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  1. Default Our driving holiday to California

    Hi Everybody,

    We have just stumbled across this wonderful website and seek some advice from you seasoned travellers.

    From the UK, we arrive in LA during the afternoon of 10th August and leave for home from Los Angeles on 31st August (3 weeks). The only flights we have booked are our outward and return journeys.

    Our plan is to travel immediately upon landing to Vegas where we are booked in at the Tropicanna. We are not sure whether to fly or drive from LA to Vegas - How long does it take to drive to Vegas and how far is it? How does the driving option compare to travelling by air - are there any perceived advantages of one over the other? Is one option cheaper than the other etc, we have heard of free flights to Vegas but cannot find any. Advice please!

    We will be in Vegas for 4 days during which time we will visit The Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. We then return to LA. If we do not have a car we will hire one at this point. We thought we might stay at the coast and travel in to see LA. Where is a good place to stay? Is Santa Monica expensive? If so, can you suggest a good alternative? We will probably allow about 4 days to see LA and enjoy the beach.

    We will then drive south to San Diego and stay a couple of days. At this point we have 10 days remaining. We then plan to travel north to San Fran via Newport, Long Beach, Santa Monica / Venice, Santa Barbara, Carmel and Monterey, stopping at one or two on the way. We request advice on which of these places would warrant a prolonged stay and perhaps suggestions of where to stay and any other advice that you can of course offer.

    Then we will stay at San Francisco, visiting Sacramento and possibly San Jose (is this worth a visit?) We feel that we will need 2 days to visit Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon and Mammoth, staying overnight in Fresno, would you agree?

    We will then travel back from San Fran to LA, with an overnight midway at another beach resort, to catch our flight home.

    We would welcome any advice or tips you can give us.

    Many Thanks,

    Pam & Graham

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default all over the map

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I really think you need to go back and rework your plan, because right now, you are spending so much time zig-zagging and backtracking that you aren't going to actually have much time to see anything!

    If you look at your plan, you have yourself stopping in LA SIX different times! You also want to backtrack from inland to the coast several times. I suspect you are simply not respecting just how much territory you are trying to cover. You're talking about a trip that covers an area that's actually Larger than the UK, and on several occations you are lumping things together than are a half days drive apart.

    What would make far more sense is to start in LA, then go down to San Diego, head to the Grand Canyon, then head back to Las Vegas. From there head to San Francisco via Death Valley, Mammoth, and Yosemite. Then head down the coast back to LA.

    That loop will save you almost 1000 miles of driving (2 full days on the road!) compared to the plan you laid out.

    There are thousands of other threads on this subject, as it is far and away the most popular topic on this forum, so spend a little time looking around, but I really scrapping "plan A" is your first step.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California

    Default LA is huge!

    One thing that people don't always realize, is just how BIG the Los Angeles metropolitan area really is. As I pointed out in a different thread, it can take 2-3 hours just to cross. San Diego to downtown Los Angeles, on a good day (i.e. no traffic jams) is 2-3 hours, much of which is spent crossing Orange County (Irvine, Anaheim, Long Beach, etc). Add time if you get stuck in a traffic jam, which is constant.

    Santa Barbara is another hour north of the LA metropolis. To get there, you drive through Oxnard and Ventura (more traffic).

    Michael had a good plan there. With the price of gasoline in California having hit the $4/gal mark (and trying to steady itself there, though we don't look for it to stay long), the less miles you have to drive, the more you have to spend for food, lodging, etc.

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-03-2011 at 09:09 AM. Reason: grammatical error

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