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  1. Default Californa Road Trip August 2010

    Hey guys,

    Me and my wife -to - be are planning our road trip round California in August and could do with some ideas please.

    Getting wed in Vegas and then heading out on the road for 9 days. A few higlights we would like to take in are Death Valley driving, San Fransisco, LA/Santa Monica, San Diego. Obviously with some stops in between.

    Suggestions for must see's and good places to stay would help. Big query is do we pre-book accommodation is it ok to drop into Motels in August?

    We hit the road on the 16th August and need to be back in Vegas on the evening of the 24th!

    Thanks for any ideas/suggestions guys

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


    Welcome to RTA Forum!

    The decision to pre-book or not is really up to you and how much you want to balance risk/searching for rooms vs flexability to make changes to your trip. It wouldn't hurt to pre-book, and since this is a honeymoon where you presumably have a higher than normal standard for places you want to stay its not a bad idea. The bad side of that is you are really trying to do quite a lot in 9 days, so if you decide you want to scale back while you are on the road, you are kind of locked in. Of course, in any case, if you do prebook make sure to check cancellation or change policies.

    As far as where to go and what to do, there are several thousand posts detailing this basic route on this forum already. I would really encourage you to look around here first to get a better idea of what information has already been, and then come back once you have more specific questions.

  3. Default

    Thanks for your opinion on this dude!

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

    Default Yosemite.

    Between Death valley and San Francisco I would definitely plan on an overnight stop in Yosemite, a true wonder of the world. By heading North on 395 after DV you can get into the park via the Tioga pass [[CA120] which is a fantastic drive.

    If you get the chance take a drive up to Glacier point !

    P.S] To stop in Yosemite [or possibly close by] booking is recommended asap.

  5. Default

    Thanks Dave!

    The intention was not to stay ovr at Yosemite, but to get San Fran ASAP as it is there and down the coast to LA/San Diego we wanted to spend our time.

    Any idea how long (driving time) we would be looking at to drive from say Bishop through Yosemite to San Francisco?

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

    Default Shame.

    As an estimate I would allow 8-10 hours to do the trip as the park roads are mountainous, will be busy and it will be slow going. Having said that it won't feel like a chore and you will want the time to appreciate the views between Bishop and just the other side of Groveland they are spectacular !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It's 300 miles. It's doable in one day with minimal stops. Figure about 1.5 hours from Bishop to Yosemite, then maybe 3.5 hours from Yosemite to SF. This gives you a few hours to get over Tioga Pass and quickly see some other things in the park.

    You are going to have to make a decision as to where you are going to shortchange yourself - it's going to be either DV or Yosemite. Staying in Lee Vining or Mammoth Lakes are options.

  8. Default

    Southwest Dave and glc!

    Thanks again for your comments, had a change of heart on the itineary! Let me know what you think

    Day 1 - Leave Vegas 10am to Mammoth Lakes (via Death Valley) - Anticipate hitting Mammoth Lakes circa 5pm/6pm.

    Day 2 - Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite. Going to spend the day there, (a change of heart after looking at some of pictures on that beautiful scenery!). Then going to have a night over in Groveland.

    Day 3 - Groveland to San Francisco. Anticpate arriving in SF say 11am - then do Golden Gate Park.
    Day 4 - San Francisco. Alkatraz Tour and maybe a city tour/cable car ride.

    Day 5 - Leave SF to Monterey (via Highway 1). Spend 3 hrs here checking out the aquarium. Then looking to stop over a night in Morro Bay or Pismo Beach. IF YOU HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS BESIDES THESE OR ANY WHERE ELSE ON THE COAST WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE :-)

    Day 6 - Drive to Santa Monica. Looking at staying here for 3 nights for excursions around LA and also closeish drive to San Diego for the Zoo and Seaworld.

    Day 7 & 8 - Santa Monica or other suggested place in the LA area (like the idea of being clost to a beach)

    Day 9 - Back on the road to Vegas, with a stop in Barstow/Calico Ghost Town for a drink and bite to eat.

    Let me know how this sounds, again drive time estimate would be a good help along with suggested stop overs.

    Many thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default tweeks

    I think your plan looks pretty good. There are just a couple of tweeks I would make.

    If you are planning to spend a few hours in Monterey and still want to make it to Morro Bay, I would recommend just taking US-101 down to Monterey. Otherwise, your time along the big sur section of the coast highway is going to be very rushed.

    I would also not use Santa Monica as a home base for a daytrip to San Diego. You're on the wrong side of LA, so you could easily be looking at a 3 hour trip each way, or even worse depending on traffic. What would make more sense is to simply stay 2 nights around LA, then head to San Diego for a night, and drive directly to Vegas (via I-15/Barstow) from there. That saves some backtracking, and since its further east, the travel from San Diego to Vegas is pretty close to or possibly even shorter than from Santa Monica.

  10. Default

    Midwest Michael!

    Apologies guys my Geography is not great but is the big sur section before or after Monterey from SF?

    How long would you say it takes between SF and Monterey and Monterey to Morro Bay?

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