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  1. Default Advice needed! Vegas Bryce Lake Powell Grand Canyon San Diego LA HW1 SF

    Dear All,

    I believe this is my first post on this forum, and first of all, I wanted to thank you all for the amazing resources you give out here! I have been reading up on this forum for days in order to build the itinerary that'll fit the needs of my sister and I for our upcoming trip.

    We're planning three weeks throughout NY, the national parks and California in late July - mid-August. Basically, we come to see the great sites like the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon or Las Vegas... but also to have a real taste of America. Added to that, my sister isn't much of a hiker (and me netiher, to be honest), so 10-hours hikes are out of the question.

    We'll be renting a car in Las Vegas to go through the parks, then down to Dan Diego and all the way up to San Francisco. I am having trouble organising it as I find that a lot of itineraries actually start in SF and end in LA, bu we really wanted our last week to have sister-chilling-time in California (we haven't seen each other in a while, as we live on different continents!)... so beaches, shopping and nice meals absolutely needed to be in the picture :) And the time in New York, too.

    I think we might drop Yellowstone as well, as i suspect the park will be crowded wehn we're around there (second week of August), and due to our long-hike reluctance, we won't have time to get deep into the park...

    This is for the backstory. Here's the planned itinerary:

    Day 1 Arrival around lunch time NY
    Day 2 NY
    Day 3 NY
    Day 4 NY
    Day 5 NY
    Day 6 NY + flight to Las Vegas
    Day 7 Las Vegas + road to Bryce – overnight stop in Springdale
    Day 8 Bryce Canyon
    Day 9 Lake Powell
    Day 10 Monument Valley
    Day 11 Grand Canyon (North Rim/South Rim?)
    Day 12 ???
    Day 13 ???
    Day 14 San Diego
    Day 15 Los Angeles
    Day 16 Los Angeles
    Day 17 Santa Barbara
    Day 18 Beach (beach time will be between pismo beach? carmel? monterey? big sur?)
    Day 19 Beach
    Day 20 San Francisco
    Day 21 San Francisco
    Day 22 San Francisco (departure)

    Now, my issues are:
    - Two days in the middle with nothing there - Is it worth it to take more days in the parks the days before... or to try and fit in a trip to the Sequoia park later in the trip?
    - Getting from the Grand Canyon to San Diego - that's an awfully long road (we try not to drive more than 4.30 hours a day...)... Where should we stop? Should we forgo San Diego altogether? I hear it's a great place to be!!
    - US Route 66: I'd really be able to drive a little on the Mother Road... At what point would it be the wisest? I am aware it would take longer, but I think I'd be willing to do it - provided i find a nice diner along the road...

    So here goes my not-so precise plan. I really want to have a good itinerary so that once I have it, we can stop whenever we want along the road (we'll be booking rooms in the parks but we'll leave the rest opened, I think (or maybe not, we aren't sure yet), and see how we go along...

    So anyways, I'd be really interested to know your opinion about the three points earlier... Any information or idea will be welcome!
    Thanks so much in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default geography

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    A couple things.

    First while you've listed 2 "???" days between the Grand Canyon, you'd need at least one of them just to travel between GC and SD. If you only want to travel 5 hours a day, plus you want to travel some of old route 66, you'll certainly need both of those days for the trip.

    You should also know that Route 66 actually doesn't exist anymore, as the highway was decommissioned more than 2 decades ago. However, there are some stretches of the old road that you could take in Arizona as you make your way towards San Diego.

    I'll also say that if you really want beach time, you'd be better off spending more time around San Diego or LA. There are some beaches as you make your way north, but the central coast is more of a rocky area than an area with great beaches. Not to mention, with the cool waters of the Pacific, being farther south will keep you at least a little bit warmer.

  3. Default

    Michael, thanks!

    I was suspecting a long drive from the Grand Canyon to San Diego... that's also why I left those two free. Any ideas on a stopover city worth spending some time in between the two? I was thinking Route 66 btween Flagstaff and Needles, but we'll probably see there how we feel it...

    Thanks also for the beach advice... Hard to know where to stop - from Europe, California's sunny anyways :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    How about a night in Laughlin NV, in one of the casino hotels? Another option is Lake Havasu City. If you are going to drive old 66, that will take you through Oatman - Laughlin is about 30 minutes and LHC is about an hour from there.

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