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  1. Default Advice on California Roadtrip

    Hello everyone!
    I hope somebody here has some good tipps for us :)
    Two friends and I are flying from Austria to California end of octobre. We got 20 days and we are planning on renting a car for that time (we are all 25 years +). We will arive at san francisco and fly back from LA.
    we dont have a real plan yet on what we are going to do, because we dont really know how long it takes to cover the distances there, and how much time we should spend at which places..
    We want to stay in san francisco for a few days, visit Berkeley and then we want to see the Yosemite national park and maybe do some tracking there for 1 or 2 days.
    We definetly want to go down the Big Sur and drive along the coast down to LA and San Diego. Any tipps on what to see while going down?
    And the rest of the trip would depend on how much time we have left.. We would really like to see Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, or maybe go to some place in the Sequoia national park. But we really dont want to overdo things on the trip, so we dont have to hurry all the time.

    So any tipps on what else to visit, any must see attractions, and some comments on how much time those things would take are very welcome. Also if there is a chance to see all the mentioned things in those 20 days without spending hole days only driving.

    Do you think it would be cheeper for 3 persons to rent a campervan or something like this for that time and sleep there instead of renting a car and staying in hostels/lounges? And is it even possible to stay in places like San Francisco, Las vegas or LA in a campervan, or is it a bad idea. Is it allowed to stay in random places on the route with a campervan?
    Thank you for any help in advance

    Cheers,
    Hanno

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default A start.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have a good idea of the places you want to visit, which are very popular on the forums. You will find a lot of useful info here and will find a lot more info searching around the forums. With 20 day's you have enough time to add to your trip, such as from Vegas and Grand canyon you can take in a couple of Southern Utahs NP's such as Zion and Bryce and create a loop.

    If you are all prepared to share the one Motel room, then a camper van [RV] will work out dearer than car and Motels by the time you add camping fees and extra fuel consumption, and no, you can't just pull up in a random spot in an RV.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 09-15-2010 at 11:28 AM.

  3. Default

    Hi, thank you for your fast reply!
    I have been searching the forums allready and found some good threads, but I was hoping for some more insider tips in this thread maybe on what else to see and stuff.
    and the youtube link you posted is funny, but not really helpful for the trip ;)
    the thing with creating a loop is a good idea, I just have to check a few more things before deciding where to go..
    okay if the camper van is more expensive then we will propably just rent a normal car and stay in motelrooms or sth, thanks for that tip

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

    Default Wrong link !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanno View Post

    and the youtube link you posted is funny, but not really helpful for the trip ;)
    Apologies, I have now edited the post with the link you was supposed to get.

    I was hoping for some more insider tips in this thread maybe on what else to see and stuff.
    The corrected link is full of "insider tips" so I would take a look now.

    I just have to check a few more things before deciding where to go..
    Once you have done some groundwork, post it here, and we can fill in the gaps and make suggestions and help "fine tune" your trip.

    Have you booked your flights ? I ask this because, as you want to see the coast and travel inland it can actually work well by starting and finishing in the same City, it doesn't matter which one on your list, [LA, SF or LV] so you could check out which one will give you the best deal on flight and car hire combined.

  5. Default

    I thought about where to take off and where to land. We were thinking that it might give us more time if we use different airports, but if it we can make a circle in those 3 weeks without having to drive hole days that might even be better.. we want to book our flight in the next days
    Last edited by Hanno; 09-15-2010 at 01:45 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Relaxed.

    With your "wish list", the loop would save you having to go back and forth / up and down. A typical loop would look like this: SF > Yosemite > Death valley [Sequoia ?]> Las Vegas > Grand canyon> LA> up the coast around Big Sur Back to SF.

    The popular route from Yosemite to Vegas via Death valley is by way of the Tioga pass [CA120] which takes you over the Sierra Nevada mountains, but it is this time of year it is at risk of closing for the season [if it hasn't already]. It's not a big problem, if it is you can head South towards Bakersfield and go around, 'catching' Sequoia NP on route. The thing to consider is whether you want to head to Yosemite early in your trip and try to catch it open or not.

    That's a steady trip for 20 day's, say 3 day's SF, 2 Yosemite, 1 or 2 in Death valley and/or Sequoia, and a couple each in Vegas, Grand canyon and LA and 2 or 3 to drive the coast. That's around 16 day's, so plenty of time to move around and see the sights and relax, or to keep moving and take in some extra's such as the loop into Southern Utah.

    Let us know what you have come up with.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default American college football interest you?

    If you're going to be in Berkeley in late October, you could consider trying to get tickets to the Cal - Arizona State football game on 10/23.

    Gametime not yet announced.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Silicon Valley, California
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanno View Post
    Hello everyone!
    We would really like to see Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, or maybe go to some place in the Sequoia national park. But we really dont want to overdo things on the trip, so we dont have to hurry all the time.
    Chuess Hanno!

    One year ago we did a trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas and back. Going, we went the fastest route, down the Central Valley to Bakersfield, the across to Las Vegas. Coming back, we went north in Nevada and visited Scotty's Castle at the north end of Death Valley. Then we took all-season roads to Mono Lakee (Lee Vining) and over to South Lake Tahoe and home.

    The scenery was fantastic in November: pictures at http://www.peacham.com/lasvegas

    The mountains just west of Las Vegas are worth a detour except that you have plenty of mountains in Austria (we have also done road trips out of Kaprun and over the Grossglockner!)

    Gute Reise,
    Fritz

  9. Default

    An alternative to Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park is to visit Mariposa Grove which is within Yosemite National Park boundaries:
    http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/mg.htm

  10. Default

    hey i just did a roadtrip everywhere and covered a bunch in cliforiana and elswhere. u should do a loop! take the shore south from san fransisco then the interior back up. heres what u should do sanfran -santa cruz- santamonica pier, venice beach, -big sur ( if ur gonna camp make reservations if u dont ur srewed)- sandiego-pheonix az-sadona az-grand canyon south side- hoover dam- lake mead- vegas- then to cali up and take interior up to see la, hollywood ,yosemite, then go to miur woods to see redwoods before going bak to san fran. i have an exact map in my head but im useless without an atlas.

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