Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default New to Forum! Planning Vegas to Vancouver Roadtrip!!

    Hi! My name is Rhonda and my husband and are in the beginning stages of planning our roadtrip for this September. This site looks like an excellent resource. :)

    With a 4 week sabbatical from his job and the option to pretty much go anywhere in the world (within our budget), we looked for what would be the best value vs. length vs. awesomeness we could find in a vacation. After listening to all our friends saying "you have to go to Europe" we briefly looked into it and then changed our minds when we realized it would cost $1500-2k just to GET there this summer. In my opinion this is probably the only time in our lives (until retirement and empty-nesting) that we could potentially take a LONG vacation since we don't have kids yet. So that's what we're doing. :)

    In August 2007 we drove from San Francisco to San Diego on Highway 1 for a week and had an AMAZING time. There is no better feeling than driving the coast with the top down and music playing, going at your own pace and having the freedom to stop and see whatever you want.

    I'm in the beginning stages of planning our trip but here is our tentative route for the Ultimate Roadtrip 2010:

    -Fly from ATL to Vegas. Stay 2-3 nights. (I've never been, husband has. I'm not a gambler so I think I'd be perfectly fine with 2 nights.)

    -Pick up convertible, drive to Hoover Dam, then head south a bit and drive stretch of Old Route 66. For some reason I'm obsessed with seeing Amboy and some of the old deserted towns and driving literally in the middle of nowhere. I don't think the husband understands this desire but is open to it. :)

    -Head north and hit Death Valley and Yosemite National Parks. Still deciding how many nights and where to stay.

    -At some point (probably after Yosemite?) cut over and hit the coast. Ideally this would be at/slightly above San Fransisco. My goals in this area are to see Point Reyes and maybe spend an afternoon and one night in wine country. Last time we did Sonoma/some of the smaller wine regions around there and loved it.

    -Drive up California coast, stopping maybe in Mendocino, Eureka, Redwood Forest, etc. Open to suggestions.

    -Drive up Oregon coast, stopping at cool sights, probably cut in to Portland since I hear the Washington coast isn't as scenic to drive since the highway doesn't hug the coast like it does in California & Oregon.

    -Drive up to Seattle, turn in car. Spend 2 nights in Seattle.

    -Take Amtrak train into Vancouver. Spend 2 nights in Vancouver.

    -Board Norwegian cruise ship in Vancouver. We found an amazing deal for a 5 night cruise. Stops in Astoria and San Fran and ends in L.A.

    -Fly L.A. to ATL

    -Recover from what will surely be an awesome vacation.

    Since the only firm dates we are working with are the dates for the cruise, I'm planning our itinerary backwards. I've gone ahead and booked our bed & breakfasts (we're going to try to only stay in them...since it gives a unique experience to each town) in Vancouver and Seattle. We know there are bound to be a couple of long driving days, but we're hoping to evenly-ish space out our overnights so it's not completely overwhelming. We think we'll have a little more than 2 weeks from the time we fly into Vegas to the morning our cruise leaves in Vancouver, making the whole trip slightly more than 3 weeks.

    We'd like to drive the scenic coast as much as possible, but am willing to journey inland if a site warrants it. I'm doing research but am open to any suggestions for must stops and sites. We're in our late 20's, but like history, quaint towns, weird sites, and good beer (which I hear Oregon has its fair share). :)

    I'm sure I've written the longest first post in the history of the internets so I'll end it here.

    Happy planning! :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Sounds like a fantastic holiday

    Quote Originally Posted by GirlFriday View Post
    Hi! My name is Rhonda and my husband and are in the beginning stages of planning our roadtrip for this September. This site looks like an excellent resource. :)
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum -- and no.... your post is not even close to the longest first post we routinely see herein!


    In August 2007 we drove from San Francisco to San Diego on Highway 1 for a week and had an AMAZING time. There is no better feeling than driving the coast with the top down and music playing, going at your own pace and having the freedom to stop and see whatever you want.
    I could do without the "top-down" part (wind-sensitive ears) but the freedom of the road is SIREN call around here.


