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  1. Default on the road from San Francisco to Vegas - nice places to stay?

    Hello there!

    This is my first time on the forums here so please forgive me if I'm repeating a question that has been asked before!!

    Me and my sis are doing a teeny tiny roadtrip between San Francisco and Vegas at the end of November this year, and after reading a few threads on this lovely website, I'm thinking that the southern route, via the San Joaquin Valley are and then along I15 is the best bet weather wise, but what I'd really like to know is whether there are any nice towns you would recommend in the valley for an overnight stay along the way?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default are you stopping?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you are just planning to drive directly between the two places, then you could pretty easily make the trip in a single day. You'd be looking at a 9-10 hour trip. Bakersfield would be about the halfway point.

    If you are planning to stop anyplace along the way, then you probably will want to stop, but your stopping location will depend upon where you stop and how long you plan to spend there.

  3. Default

    well that's the thing you see - we'll have flown in from London and be picking a car up and getting on the way the same day, which is why I thought it might be a sensible idea to break up the journey a little, and leave the majority of the trip for the day after.

    That's why I was thinking maybe somewhere before getting to the Bakersfield turnoff would be good, but every place I look up along the way seems to have horrifying statistics about pollution attached to it! So any advice about a decent place to overnight on the way would be great, altho if you think we'd be better just hammering the hell out of the road and trying to get to Barstow say, please let me know - seriously, any hints and tips very welcome!!

    Thanks so much for your help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Stop sooner!

    I would strongly recommend that you not try and drive even as far as Bakersfield on the same day you fly in from London. In fact, I'd recommend that you stay either right by the San Francisco airport, or maybe just get across the bay and find a place near the interstate on the edge of the Bay area suburbs where you'll be able to easily depart the next day.

    After spending more than a full days worth of travel on an airplane and dealing with airports (security, baggage, car rental, etc), plus dealing with the jetlag associated with an 8 hour time change, you're really not going to be in a good position to drive the 4-5 hours it will take to get to Bakersfield, and you certainly shouldn't be considering a trip all the way to Barstow. Trying to do that much driving at the end of a long day, especially when you'll have to get used to driving on the other side of the road, is a real recipe for a miserable and dangerous trip. Take a day to recover from your flight and get your body get used to the new time zone.

    Having said all that, the San Jouquin Valley does have a lot of pollution, its typically 2nd only to the Los Angeles area for the nation's worst smog problems. Its also a very agricultural area that doesn't have a lot of things that are going to scream tourist attraction. However, it is also one of the most populated areas in the US (I even lived there for a year) and there's no reason you couldn't spend the night there.

  5. Default

    Yes actually, thinking about it, maybe that's the most sensible thing to do, just get a good night's kip then get going early the next morning - the driving on the other side of the road thing doesn't worry me too much (I've driven a bunch of times in other parts of the US) altho my sis would probably be a bit more nervous about that, so that's a very good point, but the jetlag thing is something that hadn't really occurred to me which is a bit daft! I think I'm just a bit too overexcited about the whole trip and haven't necessarily considered the practicalities!!

    Thanks for the sensible advice, I really appreciate your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Airport hotel

    Hi trixie,

    The jet lag can get the better of you, as well as the time difference you also have to add getting to the airport and allowing for a 3 hour check in process, to the flight time. On your arrival you will have to get cleared and wait for baggage e.t.c.

    We stayed at the Grosvenor best western airport hotel which had large comfy rooms and a help yourself buffet style breakfast to set you up for the day and was reasonably priced. There is also a free shuttle bus to and from the airport if needed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'd let the time of day help you decide where to spend the first night. Getting out of the SF area in morning and evening rush hours can be quite difficult. I'd consider trying to get out of town right away so you can get underway the next morning without major traffic hassles, maybe out to the Tracy/Modesto area. For getting down to the Bakersfield area, both I-5 and CA-99 are good, 99 is essentially an Interstate-quality freeway most of the way.

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