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  1. Default Help Needed: 10 days to discover the West (Jan '08)

    I will be visiting USA next January 2008 with a group of 5 friends (6 counting myself).

    On Jan 19th or 20th we'll be flying from Boston to:
    - Las Vegas,
    - San Francisco or,
    - Los Angeles

    I would appreciate if you could advice us what should we visit considering our limited schedule.

    We've thought arriving Las Vegas, rent a Van and going to Grand Canyon, returning to Vegas and then going to LA. From there, up to San Francisco.
    I've been told to do a mix between 1 and 101 Highway.

    I don't know whether time will be enough for us to do "that" kind of trip. Perhaps, we should skip Grand Canyon (closed routes due to snow?) and visit only Vegas (spend 1 night there) and then flying to SF or LA to have a "mini" roadtrip through your upper west coast.

    If possible, please tell me which routes I should take and also, which spots we can't miss (Carmel has been present in all the advices received till now).

    Could you tell me what places and cities should I visit between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Carmel, Monterey, Bis Sur, etc., had been recommended to me.

    This will be our first visit to your West Coast.

    Help will be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

    Last edited by AZBuck; 09-07-2007 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Combined Posts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default That's 60 Man-Days

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    No matter what (in general) you end up deciding to do, there will be lots to keep you busy. If money is not a prime consideration, then I think your best bet is to fly into Las Vegas, see the Grand Canyon and a bit of the southwest on a day trip. This will be a long day so get an early start and don't plan on getting back to Las Vegas until after midnight. Then head for Los Angeles for a day or two, take at least a couple of days to drive up the coast to San Francisco for another few days and fly home from there. Such an itinerary will be a good bit more expensive due to not being able to get simple round trip tickets and the drop-off charge associated with a one-way car hire. Also, while I'm sure you're all the best of mates at the moment, 10 days of unrelenting togetherness WILL take its toll, so you all should take our RoadTrip Compatibility Quiz before you start off, It's also why I suggested a couple of days in major cities sprinkled throughout your trip so that you can get away from each other on occasion.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default go for it!


    Regardless of how you organize it, you can drive the longest leg, from Las Vegas to San Francisco in one day, with shared driving. That leaves the rest of the time to enjoy Las Vegas, a visit to the Grand Canyon (do it if you can, either at the beginning or at the end) and some time in Los Angeles, San Francisco and points in between.

    Figure five days divided among the three major cities, a day at the Canyon, half a day between LV and LA, two days between LA and SF (if you take the coast, a day and a half otherwise), and a day to get back to LV. All totalled, about 1,900 miles of driving, plus side trips and such.

    If you don't make hotel reservations until a day or two before you get to each destination you can structure the trip to take best advantage of the weather in all the areas. But flying in and out of Las Vegas gives you the most opportunities to see the Grand Canyon.

    If that sounds too stressful, your idea of flying from LV to SF and then driving to LA and on to LV has merit, though it won't save you a lot of time considering the time it takes to dropp off a van, get to the flight, time in the air (could be a good scenic opportunity), get bags at the airport, and renting a van.

    Your travel routes will be the most direct possible, to save time. The key sights between LA and SF are the ones you mentioned plus Hearst Castle (you've done your homework) so it sounds like you have a good handle on what's entailed.

    Keep an eye on the weather. It can be quite changeable along the coast and at the Grand Canyon, but regardless you'll have a good time.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  4. Default

    Thank you both Craig and Buck..

    About Grand Canyon, what is your recommendation? Hiring a tour or doing everything on our own?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default On your own...


    This is an easy place to do on your own. The park provides a great deal of information, the scenic points and trails are well marked easily accessible, and the warnings about over-taxing oneself are well stated and realistic. Take it at your own pace and marvel at what you see.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Excellent new guidebook

    Quote Originally Posted by matute03 View Post
    About Grand Canyon, what is your recommendation?
    Like RedCorral says, you can do it on your own. Here is a great, great guidebook.


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