    -Fly from ATL to Vegas. Stay 2-3 nights. (I've never been, husband has. I'm not a gambler so I think I'd be perfectly fine with 2 nights.)
    RoadTripAmerica is based in Las Vegas -- because it is the ultimate place to live to do road trips -- there's plenty to see here.


    -Pick up convertible, drive to Hoover Dam, then head south a bit and drive stretch of Old Route 66. For some reason I'm obsessed with seeing Amboy and some of the old deserted towns and driving literally in the middle of nowhere. I don't think the husband understands this desire but is open to it. :)
    You'll probably enjoy the video (slideshow) we created about the Amboy Shoe Tree!


    -Head north and hit Death Valley and Yosemite National Parks. Still deciding how many nights and where to stay.
    Here are a few route suggestions.



    -At some point (probably after Yosemite?) cut over and hit the coast. Ideally this would be at/slightly above San Fransisco. My goals in this area are to see Point Reyes and maybe spend an afternoon and one night in wine country. Last time we did Sonoma/some of the smaller wine regions around there and loved it.
    If you head over sooner -- you could check out the Central-coast wine regions -- there still pretty much family operations and if you like meandering -- you'll have a blast. Here is the best guide book ever written on this region!


    -Drive up California coast, stopping maybe in Mendocino, Eureka, Redwood Forest, etc. Open to suggestions.
    Lots of favorite roads -- here are two -- Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway and Avenue of the Giants!


    -Drive up Oregon coast, stopping at cool sights, probably cut in to Portland since I hear the Washington coast isn't as scenic to drive since the highway doesn't hug the coast like it does in California & Oregon.
    hmmm, lots to see -- check out this field report: "Redwoods to Seattle – ten days on the North West Coast"


    -Board Norwegian cruise ship in Vancouver. We found an amazing deal for a 5 night cruise. Stops in Astoria and San Fran and ends in L.A.
    This sounds very awesome!


    We know there are bound to be a couple of long driving days, but we're hoping to evenly-ish space out our overnights so it's not completely overwhelming. We think we'll have a little more than 2 weeks from the time we fly into Vegas to the morning our cruise leaves in Vancouver, making the whole trip slightly more than 3 weeks.
    You've got some seriously long days in the middle -- I'll have to back this out and see if this is even possible.

    But a great starting concept!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-17-2010 at 06:14 AM. Reason: trying some different spacing for clairity of post

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You'll probably enjoy the video (slideshow) we created about the Amboy Shoe Tree!
    I was through Amboy back in December - the gas station has been reopened and they are in the process of restoring the motel. No food available, just some basic convenience store type snacks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Doable but busy.

    With a couple of days in Vegas, Seattle and Vancouver you are leaving yourself 8 day's to cover in the region of 1850 miles [or 230 miles a day] which in itself is fine but won't leave you Lot's of time to hang around in places either.

    If heading to Amboy you could also cut through the Mojave National preserve through Kelso to Baker and into DV on CA 127 through Shoshone to Furnace creek and then cross the valley on CA 190 to US 395 North towards Bishop before heading into Yosemite on CA120 [Tioga pass]. From Yosemite head to Napa and then the coast at Point Reyes to Crescent city or Reedsport before cutting in land to I 5 and Portland.

    For the first part of your journey [if you have decided on Amboy] I would consider stopping overnight in Baker or Shoshone [Furnace creek in DV is nice but could be a bit to much travelling ?] Then explore some of DV and head to Bishop/Lee vining for a night and then another just out the other side of Yosemite [Groveland] on night 3, giving you a little time to explore this fantastic park. You should then be able to make it to the coast and have 4 days to head North and pick and choose where you want to stop over.

  5. Default

    Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions everyone!

    After doing a bit more planning and looking at logistics our route may have slightly changed.

