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  1. Default Extended West Coast Road Trip 2009 - input wanted!

    Hey guys,

    I’d like some input on a west coast road trip me and two buddies are taking this summer.

    Little bit of background info:
    • Three guys from Norway 33-35, all single, all in pretty good shape. We’ve all been in the US before.
    • Interests: hiking/nature, good food and wine, some partying, some relaxing, some city action, off the beaten path type of things
    • Not particularly interested in: architecture, history, museums, gambling (I’m the only poker player of us and I’ll survive without playing for the trip, possibly a bit on my laptop/in Vegas)



    We’ve already booked tickets – we arrive in San Francisco June 11th and leave from SF July 9th. You can find a link to our route so far here. If you don't feel like going to Google Maps, the route is basically San Francisco - Seattle - Vancouver - Yellowstone National Park - Zion National Park - Grand Canyon (north rim) - Las Vegas - Death Valley - San Diego - San Francisco. 4200 miles in all over 4 weeks.

    Things we almost definitely plan to see/do:
    • San Francisco (stay for 3-4 days to recover from jet lag (9 hour time difference) and hang out)
    • SixFlags Discovery Kingdom outside SF (we’re all semi-adrenaline junkies)
    • Driving along the coast on Highway 1/101
    • Wine tasting in Napa
    • Visit Seattle: one of us was an exchange student 15+ years ago in a little town outside Seattle and wants to see the same area
    • Montana: probably sort of an odd choice, but we’re fascinated by the big, open country (so very unlike Norway) and want to experience some of the more rural parts of the US.
    • Yellowstone
    • Grand Canyon: we’re probably gonna stick with the North Rim since it’s less crowded and stay for 2-3 days
    • Las Vegas
    • Death Valley
    • San Diego: two of us have been there previously and we both loved the city, will probably stay here for 4-5 days and chill out.


    Questions for you guys:
    • Feedback on the route? Anything you would change?
    • Any activities/sights you would recommend?
    • Will we have any problems getting into Canada/back into the US with a rented car (FWIW we’re renting a Chevrolet Trailblazer or something similar) ?
    • Will we have any problems finding motel rooms along the way? We hadn’t really planned on booking much in advance apart from Grand Canyon, Vegas and San Diego. We just need clean beds and preferrably healthyish food, otherwise we have no requirements.
    • Anything to see/do on the Seattle – Grand Canyon part of the trip? Apart from Yellowstone this looks like the ”dullest” part of the trip with a lot of driving and no planned activities.
    • Any other input is certainly also welcome

    Would really appreciate any input :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default solid

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've got a very solid outline of a plan that will work well. The only think I will say is that while 4 weeks is a nice amount of time, if you spend 3-4 days in San Francisco and then 4-5 days in San Diego, you might start squeezing your time elsewhere on your trip. This is a lot of miles, and several stretches, like the coast highway, are not freeways. Its just something to keep in mind.
    • Will we have any problems getting into Canada/back into the US with a rented car (FWIW we’re renting a Chevrolet Trailblazer or something similar) ?
    As long as you have written permission to cross the border included in your rental contract you should be fine. If you don't get that permission, then you could really start having problems.
    • Will we have any problems finding motel rooms along the way?
    I don't think it should be much of a problem, but there is always a little more risk. You might want to also consider where you will be around July 4th, since you'll likely be seeing more travelers for the Independence Day holiday and you might want reservations then too.
    • Anything to see/do on the Seattle – Grand Canyon part of the trip? Apart from Yellowstone this looks like the ”dullest” part of the trip with a lot of driving and no planned activities.
    Wow, I think you should go back and do a little more research then. The scenery in this part of the country is some of the most amazing anywhere in the world. You'll be within a short drive of at least 6 national parks and thousands of acres of national forest lands between Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon alone. You should have no trouble finding things to fill up your nature/hiking goals in this part of the country.

  3. Default

    Thanks a lot for the tips about timing, July 4th and written permission to cross the border Michael! I think we need to sit down and try to time our trip a bit more carefully, especially since we need to book rooms for the Grand Canyon rooms and Las Vegas/San Diego.

    I worded myself poorly about the "dull" stretch, I'm absolutely aware it's a very beautiful part of the US. We don't want to hike each and every day though, so some other activities would have been welcome. That being said I doubt we'll be bored :)

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