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  1. Default Itinerary advice required, west coast.

    Hi guys

    I have read through some great threads on here and on my way to creating an itinerary for my first US roadtrip (we are from England). We so far have the dates fixed (late august for 15 nights) the car decided (mustang convertible) and a rough list of stops. We are seeking advice on any alternative stops you would recommend, particular accommodation, and routes.

    We are looking to for central accommodation (around 4*) in the cities, and motels everywhere else, apart from perhaps a cabin in Yosemite. Our route is:

    Los Angeles (3 nights)
    San Luis Obiso or Monterey (1 night)
    San Francisco (3 nights)
    Yosemite National Park (2 nights)
    Death Valley (1 night)
    Las Vegas (3 nights)
    Grand Canyon (1 night)
    Lake Havasu (1 night)
    Back to LA for flight home

    This is a rough list of places we would like to include however very open to suggestions. We are keen to do the Coastal road from LA to SF and take back roads where possible on the rest of the route. We understand we may need to adjust the itinerary if it is not realistic, although we only have 15 nights.

    Any advice appreciated.

    Dreama

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Good Advice Doesn't Go Out of Date

    Well, hopefully the advice you got before is still relevant as are these tried and true bits of advice about that area. We don't really offer advice on specific hotels as there are just too many of them and ownership and staff change too frequently. The one bit of specific advice I can give you is make your arrangements for Yosemite as soon as possible. August is the peak of their tourist season and cabins book up very fact. I actually wouldn't be surprised if they're already completely reserved for August. Otherwise your itinerary looks completely reasonable for a two week tour of California, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon and bookings elsewhere should not be a problem.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Welcome!

    I would recommend you do the loop anti-clockwise so you will be going down the coast from north to south. That way, the scenic pullouts will be on your side of the road - remember, we drive on the right side of the road here!

    4 star hotels in cities are going to be quite expensive - are you prepared?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Small detail.

    You have a nice itinerary there !

    Unless you want to start out real early and beat the LA morning traffic, I would stop before Monterey, but perhaps in Cambria or San Simeon. Hearst Castle tour perhaps ?

    You could also consider leaving Vegas in the afternoon of your last day, and head towards the Canyon to give you a full day there and 2 nights.

    Late flight ? If your flight leaves LA on the same day as you leave Lake Havasu you will have to allow plenty of time to tackle LA traffic, return the car rental and make 'check in'.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dreama View Post
    Hi guys

    I have read through some great threads on here and on my way to creating an itinerary for my first US roadtrip (we are from England). We so far have the dates fixed (late august for 15 nights) the car decided (mustang convertible) and a rough list of stops. We are seeking advice on any alternative stops you would recommend, particular accommodation, and routes.

    We are looking to for central accommodation (around 4*) in the cities, and motels everywhere else, apart from perhaps a cabin in Yosemite. Our route is:

    Los Angeles (3 nights)
    San Luis Obiso or Monterey (1 night)
    San Francisco (3 nights)
    Yosemite National Park (2 nights)
    Death Valley (1 night)
    Las Vegas (3 nights)
    Grand Canyon (1 night)
    Lake Havasu (1 night)
    Back to LA for flight home

    This is a rough list of places we would like to include however very open to suggestions. We are keen to do the Coastal road from LA to SF and take back roads where possible on the rest of the route. We understand we may need to adjust the itinerary if it is not realistic, although we only have 15 nights.

    Any advice appreciated.

    Dreama
    You have to remember that distances in the US are long and you do not want to spend all your time driving and none of your time seeing. That said, you can assume that you can cruise at 80 mph on the western interstates with little chance of being stopped by the police.

    You have not indicated whether you prefer cities, scenery, or a mixture. If I was going to modify your trip, I would spend 1 day less in Vegas, drop Lake Havasu completely ( the only thing of note there is the London Bridge and you have the original), add a night in the Grand Canyon, and add a night in Zion National Park.

    If going to cities is not important, I would get out of Los Angeles as soon as possible and add Bryce National Park in Utah.

