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  1. Default Family trip *** SF -> Napa -> Tahoe -> Yosemite -> Vegas -> Grand Canyon [July 2015]

    I am planning a big family trip in July. 4 people, me + wife + 2 kids, but they are big (20/24)
    We are planning 3 weeks, roughly:
    - 1 week in SF
    - 7/8 days between SF/Vegas
    - head to LA, spend 4/5 days then back to SF to catch our plane

    I was wondering if you could give me a few advices from SF to Vegas.
    We love to drive but dont want to end up exhausted.
    I have been into a couple of (very useful) threads, but I had a few questions:

    1- is Napa worth visiting/staying?
    2- is Tahoe worth visiting at this time of year? one of my US friend told me it was gorgeous but I have read different opinions in summer
    3- any spectacular roads between Tahoe and Vegas that you guys recommend?
    4- we are not really the RV/campers kind of people, what would you recommend for sleeping between Tahoe and Vegas?
    5- I am estimating around 7/8 days for the trip, sounds ok?

    Any suggestions are more than welcome, should be a fantastic trip!

    All the best,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Maybe a better route would be to reverse the trip.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    My recommendation is that you reverse the trip, so that your trip along the spectacular Pacific Coast Highway is from North to South. That way all the pull outs and over views will be on your side of the road. You could go SF > LA > GC > LV > Yosemite, via Death Valley > Tahoe > Napa > SF.

    Going direct to the GC from LA will save you quite some time, then heading back to LV. Depending on time, you might also like to consider heading out the east entrance of the GC and heading around the NP to Zion NP, another close by national park well worth the time.

    If you were considering staying within the NPs - highly recommended - you would need to get booking a.s.a.p. If you cannot get your required dates first go up, keep heading back to the site, as people's circumstances sometimes change, and cancellations are necessary.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Nice trip.

    Have you allowed 2 or 3 days for your journey between LA and SF ? There is the specatacular coast highway around Big Sur to enjoy but you will need at least one overnight stop or else it would need to be Interstate and miss out. Cambria area is a good overnight area, but if you can spare 2 nights then Monterey would make another.

    Napa, Tahoe, they are all 'worth it' in there own right but it's if it appeals to you and fits in with the pace you are happy to travel at. Crossing the Golden Gate bridge [electronic tolls] on route to Napa is an event in itself, then you have Muir Woods, Golden Gate recreation area and Point Reyes around and about. I would recommend at least 2 nights in Yosemite and another between there and Vegas to enjoy parts of Death valley, June Lake loop, Mono Lake and Tioga pass which crosses the Sierra Nevada in and out of Yosemite.

    If you haven't booked anything yet then reversing your trip as suggested is a good idea and even more importantly if you haven't, get booking ! The NP's coulld possibly be booked out already so then you need to look at nearby lodgings, which are next to book up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Crossing the Golden Gate bridge [electronic tolls] on route to Napa is an event in itself
    Tolls are only charged southbound - going into the city - but if you wish to drive southbound, advance arrangements need to be made for paying the toll ($7).

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