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  1. #1

    Default Best route & stop for West Coast Trip in August?

    Any advice on whether this is all good decisions, ie are we best utilising our time or missing out on worthwhile stops.

    San Francisco for 4 nights (we have friends there so not simply sightseeing)
    Hire Car and drive to Monterey, staying 1 night.
    Drive to Santa Barbara, staying 1 night.
    Drive to Santa Monica, staying 2 nights (we want to explore some of LA with this as our base.)
    Drive to San Diego, staying 4 nights (preferably a hotel on the beach for total r&r)
    Leave car back the car hire company, and fly to Las Vegas
    Stay 3 nights in Las Vegas (exploring Grand Canyon, etc.)
    Fly to San Francisco and fly home the next morning.

    Finding it difficult to find souces of where exactly is worthwhile stopping, there are 4 of us going, all in our 20's and we want to enjoy the scenery and take in all in but still want the options of a lively nightlife.

    Any comments are very much appreciated!!

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

    Default best is tough

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Its tough to ever say what is best on a trip like this, because there are always good choices.

    The basic outline of your trip is fine, although I'll note that Santa Monica could make for some long trips as a home base for the LA area. If you want to visit Anaheim, for example, you'd easily be looking at an hour+ drive each way.

    I'll also say that Vegas is really too far from the Grand Canyon to travel there as a daytrip. You'd be better off driving directly to the canyon (a full day drive from San Diego), spend the day there, and then going back to Las Vegas (5-6 hours of driving).

    By flying back to SFO, you'd be skipping drives through Death Valley and Yosemite, but again, only you can decide what is the best use of your time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A great road trip !

    As Michael suggested, it's what works for you that matters, but as you are asking I would suggest making it a full road trip and enjoying some great scenery that you will otherwise miss, of course you will need to find a little more time or adjust your itinerary a bit. As it is you have the cost and time of two internal flights and a one way drop off charge on your car rental and no real chance in seeing Grand canyon from Vegas as a day trip. So driving from SD to GC and then to Vegas will cost you a night in SD or Vegas, but one you need anyway if you are to see GC. Take one more night [2 would be better] and you could then head through Death valley and Yosemite on route to SF, a fantastic drive with great scenery. Yep they will be long days but so much better than sitting in airport terminals waiting for the next flight.

  4. #4


    Thanks, we basically want to see Venice Beach etc, and also Hollywood and Beverly Hills, so where would be the best base for these places. We're planning on staying 2 nights here. We totally open to using subway etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Santa Monica is as good as any for seeing Hollywood and Beverly Hills. LA does not have good public transportation yet, they are working on it. Almost everything out there is still road-based.

  6. #6


    I thought Santa Monica would be a good option alright, we'll have car but would want the option of going out at night around Hollywood so wouldn't have the car at that point.

    I was in LA two years ago for 2 nights, and we used the subway but is there a subway servicing Santa Monica?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It doesn't look like it, just buses. On the linked site, click on the Maps button. There is a complete system map (bus and rail) and a map of just the rail.

  8. #8


    Thanks, perhaps we would be better using Hollywood as a base.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you want direct access to the Metro rail system within a reasonable walking distance, yes.

  10. #10

    Default Type of Car Required?

    4 people travelling from San Francisco to San Diego over 5 days.

    It's two guys and two girls who are all 25. What's the best type of car?

    Would love a convertible but would it be practical space wise?

    What type of car would you recommend?
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-06-2009 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Please do not start new threads for the same trip.

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