So pleased I bumped into this amazing messageboard. We've been planning a trip to California for some time and have finally managed to organise it for later this year. In the past few weeks I've been rummaging more and more around this site and must say it's been a superb resource in so many ways, and, much to the annoyance of my wife, more than a little addictive in it's own way.
Anyway, I know this kind of itinerary has been done to death, but I'm struggling to dig up much info on the Las Vegas to San Francisco bit.
We're going over in the first week of October '09 from the good ole' UK. We're planning to hire a small or medium sized car (automatic/ac) from the airport in San Francisco and travel down the pacific highway to Vegas and back.
We're hoping it'll go something like this;
Day 1 Arrive SFO 10pm - pick up car - overnight at airport hotel
Day 2 Head down Pacific Coast Highway - overnight at Monterey/Carmel
Day 3 On through Big Sur and Santa Maria - overnight at Santa Barbara
Day 4 On through Malibu and Santa Monica - overnight in LA
Day 5 Have a look round LA, Hollywood, etc - overnight in LA
Day 6 Out to Las Vegas via Big Bear and Barstow - overnight in LV
Day 7 Spend with friends in LV - overnight in LV
Day 8 Another day in LV - another overnight in LV
Day 9 Out through Pahrump and Death Valley - overnight in Lone Pine
Day 10 On to Yosemite via Bishop and Tioga Pass - overnight in Yosemite
Day 11 Most of the day in Yosemite the SF via Manteca - overnight in SF
Day 12 Spend in SF - overnight in SF
Day 13 Spend in SF - overnight in SF
Day 14 Spend in SF - overnight in SF
Day 15 Drop off car - Fly Back to UK
Now, thanks to various posts on here, I've been able to work out most of what I figure I need to regarding this route, though there are still one or two things that are bugging me.
I think the drives are about right, based on the kind of mileages I've previously been used to doing, but grateful if anyone could point out anything unrealistic or strrrettttched in what I'm currently planning. As I said, I'm particularly unsure about the LV to SF bit. Is LV to Lone Pine a reasonable days drive, bearing in mind we would ideally like to split off to see a few bits and pieces in DV? Similarly, the drive from Lone Pine to Yosemite. Anyone have an idea of a realistic drive time, bearing in mind that we'll be coming in from the Tioga Pass and staying at Evergreen Lodge in Groveland at the west entrance?
Anyone got any opinions on the type of car that would be suitable for this kind of journey? Will we be able to have a pretty good look around Death Valley, for instance, in a standard vehicle?
We were also thinking of maybe ditching the car once we arrived back in SF. Any opinions on that? I know it's not that big a city and public transport is pretty good, but I'm wondering if the car might be useful for wandering off, if the fancy takes us.
Right. This seems like a pretty long post for a "virgin", so I'll shut up and leave it there.
Needless to say, we're both really looking forward to this and would really appreciate any input whatsoever that anyone may be able to offer.