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  1. Default May Trip (San Fran - LA - Vegas - Yosemite - San Fran)

    Hello everyone,

    I am looking for some feedback if possible on a rough itenary myself and two friends (25year old males) have put together for a 2 week road trip in may and have a few questions if anyone can help -or any advice of anything weve got a bit wrong?! We are looking at booking hotels in San fran for the first 2 and last nights .. with the rest aimed at finding motels when we are there..

    We have put together a rough idea of an intenery ;

    Day 1 - (Mon 6th) - Fly in to San Fran - Sleep!

    Day 2 - (7th)Spend day in San Fran (Alcatraz/Golden Gate/Cable Cars) - Stay in San Fran

    Day 3 - (8th)Leave Hotel - Pick up car & start drive to LA - Stay in Monterey area

    Day 4 - (9th)Drive further down 101 - stay close to LA (maybe Santa Barbara area?)

    Day 5 - (10th)Make way into La after rush hour - Spend day(long beach/malibu?) & night staying in LA

    Day 6 - (11th)Do touristy stuff (holywood?) and stay in LA

    Day 7 -(12th) Drive from LA to Grand Canyon - Stay close to GC

    Day 8 - (13th)Visit Gran Canyon (look into helicopter flights/activities etc) -drive back towards Vegas - Stay near Vegas

    Day 9 - (14th)Spend day in Vegas & go for night out

    Day 10 - (15th)Recover morning to early afternoon - do part drive to death valley area (4 hours)

    Day 11 - (16th)Finish drive to Yosemite (Tioga pass - if not longer way round) - spend rest of day in Yosemite

    Day 12 - (17th)Spend most of day in Yosemite - start drive back to San Fran (try and stay somewhere cheap)

    Day 13 - (18th) Make way to San Fran (drop car) stay in san fran (night out!?)

    Day 14 - (19th)Leave!

    The main questions we have are ;

    1. Best places to stay on drive from San Fran to LA

    2.Yosemite - is it likely that the Tioga pass wont be open? would this effect the timings i have listed?

    3. Would staying in the Yosemite area require booking a place to stay? - would we need to book accommodation anywhere else?

    4. Is there anything it loooks like weve missed or should consider?!

    Thanks in advance for any help people can give!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Looks good.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your overall plan looks pretty good. You could spend an extra night near the GC and max your time there [Tusayan/Williams] and get an early start to Vegas next day, Kingman would be an alternative, or you could just roll into Vegas at night.

    Monterey and Santa Barbara would work as stops on the coast, although you could look at the Cambria/Cayucos area as well.

    Tioga Pass is purely down to chance/luck. It's possible it could be open, but it would be quite an early opening going on historic dates. There has so far been a light snowpack so it's a case of wait and see. Bishop would be a good place to stop if it's open and perhaps the Lake Isabella area if it isn't.

    The National parks can book out quite early on but you shouldn't have to much trouble finding lodgings in surrounding areas. Tusayan, Williams and Flagstaff are convenient for the GC and near to Yosemite you have places like Groveland, El Portal, Mariposa and a larger choice in Oakhurst.

    The Grand canyon airport in Tusayan do Helicopter flights over the Grand canyon which is a spectacular experience although you will barely have time there to visit all the different viewpoints for the rim.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA! It sounds like you have a great trip planned. Let's see if I can answer some of your questions:

    1) Someone will chime in here, but Monterey is a good first night. Cambria is another thought.

    2) Tioga Pass may be closed. We have a poll on this site where people can make educated guesses as to when it will open again in the spring. Frankly, I've been to Yosemite in April, June, and September, and found it closed all 3 times. Plan for it to be closed and then be pleasantly surprised if it's open, IMHO.

    3) Absolutely, you need reservations for accommodations if you want to stay inside Yosemite or Grand Canyon. If planning to stay outside of the park, such as in Oakhurst (CA) or Tusayan (AZ), it would be wise to have a reservation but you may be able to get one on the fly.

    For Day #5 (on second read), you could go to Malibu in the morning, poke around, and then drive down to Long Beach (?) later. Are you planning to go to the beach? Malibu has Zuma Beach/Point Dume State Park. If you have seen the movie "Spaceballs", the old 60s TV show "I Dream of Jeannie" (pilot show), or similar, you will know Point Dume. It is used as a movie set quite often! Click here for Point Dume.

    Then I'm not sure what you have in mind for the Long Beach area, but the Aquarium of the Pacific is supposed to be great (friends of ours love it, but we've never been). There's also a massive shipyard there. However, if you were planning to use it as a base for seeing things in the Hollywood area, it's a bit of a drive through traffic.

    For Hollywood, your best bet is to find accommodations in Burbank or Glendale (for safe areas). (The Burbank Marriott is very nice. The EconoLodge in Glendale seems like it's in a weird area, but it's not, and the price is more reasonable. I've stayed there twice in the past 4 years. The Burbank Ramada Inn has become very run-down recently, but it's priced accordingly. I've stayed there once.)

    Day #8 - A helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon may or may not take you over the National Park itself. "West Grand Canyon" is native American property, not National Park. So be careful. If it's out of Tusayan, you're probably okay. Flights over the Canyon are pricey and limited, but definitely worthwhile as it's a view most people don't get.

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 02-10-2013 at 10:13 AM. Reason: added link & fixed punctuation

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