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  1. Default Norwegians in the USA

    We are four friends, two guys two girls 24 of age, planning a 4 week vacation in USA this summer from 11. july to 8. august.
    The first week we will be in New York and the last three weeks with a rental car on the west coast. We want to see history, movie locations and have a night out in every city!
    Our planned route leaving directly from LAX is: San Francisco - Las Vegas - San Diego - Los Angeles, with stops in Yosemite National Park and Grand Canyon.

    Any advice on where to stop on the way between cities? What to see and do? How many days in the different cities? Or other useful advices on roadtripping in America?

    We are also not sure if its best to pre-book hotels or to keep our options open and just book when we arrive? Don't want to end up in a shitty hotel way outside of the city.. (have already booked hotel in San Francisco since that is our first stop)

    Also wondering where its best to stay in Los Angeles and San Diego? by the beaches or in the city center? And where could we stop between Yosemite and Las Vegas?

    And last, how does nightlife work in America? Do we have to be on guest lists? What are the cool places?

    I know theres a lot of questions, but i will be very happy for any help!
    Thanks in advance!

    Ruben

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

    Default To Get You Started

    Velkommen! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The area you'll be driving through is one of the most discussed on these forums, so have a look through these previous discussions for some initial, general recommendations, then if you still have questions, please let us know. Unfortunately, there are simply too few regular contributors, and the nightlife scene is constantly changing, making specific advice pretty much impossible. But most cities will offer some sort of weekly entertainment paper available throughout the city for free. Ask wherever you end up staying for the night. And no, there is no need to pre-book your accommodations. In today's economy, with fewer travelers and conventions, rooms are invariably available just about everywhere. The one exception would be in or near a major National Park such as Yosemite, and you'd be well advised to book your rooms there in advance.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Takk! Thanks! Nice of you to say welcome in Norwegian!

    I will search trough the previous discussions and see if i find the answers there.
    If i however should still have questions unanswered i'll repost them here.

    Ruben

  4. Default Gas prices?

    I've looked into some of the other threads about this route and found a lot of interesting thoughts. It has really helped, so thanks a lot!

    Also I have made a route for the roadtrip, and it looks like it's gonna be a long drive, about 4000 km.
    So when planning the budget for our holiday, I'm wondering what the price for gasoline is nowadays in California? And if its in liters or gallon?

    We have a budget of maximum 1780 $

    Our planned route is this:

    11. july - 18. july: one week in New York

    18. july: we arrive in LAX at about 11.30 a.m. and go directly to Santa Barbara (1 night)

    19. july: drive to San Francisco where we stay for (3-4 nights)

    22/23. july: Leave San Francisco, and visit Yosemite, Death Valley and Grand Canyon on the way to Las Vegas.

    26. july: Arrive in Las Vegas and stay for (3 nights) here we will celebrate one of the girls 25th birthday!

    29. july: Find hotel close to a beach in San Diego and stay for (3-4 nights), maybe take a trip to Tijuana in Mexico.

    1/2. aug: Find a hotel in either beach cities or Hollywood in L.A. and stay (3-4 nights) until departure 05. august.

    Any suggestions on where to stay? what do do/see? I'm especially wondering about L.A., if its best to stay in beach cities or Hollywood.
    Suggestions on other places to look for information on the cities we're staying in is also appreciated.

    And how do we make a birthday in Las Vegas totally unforgettable?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default adjustments

    The price of gas in California is about $4/gallon right now, but expect it to keep rising into the summer. I'd figure at least $4.50, if not $5, since California is typically the most expensive place in the country for gas prices.

    Your plan is going to need some changes, as a couple things likely need to be changed.

    Santa Barbara to San Francisco in one day doesn't give much time at all to enjoy the coast highway. Assuming the big sur section has reopened by the time you travel, I'd recommend adding a night around Monterey.

    Between SF and Vegas, I think you'd need at least 4 days to do things how you've laid them out, however, there is a way that would save you quite a bit of time.

    Instead of trying to include the Grand Canyon "on the way to Vegas," visit it afterwards, as you head back to California. Getting from DV to GC basically involves driving right through Vegas, and then doubling back. It's about a 5 hour drive each way from Vegas to the Grand Canyon. If you hit Vegas right after Death Valley, and then go to the grand canyon, you can save yourself a couple of hours of driving, since you wouldn't have to go back north to Vegas.

    Tijuana is simply not a safe city at this time. Because of the ongoing war between the police and drug cartels, there is an extreme amount of violence where thousands of people have been killed. I would recommend that you drop that stop from your plans.

