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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Near the beach NSW
    Posts
    35

    Default Aussies to West Coast

    Hey there people.

    Firstly a big congratulations for this forum. A plethora of information and I have invested many hours into researching our trip.

    We bit the bullet a couple of weeks ago and booked airfares to LA from Sydney Australia. It was a 'kids fly free deal' so it was too good to refuse.

    Due to this spontaneous decision, we will be on a moderate budget.

    We are there for 14 days from late April into May 09. Family consists of two adults (early 40's) and two kids, 10 and 7 years old.

    I am one of those folk who need to be mobile and am generally impatient so I think I will hire a car for the duration. (14 days). Besides, transfers from LAX to Anaheim seem to be about 2 days car hire!

    Here is our suggested itenary. (By no means set in concrete)

    Day 1 Arrive 6.30am. Quick look around LA to Hotel
    Day 2 Disneyland and surrounds
    Day 3 Disneyland and surrounds
    Day 4 Disneyland and surrounds
    Day 4 Day tour to San Diego (from anaheim)
    Day 5 Drive to Vegas via Barstow outlet stores.
    Day 6 Vegas
    Day 7 Vegas
    Day 8 Vegas
    Day 9 Travel to Death Valley O/night stop
    Day 10 Travel to Lake Tahoe O/Night stop
    Day 11 Travel to San Fran
    Day 12 San Fran (Day tour and alcatraz)
    Day 13 Travel Big Sur and coast road...closer to LA
    Day 14 Hollywood attractions, fly out at 10.30pm

    My questions.

    1. Should day 9 and 10 be replaced by an eight hour drive straight to San Fran to guive us more time at another attraction?

    2. Are the kids too young to appreciated Death Valley etc, or will it be too boring after being at Disneyland / Vegas.

    3. Is 3 days too long at Disneyland and surrounds?

    4. Others have suggested a 'clockwise trip' Does this version look ok?

    5. Is it a waste of time having a rental car all those days when it may be sitting idle (especially at Disneyland and San Francisco)

    Please suggest any alterations to this itenary / trip. Internal flights seem out of the question due to budget.

    Much appreciated

    CC.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default To Answer Your Questions

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    1) I wouldn't. Your itinerary is already heavily weighted with time in cities. This drive is your one real chance to see some of the landscape for which the southwestern United States is justifiably famous.

    2) That's a hard call, but I think they'd enjoy some of the shorter nature walks through parts of the valley. Also be sure to check at the visitors center or park headquarters about the Junior Ranger program.

    3) I would say three days is too much to spend exclusively at Disneyland, but you can break up those three days with visits to other attractions in the Los Angeles area such as the La Brea Tar Pits, the Fun Zone in Newport Beach, some wildlife areas, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and others.

    4) The only place where making a clockwise vs. counter-clockwise loop matters is in driving along the Pacific Coast Highway/Big Sur. For this stretch, it is better to be heading south (counter-clockwise, the way your itinerary is now set up) so that you're on the sea side of the road, making pulling off and getting back on the highway easier when stopping at the parks, pull-offs, and rookeries.

    5) Los Angeles and the surrounding area is built on everyone having a car. It is a sprawling city with many freeways, but not the world's greatest mass transit system. It is one city where I would feel absolutely lost, or at least stranded, without a car. You may want to park the car while you're in San Francisco, a much more compact city, but that would hardly warrant the hassle and extra expense of trying to arrange two different rentals, both with one-way drop off fees.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Near the beach NSW
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Brilliant suggestions!!

    I didnt think about the fact we were predominantly doing cities with no drives (except to Vegas)

    Should I swap Lake Tahoe for something else around Yosemite?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Hi CC,

    My only concern with your iternary is the last two days... you are not leaving yourself any time for unexpected hold ups.

    If this were me, I would have two days at Disneyland and take two days to travel from SF to LA. You will still have day 14 around Hollywood, before you fly out at night.

    There is a lot to see between SF and LA, and two days would not only give you that bit of lee-way just incase, it would also give you some more time to see the many sights along this magnificent road.

    Every bit as spectacular as The Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

    Lifey in Melbourne

    p.s. The young ones will love Death Valley especially if you take a little time before the trip, to read about its features, its history, geology, etc. enabling you and them to understand what it is you are experiencing.
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 03-10-2009 at 08:41 PM. Reason: to add extra info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Near the beach NSW
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Thanks Lifey..

    Funny you mention the Great Ocean Road. The missus and I did it in one day. We left Cobram, got to the end, turned around and stayed at Melbourne over night. 5am till 10pm trip!!!!

    Good advice..thanks
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-11-2009 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Quote of entire previous post removed

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    More than I would ever recommend anyone to do... you can't have had much time to stop anywhere and really take it in... like Lorne, Airley's Inlet and the lighthouse, Loch Ard Gorge, and walk down to where the shipwrecked survivors scrambled ashore 200 years ago, and of course, the twelve apostles.

    Why were you in Cobram? I grew up in Yarroweyah, went to school in Cobram and high school in Numurkah.

    A small world indeed! (And last weekend I was in Sydney.)
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-11-2009 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Quote of entire previous post removed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Near the beach NSW
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Believe it or not..we saw it all...the 12 apostles, london bridge loch ard gorge, shipwreck survivors graves..to name a few. Admittedly, it was drive, get out, gaze quick photo, back in the Car. The original plan was to get to the end turn around and stay at Lorne or Apollo Bay. Someone forgot to tell us that the Monday before the Melbourne Cup is a public holiday in Victoria..hence no accomodation. Had to drive all the way to Melbourne.

    Im from the Central Coast NSW, Parents live at Cobram. They went on their own golfing road trip and never came back. Thats where the kids were dropped off before our GOR adventure.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-11-2009 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Quote of entire previous post removed

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Near the beach NSW
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Still Planning, researching, googling,

    One thing has got me stumped. I want to get to San Fran from Vegas with two o/night stops. Research tells me that Death Valley is only a couple of hour out of Vegas, but Yosemite is almost double the travel time for the next day. Is there a way to cruise through death valley, see the sights, then stop exactly half way between Vegas and Yosemite? Does such a town exist?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Tioga pass?

    Quote Originally Posted by CC OZ View Post
    Still Planning, researching, googling,

    One thing has got me stumped. I want to get to San Fran from Vegas with two o/night stops. Research tells me that Death Valley is only a couple of hour out of Vegas, but Yosemite is almost double the travel time for the next day. Is there a way to cruise through death valley, see the sights, then stop exactly half way between Vegas and Yosemite? Does such a town exist?

    Hi CC OZ,

    Firstly, has your research led you to the fact the Tioga pass [hwy 120] into Yosemite will almost certainly still be closed this time of year?

    If so you will already know that to visit Yosemite you will have to go South after Death Valley around the bottom of the Sierra's and approach the valley from the South through Oakhurst. This will put you around Bakersfield for a stopping location and a small detour to the Lake Isabella area is popular.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Near the beach NSW
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hi CC OZ,

    Firstly, has your research led you to the fact the Tioga pass [hwy 120] into Yosemite will almost certainly still be closed this time of year?

    If so you will already know that to visit Yosemite you will have to go South after Death Valley around the bottom of the Sierra's and approach the valley from the South through Oakhurst. This will put you around Bakersfield for a stopping location and a small detour to the Lake Isabella area is popular.
    Yep the contingency plan is to go around. But if this occurs, Im tempted to skip Death Valley and head around the fast way to Bakersfield or Fresno to then have more time at Yosemite.

    Still contemplating.
    Last edited by CC OZ; 03-13-2009 at 12:34 AM.

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