My husband and I along with my parents (above 60) are planning a week long road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas in late sept/early oct. The plan is below, pretty please give us your feedback because this is the first time ever we are doing a road trip and are SO excited!
Sept 25th 2010 - NYC to SFO flight, we reach 10am, therefore we have almost all day for sightseeing in SF.
Sept 26th 2010 - SF all day, we figured 2 days is needed in SF since my parents have not been there.
Sept 27th 2010 - SF drive to Napa/Sonoma, 1 night - How long is this drive, which place is better to visit and on-route to the rest of our journey? Any recommendation of a nice but reasonably-priced place in a beautiful location to spend the night in? We could 2 rooms of one large cabin with 2 rooms where all of us can stay. Please make this consideration while recommending places to stay in other locations as well.
Sept 28th 2010 - Napa/Sonoma to Lake Tahoe, 1 night - How long is this drive, only suggest stops extremely worth it on the way? We'd like to reach there at a reasonable time so we can enjoy the place since we only have one night there. Please recommend a reasonably-priced yet lovely place to stay at night.
Sept 29th 2010 - Lake Tahoe to Yosemite, 1 night. How long is this drive, only suggest stops that are worth it on-route? Is 1 night is Yosemite enough - what time do you anticipate we will reach there? if so what should we do there? My parents are elderly so we can't have something too active but would like to experience the best parts of Yosemite. Please suggest a reasonably-priced yet lovely place to stay at night. Will we see Sierra Nevada mountain during these 2 days?
Sept 30th 2010 - Yosemite to Death Valley, 1 night. How long is this drive, we want to make stops at Sequoia, is Kings Canyon worth the visit? Here are other place we have in mind - Gold Rush Country, Bodie Ghost House, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Mt. Whitney and Devil's postpile - which of these would you recommend, again pls only suggest amazing stops since our trip is so tight. We want to reach Death Valley at night, so we have all day to visit many places on route and have a relax yet fun drive. Please suggest a area and place to spend the night in DV. We will be with our parents so the place should be nice and beautiful.
Oct 1st 2010 - Death Valley all day - Las Vegas - Flight to Phoenix to see Sedona and South Rim Grand Canyon on Oct 2nd 2010 (both in one day), fly back to NYC on Oct 3rd 2010. How do you recommend we see Death Valley in one day, what is your suggested itinerary? I'm open to suggestions re: this last route LAS-PHX but we have our flights booked back to NYC from PHX on Oct 3rd, so need to go there. Also, we have family friends we are visiting who want to drive us to GC and Sedona.
I know this is a quick trip, but we want to make the most of it. Please feel also suggest
1. Place to rent a car at a reasonable-price in SF before we head to Napa and drop off in vegas, we can book in advance.
2. The car type, most comfortable car for a road trip.
3. Possible routes for us to do this entire trip.
4. What should we be carrying in terms of clothing, etc?
5. Is there anything you would change in the above itinerary, I thought an itinerary like this would show my parents everything from wine country to bay area to mountains, forests, deserts, etc.
6. Do you think we should just spend one night in SF and add a day in another location? if something in our itinerary feels too tight?
7. Is it possible to fly from another location, maybe Death Valley to Pheonix. We don't really need to go to Vegas but are only going there to take a flight to Phoenix.
8. Are Zion and Bryce really worth it? If we are seeing grand canyon? How far are they from Vegas?
9. Things to keep in mind while traveling with parents?
Thanks SOOOO MUCH and I am looking forward to all your expert input!