My boyfriend and I (both British) are planning a road trip around California in January and as we're quite prone to mishaps on holiday (finding ourselves stranded overnight in the Arabian desert being our least successful adventure so far!) we could do with a little bit of advice.
He is going to be in Los Angeles in January for business so the plan so far is that I will fly out to meet him at the end of his work on Monday 17th. Tuesday 18th we'll spend in LA hiking up to the Hollywood sign and take in a few sights (I appreciate LA is enormous & impossible to see in a day but I'm not much of a city person so there are only a few things on my must-see list). Then on Wednesday 19th we're going to pick up a rental car and start driving. Neither of us have ever driven an automatic car before and we've definitely never driven on the other side of the road so I'm sure this will be quite an experience!
We're planning on mostly staying in campsites (maybe one or two hotel nights here or there) but we thought it might be easier to hire a car that would allow us enough space to sleep in the back rather than messing about buying a tent in LA and then wondering what to do with it at the end. The car we've been looking at is a Dodge Caravan (http://www.dodge.com/en/2010/grand_caravan/gallery/). It looks like it would do the trick but if anyone has any experience of living out of this car for a week we'd love to hear all about it.
My major concern is the weather. My boyfriend works in LA every January and he swears the weather is usually in the high twenties (celcius) but every climate website I've checked seems to say otherwise. We've barely had a summer in dreary old Wales for two whole years now so I'm pretty desperate for some sunshine! Can anyone offer any advice on the weather in mid to south California? Best places to go for guaranteed warmth?
Here is our road trip route so far:
Wednesday 19th - Pick up car and drive to Death Valley (using a route I found via this super helpful forum: http://living-las-vegas.com/2010/03/...road-to-vegas/). Visit some ghost towns (still need to do more research on this) & take it sloooow so we can get used to the car and enjoy the scenery. Camp at Furnace Creek.
Thursday 20th - Day in Death Valley. Still camping at Furnace Creek.
Friday 21st - Drive from Death Valley to Las Vegas and stay in a hotel. Wander up the strip, put a few pennies in the gambling machines, see the sights, try not to accidentally get married... ;) Might like to see a show (Penn & Teller is fully booked - boo!) but need to research some.
Saturday 22nd - Drive from Las Vegas to Joshua Tree through the Mojave Desert. Not sure where we will camp in Joshua Tree as I'm still researching campsites. Any recommendations? We don't mind roughing it although I'm sure we'd like to take a shower at some point!
Sunday 23rd - Hiking & exploring in Joshua Tree.
After that we're just not sure what to do! Our flight from LA leaves the following Wednesday (26th) night so we'll probably need to be back at LAX by 5pm. We'd maybe like to go a bit further south, do some coastal driving and visit some beaches. My main concern is SUNSHINE! As I mentioned earlier I'm not really a big city person and nightlife/clubbing is definitely not a priority and as we're already doing LA & Vegas we'd like to keep out of the big cities for the rest of the trip. Any suggestions for rounding off our route or places to see on the way? We would love to hear them!
In fact, any suggestions on anything would be greatly welcomed! I'm sure this forum is going to be a regular stop for me over the coming weeks :)