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  1. Default West Coast Drive

    Hi, all

    I'm from Malaysia. Am now planning a trip to USA starting mid-April 2011. Will be bringing my wife and 2-year old daughter.

    Just want to get some opinions here. Is the following itinerary doable?

    Day 1: Arrive at Seattle airport late evening. Overnight in Seattle.
    Day 2: Pike Place Market. Space Needle. Pick up rental car and take ferry to peninsula. Overnight in Port Angeles.
    Day 3: Olympic National Park. Hurricane Ridge. Sol Duc. Lake Crescent. Overnight in Lake Quinault.
    Day 4: Travel along 101 down to Oregon. Long Beach. Astoria. Overnight in Cannon Beach.
    Day 5: Travel to Portland. Powell's City of Books. Overnight in Portland.
    Day 6: Japanese Garden. International Rose Test Garden. Overnight in Portland.
    Day 7: Woodburn Outlet. Travel along I-5 and cut to 101. Overnight in Crescent City.
    Day 8: Redwoods State Park. Avenue of Giants. Overnight in Ukiah.
    Day 9: San Francisco. Alcatraz. Fisherman Wharf. Palace of Fine Arts. Lombard Street. Overnight in San Francisco.
    Day 10: Golden Gate Bridge. California Academy of Sciences. Overnight in San Francisco.
    Day 11: Lake Tahoe. Overnight in Lake Tahoe.
    Day 12: Leave Lake Tahoe for Yosemite National Park. Overnight in Yosemite.
    Day 13: Yosemite National Park. Overnight in Yosemite.
    Day 14: Maripose Grove. Long drive to Los Angeles. Overnight in Los Angeles.
    Day 15: Santa Monica. Hollywood. Overnight in Los Angeles.
    Day 16: Disneyland. Overnight in Los Angeles.
    Day 17: Depart from LAX.


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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think your plan looks pretty good.

    One think you'll need to keep in mind is that Tioga Pass will be closed at the time of your trip, so that means you'll have to take US-50 or I-80 back across the Sierras from Tahoe to Yosemite. That's more of a detail than a problem.

    Personally, I might skip Tahoe altogether and either go through Sequoia or head back to the coast to enjoy the Big Sur stretch after Yosemite. But there's really no right or wrong answer, just several really nice options.

  3. Default

    Thanks. I'll take your advice and skip Tahoe. Will do a long drive from Mariposa to Big Sur and then on to San Simeon. Overnight there and visit Hearst the next morning. Leave after that for a long drive to LA. Too packed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Mariposa to San Simeon is about 250 miles via CA-140/CA-59/CA-152/US-101/CA-1, this is doable in one day but will require an early start. It doesn't allow for too many stops. You should get out of Carmel by no later than 2pm in order to make it to San Simeon before dark. It's about 100 miles from Carmel to San Simeon, and you can only average about 25 mph on that stretch.

    Same applies from San Simeon to LA - about 250 miles via CA-1/US-101. Once you get to San Luis Obispo, it's freeway or near-freeway all the way to LA. Book your Hearst Castle tour for early morning and you should be fine. Expect some heavy traffic congestion getting into LA in late afternoon.

  5. Default

    Thanks a lot for advice. Am thinking of revising my itinerary due to the fact that I am flying to LAX and that it is much cheaper to do a looping trip and hence save up on one way rental charge. Please let me know whether my following itinerary is crazy. My aim is to expose my wife and toddler to the main attractions in their first trip to USA.

