My friend and I are planning a 2 1/2 week holiday in April and because there are so many places we want to see it's turning into quite the road trip. Neither of us has been to the west coast before and I was just hunting through the web trying to get some ideas when I found this genius website. I have had a look through some of the threads and a lot of people have asked about the areas we are planning to go but no one seems to be going quite the route we are (bit worrying). It's my friend's 30th Birthday when we're over there are we've both been wanting to do a trip like this for years so any advice people could give which would stop us cocking things up or alternately making it really special would be really, really appreciated.
The plan so far is....
3rd April - Fly into LA. 3 nights in LA mooching around and checking everything out.
6th - We planned to leave LA early and drive over to the Grand Canyon, stay the night somewhere in between on the 6th. I know that Lake Havasu is on the way and a popular stop off but it doesn't look very interesting to stay in, we're from London and don't really need to see the bridge, any other suggestion? Arrive at the Canyon and stay the night of 7th somewhere near the south rim. (this is the area we are really struggling with as we were a bit stumped to find the north rim would be closed when we were there and everything is booked in the Grand Canyon Village. We're not going to be spending lots of time there rafting or anything but we would like to arrive for sunset, get up for sunrise on 8th and maybe hike into the canyon for a few hours that day. If anyone has any ideas on staying somewhere a bit more off the tourist areas that would be great)
8th - we have to be in Vegas by the evening.
9th - another night in Vegas
10th - We were planning to drive from Vegas via LA and then make it up to Big Sur to a hotel there by the evening (Is this really far and a stupid idea?)
11th - Explore Big Sur and the coastal road up to San Francisco, stay in San Francisco that night.
11th - 14th 4 nights in San Francisco. We are also struggling to find the kind of accommodation we were hoping for in SF. We wanted it to contrast with LA were we are staying in swanky places. We were hoping for a more friendly B&B, local kind of experience but we've been having trouble finding B&Bs and have no clue about areas.
15th - drive up to Napa Valley and stay the night (How long will SF to St Helena take?)
16th Napa Valley to Yosemite (Tenaya Lodge, which isn't in the park, I think it's to the south of it.)
17th - Yosemite
18th - We need to get back to LA. We had originally planned to leave the car and fly back but it cost twice as much so we have to drive back now. Is it easy to get from Yosemite to LA? Unfortunately it will have to be by the quickest route possible, I know we'll be missing out on seeing loads of great stuff in the area but we just didn't plan to do that route.
19th Go home (boo)
I'm sorry to be so long winded but I really need reassurance that we're not crazy to be attempting so much and that we'll enjoy it.
Any advice or suggestions would be very, very appreciated.