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  1. #1
    imported_Steve Guest

    Default UK couple want advice for September Road Trip to California!

    My girlfriend and I are currently planning a roadtrip for September 2005. We are from the UK and are flying into San Francisco and flying out 2 weeks later. We plan to hire a car for the 2 week trip. Our rough itinarary is this:

    Day 1: Arrive San Fran

    Day 2: San Fran (sight seeing)

    Day 3 and 4: Drive down coast to LA (stop off on route)

    Day 5: Sight seeing LA

    Day 6: Drive to San Diego (visit friend)

    Day 7: Drive to Vegas

    Day 8: Helicopter trip to Grand Canyon

    Day 9: Vegas

    Day 10: Drive to Yosemite

    Day 11: Yosemite/Lake Tahoe

    Day 12: Lake Tahoe

    Day 13: Lake Tahoe

    Day 14: Drive to San Fran



    What we want to know:
    1. Is this do-able? Is there too much driving?

    2. Where is a good place to stop off and stay the night on
    coastal drive to LA?

    3. How much is the helicopter trip to Grand Canyon? Is it worth it?

    4. Have we missed anything that we should definitely see?

    5. What are the best routes to take between stop-offs?


    Any help and advice greatly appreciated!!!
    Thank you

    Steve

  2. #2

    Default

    Steve,

    I dont have access to my route planner right now but day 7 looks like an aweful long drive and day 10 looks just impossible. Most people would break the day 10 journey into two seeing Death Valley on the first day and driving the Tioga Pass into Yosemite on the 2nd.

  3. #3
    imported_Steve Guest

    Default

    &gt; Steve,<BR>
    &gt; <BR>
    &gt; I dont have access to my route planner <BR>
    &gt; right now but day 7 looks like an aweful long <BR>
    &gt; drive and day 10 looks just impossible. Most <BR>
    &gt; people would break the day 10 journey into two <BR>
    &gt; seeing Death Valley on the first day and driving <BR>
    &gt; the Tioga Pass into Yosemite on the 2nd. <BR>
    <BR>
    Thanks,
    I thought that Days 7 and 10 were going to be too long... The drive on day 10 could be split into 2 days like you say. How many hours is San Diego to Las Vegas?

  4. #4
    imported_Steve Guest

    Default

    Thanks,
    I thought that Days 7 and 10 were going to be too long... The drive on day 10 could be split into 2 days like you say. How many hours is San Diego to Las Vegas?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Five hours

    San Diego to Las Vegas (by the most direct route with no stops is five hours). But you are zooming past some really intersting country...

  6. #6
    Guest

    Default

    Hi Steve,
    1- I believe it's quite doable. As for Day 7, San Diego to Vegas is an easy 5 hour drive and day 10 is about 9 hours.
    2- I'd suggest Morro Bay. It's on the ocean about halfway between San Fran and LA which would break up the drive quite nicely.
    3- The helicoptor trips to the canyon usually range between $150 to $250 per person. I've not taken the helicoptor there but a number of friends have and they were awestruck.
    4- About 45 minutes before you reach Morro Bay heading south from San Fran you won't want to miss Hearst Castle, it's worth the stop. Just my opinion but Death Valley will be quite a letdown after going to the Grand Canyon and also will be VERY hot in September. If you go, dress accordingly and bring lots of water with you.
    5- Really there are many route choices, just depends what you want to see. A must however is to take Highway 1 south from San Fran to LA, one of the greatest roads anywhere.

    Enjoy your trip, it's one you'll never forget! - John

  7. #7
    imported_Steve Guest

    Default

    Thanks John, that's really useful.

    I saw the Grand Canyon when I was 10 and want to go back and think a helicopter trip may be the best way to see it(especially with the strong pound which makes it a bit cheaper!).

    Does anyone have any recommendations of places to stop between Vegas and Yosemite, rather than driving for 9 hours!!? We don't mind camping or staying in motels...

    ALso, will we need to book accomodation in advance for Morro Bay?


  8. #8
    Guest

    Default

    You're welcome Steve, I hope it will be of help to you. As for stops on the Vegas to Yosemtite leg, it's been awhile since I've made that drive and did it all in about 9 hours so wasn't really paying attention for places to stay. Someone else here will probably know some places however. As for Morro Bay I've stayed there many times, usually from somewhere between October through March and it's never busy at all. However September you might run into a few leftover summer vacationers but if it's late September it wouldn't be that many. I usually stay at a place called the Twin Dolphin, pretty reasonable, clean, and if you desire some of the rooms face the ocean and Morro Rock (it's slightly higher in price for those rooms but nice to sit on your balcony and watch the sun go down over the rock and ocean. I've stayed in a couple other places in town which were pretty good also but for some reason I always end up at the Twin Dolphin. Hope this helps- John

  9. #9
    imported_Steve Guest

    Default

    I prefer the idea of not booking so that we can be more flexible and as it's mid september it should be fine. I will check out the Twin Dolphin, I like the sound of watching the sun go down from the balcony...

    Also, has anyone been to Lake Tahoe? We were planning a couple of nights there at the end of the trip to relax. Which areas are the nicest? Will we have to book accomodation? - we looked online and a lot of the chalets/condos were booked up already...!

    Any info/advice greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A Few Tips

    Morro Bay has been suggested on the drive south from San Francisco -- a good choice, but I also like the beach town community of Cayucos (just to the north of Morro Bay). Some nice but not too expensive shoreline motels. On that leg of your trip -- I would certainly stop at the Monterey Acquaruim -- one of the best in the world. If you use CA-1 (Pacific Coast Highway) be sure to stop at the elephant seal viewpoint a couple of miles south of the Point Piedras Blancas lighthouse. There is a <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/read/California-Highway-1.htm">Coast Highway guidebook<a/> that I really, really like and recommend it for finding all sorts of hidden points of interest along this route.

    Death Valley National Park is one of my favorite destinations in the world. So much amazing stuff to see and explore. While it can still be hot in September, the normal average daytime temp is ~ 90 degrees F. (The record high temperature for this month is 120° and the record low was 41°)

    The distances are doable -- but I hope you will plan to be flexible and willing to "drop" some of the destinations once you are here and doing the road trip!

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