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  1. Default Best of the West in 8 days

    My husband and myself plan to visit the west coast in Sept 07, around the 22nd. How would the weather be around this time of the year. The temperatures are ..?
    We barely have 8 days and have shortlisted the following itenary:-

    2 days in San Fransisco
    2 days at Napa
    1 day at Yosemite Park
    1 day at Grand Canyon
    2 days at Vegas

    Wanted a feedback on the above, whether we trying to fit in too much in the short time. Any suggestions to add/ subtract from this itenary.
    Also would driving between these places make sense, or should we fly to Vegas (to save time). We have to fly out to NY at the end of the trip.
    I would also appreciate websites to look for reasonable hotels at the above places.

    What should be the approx. budget for the trip (excluding the flight to & from NY)...for accomodation, car rental, food & sight seeing.

    Need your guidance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default A tight fit

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    You really would be pushing things to try and fit that all into 8 days. Yosemite to Grand Canyon is more than a full day on the road, and then you'd still have a 5 hour drive back to Vegas.

    The Grand Canyon seems like the location farthest afield on your trip. If you eliminated that, and instead maybe spent some time at Death Valley as you travel from Yosemite to Vegas, you wouldn't be quite so rushed.

    I'm not sure what you think you would accomplish by flying. Once you get to Yosemite, it would likely take more time to drive back to SF, catch a flight to Vegas, and then rent another car, than it would just to make the drive from Yosemite to Vegas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Tricky, very tricky

    Quote Originally Posted by hetalmehta99 View Post
    How would the weather be around this time of the year. The temperatures are ..?
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Temps in September average:
    San Francisco: Mid 70's (F)
    Napa Valley: Mid-50's
    Yosemite Park: Low 70's in the valley
    Grand Canyon NP: Low 70's
    Las Vegas: Upper 80's and low 90's (but I have seen it drop to the low 70's by the end of September several times)
    2 days in San Fransisco
    2 days at Napa
    1 day at Yosemite Park
    This is all doable. But you can not reach the Grand Canyon from Yosemite in one day unless you want to drive 11+ hours. I would spend one night at Las Vegas and the go onto the Grand. Here are some more ideas:

    Routes and things to see
    Budgeting Tips


  4. #4

    Default Variable weather!

    I did a trip to that area in September last year. It was quite noticeable the difference in temperature in the different areas. San Fransisco was cold and very foggy whilst Las Vegas was sweaty. I'll not even begin to describe Death Valley! LOL

    Just a thought about the Grand Canyon, have you considered making it a day trip from Las Vegas? They do sightseeing tours out of Las Vegas Airport and, if you chose to do it this way, it'd really make the whole trip more relaxing and open up the opportunity, as has been suggested, to visit Death Valley as you drive between Yosemite and Las Vegas. It is an amazing place - I'd highly recommend it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Awfully Cramped Itinerary

    You can do all of that in 8 days, but you're going to be exhausted. I made a trip like that over 10 days a few years ago. We started in Shreveport and had major stops in Vegas and San Francisco before heading south to LA and coming home via I-10/20. My feet hurt so bad from driving and walking that I seriously thought about going to an emergency room at one point in the trip because I thought I had maybe broken a bone in my right foot. So do as I say, not as I do. :)

    As for budget - it's a fairly expensive part of the country. I was lucky enough to find a room at the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegasfor $50, but the cheapest hotel in San Francisco with parking (very important) was $88. I booked both of these ahead of time and saved a ton of money.


  6. #6

    Default Booking ahead

    If you know where you're gonna be at a given time then booking in advance is a sure way to save money. Personally I prefer to leave things open. Although there's nothing to stop you checking the cancellation policy of the hotel, many will let you book in advance and then cancel up to 2pm or 4pm or whatever if your plans change.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Quick trip

    Hi there, You've picked a great itinerary.

    With a trip scheduled this tight, and if you are sure of when you want to be at each location, you can easily book the whole thing through or a comparable website. Try to find a B&B in Napa. By far the more romantic way to stay. Yosemite Valley, as always, is the hard one to get reservations for so you should start making plans now. The Ahwahnee Hotel is expensive, but wonderful. If you don't stay there you can still have dinner (sport jacket required for men). The alternative accomodations such as the Yosemite Lodge (motel) are quite comfortable. If you are into "roughing it" in a tent cabin with no heat, Curry Village is fun and cheap.

    Weather in San Francisco can be spectacular at that time of year, even hot during the day. 80s are not unheard of, but it cools off at night. September and October are San Francisco's summer and it is usually less foggy along the coast in the fall for climatic reasons too complicated to go into here. Interestingly, that isn't as true in other parts of the Bay Area further inland. Napa may start cooling off by October. Of course, Yosemite at 4,000+ feet is starting to get colder (still very tolerable, though).

    To eat well in Sf will cost at least $100 per person per day. Of course, you can go cheaper, but you won't have the full culinary experience. The same is somewhat true in Napa. Wine with dinner, and sometimes lunch, is expensive, but "expected". Several of the wineries in Napa have delis where you can get sandwiches or salads. Sattui Winery, on the south side of St. Helena is well known for their deli and picnic facilities (for customers, of course. They mak excellent brandy). The Oakville Grocery in Oakville is another favorite place to pick up food to eat on the go.

    Cost of sightseeing is very cheap. Most of what there is to see in these areas is outdoors and easily accessible. You have to pay for a cable car ride (must do) and to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge (but it is better to walk at least part way across on a pleasant day, and it is free to park on either end). Museums cost money, and so does a ferry ride on the bay or to Alcatraz (well worth it). Parking at the beach is free, but not at Fisherma's Wharf.

    What kind of car do you like to drive? In San Fancisco, smaller is better because of parking issues. You don't need the smallest, but full-size may be too big depending on your comfort level with parallel parking, sometimes on steep hills. Speaking of which, you do need enough power to get up the hills smartly in the city, and in Yosemite, so stay away from the smallest cars.

    I would highly recommend flying into San Francisco or Oakland and out of Las Vegas. I like the idea of a tour to the Grand Canyon from Vegas. Much more relaxing, especially if it is at the end of the trip.

    Red rock alternatives to the Grand Canyon (though, truthfully, nothing is an alternative to the Grand Canyon) are Valley of Fire (redest rock I've ever seen, and some great petroglyphs) and Red Rock Canyon, both very near Las Vegas.

    If you have specific questions about specific places just ask, but have a good time. How could you not at these places?


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