    Day 1: Reach LAX in evening.
    Day 2: Get rental car. Reach Yosemite in afternoon.
    Day 3: Leave Yosemite evening. Overnight in San Francisco.
    Day 4: San Francisco.
    Day 5: San Francisco.
    Day 6: Full day drive to Portland on I 5.
    Day 7: Portland.
    Day 8: Seattle.
    Day 9: Olympic National Park. Overnight in Lake Quinault.
    Day 10: Drive to Woodburn.
    Day 11: Woodburn outlets. I 5 to Grant Pass and cut to 101 Crescent City.
    Day 12: Humboldt Redwoods. Head to Monterey for the night.
    Day 13: Monterey Aquarium. Drive to San Simeon.
    Day 14: Hearst Castle. Drive to Anaheim.
    Day 15: Disneyland.
    Day 16: Hollywood. Venice beach. Santa Monica.
    Day 17: Leave from LAX.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I think you are packing too much into that - it's 7 hours from LA to Yosemite, and 4+ hours from Yosemite to SF. You can't see Yosemite in only half a day. SF to Portland is over 600 miles, that's a very long day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Busy.

    On paper it looks fine, in reality it could become quite 'busy'. You won't have a lot of time to enjoy Yosemite and you might also still be feeling the effects of jet lag after an International flight. It's a long drive to Portland, especially with a toddler on board, and you also have a long drive from Crescent city to Monterey, even without exploring the Redwoods.

    It's doable, but I would consider if your wife and toddler would enjoy a more relaxed pace and see a little more of fewer "major attractions" ?

  8. Default

    Thanks. Will redo my itinerary. Shouldn't be affected by jet lag, I suppose. I'll be in Las Vegas for a couple of days at a conference, before flying into LAX and do the road trip.

  9. Default

    Hi, all

    Following all your advice, I have cut my West Coast drive to just California. Hopefully this will be a more relaxed itinerary.

    Day 1 (Wed): Reach LAX in evening.
    Day 2 (Thu): Get rental car in morning. Head to Anaheim in afternoon. Overnight in Disneyland.
    Day 3 (Fri): Disneyland. Head to San Diego in evening. Overnight in San Diego.
    Day 4 (Sat): Balboa Park. San Diego Zoo. Head to LA in evening. Overnight in LA.
    Day 5 (Sun): Head to Sequoia National Park in morning. Overnight in Sequoia National Park.
    Day 6 (Mon): Head to Yosemite National Park in afternoon. Overnight in Yosemite.
    Day 7 (Tue): Yosemite.
    Day 8 (Wed): Head to Lake Tahoe in morning. Overnight in South Lake Tahoe.
    Day 9 (Thu): Head to Napa Valley in morning. Onward to Ukiah. Overnight in Ukiah.
    Day 10 (Fri): Head north to Avenue of the Giants. Drive back south in San Francisco in evening. Overnight in San Francisco.
    Day 11 (Sat): Farmer's Market. Golden Gate Bridge. Golden Gate Park. California Academy of Sciences. Overnight in San Francisco.
    Day 12 (Sun): Fisherman Wharf. Alcatraz. Lombard Street. Palace of Fine Arts. Exploratorium. Overnight in San Francisco.
    Day 13 (Mon): Head to Gilroy in morning. Shopping in Gilroy premium outlets. Head to Monterey in evening. Overnight in Monterey.
    Day 14 (Tue): Monterey Aquarium. Big Sur. Overnight in San Simeon.
    Day 15 (Wed): Hearst Castle. Head back to Los Angeles. Overnight in Los Angeles.
    Day 16 (Thu): Hollywood. Venice beach. Santa Monica. Overnight in Los Angeles.
    Day 17: Leave from LAX.

    Please advise on the potential traffic congestion I may encounter during my trip especially in LA. Cheers!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Day 4: Take the following route from SD to Sequoia: I-15/US-395/CA-58/CA-99 to Visalia. Get as far as you can before stopping for the night - it's about 2.5 hours to Victorville, 5 hours to Bakersfield. If you stay in Bakersfield, wait till you get to 99 and go north before stopping - the east side of the city is pretty gritty.

    Day 10: Note that it takes about 3 hours to get from Ukiah to the Avenue of the Giants, then another 5 hours to get back to SF. You may want to spend the night in Santa Rosa and head into SF the next morning.

    LA traffic is always congested.

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