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  1. Default An exciting first road trip in America (West coast)

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for offering your help to all of us who are trying to plan a trip from far away. I live in Sydney but I'm originally from Spain.

    My partner and I are planning a trip to America from the 1 of June to the 17 of June. First time in America. We'll be flying to NY (Staying 5days there) and then take a flight to San francisco where we will rent a car after seeing the city to start the road trip.

    We are flying out of LA and our intention is to see SF, Grand Canyon and would love to see Yosemite.

    I have found a lot information before posting this but still can't make up my mind about the timing and what is worth seeing. Some people say that the pacific coast road is beautiful and easier for our time frame but we seemed more attractive to the route through Yosemite. Is it possible to have an enjoyable trip (no rushed) in 9 days, including seeing SF, LA, Grand canyon and Yosemite? It would be a better option for us to skip Yosemite and go through the coast?

    Thank you so much in advance, once I work this out I can start planning more in detail our trip with the help of your amazing posts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default The 'loop' would give it all.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    I would put Yosemite at the top of any list of places to visit, it is simply magnificent and is one of my favourite places on earth. It's not to say the coast is not spectacular and it's a decision only you can make. However, going through Yosemite to the Grand canyon is quite a natural route where you would drive over the spectacular Tioga pass [CA120] through Death valley and also have the choice to stay in Vegas a night. Your other option is to do a complete loop trip and end back in SF, you have time but it would help your cause if you were to perhaps cut a day out from NY ?

    So SF to LA would look something like this. SF >Yosemite>[Death valley, Vegas] Grand canyon> LA. Or the loop trip, SF>LA [via coast road 1 night]>Grand canyon>[Vegas/Death valley] Yosemite >SF. If you have no real desire to visit LA you could avoid it's urban sprawl and traffic jams by heading inland from the coast at Cambria. If you do the loop, heading south down the coast puts the ocean on your side of the road.

  3. Default

    Thank you for you point of view! After checking a few thing with the airline we are going to land in LA and take the flight back home from LA.. so I have made a more detailed plan based of your suggestions and this new itinerary

    1st (Arrive afternoon 1st of June) of June to 6 NY

    7: Fly to LA. Sleep in LA

    8: Drive to Grand Canyon and stay for 2 nights.

    10: Drive to Yosemite and sleep as near as we can from the park

    11: Arrive to the N park and walk around. Sleep at the park

    12: Spend the day at the NP and maybe drive to SF in the afternoon (Not sure if this would work)

    13: SF

    14: SF

    15: Drive to LA and sleep half way maybe Cambria

    16: Get to LA and visit it

    17: Spend the day in LA. Night flight back to Sydney

    Is it doable?? I was thinking of not going to SF and maybe spend some more time in the Grand Canyon area (Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion..) but would prefer the first option!

    Thank you :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Maps are invaluable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    It's not to say the coast is not spectacular and it's a decision only you can make. However, going through Yosemite to the Grand canyon is quite a natural route where you would drive over the spectacular Tioga pass [CA120] through Death valley ...
    You can have both the coast and Yosemite. If you prefer to do your first option. Leaving SF you could drive as far as Cambria - the best part of the PCH - and then head inland to Yosemite. Continue through Death Valley, etc. Meaning you will only have to deal with LA traffic once. From the Grand Canyon you could head straight to LA,

    I have never been charged a one way drop fee on a rental car picked up in SF and dropped at LAX. (I always rent from Budget.)

    May I suggest you get some good maps while you are planning the details of this trip. If you can't get any in Sydney, I suggest you purchase a Rand McNally Road Atlas from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks.

    Good detailed maps are invaluable while you are planning a trip, and essential when on the road. If you are a member of the NRMA take your membership with you. It will give you access to tourism information at the AAA, and free maps if you want them.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Looks good !

    I think your revised plan is certainly doable and will be very enjoyable, as long as it's what you want to do. Indeed, Bryce Zion and Antelopes canyon are all great options and there really are no bad choices, so you need to go with what appeals the most.

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