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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    8

    Default California & Nevada Road Trip September 2011

    Hello, I am planning a trip in September, I have been looking all over the web but haven't found anything too helpful then came across this site, which looks great!

    I am travelling with my fiance on the 9th September for 2 weeks. Our flights are return to San Francisco.

    The basics are that we would like to spend a couple days in San Fran, then go on to Lake Tahoe (possibly), Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Vegas, San Diego, LA then back to San Francisco for a night or so. The idea being that we go East for the first week and see the dessert/ mountains then from LA take the coastal road back to San Fran, stopping by a few beaches on route.

    We like a mixture of activites, would like to do the sky walk at the Canyon, and all the touristy sites in LA incl Disney.

    We are hoping to hire a convertible so it can be a proper road trip! ha ha

    We are thinking of booking our hotels in San Fran, Yosemite (a camping site) and Vegas so these are paid for previous to the trip, and then sort of leave the rest unbooked so we have flexibility (but take a long list of accomodation options with us!)

    Not sure if from San Francisco our next stop should be Yosemite, Lake Tahoe or somewhere else? Suggestions would be very helpful. Coming from the UK, it is quite hard to get info except by looking up every town on Google! :-)

    Any ideas/ suggestions of websites to use for bookings, car hire companies, places to go, sites to see.. just about anything you can think of, will be much appreciated

    Thanks

    Michelle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Very popular

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    This is by far the most discussed topic on the forums and you will find a lot of extra info/suggestions using the search function and by scrolling to the bottom of the page where you will find 'Similar threads'.

    Here are a few of our favourites to get you started.

    September into October is a fantastic time to travel, along with the blue skies and Fall colours you have less heat and fewer crowds to contend with.

    You should know that the 'Skywalk' is on Indian lands and not part of the National park system. It is more expensive and difficult to get to than the NP as the road is in poor condition and you will need to get a tour bus to avoid breaking your car rental agreement. [no unpaved roads] It will not offer the same views made famous around the world through photography and film either. I would recommend the National park, although it is your choice, those are the facts to ponder.

    If you decide to head to the National park, it may be wise to book your lodgings there as well, although you will find cheaper lodging outside of the park in Williams or Flagstaff.

    Tahoe is an option, but another I would consider is to go to Zion NP, and possibly Bryce canyon in Southern Utah. That would be from SF to Yosemite to Death valley to Vegas to Zion[Bryce] to Grand canyon [?] to San Diego to LA to SF. A lot will depend on at what pace you are comfortable with and how long you wish to spend in each place.

    Look around and when you have some ideas together we can help piece it all together.

    Note I have deleted your other thread as it is not needed. Any further questions regarding this trip, pleas keep in this one thread. Thanks !
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 04-06-2011 at 06:26 AM.

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

    Default

    I would also recommend you make the trip in an anti-clockwise direction so the ocean will be on your side of the road when you are on the Pacific Coast Highway.

    SF to LA to SD, then the GC. Then head to LV, optionally via Bryce and/or Zion. From there, go through DV and cross over into Yosemite via Tioga Pass, skipping Lake Tahoe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Thank you Southwest Dave, i'm going to look through the info you have added.

    GLC I didn't even think of going the other way actually, but your right being on the nearest side would be a lot better travelling down the pacific highway.

    Thanks for your suggestions, im going to investigate!

    Michelle

  5. #5

    Default Hi!

    Hiya,
    Thought I'd say a quick hello - I'm also going on a similar trip to you in September, we're from the UK too! I've posted our itinerary here. Good luck with the planning - would be good to keep in touch!
    Stacey
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-13-2011 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Removed itinerary details, and replaced with link which contains all the information

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Hi all, I have had a re think about some of the route I was planning and took into consideration some of the suggestions on this and other pages. We have decided to skip Grand Canyon, as it was a little off course and we have both been before. This is our rough itinerary, we just need to figure out the logistics.

    San Francisco 2 nights
    PCH and stay overnight 1 night
    at a town on the way
    (maybe Santa Barbara/ Cambria)
    Los Angeles 2 nights
    San Diego 1 night
    Mojave NP 1 night
    Las Vegas 1 night
    Death Valley 1 night
    Sequoia 1 night
    Yosemite 1 night
    Sacremento 1 night
    Napa Valley 1 night
    San Francisco 1 night

    I have used google to make up the route, it says approx 1600 miles in total, which i think is fine per day. Although the route goes on the Eastern edge of the national parks and not sure at what point it is best to get over the other side.

    Any ideas/ suggestions will be very appreciated, once again!

    Thanks

    Michelle

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default A lot of 1 'nighters'.

    From Death valley there is no easy way to get across the mountains to Sequoia, you will need to go around the Southern edge of the mountains via Lake Isabella/Bakersfield and up to Sequoia and Yosemite. You could have gone up to Tioga pass [CA120] and across the mountains to Yosemite but that would have you heading South to Sequoia and back North to Sacramento. I think you are rushing through some of these spots, Yosemite in particular and you should consider heading across the Tioga pass and seeing some of the giant Sequoias at Maiposa grove in Yosemite and not go to Sequoia NP. Not quite as big as the biggest in Sequoia, but you would hardly notice. Sequoia NP is spectacular in it's own right, but with all these 1 night stops and the travel time between them I can't help but think you would be happier seeing more of less. Of course it is your decision and I am sure you will have a great trip !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I didnt realise it had been so long since my last message! Time flies by!

    Thank you Southwest Dave, I have been reading up on my guide books and taking your advice into consideration I am re-arranging our schedule.

    On another note, I am hoping to book our car hire this month. Ideally would like a Mustang Convertible, and I have noted that only a couple of companies have these listed i.e Dollar and Thrifty. On different websites the costs are quite wildly different. Is there anything in particular I should be looking out for, i.e Taxes, or what should be included in the price. I will be picking up the car from San Fran airport.

    Any advice appreciated, and I will be back soon with my updated itinerary!

    Thanks for all help so far.

    Michelle

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default 'Or similar'.

    Most rental companies will rent you a class of car and not a particular make or model. You will notice that the listing of cars almost always is followed by 'Or similar' so even those two listed means you could end up with a Chrysler Sebring or any other convertible in that class. As you go through the booking process you should check what is and what isn't included and that you get an inclusive price. The info is usually there, just be sure to check the small print when shopping around.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Check locations

    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle Turner View Post
    ... I will be picking up the car from San Fran airport.
    Hi Michelle,

    If you have not already booked your rental car, may I suggest you check out different locations in the greater SF area. I found that the airport was quite a bit more expensive than downtown or even out of town rental locations. Some of the latter even offered pick up, while others were right by the railway station and readily accessible.

    Lifey

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