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  1. Default Thoughts on West-Coast Route!

    Hello people of RTA

    First of all, great site - so far have been really helpful trying to plan this road trip, and I hope it could give even more now, when I have discovered this delicious forum :)

    We are 2 guys that plan to rent a car for 30 day, and cruise around the West Coast (I’m sure you had already figured this out!) sometime next summer (June/July), so far we tried to make a route we are going to follow to a certain point - we are not looking to make a day to day schedule!. But since none of us are US citizens we only know about the most common tourist attractions and are looking for thoughts on stuff to see/do while cruising the West Coast. None of us really have preferences, so everything basically goes :)
    As i mentioned earlier we have already made a v1 route, that gives us access to some of the bigger stuff like - Google Map Link:

    • Universal Studios
    • Monterey Bay Aquarium
    • Big Sur
    • Six Flags
    • Alcatraz/Golden Gate Bridge
    • Sea World
    • All the National Parks along the way (Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and so on)
    • Death Valley
    • Lake Havasu
    • Salton Sea
    • Hoover Dam
    • Vegas
    • (not a place but, 4th July in either LA, SD or SF)

    But we would love to hear from people that have any good things we could add to our list, we figured that 30 days to that route might be a little much (even though we like to have time to improvise & be able to go off road if that’s what we feel like). We have considered a 1 day trip to Mexico, theater and stuff like that - so everything goes basically :).
    Our route is obv. up for discussion, and are probably going to be changed many times before next summer, but any inputs would be lovely!

    Recommendations on car rentals would also be appreciated so far we have looked at;

    • enterprise-something (thank got browser history!)

    Looking forward to hear from you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A few more National Parks

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Looks like a great trip so far. I would suggest that you get a large map of the USA, or of the western USA. I particularly like the National Geographics wall map. Have a look around southern Utah National Parks. Between G and H on your map, you have Arches, Canyon Land, Glen Canyon, and many more natural attractions. You might also like to check out Meza Verda in southern Colorado. And for a glitzy touristy attraction, there is always Four Corners. Everyone has to see it.... at least once!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default To Help Get You Started

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, first off, that general area is one of the most discussed RoadTrip destinations discussed here, So, even though this link is a little old, it will take you to a number of other people's trip planning and will give you a host of other ideas for things to include. Generally, you will experience the same level of service from all of the major car rental firms in the US so you should decide on who to use based on price and convenience. You can get quotes from a number of different companies by using the 'Reservations' tab above and then clicking on 'Rental Cars' in the drop-down menu. If either of you are under 25, then you need to be prepared for a rather hefty 'underage driver' fee.

    I would not recommend taking a day trip into Mexico. Things along the border are quite chaotic these days, and the Mexican government is not necessarily in charge of some border towns. In any event, your rental agreement may very well prohibit you from taking the car into Mexico.

    For some less well known attractions, check out the sites in our own mapping software. Or if you have specific interests, speak up and someone should know something that will meet your needs


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    For a car rental, check our reservation service (in the top green toolbar) and offshore consolidators such as

  5. Default

    First of all thanks for all the good answers so far, made me add at least a couple of different things to our list :)

    We figured that we would take a GPS from home with us, shouldn’t that be enough? or would u still suggest we get our self a map..

    @AZBuck i was already aware that u guys had a couple of threads just about the west coast, but most of them focus on the bigger tourist attraction - most of them we are already aware of! We wanted some outside the box ideas - like drive-in movies (no such things in our country), good resturants (we talked about the big Texan, but far away from our route v2), parades, big events (like 4th. july) etc etc.
    Guess we aren’t talking a 1day trip to Mexico :)

    How do u guys feel about Six Flag, Universal & Sea World? since all is basically close together, should we consider dropping one of them? or are all of them a must?

    Also i got thinking about resturants, we want to try to stay as much away from fast food as possible, but we know their is alot of diffrent food chains - most of them not located outside the US, any we just cant leave without having tried?
    Last edited by Nish^; 10-28-2011 at 02:45 PM. Reason: dno

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default No! It's not enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nish^ View Post
    We figured that we would take a GPS from home with us, shouldn’t that be enough? or would u still suggest we get our self a map..
    A GPS is a great aid to have along with good maps. But your primary source for information should be good road maps, and the ability to read them. You may like to check out this thread. And there have been other reports of similar incidents.

    If you are a member of your local automobile club, you may like to bring the membership with you. The AAA has a reciprical arrangement with most automobile clubs (check with your club), and as such it will give you access to free tourist information and material as well as free maps.

    As for restaurant chains... why not check out all of them... a different one in each location. Who knows, you may find one which you will want to return to again and again.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 10-28-2011 at 03:11 PM. Reason: add info

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area


    Suspect car rental companies will forbid you from taking one of their cars into Mexico; if you intend on doing that make sure you check first.

    Also, since you're not US citizens you may want to check carefully on any restrictions/issues with exiting the US and re-entering.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Universal Studios and Six Flags may look close, but they're actually 50 miles apart. Sea World is even further away ... a good 2 to 2-1/2 hour drive (on a good day) from Universal Studios. All have a different appeal:

    Universal Studios is a theme park with movies/films/TV as the focus. There are rides, and there is a tour. If you are a movie or TV "buff", you'd probably enjoy it.

    Six Flags Magic Mountain is a theme park/amusement park. Thrill rides are their specialty! If you love loop-de-loop roller coasters and other dare-devil type things, you'd like Six Flags.

    Sea World is a huge aquarium theme park. If you want to really see sea life the way it is in the wild, go to the Monterey Aquarium. But if you want to see whales and dolphins do things that they are trained to do, Sea World is where that happens.

    You didn't mention Disneyland in Anaheim, or its sister park California Adventure. To me, I would much rather spend a couple of days in the Disney parks than any time at all in Sea World, Six Flags or Universal Studios. If I want to see a real movie studio tour, Warner Bros "Three Hour Tour" is the best.

    As for restaurant chains, Lifey had a good idea, to try different ones. You could also ask locally for what's the best in the area. Most of the time you'll get directed to a local restaurant that is not a chain.


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