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  1. Default Confused Brit in need of help!!


    My fiance and I are getting married in September and we're planning a road trip from SF to LV over 12days for our honeymoon.

    Here is our first draft intinerary:

    Day 1 - Fly from London to SF

    Days 2 & 3 - In SF

    Day 4 - Drive to Monterey for overnight stay

    Day 5 - Drive to Yosemite for 2 nights

    Day 7 - Drive to Vegas via Death Valley (possibly staying overnight somewhere en route)

    Days 8-12 - Las Vegas making the trip to Grand Canyon at some point

    What do you think of the plan so far?

    We would like to stay somewhere in/near Death Valley to break up the drive but we're not sure where, suggestions please!!

    We'd be really grateful of any comments or suggestions you have. Is there anything else you think we really can't afford to miss?

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Very good.

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums !

    Your honeymoon has a relaxed enough pace and is a very popular trip, and rightly so. The scenery is diverse and quite amazing and you are giving yourself enough time to see it whereas a lot of people get tempted to try and see to much and end up rushed.

    You can either stay in Death valley with Stovepipe wells being a good option or you could stay in one of the towns on the 395 such as Bishop.
    Vegas to Grand canyon is an overnight stay to make the journey worth it and to have some quality time at the canyon. You can stay in lodgings at the South rim or a cheaper option would be in one of the nearby towns. Tusayan is the closest [and more likely dearest] and makes Flagstaff and Williams a popular choice.
    For a bit of nostalgia you could travel an original part of route '66 from Kingman through Seligman as a small detour. A few old diners and memorabilia shops makes it a kind of fun/interesting detour.

    The Alcatraz tour in SF is worth the time in my opinion and a trip to Pier 39, Union square and China town is among the top attractions. When you are in Yosemite be sure to take the drive up to Glacier point for a jaw dropping view.

    If there is anything else you are unsure of let us know.


  3. Default

    Thanks Dave,

    Just one more question:

    How long should we aim to spend in death valley? obviously its very hot so I'm guessing walking around too much isn't really an option. Is it enough to drive through the park stopping for a few photo opportunities along the way?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default In a day.

    You could spend a week in DV and not see it all, but to see some great views and short walks from the car while driving across will give you an overview and could be done in a few hours. The recommended route is to take the 136 to 190 from Lone pine. This takes you through Stovepipe wells and past the sand dunes and down to Furnace creek which is a good place to stop for a bite and a cool drink and a wander around the museum and gardens etc. You can also take a detour to Badwater, the lowest point in the USA. Back on the 190 you will get to Death valley junction where you can head to Pahrump on the State line/Ash meadows rd and the 160 to Vegas.

  5. Default Your trip

    Hi, 6 of us did almost the exact same trip last September so hopefully I can give you a little 'heads up' on what to expect.

    SF - Parking is a costly business, and the Cable Cars & Trolley buses are so handy & cheap (I think it was $11 for a three day passport) that if you can get to your Hotel from the airport (it was about $50 for a cab, but parking is about $25 to $40 a night anyway!) it's probably better to book a car once you're ready to leave the City. There's not such a huge choice of vehicles but if there's just the 2 of you it wont be a problem. Alcatraz is excellent and pretty spooky. It's a popular tour so don't leave it to the last day to book otherwise you may not get on it. If you can, pre-book the night tour in advance, very popular & books up weeks in advance. Make sure you visit the Sea lions at Pier 39 and say hello.

    We drove up towards Sacramento & then down to Yosemite, stopping off on the way at a little place called Murphys. Stayed at the Murphys Hotel, Nothing fancy but very pleasant. We had dinner on the lawn in the sun, and drank in the Saloon with the locals and if you like wine you’ll find there are loads of local wineries nearby. We visited one called ‘Ironstone’(you can find it on the web), excellent!

    Booked a log cabin in the ‘Redwoods in Yosemite’ very peaceful, and a deer and its fawn wandered by our deck whilst we enjoyed our evening bbq which was nice. Just search for log cabins in Yosemite and you’ll find them along with quite a few others. Glacier point definitely worth a visit.

    We crossed out of Yosemite through the Tioga Pass Road, and down the 395 and stopped in Bishop. If I did it again I’d drive on a little further to Lone Pine, not so much choice of hotels/motels but quainter.

    DV – We stopped in Stovepipe Wells, it was 102 degrees when we arrived but cooled down to 90 in the evening! The heat wasn't a massive issue but then we we taking it very easy. Plenty of water to hand is the thing, especially if you intend to be active. The sunset on the sand dunes at Stovepipe Wells is beautiful, but if you want a romantic sight, (and if you’re on your honeymoon I guess you will), walk out at night and just take a look at the night sky. I’ve never seen stars like it, and in the space of about 5 minutes or so we saw a couple of shooting stars, highly recommended.

    LV- If you don’t mind where you stay I’d leave booking the hotel until you arrive. If you check the websites for their room prices for months in advance you tend to pay the proper rate, whereas if you turn up late in the day and they have rooms they tend to be cheaper. Check it out on or similar for prices for September and prices for tonight ! As there are a squillion hotels, with gazillions of rooms it shouldn’t be an issue. If you do want to stay somewhere specific though you may have to book in advance as they can get booked up with conferences and the like. Personally we found Vegas to be a bit OTT and moved off to nearby Boulder City, where we stayed at the Boulder Dam hotel which was very pleasant. If you do stay in Vegas you have to watch the Bellagio fountains, and a night time visit to the Stratosphere is a must, although if you do you’ll realise that this end of town isn't quite as upmarket as the ‘strip’.

    We did the Plane/Helicopter/Boat trip into the Grand Canyon. Very touristy but hey, we were tourists! Excellent photo opportunities and a great experience.

    All in all you should have a great time.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    if you can get to your Hotel from the airport (it was about $50 for a cab
    Always check with the hotel to see if they offer a shuttle bus.

    (Just an aside here: WRT Las Vegas: There are NO free shuttle buses from the airport to any hotel on the strip)
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-27-2009 at 08:00 AM. Reason: more info

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