    As much as it seriously pains me, we are probably going to have to nix the Route 66/Amboy part. According to Googlemaps, it's about 3-3.5 hrs from Vegas/Hoover Dam to Amboy....which is in the middle of nowhere (part of the excitement), but that also means it's 3-3.5 hrs back from the middle of nowhere. Amboy to Death Valley (which I thought would be our next stop) is about 5 hours it seems. Logistically it doesn't make sense to do an entire day of driving to see nothing. As much as I want to experience true Route 66 nostalgia, I bet I'd rather spend more time seeing something than nothing. :)

    Therefore we're probably going to hit the national parks right after Vegas. The question is which ones and for how long. It is so tough to decide and overwhelming since you could spend weeks at each one. I've read through some threads on this site, and it seems like Yosemite is a no-brainer and Death Valley is also not to be missed, with Sequoia and Kings Canyon nice, but not as nice as the other two.

    I'm trying to figure out how long to stay and the best route to take. We want a scenic route, and my guess (since it will be September and blazing hot) is that we will do most out-of-car exploring in Yosemite and not Death Valley (unless there is a reason to change my mind, let me know!). Is Death Valley easy to enjoy by passing through or should we absolutely plan on staying the night if we left that early afternoon from Vegas? (We might be rethinking Hoover Dam...since it would be the only reason we'd head east at all from Vegas.)

    We know we're doing a roadtrip, and that means driving for hours, but we'd like to keep it at a reasonable pace. If we left Vegas and headed to Death Valley, should we drive through and try to stay somewhere past it to get closer to Yosemite? Google maps shows Death Valley to Yosemite to be about 6 hours, is that about right? So then I'm thinking maybe two nights in Yosemite before we head over to the coast. I have a good friend from high school that lives in Mountain View, California that we will probably be staying with for the night. Free accommodations with good friends is always a must on a 3 week vacation! :)

    From there we'll head north and my tentative stops seem to be spread out for driving 2.5-4 hours each day, which is completely doable and enjoyable. Any tips on how long to spend in Death Valley & Yosemite to hit the highlights is appreciated! :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I wouldn't say that Sequoia isn't as nice as DV or Yosemite, in fact, in some ways, its actually my favorite of the three.

    However, it is the hardest to work into your plans. Death Valley and Yosemite go very well together because the very scenic Tioga Pass through Yosemite connects the 2 quite nicely. There is no road across the Sierra to Sequoia National Park, so you either have to cross the mountains to the south (Bakersfield) missing the scenic passes to the north or go through Yosemite, and then double back south to Sequoia before continuing onto San Francisco or in your case the Pacific Northwest.

    If you don't leave Vegas until early afternoon, I wouldn't plan to get much farther than Death Valley. Its 2 hours there from Vegas, but if you want to spend a little time looking around beyond just driving though the park, I would say Lone Pine is about as far as you should plan to get.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Agreed.

    You can enjoy Death valley by driving through but also taking a little time to take short walks from the car is worth it, although make sure you have sunscreen and hats plus water with you. If you don't leave Vegas until afternoon then you could stay at Stovepipe wells in DV and witness a sunset and the night sky, Panamint springs, or as Michael said Lone Pine but there is no way you will get from Vegas to Yosemite in 6 hours. If you left mid morning you could continue on to Bishop or Lee Vining and be closer to Yosemite where I would most definitely plan on spending 2 nights, it's out of this world ! Sequoia is also fantastic but as pointed out not so easy to fit in on a tight schedule however you could get a sight of some Giant Sequoia's [although not quite as big] at Mariposa grove near the Southern entrance of Yosemite and for that reason I would say DV and Yosemite rather than Sequoia and Yosemite although you have the options open to you. Most definitely take the drive up to Glacier point while in Yosemite, it will take your breath away !

Similar Threads

  1. Planning a 2-week roadtrip (SF-LA-Vegas)
    By Centau in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 04-30-2011, 07:34 AM
  2. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-10-2009, 02:09 PM
  3. need some help planning a trip from NYC to Vancouver
    By jay11211 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-26-2007, 08:47 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES