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  1. Default SF->LA->San Diego->Vegas - All Planned (need your expert approval)

    Dear All,

    Thanks for contributing for such an awesome resource! I was able to dig out tons of usefull information that helped me to plan my trip. I and my girlfriend want to travel West Cost and came up with the below Could you please take an expert look and suggest what would you do differently? We wanted to have a good balance of outdoors/cultural exploration/sightseeing and entertainment. We are planning to leave on 08/15 till 08/31.

    So here is the plan:

    Day 1 (FRI) - Fly to SF. Arrive at midnight.
    Day 2 (SAT) - Day in SF.
    Day 3 (SUN) - Day in SF.
    Day 4 (MON) - Rent a car. Leave SF around 12 to Monterey. Monterey + 17mile drive. Overnight in Monterey.
    Day 5 (TUE) - Drive PCH to Santa Barbaba. (en route: Big Sur, Hearst Castle, Salvang). Overnight in SB.
    Day 6 (WED) - 1/2 day in SB. Drive to LA through Malibu. Overnight in LA.
    Day 7 (THU) - LA. Universal Studios
    Day 8 (FRI) - Explore LA.
    Day 9 (SAT) - Disneyland & Disney Calif. Adventures @ Anaheim. Leave to San Diego direction. Overnight en route.
    Day 10 (SUN) - San Diego. Sea World.
    Day 11 (MON) - Relax in San Diego. Leave around 5 to Palm Springs for overnight stop.
    Day 12 (TUE) - Go to Las Vegas through Joshua Tree NP, Mojave Desert. Overnight in Vegas
    Day 13 - 16 - Get rid of a car. Three days in Vegas + a day in Grand Canyon.
    Day 17 (SUN) - Leave to NY around noon.

    Thanks much in advance!

    Best Regards,
    Last edited by stoodent; 07-18-2008 at 08:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Minor Comments

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your plan looks basically pretty good, but with a few things that need to be pointed out. Even though it is 'only' about 250 miles from Monterey to Santa Barbara, if you are going along the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) that will take a considerable amount of time. Not only is it a winding, two-lane road, but it is spectacular! You will want to pull off at a number of the scenic viewpoints and sea lion rookeries along the way, as well as explore some of the state parks that dot the coast, including this one. This will be a slow drive. Also tours of Hearst Castle take 2-3 hours and should not be rushed or left early. I would allow at least another half day to get to Santa Barbara.

    In San Diego, if you're looking for a day of cultural exploration along with your relaxation, be sure to go to Balboa Park which is home to a number of museums, a botanical garden and the zoo.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default the end

    I just have one question about your plans, how are you envisioning the Vegas/Canyon section of your trip. You say you are dumping the car, so I'm guessing you're planning an air tour of the canyon? Have you thought about including a drive to the rim as part of your trip?

  4. Default

    Guys, thank you for your input!

    - AZBuck, taking into account your suggestion, would it make sense to stop for a night around Morro Bay on Day 5, and on Day 6 drive to LA via Solvang, Santa Barbara?

    - Midwest Michael, you are right, I was considering an air tour to grand canyon as a surprise to my gf (hope she does not read this forum :). I know it is a bit pricey, but I would not have to pay for car/gas + 5 hours of driving (each way), hope it makes sense.

    Also, when going from Palm Springs to LV, would you advise to cut through Joshua Tree NP (Pinto Basin road) or should I go around on 62. Just wanted to get your opinion if it worth it....Then, I am definitely planning go via Mojave NR.

    Thanks much again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default It's a nice drive

    Quote Originally Posted by stoodent View Post
    Also, when going from Palm Springs to LV, would you advise to cut through Joshua Tree NP (Pinto Basin road) or should I go around on 62.
    It's a very nice drive through the national park, but it will take you a couple of hours (speed limit is 35 mph). But hwy-62 through the Morongo Valley is fine too (this is more urban). And I would certainly use the Amboy Road at 29 palms to go to the Mojave NR.


  6. Default

    Thanks Mark! I guess I will take 62 then...what is realistic drive time between Palm Springs to Vegas (using routes below)? I just want to know so I can plan some activities on the way (like: hiking sand dunes or taking mountain tram next to Palm Springs, etc). By the way, could you please recommend any nice activities we could do?

    Thanks much!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I'm confused...

    ...what routes? Could you clarify?

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