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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Darlington, United Kingdom
    Posts
    37

    Default Advice if poss -Las Vegas, San Francisco, Pacific Highway, LA and San Diego

    Hi, i've spent many an hour browsing this fab forum/website and thought i'd dip my toe in to see what you experienced folk could suggest as the best way/direction that we could take for our "trip of a lifetime". Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

    We're a family of 4 and hope to visit end march to APril for around three weeks

    Initially the idea was to fly to las vegas (from Newcastle - UK) - but this is a more expensive flight than flying to SFO
    Stay for a couple of days
    hire a car and head to grand canyon and hopefully stay a night
    we also want to fit in Yosemite (also possibly staying a couple of nights)
    San Francisco
    the pacific highway (visiting monterey and various others) + stay over in couple of places
    Los angeles (wev'e been invited to stay with friends for a few days)
    and on to San Diego
    fly back from SD or LAX

    as we will need to tkae kids out of school for a few days we want to make sure that they really learn/experience something that they would not be able to do in the classroom - hence staying in national park at grand canyon and yosemite.

    if i've not provided enough info, just let me know - early stages at moment but will need to look at flight options and booking accommodation for the national parks pretty soon

    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,576

    Default a loop

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    This is a case where you'd actually be better off just doing a loop - which will both be easier, and likely less expensive.

    If you started in SF, you'd head down the coast to LA and San Diego, then go across to the Grand Canyon, then start heading back to Vegas, and then onto Yosemite, possibly hitting Death Valley or Sequoia National Parks along the way, before returning to SF.

    The only big thing you'll need to remember is that Tioga Pass will still be closed, so your route from Vegas to Yosemite will have to go around the south edge of the Sierras through Bakersfield/Lake Isabella.

    This trip is far and away the most discussed basic outline on this forum, so you'll find lots more information just by looking around, and if you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    7,934

    Default Definitely.

    I 100% agree with Michael, the places you wish to visit create a nice loop, and will save you having to 'zig zag' back and forth. Heading in the direction Michael mentioned will also put the Ocean on your side of the road heading south down the coast, making it easier to pull off the road at the viewpoints.

    How long have you got in total for the trip?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Darlington, United Kingdom
    Posts
    37

    Default thanks for info guys

    i hadn't even considered a "round trip", but it definitely makes sense.
    We are hoping to be there for around 20/21 days.
    due to the Tioga pass being closed will this add alot of extra driving time into the equation?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,126

    Default

    If Tioga is closed, it will only add a few hours - you would have to go south or north to get across the Sierras.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    7,934

    Default

    With around 3 weeks to play with you have time to do the loop at a reasonably relaxed pace. Heading around the southern end of the Sierras won't add too much time and as Michael mentioned, Death valley and Sequoia NP would both be options from Las Vegas.

    You could drive to Yosemite in one day [or close by, like in Oakhurst] or with an overnight stop, visit one of the other parks and continue your drive next day to Yosemite. If you drove through Death valley, then perhaps around Lake Isabella, or visiting Sequoia you could stop around Three rivers or in the park. To visit both you would really need to stop twice overnight before getting into Yosemite, maybe Lake Isabella or near Visalia and possibly the second night being in Oakhurst a short[ish] drive away from Yosemite.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Darlington, United Kingdom
    Posts
    37

    Default Wow

    Thanks guys you've certainly given me loads to think about!
    I think I will have to be careful wih how many different stops we do. Our kids are 10 and 13 and both have different ideas about what they want to do.
    Hubby and I looking forward to fab parks and coastlandrive. Daughter wants to swim with dolphins and son wants to visit the biggest water park he can find, and of course incorporate a visit to the theme parks and days out at beaches.
    Tall order? Oh and Possibly camping in Santa Barbara!
    Btw would you recommend hiring a cabriolet or jeep for the trip
    Love the idea of cabriolet but is this a bit silly for the desert?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,126

    Default

    You are going to be driving some long miles - I'd rent a comfortable car.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,576

    Default

    I wouldn't do a convertible, but not because of the desert. It would simply be too small, as the back seat area is going to be too tiny, even for your kids.

    Jeeps aren't readily available for rentals. You could do an SUV, although there's really no place where 4 wheel drive would provide much advantage. The best value and likely comfort would be in a full sized sedan.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Darlington, United Kingdom
    Posts
    37

    Default

    I've looked at Ford Escape (or similar) over a car as i thought that the height of vehicle would help us get better views.

    I was a little dubious about convertible but came across one (mustang) where it took 3 suitcases.

    Think my conversations going a little off point at this stage, maybe should start new thread on pros and cons of sedan vs suv vs convertible!!

    But thanks for the input. Our next stage is to find out what dates we can take off, so until then will continue to browse until we come with itinery (which of course i'll need to put by you all).

    I don't want to miss anything at all on this trip so experienced advice/suggestions/off the beaten track stuff will all be greatly appreciated

    cheers

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