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  1. Default First Time Road Trip....Western Canada and West Coast USA...


    Hi,

    I have just registered with RoadTrip America hoping to get ideas, suggestions on a road trip i am planning with my husband in Mid May to Mid June.

    We are originally from the UK and have never driven in the USA and dont know much about US highways :-)

    Any advice on how to become familiar would be greatly appreciated...

    The following is a rough plan that my husband and i have derived. Im working on adding more details and researching places to visit, stop overs, motels/hotels etc...


    So we have about 25 days to explore Western Canada and California, Las Vages and Grand Canyon..

    For Canada part of trip not using a car, using local tours, and getting train/seaplane to Whistler.

    -Land in Vancouver, explore city, nearby Victoria (2 night stay)

    -Head to Whistler, possibly on train, taking in sights, exploring Whistler (2 night stay) looking for potential places to see and accomodation.

    -Arrive back in Vancouver, and head to Seattle taking the ferry, (one night stay). Explore city and take domestic flight to San Francisco.

    -Arrive into San Francisco, explore city, attractions, pick up car rental. We want to high an american convertible any ideas which would be suitable? (2 night stay)

    -Depart San Francisco for LA, using highway 101? Is that the most scenic? Joing highway 1 from Carmel completing the Big Sur route. We want to spend one night somewhere on route between San Francisco and LA? Any recommendations? Places to visit? .

    -Arrive into LA, (3 night stay), sightseeing, any good nearby towns that we can visit? Ideas on accomodation? Places to avoid? Gangs?

    -Depart LA, and on route to San Diago, (2 night stay) maybe take a tram across to Mexica border, sightsee, visit beaches.

    -Depart San Diago and drive to Las Vegas straight, no night stays but any good pit stops? Places to see near by? What route would be a good one? Arrive into Las Vegas for a 2 night stay

    -From Las Vegas drive to Grand Canyon, would ideal like to stay in a lodge? Spend 2 nights in Grand Canyon.

    -Return car to Phoenix airport, to a flight to New York City for a 4 night stay. End of trip

    In terms of places/interests:
    Beaches,
    Scenic Routes, mountains, glaciers, hiking
    Towns, Restaurants..seafood
    Attractions
    National Parks
    Shopping

    Any ideas on places to see, towns, places, beaches to visit, routes highway to take. As you can see my itinerary isnt every detailed yet. :-)

    Originally we considered driving from Seattle to San Francisco but our friends suggested there wasnt much to see, so we thought we would save time and take a flight to San Francisco.

    On the itinerary we have, would we see scenic routes, ocean, mountains, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for my husband and i as we are relocating to asia, Singapore so wont be visiting USA for a long long time.

    I have heard of Malibu, Santa Monica, Carmel and Palm Springs are these places worth stopping over or spending nights in? My itinerary is flexible we can add or minus nights. Both my husband and i would be travelling.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Amber Mrs T. :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    A couple thoughts on your plans.

    First, you do need to keep an eye on the road conditions along the coast. A couple of landslides have caused some major problems near Big Sur. They are working to get at least limited traffic up and running again within a month or so, but its hard to say at this point.

    Also, I would not recommend traveling to Mexico at this time. There is a full out war between the Police and the Drug Cartels that has simply made it too dangerous to visit Tijuana at this time.

    Car wise, you really won't have a choice. There are only basically 2 models for convertibles available on the rental market, the Mustang or the Sebring, and since they use the phrase "or similar" you'll get whichever they have available.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs T View Post
    We are originally from the UK and have never driven in the USA and dont know much about US highways :-)
    US highways are probably the easiest in the world, to drive. Start out driving carefully, taking your time, and don't overdo the stretches. You'll soon feel at home on the road. One thing though, while getting used to driving on the other side, be careful not to drive too late, too early or when tired. These are the times that a lifetime habit will kick-in, and you could find yourself on the wrong side especially on minor roads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs T View Post
    Originally we considered driving from Seattle to San Francisco but our friends suggested there wasnt much to see, so we thought we would save time and take a flight to San Francisco.
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Some see endless sand in the desert. Others see an amazing landscape. What do you see?

    The trip from Seattle to SF can be a most enjoyable and amazing trip, if you seek out those points which interest you. Any good map will show more than you could ever have time to visit. On the other hand, if you fly down the interstate at, or (heaven forbid) above the speed limit, your friend could very well be right. It is really a matter of perspective.... of your attitude.

    Lifey

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