We have just got back from a 17 day holiday in America starting at San Francisco.
We took in Groveland,over the Tioga Pass to Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Lake Havasu, Twentynine Palms, Santa Monica, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and then back to San Francisco.
We planned the trip with the help of Road Trip America here and it worked out brilliantly.
Thanks to the person who suggested that we stay at Hotel Charlotte in Groveland, as we had a fantastic welcome, the room was lovely although a bit on the small side. The evening meal was lovely as was the breakfast the following morning. Vastly better than most of the continental breakfasts that were included in our accommodation. We did visit Jamestown on our way to Groveland which is an old railroad town, very small but with lots of character. The railway museum had shut when we got there, and so we decided to go back the following day (Saturday) to see it and also to have a ride on the train - the train only runs on weekends. However, the road from Janestown to Groveland was like going up a twisty mountain side (turn off your air conditioning!), and because of this it took much longer than expected, and so we decided not to go back. The cheapest petrol in that area is just before you get into Groveland, maybe 2 miles out.
Death Valley was brilliant, and I am so glad that we entered it from the Mammoth Lakes side, as the road into Death Valley from Mammoth Lakes affords some brilliant views. We stayed at Furnace Creek Ranch which was again really good.
Thanks to the Road Trip enthusiast who suggested that we stay at Tusayan for our visit to Grand Canyon instead of Williams. Tusayan is only about 1 mile from the park entrance, and it ideally placed for visiting GC. We stayed at the Holiday Inn EXpress there and found them very accommodating.
The road from Lake Havasu to Twentynine Palms was a very quiet, long road, with very easy driving. However, although we liked Twentynine Palms, and found it a friendly little place, we did feel that we could quite easily have driven from Lake Havasu to Santa Monica in one go, because the driving was so easy.
We bought a North America download for our Sat Nav before we went, and quite honestly, it made life so much easier around the cities, telling us precisely what lane to get in and where, because roads in America are generally easier to drive, but the interstates, and the roads leading into the main cities are very busy and quite fast, and you do need to know what lane you need to be in.
Anyway, we are back home now after having had a marvellous time, so thanks to everyone for all the help and advice we received.
Chris and Pete