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  1. Default From UK - San Francisco, South, up and back..

    Hi everyone,

    You really helped us out this spring, great trip to San Francisco, Tahoe and Redwood National parks, Grey whales seen etc. Thanks!!

    Dollar so great will be back this summer (hope you don't want to come here!) - three weeks plus...want to go down coast road to LA then San Diego, over to Mojave, up to Canyon (Where is viewing platform?), into Las Vegas (been before - want Manderlay Bay etc. any good?) up Sequoia national to Yosemite (snow bad in April) and back to San Fran. Or is it best the other way round e.g. what way does the coast road look best?!! Could we leave San Fran out altogether? Been twice already, i.e Yosemite back to LA and start from there or is Big Sur better than Pacific 1 north down to San Francisco? - felt seasick but very dramatic!) Could do a little longer...worthwhile?? Is it really worth RV or better with normal 4x4 and motels (we're used to this)?

    Also, please best cheap carriers from San Fran or LA to New York or Boston? Help with the time difference before going home. Thanks very much. MAddie Cowley and family (husband, kids aged 15 & 12).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Question, Questions, Questions!

    Well, we're glad you enjoyed yourselves, and that we could be of help. In fact the first bit of advice I'd give would be to go back and read the hints you got for your last trip, particularly Gen's list of attractions. Also check this post for links to some of the best threads discussing the area you'll be traveling through.

    To answer a few of your specific questions... The Grand Canyon 'viewing platform' is called the Skywalk, and is on the Havasupi Indian Reservation. Here's a discussion of it and what it involves. I generally recommend that people travel the PCH north to south, so that you are on the ocean side of the road (remember, we drive on the right here) making it easier for you to pull off and get back on the highway at the various laybys. If you feel that you've seen San Francisco on your previous trip(s), you can certainly skip it this time. If you are flying in and out of SFO airport, then it's easy to head south from there and head for Monterey which is about where the best stretch of the PCH starts. You could still see San Francisco before you catch your flight out if you change your mind. While others on these forums will disagree with me, I never saw the point to RVs. I'd much rather save money and get a nimble car and a comfortable motel room. If you use the Travel Reservations tool at the top of this page and enter your dates and cities, it will find the cheapest flights for you.


  3. Default A rough circle trip suggestion

    Hello Maddie

    Where you start this circle trip is going to depend upon where you can get the most convenient and cheapest plane flights. If you're going west coast (SF or LA area) to NY or Boston, you might consider starting and ending in the LA area. In my business trips I've found about the lowest cost for a trans con flight on a consistent basis is Jet Blue airlines, which flies from Long Beach airport in the LA area. They also fly from Oakland airport (across the bay from SF) to NY. Last time I looked (about a month ago) it was $169 from Long Beach to JFK airport in New York on a round trip ticket. (As an aside, Long Beach is also a funky older airport without a lot of traffic and has been used in a lot of movie shoots -- its the second most filmed airport I believe, after Burbank airport.)

    For a circle route, you might go (not in any specfic order -- you can start in SF or LA or elsewhere along the loop)

    LA to San Diego (this is about a 2 hour drive..)
    San Diego to Phoenix AZ (or Tucson AZ)
    Note: there's a southern route to Tucson/ Phoenix, or you can take a more northerly route from San Diego which can take you past the Salton Sea, and up past Palm Springs/ Indio, with the option of Joshua Tree National Park. That would add a day from SD to Phoenix and avoid Tucson.
    Phoenix to Grand Canyon, south Rim (via Montezuma's Castle, Sedona, Flagstaff, etc)
    Grand Canyon to Las Vegas. The SkyWalk at the very western end of the Canyon would be a detour along this route.
    Las Vegas through Death Valley to about the Bakersfield area.
    Bakersfield to Sequoia National Park, then up to Yosemite. (Longish day -- may want to stay short of Yosemite)
    Full day in Yosemite
    Yosemite to Sacramento via California Gold Rush Country.
    Sacramento to SF (or you can go direct to Monterey/ Carmel)
    SF to Monterey/ Carmel.
    Monterey to San Luis Obisopo/ San Simeon area via Pacific Coast Highway and Big Sur (and Hearst Castle)
    San Simeon to Santa Barbara
    Santa Barbara to LA.
    Beach time along LA beaches before flying out (my favorites are Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Newport Beach, Crystal Cove and Laguna Beach areas -- although there are many others). You also have the options of visiting Hallywood, Disneyland, Knotts, Universal Studios or elsewhere in the LA area.

    Each of those locations is a day's drive or less apart -- I've driven all of those routes in a day at some time in the last 5-6 years. With 3 weeks, its certainly doable, and you can add or subtract additional time and places to visit.

  4. Default Trip to States - summer

    Thanks - sounds a great route. This is such a great site! Really appreciate it - can do the same if anyone comes to the UK. Cowley FAMILY.

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