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  1. Default LA to LA via where?

    Hi,

    I am at the beginning of organising a road trip late June early July 2016. I've noticed a number of people post there itinerary up and have you experts offer helpful advice so I thought i'd get this early to save me making too many mistakes early on. Please offer comments on the route, the activities and give suggestions on things I might want to take in on the way and what is the best area to stay on my overnights. It will be just me and my 16 year old son.

    I will be flying into LA and staying with friends for the first couple of days in Riverside area.

    From there I plan to hire a car (Thoughts on suitability of a Mustang convertible?) and do a big loop returning to spend the last few days with my friends again.

    Road Trip Day 1 - Drive to Sedona
    Day 2 - Off Road self drive buggy tour Sedona (drive to Monument Valley afternoon/evening)
    Day 3 - Monument Valley - Horse riding tour (drive Grand Canyon late afternoon/evening)
    Day 4 - Grand Canyon - Some kind of tour, undecided yet, is helicopter value for money? (drive to Vegas in evening)
    Day 5 - Las Vegas - Suggestions of shows, or activities that don't involve gambling as son is only 16
    Day 6 Las Vegas
    Day 7 Death Valley
    Day 8 Drive to Yosemite
    Day 9 Yosemite (late afternoon/evening drive to San Francisco)
    Day 10 San Francisco - Alactraz
    Day 11 San Francisco - (late afternoon drive to Monteray)
    Day 12 visit and hopefully play Pebble Beach Golf Links (afternoon drive to San Simeon) PCH
    Day 13 Drive from San Simeon back to Riverside



    I plan to be over for 21 days maybe a couple more and so I have flexibility to add days in certain places if need be or detours to places you think I've missed.


    As well as suggestions on things to do en-route, i'd also appreciate suggestions on what to do from Riverside as a base. LA? San Diego?

    Also suggestions on actually routes between the points on the itinerary to see the best scenery.

    Finally, I have read a number of excellent posts already on this site and on one it suggested a book to buy which has good maps of the area, but now I can't find that post, so what map/guide would you suggest I get to help me on my way.

    Have appreciated the response I've got so far on the other question I've asked, so thanks in advance for you help with the above.

    Pete

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,219

    Default

    The "book" you want is the Rand McNally Road Atlas. Available from the RTA Store (link below) or amazon.co.uk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,922

    Default Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    The "book" you want is the Rand McNally Road Atlas. Available from the RTA Store (link below) or amazon.co.uk.
    There is none better!

    If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. When you get it, you may like to follow the advice in this paragraph:

    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.
    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,698

    Default A couple of thoughts.

    You don't really need to take a tour to see the Grand canyon, you can get around under your own steam and enjoy the views. A helicopter flight over the Grand canyon from the Grand canyon airport in Tusayan is a memorable experience, there is a 45 min tour that takes you over the Painted desert and North rim and back again. Most helicopter tours from Vegas go to the west rim on Indian lands.

    You would have to research what shows are on at the time you are in Vegas but just walking down the Strip and through the hotel Lobbies is quite an experience. Lot's of free street shows like the Bellagio water fountains, the Volcano and the Pirate ships battling outside Treasure Island.

    I would consider spending another night near Yosemite and driving into SF the following morning, it's a big place with lots of amazing areas to the park.

    To drive down Big Sur takes a bit of time especially if you want to stop and take in the views and State parks. If you want to play golf you might be better off just staying in Carmel or Monterey and seeing some of the sights there and then drive Big Sur the following day to San Simeon or beyond.

    If you had an extra 2 or 3 days you could go to the Grand canyon from Sedona and then to Monument Valley and then head into Utah via Page AZ and visit Zion NP [another gem] and then head into Vegas down 1-15.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,509

    Default

    Unfortunately, Dave, the Pirate show outside Treasure Island in Las Vegas shut down in 2013. I would have enjoyed that, too, but it's gone. The volcano is still around, as are the water fountains outside the Bellagio.

    One Las Vegas show that we particularly enjoyed was the Blue Man Group. This was a show full of great percussion, special effects, lighting (including black light) and a lot of fun. But other than an occasional MC's voice, there is no talking. We loved it, and the price was decent. There are other shows that are there; this one was not "dark" when we were there in early July. (I would have enjoyed Donny and Marie Osmond, I'm sure, but they were "dark.") We found our original information on vegas.com, for show schedules.

    Since you say "drive to Las Vegas in the evening" from Grand Canyon, bear in mind that it is a 4-5 hour drive. Grand Canyon deserves a full day, with either a sunrise or a sunset if you can.


    Donna

  6. Default

    Book ordered! Thanks.

    Agree about using proper maps rather than GPS. I've had a large paper one pinned to my office wall to help with the planning and a visual reminder of what to get excited about.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Londoner Pete View Post
    Hi,
    <snip>
    Day 11 San Francisco - (late afternoon drive to Monteray)
    Day 12 visit and hopefully play Pebble Beach Golf Links (afternoon drive to San Simeon) PCH
    Day 13 Drive from San Simeon back to Riverside

    Pete
    Planning late afternoon drives around major USA cities is a no-no. Rush hour can be crushing. Especially so for the LA area, but the greater San Francisco area is no slouch in this regard.

    Under best of conditions for traffic density and weather, the Big Sur drive is slow going. During peak summer it can become brutally slow at times (good time to pull over for a sandwich and snack). At least in July there is daylight until 8 to 9p.

    Not sure if San Simeon is a touristing destination for you or not (Hearst Castle). The coastal route to Los Angeles (Santa Monica) is a good drive. At Santa Monica you will likely take the I-10, check the traffic reports (smart phone Google Traffic, or pull into a WiFi spot like Starbucks, and check the traffic).

    Less scenic, but maybe dodging LA traffic better, is to take CA 126 at Ventura to I-5 South and ride the backside of LA's freeways to Riverside.

    Watch out for the toll roads in Los Angeles. Not all of them have humans to take payments. If you don't have a toll pass it snaps a photo and processed the billing through your car rental agency, for a premium fee.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,922

    Default You're on the right path.

    Quote Originally Posted by Londoner Pete View Post
    Book ordered! Thanks.

    Agree about using proper maps rather than GPS. I've had a large paper one pinned to my office wall to help with the planning and a visual reminder of what to get excited about.
    If you already have a wall map, the atlas will be of immense value to you. It will give you detailed maps of each State, with all towns and most attractions printed on it. Scenic routes are highlighted as well, and all roads are clearly graded to show what to expect. You might like to consider bringing your AA membership with you, as it will give you access to free maps and tourism information from the AAA - anywhere in the US. Many of us like to travel with multiple maps, as well as our electronics. Often there is something on the AAA maps, which is not in the Rand McNally - or vice versa.

    You're on the right road to planning a great trip. Just be careful not to pack too many miles or sites into each day. Give yourself some time to really absorb the sites and the atmosphere of each.

    When you are on the road, or after you return home, it would be great to read how you got on. Not sure if you have found your way there yet, but we have a forum especially for members to record their road trip.... with photos and all.

    You might also like to check out this page, which might give you some more ideas for when you are on the road.

    Lifey

  9. Default

    Some invaluable advice - Thank You!


    Next question i'm hoping you'll know the answer to as the Avis website doesn't seem to want to tell me. The Mustangs that Avis (or similar) hire, do you know what model they are?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,922

    Default "Similar"

    From what has been discussed on these forums in the past..... they are more likely to be corvettes.

    Lifey

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