Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default California Road trip

    Hi,

    I'm planning for a West Coast road trip this December (~12/20-12/30). I plan on flying from Dallas to Los Angeles /Phoenix/San Francisco (depending on the air ticket prices !).
    I initially planned on driving all the way up to Crate Lake NP and Portland. But after reading some articles online, looks like most of the roads will be closed due to snow. So I'll probably just cover as much of California as I can.
    I want to cover the major cities, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and also drive down US 1.
    Is there something you would suggest I include in this trip? Would it be the right time to visit Yosemite or Lake Tahoe?

    Thanks,

    Ashish

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default You could head north.

    Whereas Crater Lake will not be accessable, it doesn't mean that all North of SF and Oregon will be "closed to snow" so heading north is an option if you still wanted to visit Portland and perhaps the Redwoods on the Cali coast. Driving down CA1 that hugs the coast [not US1] gives you the advantage of driving on the same side as the Ocean so starting in SF and then down to San Diego is worth considering. The weather is totally unpredictable but if you head towards the mountains, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite] then you should be prepared for freezing temps and snow and the possibility that you will need to use snowchains. Yosemite valley is spectacular and has fewer visitors at this time of year so you may want to keep your options open. Phoenix is a bit of a way off given what you have mentioned, even Vegas is closer to the coast and usually offers good flight deals.

    I am curious if you completed any of your previous trip plans that people responded to such as Yellowstone and Minneapolis and New Orleans for example ? No matter, it's just nice to hear how things panned out from time to time. Good luck with your next trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,359

    Default If...

    ...your plans really do revolve around seeing as much of the California coast as possible, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is the total cost of your gateway city. Yes you may save some money on the airfare by flying into Phoenix or Las Vegas, but then you'd need to add the cost of driving between those cities and the California coast, roughly $75 R/T from Las Vegas, $100 from Phoenix, as well as account for the time 'lost' from your destination(s) due to the extra drive to get there.

    Any loop that includes the three major urban areas of California can, of course, start in any of those three cities. And it can easily include a bit of the coast north of San Francisco as well. I would highly recommend that you at least cross the Golden Gate Bridge and see Point Reyes National Seashore. Even the Redwood parks around Orick are within a half day's drive (via US-101) or a day's drive (via CA-1) of San Francisco.

    Between San Francisco and Los Angeles, don't overlook Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, San Simeon, Santa Barbara, or the Channel Islands. And between Los Angeles and San Diego, there's San Juan Capistrano and the beach towns north of San Diego. Note that what looks like a big empty beach area between San Clemente and Oceanside on some maps is actually a Marine Corps base and all you can do is drive through on the (fenced off) highway.

    If you end up doing this as a loop, make sure that at least one leg of that loop is spent inland of the coast checking out such sites as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Edwards Air Force Base, Carrizo Plain National Monument, Pinnacles National Monument, and others.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I am curious if you completed any of your previous trip plans that people responded to such as Yellowstone and Minneapolis and New Orleans for example ? No matter, it's just nice to hear how things panned out from time to time. Good luck with your next trip.
    I apologize that I wasn't able to report back on trips.. The Yellowstone trip was quite memorable, a lifetime experience..
    I will update the respective posts with more information and details shortly.. Thank you all for the invaluable suggestions and guidance.

  5. Default

    Wish you all a very happy new year! We just returned from our California trip, and wanted to thank you all for your guidance and inputs.
    We flew into SFO and drove down to San Diego along CA-1, and back to SFO via US-101. We drove the Silverado Trail in Napa, visited Monterey, Big Sur, Santa Monica, Malibu, Los Angeles, San Diego, Solvang and SFO.
    Overall a very good trip, but not enough time to enjoy California.. hoping to return for a more relaxed vacation..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Thanks for dropping by with an update, it sounds like you had a wonderful trip. There is never enough time! Happy new year to you to.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-22-2014, 05:22 PM
  2. California road trip.
    By Lewis33 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-19-2010, 03:07 PM
  3. Road Trip in California
    By swar in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-04-2009, 01:51 PM
  4. Another California Road Trip!
    By koima in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-27-2009, 08:56 PM
  5. California Road Trip
    By Maeve_Daly in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-18-2006, 07:26 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES