Nevada/California Jan 08
Hi, My soon to be husband and I are heading stateside from UK at the end of December. We're getting married in Vegas on New Year's Day and then we have a month to see what we can of Nevada, California, Arizona etc. We'd love some advice on where to go/what to see. We have vague plans ie Vegas up to Reno, Reno to San Fran, San Fran down the coast to LA, San Diego and then possibly across to Tombstone, then El Paso and then up to Alburqueque, before Grand Canyon and back to Vegas. I'm just not sure if this is over ambitious when we only have 26 days. Also am a bit worried about what the weather will be like, especially on the Vegas to Reno to San Fran section. Plus I don't really just want to visit big cities. I'd like some wilderness and nature time too and to see some small town USA. Also I don't want the whole 26 days to just involve racing around in a car, trying to fit in as much as possible. I'm wondering if we should limit things to Nevada, Cali and Grand Canyon. Would love to see Lake Tahoe and Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite but are we coming in totally the wrong month??? Sorry for all the questions but would love some input from you guys. It's so difficult to know what to do and what to see in such a limited space of time! Many thanx and best wishes, Nixxi
A Week and a Day
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
Take three. Weeks and days, that is. While I think it would be too ambitious to try to see everything you've listed in 26 days, I think you can see a pretty good sampling without felling like you're running yourselves ragged. The trick, I think, is to find three sort of centralized locations from which you can take short day trips, but still return to the same 'home' each evening. This is a travel style that my wife and I have really come to appreciate. Since Las Vegas is already on your itinerary, let me suggest Tucson, AZ as another base affording access to Tombstone, Kartchner Caverns, Saguaro National Park, Nogales, the San Pedro River, Kitt Peak, Chiricahua National Monument, Bisbee, and a host of other venues.
For a third 'home' try somewhere on the northern end of Big Sur such as Monterey or Seaside, CA from which you could see the Big Sur Coast and all the wonderful state parks in the area as well as Pinnacles National Monument, the Carmel Mission, San Simeon, etc AND have access to San Francisco. You could, of course spend less than a week in each spot and a few more days on the road between locations. The choice is up to you.
2,400 miles in 30 days
2,400 miles in 30 days doesn't sound too bad. The route could be:
Yosemite (enter from the west because the road from the west is closed in winter)
or the other way around.
Yes, that is a fair amount of driving, and you don't have to stop in the cities if you'd rather find a small town to stay in (29 Palms instead of Palm Springs for example). The list of possible things to see will make your head spin so I suggest a good western USA guidebook (you may have to get one for the whole country, or 2 or 3 regional books to get all the states.)
One note: the most wonderful New Years Eve we've ever spent was in Yosemite. The Ahwanee Hotel was warm and cozy, the moon was full so walks in the valley at night were even more magical than during the day. Obviously, you'll be in Las Vegas New Years Eve, but don't skip Yosemite just because it is winter.
co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years