We are a couple from Belgium planning a road trip in September. Our flight departs in Belgium and we arrive in LA around noon on the 3rd. The plane back home leaves in LA the evening of the 23rd, so we have a total of 20 days. We're trying to put together an itinerary, but it's all very overwhelming and every other thing we find out about seems like a "must see", which makes it all the more difficult.
We are very active people and would like to see a lot of outdoors stuff (i.e. national parks). The parks we definitely want to see are:
- Bryce Canyon
- Grand Canyon
- Dead Valley
We noticed on the U.S. national parks service website that there's a ton more parks all very near each other (i.e. Sequoia, King's Canyon, Mojave, ...). Which of those are a must see? Is there an overview somewhere of how long a visit to each park generally takes? Should we plan more or less of a full day for most of the parks or can some be visited in 2-4 hours (so we could do 2 in 1 day)?
Another thing I'm struggling with is whether to visit San Fransisco or not. It seems like an interesting city, but it's also quite out of the way of many national parks we would like to see, so it might make us lose 2-3 days?
So far, we don't really have something set in stone. We will take a tent with us and overnight at campsites as much as possible to cut costs. From what we've read, all the major parks have those available for cheap. If needed we can rent a motel room, but the less dependent we are, the better. So far, our itinerary is:
: Land in LA, go get rental car. Visit the city a bit, have a good night's rest.
: Take "Other way to Las Vegas
" trip to Vegas. Arrive in Vegas & book a room somewhere (any recommendations?).
: Sightseeing in Vegas, probably spend another night.
day 4 - 19
: Planning problems! Help :)!
: Hand in car, fly back home.
Basically, that's a good 2 weeks we're not sure about where to go. We would really appreciate it if you could give us trips about which parks/locations/villages/... are really worth it and how long visiting them would take. Once we know that, figuring out the order and finding places to spend the night should be easier.
Thanks a lot!