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  1. Default Honeymooner's need help!


    Thanks for clicking my question. I've a 3 week road trip in Calfornia coming up at the end of October and start of November for my honeymoon. The plan is to start and finish in San Francisco and do a loop taking in Yosemite, Vegas, San Diego, Big Sur, hopefully Oregan. Kind of an open plan really as we want a bit of adventure.

    I've loads of questions but the first one is the car rental. I am from Ireland and haven't got a clue about American cars.

    I've looked at Hertz and National and the two models that are in my price range are the Cadillac DTS and the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

    Which would you go for? Comfort is important because of the longish distances which would lead me to the Caddy but then again I don't know the terrain, maybe the Trailblazer would be more suitable.

    Please help me.

    All the best


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

    Default if it were me

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Three weeks should give you lots of time and options for your trip, so you'll be in great shape there. If you look around here, you'll find tons of threads about this general area that should help you as you fill in the details.

    Now about the rental car, Personally, I'd go for the Caddy. Its going to have a much smoother ride and should provide lots of comfort for your trip. Even in an SUV, you can't take a rental off road or any place than a regular car can get to, so there's no advantage terrain wise for taking an SUV, plus the Trailblazer will likely use a bit more gas.

    Having said all that, you should also know that when you rent a car you are renting a class of vehicles, which is why you'll see the words "or similar" when you are making the reservation. Even if you reserve the Caddy, its possible that you'll get another model, but it should still be a high end comfortable vehicle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The only reason to go for a SUV would be if you anticipate having to drive on snowy or icy roads. The 4wd will help there. However, a Caddy is not a bad car for poor traction conditions - it has advanced traction control.

  4. Default thank

    Great, thanks for your help. I'll go with the DTS. I think with the hire companies it'll be that or a Lincoln Town Car. I hope I get the Caddy!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The Town Car is not so good in low traction conditions, it's rear wheel drive. However, it's a wonderful luxury car. It's huge - probably bigger than anything else you have ever driven.

  6. Default San Francisco to Ashland to Yosemite


    The car is sorted. We plan to start and finish in San Francisco. October 26th to November 13th to be precise.

    I wanted to get a bit of advice about the first week of the trip to get us started. My (very) rough idea for the first week involves 2 or 3 days in San Francisco, then up to Oregon, (perhaps 2 nights in Ashland? thoughts anoyone) then 2 or 3 nights in Curry Village in Yosemite.

    I heard that the drive up to Oregon from SF is beautiful and don't want to rush it. Maybe someone could suggest a nice place to stop overnight on the way. I'd love to see the redwoods.

    Also in Oregon, is Ashland a good place to stay or is there somewhere better.

    Then between Oregon and Yosemite, should I drive straight there or is there somewhere nice to stay in between?

    If you can answer any or all of the questions we'd be really grateful.


    Last edited by mjh1978; 05-31-2009 at 02:59 PM.

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

    Default You're off to a good start

    Folks really enjoy the tour to Alcatraz and, apparently, it does get booked up. You might want to make reservations ahead of time.

    I love Eureka, CA. The Victorian architecture in this small city just amazes me. If you drive up CA-1...and you really should...and made some stops through the fabulous Avenue of the Giants, this should get you into Eureka sometimes in the late afternoon or early evening making it a great place to spend the night. If you enjoy architecture as much as I do, you might want to get a walking/driving map of some of the architectural highlights in the area. I can't recommend a motel because I've only camped when down that way.

    On the way north the next day, you could continue visiting other Redwood forests. A stop at Crescent City is kind of interesting due to the tsunami that swept through there in 1964. Since I live in an area at heavy risk of tsunamis, I find this fascinating.

    On the way to Ashland on 199, you might enjoy a visit at the Oregon Caves, about 10 miles east of Cave Junction OR.

    Ashland is a lovely town. If you like theater, you'll love it. The famous Oregon Shakespearan Festival is held there. They do modern pays as well. Anyway, depending on your exact dates of travel, you might miss the last of the plays as they end on Oct. 31./Nov. 1st. Hopefully you can get there in time for one (and still get tickets). But there are other things to do there, too, and it's quite lovely there so it's worth a stop.

    I'm not sure if it's worth a 2-night stop unless you get play tickets. However, you might want to stay two nights if you also go visit Crater Lake. Really beautiful and worth seeing. It's about a 2.5 hour drive from Ashland to Crater Lake so, if it was me, stay at/near Crater Lake. However, it's also farther from Curry Village. So it might be worth driving back to Ashland that night to shorten up the drive to Yosemite. Yup, the more I think about it, that makes sense.

    Hopes this helps.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 05-31-2009 at 04:24 PM. Reason: added info

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Ashland to Yosemite is doable in one day, but not with any substantial sightseeing. That would be taking I-5 to CA-120, it's just under 500 miles. If you want to break it up, I've stayed at the Best Western in Willows, it's pretty decent.

  9. Default Yosemite to Vegas

    Great. I reckon we'll have to do the odd day of full on driving if we want to see all the places we want to visit so Ashland to Yosemite non stop sounds like a good idea.

    Next I have to get from Yosemite to Vegas. I want to go through death valley. Any route advice?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Weather dependant

    Quote Originally Posted by mjh1978 View Post
    Next I have to get from Yosemite to Vegas. I want to go through death valley. Any route advice?
    The popular route, and the one I would highly recommend is to take the 120 [Tioga pass] over the Sierra's to Mono Lake/Lee vining and head South on the 395 to Lone pine. Then take the 136 to 190 East to Death valley junction and then the "locals" route to Pahrump on State line/Ash meadows road and then 160 to Vegas. This Carry's one big caveat though, you will need to check if the Tioga pass is open, as it's seasonal closing due to snow is around your time of travel. Here are the official dates for the last few years. These refer to permanent closure for the season but can also be closed earlier and then re opened. With cold nights it can sometimes stay closed in the morning and open in the afternoon when the ice has thawed.
    If it goes against you then you will have to head South on 41 to 99 to Bakersfield and the 58/14/395/ to DV on 190 from Olancha. Detour options on the way would be Sequoia NP, and/or Sequoia NM, Lake Isabella.
    Either way would be best done with at least 1 overnight stop.

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