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  1. Default west coast route

    Planning a road trip early next summer with my husband and kids. We're thinking of either flying into Phoenix or san Diego? We want to definitely go to the Grand canyon. Definitely want to see red woods ( Sequoia national park? ) hoping for San Diego but that seems quite out of the way from everywhere. Would like to do a day trip to LA/Hollywood. Yosemite and san Francisco are also on the list. We will have 10-11 nights. Would love some suggested routes. Seems several hundred dollars less to rent a car and drop off at same location but that is not a necessity if we can't do a loop. Also at Sequoia or Yosemite are their any swimming holes or natural swimming pools. Would be nice to cool off somewhere besides chlorine. Would love some kid attractions too but not necessarily the big parks like Disney, Lego land or universal. We live only four hours from Orlando. Thanks for any info.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A popular trip about which much has been written.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    The trip you are about to plan is probably the most popular trip on these forums. Depending on where it is you are flying in from, you could fly into a number of airports, Las Vegas, LA and SF as well as the ones you have mentioned. With 10 days, you might want to consider the SF, LA, Grand Canyon, Southern Utah, Death Valley, Yosemite, SF loop, with other attractions fitted in along the way as time allows.

    Do you have good detailed maps of the area? If not, I highly recommend you get some. You have lots of time to do your research and planning. Here is a paragraph to help get you started.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    If good detailed maps are not available locally, I recommend you purchase a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store at the bottom of this page.

    You might also like to check out 'similar threads' (below) for more ideas, and use the search function on this site to find more trips in the west.

    Happy planning, and as more questions come up, feel free to ask.


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

    Default A loop works well this trip.

    Hello and welcome.

    It is one of those trips that is best suited to a loop trip with the places you have listed. If you want to spend just a little time in LA then it could work out to be the best place to fly in and out of, although you can check to see which offers the best air fare deals as it doesn't matter in a loop trip if it's one of the City's in the loop. You are a little limited for time to be adding extra locations like southern Utah without feeling rushed in my opinion, but you are in for a wonderful time. So a loop from LA would look something like this: LA > GC > LV [or nearby]>through Death valley>Yosemite[via Tioga Pass CA120]> Sequoia[?]> SF>Coast[overnight Cambria?]>LA.

    You could first head south to San Diego before travelling to GC but once again it comes down to the pace you want to travel at. You might like 1 or 2 nights in LA, depending on flight arrival time, followed by 1 night at the GC [minimum]which you could drive to in one long day. Between GC and Yosemite you could split the drive with 1 or 2 overnight stops while driving through Death valley. I would recommend at least 2 nights in [or around] Yosemite before a night in Sequoia. Then a drive to SF which will see you arriving later in the day so 2 nights would give you a full day to explore the City, perhaps an Alcatraz tour. [Recommended] That would leave you 1 or 2 nights to explore the scenic coast around Big Sur etc on route back to LA. There are many options on how to juggle this to suit your own interests but it should help get you started while using maps as suggested above.

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