    DON

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    you can assume that you can cruise at 80 mph on the western interstates with little chance of being stopped by the police.
    No, you cannot assume that. I have the (warning) ticket that disproves this.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldsc View Post
    You have not indicated whether you prefer cities, scenery, or a mixture. If I was going to modify your trip, I would spend 1 day less in Vegas, drop Lake Havasu completely ( the only thing of note there is the London Bridge and you have the original), add a night in the Grand Canyon, and add a night in Zion National Park.

    If going to cities is not important, I would get out of Los Angeles as soon as possible and add Bryce National Park in Utah.

    DON
    We definately prefer a mixture of both. I like cities to get a feel for the architecture and see the main tourist sites, however love being able to get lost in the scenery of small towns and parks. We only want to go to LA to visit the walk of fame, hollywood sign, studio tours, maybe a show taping. Two full days would most likely be enough however as we arrive early evening on the first night, by the time we get to the hotel and have dinner we only really have two full days before leaving the city so cannot cut this down.

    I am definately interested in heading to Bryce, can anyone offer a good route to push this into the itinerary? We would could ditch Lake Havasu and add a couple of nights to allow for Bryce however we still need a stop between the Grand Canyon and LA for the return flight. We really want to head to an indoor shooting range if possible so a town with a safe motel and a shooting range would be great!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Zion and Bryce.

    From Las Vegas you would head North on I 15 and through Springdale on UT 9 into Zion NP. Continue on 9 to US 89 to UT12 to Bryce canyon. From Bryce head back to 89 and South to AZ 64 into the Grand canyon South rim East entrance. At least a night in Zion and one in Bryce would work well.

  9. Default

    Hi Guys

    Ok after a little re-jig I have amended our route to include some more things we'd like to see. Any extra eadvice appreciated.

    Day 1 Arrive, dinner , movie at Chinese Theatre and stay in LA (Hollywood celebrity)
    Day 2 Sightseeing LA (universal studios/Hollywood home and paramount tour)
    Day 3 Up early and drive up coast, Overnight in Monterey
    Day 4 Check in SF
    Day 5 SF
    Day 6 SF
    Day 7 Check in Yosemite – housekeeping camp
    Day 8 Yosemite
    Day 9 Stay in Death Valley
    Day 10 Las Vegas
    Day 11 Las Vegas
    Day 12 Bryce Canyon
    Day 13 Zion National Park
    Day 14 Grand Canyon
    Day 15 Aberquque / Somewhere mid-way between GC and Roswell
    Day 16 Roswell
    Day 17 Somewhere in AZ - Would like to visit shooting range
    Day 18 Drive from AZ through Route 66 and Fly Home (9pm flight)

    Obviously I am still fine tuning the route, especially Grand Canyon onwards so any recommendations for this leg are appreciated. In an ideal world we'd spend a lot more time in each location however it is just not possible. Also I know Roswell is a bit of a detour but it is a must :-)

  10. Default

    I wrote an earlier reply and somehow deleted it before I posted.

    I'd skip Albuquerque and do Santa Fe instead. It's slightly out of your way, but I think it would be well worth it. If you like quaint little artist towns you can come down from Santa Fe to I-40 by way of hwy 14 and go through Madrid. Very small, but interesting just to drive through.

    In California, you might also consider a stop at Santa Cruz and check out the boardwalk.

    In LA, the Venice Beach boardwalk and Santa Monica might be worth a look. I'd definitely drive down Sunset and also take Mulholland at night and look at all the lights. You might like to check out Melrose or Westwood. La Brea tarpits can be fun. Tons of great places to eat.

    Don't envy you driving the LA freeways there. It's been several years since I've been and I think I may have lost my nerve in the meantime.

    Have fun!

    ETA: Oh, wanted to add that from the Grand Canyon to NM you will be traveling in the Navajo Nation so that can be pretty interesting right there. Might want to take a detour off I-40 and stop at Hubbell Trading Post near Ganado, AZ. It's a National Historic site. You can find more info on the nps.gov site.
    Last edited by panchodog; 04-05-2011 at 10:52 AM.

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