  6. Default

    The price of gas in California is about $4/gallon right now, but expect it to keep rising into the summer. I'd figure at least $4.50, if not $5, since California is typically the most expensive place in the country for gas prices.
    Love your gas prices! In Norway it's about $7-8/gallon, so thats good for our budget.

    Santa Barbara to San Francisco in one day doesn't give much time at all to enjoy the coast highway. Assuming the big sur section has reopened by the time you travel, I'd recommend adding a night around Monterey.

    Between SF and Vegas, I think you'd need at least 4 days to do things how you've laid them out, however, there is a way that would save you quite a bit of time.
    If we do it the way you recommend, I think we might have to cut down a day or two in either of the major cities. Which one would you say we didn't need 3-4 days in?
    Which of the three national parks should we plan to use most time in?

    Instead of trying to include the Grand Canyon "on the way to Vegas," visit it afterwards, as you head back to California.
    We'll definitely try hitting Grand Canyon on the way back, didn't think of it that way. Would you say it's enough with three days on the road to Vegas if we do it that way?

    I was worried about Tijuana, why I mentioned it, so thats one more day on the beach in San Diego then!

    This was very good advice, thank you for probably saving the holiday!
    So glad i found roadtripamerica.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    You can keep up to date with average gas prices at Gas buddy.

    Yosemite is an amazing place with plenty of easy walking and stunning views to admire. I would recommend spending a couple of nights here to get at least a full day and a half. I think you could leave SF a day earlier [by lunchtime perhaps] and spend the evening in, or close to Yosemite so you awaken close by.

    I actually think you could take a night from each of your City visits and devote more time to the natural wonders all around this area, but that is you decision to make based on your interests.

  8. Default

    Hi from fellow Norwegians :)

    We are also going to California this summer. This forum is a big help for us planning our trip!
    Our route:
    OSL-NYC 15. june
    NYC-LAX 20.june
    LAX-OSL 05.july

    We actually just bought the tickets and got an amacing price (10.800NOK) for the both of us. (Married young couple).

    With good help from this site and google we are almost finished planning our trip:
    - Drive the costline from Los Angeles to San Diego and stay for 2-3 nights.
    - San Diego-Palm Springs-Lake Havasu City. Stay one night in Lake Havasu City.
    - Lake Havasu City-Grand Canyon. Stay two days here, (got some good tips on hotels from this forum).
    - Grand Canyon - Las Vegas. And stay some nights here.
    - Las Vegas -Los Angeles. Stay our last nights here. Celebrate 4th of july and see Hollywood etc.

    How many nights we will stay at each place are not finished planned, but we are working on it! :)

    Are looking at the different car rental options. We have found to like the price that AVIS is offering. We checked Alamo Car also, and its about the same price.
    Does anyone have any other suggestions, we are happy to get some advices about renting car?

    We got a good tip from some friends about a hotel in Las Vegas : "Circus circus".
    And for the road they recommend a series of motel called "Howard Johnson".

    We have booked a hotel i NY - Latham Hotel. Cheap, central, close to Empire State building. I think it's with shared bathroom, but thats okey, I mean, we are there to see the City! :)

    We are so looking forward to this trip !!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    Have you read the reviews on the Latham? It sure doesn't look like a place where I'd like to stay.

    Howard Johnson is one of many chains of "budget" motels - and there really aren't very many of them.

    You can possibly get a better rate on a car rental through a travel consolidator in your home country than by dealing with the rental companies directly.

    Be aware that the coastline from LA to SD is nowhere near as scenic as it is farther north. It's a heavily populated area and it's one crowded beach town after another.

  10. Default Would like to hear from you :)

    Hi!

    Guess you just arrived in NYC now, hope you have a wonderful holiday :)
    I'm really starting to get the feel that it's closing in on our departure now!

    We have got it all booked now, except hotels in California/Nevada, which we we do on the road.

    Would be very nice to hear about your trip when you get back home, as we don't leave until 11 july. Just to get some advice on what was nice and what was not so nice.

    This is for everybody:
    We're still a little bit uncertain about some things:

    - We would like to stay at a winery on the way to or from San Francisco, any suggestions?
    - Is it "enough" to just drive trough Tioga Pass in Yosemite NP or is there a place to camp in the Pass or elsewhere in the Park?
    - Is it safe to drive trough Death Valley in the heat in July, and what is the best road to go, and what is there to see?

    Have a nice trip fellow Norwegians, hope to hear from you :)

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