Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default Early planning stages- Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Pacific Coast

    Hello everyone! My husband and I are in the early planning stages for a road trip next spring- 4/5/17 - 4/18/17 for us and our two kids who will be 9 and 7. We will fly from Buffalo, NY and rent a car. We have friends in Phoenix that we would stay with for one night, and then our main stops are- we want to see the Grand Canyon, drive to San Diego, spend 2 days at Disneyland and then drive up the coast as far as we can. We would like to spend a 1/2 day or two at the beach (any Southern California beach but preferably Newport Beach and Santa Barbara) if possible as well. I would love to make it to Washington state but realize that probably is a bit ambitious.

    My main question is whether this is even possible, but also should we be planning to start in the Northwest and drive down the coast to have the ocean on our right side? Does it make a huge difference? We could do either way.
    Thank you in advance for any advice! I realize this is very broad and a lot of information. Just want to get as many opinions as I can.

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

    Default Plenty of options.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Driving down the coast is an advantage if it makes little difference to your plans. With you plan to visit friends and stay a while in San Diego I think Washington might be a bit far with the kids to be fun and relaxed, but possible. Have you looked at other National parks like those in Southern Utah ? From the Grand canyon you could drive through Page AZ [Lake Powell, Antelope canyon, Horseshoe bend etc] and visit Bryce canyon and Zion. In Cali there is Yosemite NP where the waterfalls will be flowing in April but the high ground will still be off limits to vehicles due to winter snow accumulation. You could make your way to the Redwoods State and National parks on the north Cali coast and drive back through San Fran and Big Sur to LA. As you say it's the early stages of planning and you have a nice amount of time to look over the maps and do a little research by searching around the RTA site to see what appeals. As you move forward with your plans and questions pop up, don't hesitate to ask.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Driving down the coast is an advantage if it makes little difference to your plans. With you plan to visit friends and stay a while in San Diego I think Washington might be a bit far with the kids to be fun and relaxed, but possible. Have you looked at other National parks like those in Southern Utah ? From the Grand canyon you could drive through Page AZ [Lake Powell, Antelope canyon, Horseshoe bend etc] and visit Bryce canyon and Zion. In Cali there is Yosemite NP where the waterfalls will be flowing in April but the high ground will still be off limits to vehicles due to winter snow accumulation. You could make your way to the Redwoods State and National parks on the north Cali coast and drive back through San Fran and Big Sur to LA. As you say it's the early stages of planning and you have a nice amount of time to look over the maps and do a little research by searching around the RTA site to see what appeals. As you move forward with your plans and questions pop up, don't hesitate to ask.
    Thanks for your reply! Yes I think we may start out in the NW and make our way down. Do you suggest San Francisco as a good starting point? We definitely want to see the Redwoods. Is 1/2 day enough to see a good part of the Redwoods State Park?
    As far as the National Parks in Utah, I think I will wait and see those on another trip. They are definitely on my list of things to see someday though! Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The redwoods are several hours north of SF, so it may make more sense to fly into Portland. Drive down the coast to San Diego then head for the Grand Canyon via Phoenix, and end your trip in Las Vegas. Note that one way trips like that can get expensive with airfares and drop charges on the car.

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

    Default One way trip makes a difference.

    For some reason I had it in my mind that you were starting and ending your trip in Phoenix and creating a loop trip, I apologise. If it is a one way trip then Portland [as mentioned above] would be a good place to start, but there would be no reason you should not have your wish and start in Washington. [Seattle.] It depends on what attractions you want to see and how much travelling you are comfortable with combined with how long you want to stay in each place.

  6. Default

    Thanks everyone for all the input so far! After poring over maps and driving times, I'm thinking this might be doable? I realize this is just a first draft and will probably be changed many times. I also want to put it out there that we have driven from Buffalo to Orlando in one day before (22 hrs) so we are okay with 12+ hour driving days during this trip if needed. How does this look? Thanks again!

    4/5- fly to Seattle
    4/6- drive down to Gold Beach
    4/7- drive down to San Fran
    4/8- San Fran / drive to Monterey
    4/9- aquarium - drive to Santa Barbara
    4/10- Santa Barbara / drive to Anaheim
    4/11- Disneyland
    4/12- Disneyland
    4/13- Newport Beach
    4/14- Newport Beach
    4/15- San Diego
    4/16- drive to Phoenix
    4/17- Grand Canyon
    4/18 fly home

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Driving versus the rewards.

    Whereas the odd 12 hours on the road per day is OK, you kinda have to ask yourself, what's the point if you don't see much other than through the windshield. Now driving is fun in itself for the driver[s] but the Kids won't enjoy being couped up in the car all day when they could be outdoors. That would be the case from Seattle to San Fran where I think I would spend another night so you can see a bit of the coast and have time to enjoy the Redwoods. If you didn't want to give up any other time from elsewhere in your trip, perhaps starting in San Fran and having a day or 2 in Yosemite valley would be more rewarding. [?]

    If you are flying home from Phoenix then I would drive from SD direct to the Grand canyon and then to Phoenix.

  8. Default

    Thanks Southwest Dave! On the long driving days, I was thinking we would drive several hours then stop somewhere for about an hour and sightsee (not sure where yet) and do that a few times, hoping to make the actual driving time 12 hours, but traveling for 15 or so. My kids actually really like driving when we travel as long as we stop every 4-5 hours for a short break. We've been doing this since they were babies but only on the East Coast. How much time is reasonable for a quick visit to the Redwood Forest?
    Also I will look into that for the Grand Canyon. I just have to be mindful of Easter Sunday (4/16)
    We are still considering starting in San Francisco, but do you know how far the Redwoods are from there? I can't seem to find anything online and we just don't want to backtrack. We are also considering flying into Portland.
    Thank you so much for your input! It is greatly appreciated!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Humboltd.

    The recognised Redwoods State and National park are located near Orick CA, which is about 6 hours from SF and another hour from Portland, depending on traffic and actual starting location. However the fabulous drive along the 'Avenue of the Giants" in Humboltd Redwood State park is closer to SF, aprox 4.5 hours away. To save back tracking all the way you would have the option of going up US101 and returning on CA1 along the coast past Mendocino and Point Reyes. The Marin headlands on the north side of the Golden Gate bridge is a pretty cool place for views of the bridge with the city and Alcatraz in the background. [From Conzelman road] Of course you would need to overnight somewhere in the Redwoods.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The recognised Redwoods State and National park are located near Orick CA, which is about 6 hours from SF and another hour from Portland, depending on traffic and actual starting location.
    To clarify - he means it's 7 hours from Portland to Orick, and that's taking I-5 to US-199 to US-101. It's even longer going down the coast.

    If you start in SF you will be backtracking, which is why I suggested you start in Portland. From a time standpoint, it's a wash. Taking US-101 north from SF and CA-1 back south is an option. CA-1 is very scenic (and quite slow going) but not quite as spectacular as it is between Monterrey and Cambria.

Similar Threads

  1. roadtrip from mass to yellowstone ( Very early planning stages)
    By Cait12350 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-12-2014, 07:45 PM
  2. Planning Trip from Phoenix to Grand Canyon to San Diego to Las Vegas
    By taylortime05 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-09-2013, 03:51 AM
  3. Trip Advise from Phoenix to LV to Grand Canyon to Flagstaff to Phoenix
    By vikas.iet in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-06-2011, 12:05 PM
  4. early stages of planning
    By shauna in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-29-2009, 09:06 AM
  5. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-04-2007, 09:31 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