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  1. Default West Coast Roadtrip May/June


    I am new to this forum and regret not finding it sooner as it is by far the most helpful.
    My husband and I are in the States from South Africa for a few months traveling and have dedicated a large portion of the trip to the West Coast.
    We do have some things already booked and therefore cannot change unfortunately but we would love some advice for the rest?

    So far the trip looks like:
    Fly NYC-LA May 1
    May 1-8: LA (Hollywood, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, San Diego day trip...)
    May 8-12: Santa Barbara
    May 12-13: San Simeon (Hearst Castle)
    May 13-16: Monterey (Big Sur, Carmel, Pebble Beach)
    May 16-21: San Fran

    That is all the accommodation we have booked and below is what we were thinking of doing, moving forward:
    Napa or Sonoma, open to suggestion?
    Lake Tahoe
    Grand Canyon

    We recently removed Redwood from our plans as we were told you get to see similar trees in Sequoia, is this correct would you advise keeping Redwood? Its a little out the way?

    At this point we will make our way to Mexico/Costa Rica and Cuba. Most likely fly from LA or Vegas to one of them.

    Our entire West Coast adventure can go all the way to mid/end June. Please assist us in ironing out those last few stops, how long is recommended in each place, the best route and any gems in the region that we are missing out. I did read that reversing the trip is probably the best but unfortunately we are now unable to do so.

    Thanks in advance and really looking forward to hearing your guys opinion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A few more gems.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The coastal Redwoods are similar to the giant Sequoia's found in Sequoia [and Yosemite] but they are still beautiful and worth a visit if you decide you have time. They are only 6 hours or so north of Napa. From there to Tahoe you could even check out Burney Falls and Lassen National volcanic park which are both wonderful. From Tahoe you would head south to Lee Vining on US395 and enter Yosemite on the Tioga Pass [CA120] where you could easily stay 2 or 3 nights. From Sequoia you could head towards Vegas or Grand canyon depending on where you fly out from at the end. If you went to Vegas next I would take a detour across Death valley. To add to your itinerary you could then head up I-15 to Zion NP and then possibly visit Bryce canyon before heading south through Page AZ and to the Grand canyon and back to LA or Vegas. With the time you have it would also be entirely possible to extend your trip even further and after Zion and Bryce head to Capitol Reef NP via UT scenic 12 and then take UT24 to Moab for Arches and Canyonlands NP's and then head to the Grand canyon via Monument valley.

    How long to spend in each place is impossible to answer as you could drive through in a matter of hours or spend a week. Yosemite and Zion and Moab for Arches and Canyonlands I would recommend at least 2 days. Grand canyon a couple of nights and at least a day and a half and Sequoia, Death valley and Bryce canyon at least the best part of a day. That is not a measure of how good they are, they are all magnificent, it's just some offer more walks and a larger area than others.

    North of SF there are places like Muir woods and Marin headlands and Point Reyes. The Conzelman road to Marin offers great views of the bridge, Alcatraz and San Fran, fog permitting ! If you head to the Redwoods make sure you get on to the 'Avenue of the Giants in Humboltd Redwood state park.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The Mariposa Grove in Yosemite is closed till next year for a restoration project.

  4. #4



    I'm jumping ahead a bit here. You mentioned that you may be flying to Mexico from LA or Vegas? Be aware that you can get amazing deals on flights from either city to Cancun, in the Yucatan, and I'm told that there are relatively cheap flights from Cancun to Havana (a mere 300 miles away). I wouldn't mind doing that one myself--tour Cuba before it gets spoiled by tourism! (Ha!)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Me too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Quinn View Post
    ... tour Cuba before it gets spoiled by tourism! (Ha!)
    Wouldn't that be great. Might put it on my to do list.


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