Hi folks, with 3 weeks vacation for a solo road trip, I would like to ask your opinions and thoughts. Starting in Portland, Oregon (visiting friends), I am planning to spend a good portion of my time in the Los Angeles area (so much to see and do!) sightseeing, playing golf and just cruising around because I love to drive...
One thing that's always intrigued me is driving a zig-zag route east and west through the Sierra Nevada range. In general terms, my southbound trip should incorporate the coastal routes (to eliminate most cross-traffic turns) but on the return trip north to British Columbia, I wonder if it's a worthwhile alternative to drive through the secondary highways that connect CA and NV? Or some of them anyways...I simply enjoy driving a road never traveled before and if something urges me to stop, I will. On vacation, I would prefer to avoid driving the same highway twice - Interstates being the exception. In addition, I want to see the different zones of the state - palm trees and pine trees, city and countryside...
In terms of golf, wherever possible, I prefer to play city or municipal-owned courses. It's a good way to put something back into the places I visit. One area in LA where there's a bunch of golf courses with cool sounding names is in the Pasadena to Santa Barbera stretch.....
I was considering driving the Cali coast from SF to LA but I've been reading that fog may be a real issue as August gets underway. If that's true, maybe I should not bother? I see enough fog where I live (coastal BC) and I recall a trip on the Oregon Coast in July a few years ago, it was very foggy. :(
Another weather question: How big a difference is there between coastal and inland temperatures of the LA region in August? I've been told that LA itself and Anaheim are quite comfortable even in the peak of summer but go inland another 30 minutes and it's an oven...Is that accurate?
(I have to consider how to avoid being stuck in traffic jams since I don't have AC)
I found a good website, discoverlosangeles.com and it has helped me to start my see and do list:
Santa Monica Pier
Pershing Square (summer concerts)
LA Brea Tar Pits
Griffith Park (golf and observatory)
LA Farmers Market
The Getty Center
Major League game(s)
In addition, I'd like to visit San Francisco to ride the cable cars, visit Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz and a Giants game.
I will also plan for a visit to San Diego (Balboa Park, possible day trip to Tijuana and maybe a Padres game)
AND......if time and enthusiasm permits, a side trip to Vegas too. I realize it gets incredibly warm in August once you venture inland and since my car lacks AC, I wonder if I can get to Vegas and back to LA on a route that keeps me from getting stuck in traffic, idling in the sweltering heat? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Is it possible to ride a train to Vegas and leave my car in LA. Is this an option? (I'm a Canadian citizen using an Enhanced Drivers License rather than a passport...)
All I know is California is my destination. I'm going with some idea of certain things I want to see and do but for the most part, I prefer to put it in drive and see where each day takes me. Total freedom to do what I please and the fun of not necessarily knowing what that is...That includes finding accommodations on the fly for the most part.
Any feedback is welcomed. Hearing from folks who live in California especially would be helpful. Thanks! :)