kent in UK. We are coming to California next May on Honeymoon and have 2 weeks. At moment we are flying into SanFran, want to take in coast road to Los Angeles (without driving every day) and also LV and Yosemite (3 days SF, 3 days LV). I reckon 5 days minimum on coast road, but don't seem to have time to go to Yosemite and do the drive to Vegas. Is there any public transport that can get us to Vegas from Yosemite (flight/train?) to cut out the 10hr drive!?

    Also any help on how to fit everything in, don't want 2 weeks to feel like a rush!!

    Cheers

    J

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default options

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Air service would be the fastest option from Yosemite to Las Vegas, using the Fresno airport. There are a couple of direct flight options, including Allegiant Airlines, which is a discount/charter service based out of Vegas. I've used them on another route, and they are ok, and will probably be your cheapest option. Since they aren't a major airline, they won't show up on the main travel booking sites like expedia or travelocity, but you should look at those kinds of sites too to see how the other airlines compare pricewise.

    Las Vegas isn't served by passenger rail service.

    Having said that, we get lots of people planning this kind of drive in much less than two weeks. While I certainly wouldn't say that spending 5 days on the coast is a bad idea, I also think you could spend 3 or 4 days there without feeling too rushed. That might make it easier to make the drive to Vegas, and get in a detour to Death Valley along the way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default One way road trip?

    Congratulations and welcome,

    Are you flying out of Vegas?

    If so it would be possible to take the drive from S/F to Yosemite [Possibly leaving in the afternoon of your 3rd day] and head back to the coast [Monterey?] on day five and then head for L/A and fly out of Vegas at the end. In May there is a possibility that the Tioga pass [120] will still be closed due to snow. If this was the case you are only adding 4 or 5 hours to your trip by returning to the coast this way.

    Nine days down the coast,L/A and Vegas should give you a relaxed pace, however, if you can find another couple of days, even better ;-)

    Have a look at your options and if you have any more questions let us know.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 09-22-2008 at 08:35 AM. Reason: typo

  4. Default

    Thanks for the replies guys....Yes, am flying out of Vegas back to UK. My (rough) itinerary looks as follows - comments from all very welcome....

    Mon 11th arrive SF (1700) - transfer to hotel & bar/dinner!
    12th&13th SF
    14th am Drive to Yosemite (arrive lunch) & pm there
    15th Yosemite
    16th back to SF and onto Highway 1 - stop...? Monteray?
    17th Monteray (17 mile drive etc) onward to.....??
    18th/19th Santa Barbara
    20th to LA and ditch car - fly to LV - hotel & show eve
    21st Grand Canyon - fly/coptor down & boat overnight??
    22nd/23rd Vegas
    24th fly home

    Only fixed dates are arrive & depart (we have booked flights)

    Any pointers/suggested changes etc v welcome....

    D

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Looking good.

    Hi,

    That looks like a plan !

    A couple of thoughts I have,
    1] Is there any reason for returning to S/F, otherwise I can't see the point of going through the city traffic again rather than going direct to Monterey/Carmel.

    2] I wonder whether it would be worth driving to Vegas rather than flying. By the time you have dropped the rental car off, checked in for your flights, baggage handling e.t.c whether the time saved would be worth the extra expense.

    Here's a link that may be of use along the coast. and one with info on the beaches along the way.

    Here's a link regarding the scale of L/A.
    If you were to drive I wonder if it would be worth the time with only the day here?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default brilliant

    I have to say that Dave's idea is an excellent one, and I think the basics of your itinerary are solid. The only two issues I saw were the same ones that Dave brought up. You wouldn't need to go all the way back north to SF, just go directly to Monterey instead, and by the time you fight traffic to the LA airport, drop off your rental car, go through security, etc, you might not save much time flying. Driving direct from Santa Barbara could end up being very similar in time you'll need.

    The only other thing is that I don't think any boat trip will be in your plans for the grand canyon. You can take tours of the canyon via helicopter or plane, but aircraft are not allowed to go down into the canyon. You'll have to do a little research to find what tour option will work best for you, but there are a ton of different companies and options to chose from.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Point of confusion

    What does "fly copter down/boat overnight" for the Grand Canyon mean, exactly? Do you have something already booked?

    Except for that point of confusion, your trip looks reasonable.

    I don't think I'd go back to San Francisco after Yosemite. I'd just want to avoid the traffic. You're not going to miss such key stretches of beach by going a bit farther south of San Francisco to start your CA-1 drive that your trip would be ruined. I would drive straight to Monterey or, if you want to drive more of Monterey Bay, maybe Watsonville. I think Santa Cruz is the closest to San Francisco I'd go.

    On your way down the coast, you might enjoy a stop at Hearst's Castle near San Simeon. Very cool place. And you might want to stop for the night at a place that's more mid-point to LA. Maybe Morro Bay or in that general vicinity.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Confusion

    I have seen the confusion regarding the Grand canyon tours many times.

    There are a host of companies that sell these tours from Vegas where you can fly to the canyon, get taken down to the Colorado by helicopter and then for a raft trip.
    The thing is, I think of Grand canyon "proper" to be a few miles either way from the South and North rim and these tours as rightly said are not allowed in this area. However they can land in the Hualapia indian reservation to the West. A lot of the raft trips actually start from the Lake Mead area and get as far as Black canyon or so.
    So technically they are Grand canyon tours, but the Skywalk is about as far in to the canyon area as they get.

  9. Default

    Guys, sorry for confusion! Yes trailfinders have a vegas add on with many packages/day trips to GC. This one was stated as a flight over hoover, mead and western GC, then at west rim transfer to helicopter for "a thrilling 4000ft decent to the canyon floor" then a boat trip on the colorado.....happy to hear of any other options as far as tours go.
    How far/long a drive is the SantaB-LV leg? Anything to see on the way which we would miss with the flight option...?

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

    Default To Confirm -- this is not "the Grand Canyon"

    Quote Originally Posted by dixon View Post
    Guys, sorry for confusion! Yes trailfinders have a vegas add on with many packages/day trips to GC. This one was stated as a flight over hoover, mead and western GC, then at west rim transfer to helicopter for "a thrilling 4000ft decent to the canyon floor" then a boat trip on the colorado
    We just want to make sure you know what you booked with this flight... Like Southwest Dave mentioned above, that helicopter flight is prohibited from flying into the "popular public areas" of the national park area of the Grand Canyon -- your flight will be in air space of the Hualapai Reservation and so you will see the western section of the Grand Canyon (but this is not the aerial view that most people think of when they say "Grand Canyon") -- it will still be a great ride though. And the boat trip is more lake than river -- since it too, is not in the deeper gorge sections of the Grand Canyon.

    It's going to be a great trip -- but we always think it is helpful to seperate marketing hype from facts when we can.

    Mark

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