I've been looking at some of the threads on this forum for a while, and being so impressed by all the advice and knowledge of the people on here, I thought I'd better see if any of you experts can give me any help.
My husband and I are doing a West Coast road trip in September 2008. Our current itinerary is as follows:
Sept 18 - Fly to San Fran. Stay here 4 nights.
Sept 22 - Pick up rental car from SFO and start heading down West Coast - Carmel, Monterey, San Simeon, San Luis, Big Sur etc. Thinking of checking out Hearst castle.
Sep 25 - Santa Barbara/Venice Beach
Sep 26 - Santa Barbara/Venice Beach
Sep 27 - LA
Sep 28 - LA
Sep 29 - Drive to San Diego
Sep 30 - Take the bus to Tijuana for the day
Oct 01 - Drive to 29 Palms and stay at 29 Palms Inn near Joshua Trees
Oct 02 - Head to Yosemite
Oct 03 - Yosemite
Oct 04 - Drop off rental and catch a flight from SFO to Portland. Pick up rental car.
Oct 05 - Portland
Oct 06 - Seattle
Oct 07 - Fly to NY where we will spend 5 days staying with some of my family in Brooklyn.
The only thing we have booked so far are out flights from London to SFO and then JFK back to London on Oct 13. We haven't finalised car hire yet, but we know we want a convertible (probably Chrysler Sebring). My husband will still be 24 so we will pay an added $25 per day surcharge. Luckily, my sister has her own travel firm and has become a bit of an expert with sending people on the trips down the West Coast, so she's pretty clued up. I know we will encounter a $199 fee for dropping the car off in Seattle instead of Portland.
Any thing you think we should do differently? Too much driving you think or ok? We definitely want the first few days in Frisco, 29 Palms is a must (my sis got married at the inn a few years ago and I want to take my husband there as I loved it). We're skipping the Grand Canyon and Vegas as my husband has done them before and I have no interest in Vegas - we decided on Yosemite instead of Grand Canyon.
2 days in Yosemite sound ok? We're not into hiking or anything like that, but we want to see some of the beautiful country. We're very into cities as well, so we want to have a real combination of different scenery. I know some may think throwing in Portland and Seattle is pretty crazy, but I have always wanted to go to Portland and we usually spend our time on the East coast visiting family, so would rather get it done this trip.
We were originally planning on not booking any hotels and just going where the road takes us, but as we've done more research we've discovered that the Jack Kerouac free spirit inside us is just at odds with 21st Century sat nav and full hotel reservations. Everyone says you need to book a hotel at Yosemite, so we'll have to do this - anyone know any log cabin style places? Rustic but still have the basic amenities like a good shower etc!?
Any advice you all have or tips, or even if you think the itinerary sounds mad, please just say it!! I appreciate all comments. Thanks so much.