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  1. Default San Fran to Las Vegas via Route 1

    Hi all,

    My wife and I have booked flights from London to NYC in summer of this year (Mid June to Mid July). After a few days in NYC we will be flying to San Fran. After a few days in San Fran we will be traveling south via Route 1 to San Diego and then on to Las Vegas.

    First question: Any recommendations which towns/cities/locations we should visit on the Route 1 trip. We will have about 8-9 days between leaving San Fran and arriving at San Diego. Also, any recommendations on where we should visit when traveling from San Diego to Las Vegas (2-3 days). We are interested in seeing a bit of national park landscape on that part of the trip.

    Second question: In order to reduce costs, we have been considering camping a bit during the trip. Our preference would probably be motels or hotels, but we thought camping might be a cheaper option. Any thoughts?

    Lastly: Do we need to book early for camping/motels/hotels during that time of the year (we'll be on the route during 4th July)? We though that if we camped that we wouldn't need to book as early (not sure though).

    Sorry this is so mch info to take in. Any help that any of you could offer two first-time american roadtrippers would be much appreciated.

    Thanks guys.

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

    Default Parks.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    On leaving San Fran, one option would be to head inland first to visit Yosemite NP [wonderful place] for a night or 2 before heading back towards Monterey, where you can continue around Big Sur towards San Simeon, [Hearst castle] Cambria, Cayucos and Morro bay etc.

    From San Diego you could head through Joshua tree NP, Mojave National preserve, and/or Death valley but if you could tag an extra day on this leg of your trip I would consider heading through Joshua tree and head East on I 40 to the South rim of the Grand canyon.

    If you bought basic camping gear for 10 to 12 days on the road it could save you some money, especially if you want to stay in the NP's but it could already be too late for booking, you would need to check it out at

    A lot of people like to "wing it" and keep their options open and manage to find a bed for the night, others feel secure knowing where they are staying the night, I guess I fit into that category. Some of the campgrounds have "walk in" sites where they don't accept reservations but they can also book up early morning on a first come first served basis.

    Have a look around the forums you will find lots of info on this area, it is very popular ! Here are a few links to get you started.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the advice Southwest Dave. We have decided to amend our trip and incorporate a night or two in Yosemite National Park based on what you said. Then head back to the coast.

    Another quick question for you, or anyone else out there; we have decided to go from San Diego to las vegas rather than straight to the grand canyon and then onto vegas. We are then considering a day trip from vegas to the grand canyon. Would you recommend an organised day trip, or is the experience of driving from vegas to the grand canyon (and having a night there) too good to miss?

    Also, regarding car hire - some people say you've got to do it in a convertable, but others say that you need the aircon so get a car with a roof. Any thoughts?

    Thanks again.

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


    A day trip to the Grand canyon is too much driving and not enough canyon, it would amount to 12 hours of driving for 2 or 3 hours at this wonder of the world. Would I take an organised tour ? Not if I had a choice ! The idea of heading towards GC from SD if you can afford the time for a night there, is to cut your miles down, and I would highly recommend staying there to witness a glorious sunset over the canyon, wonderful !

    The car is a personal thing, I think of the convertible as one of those "romantic notions" people get from the movies, but whether it means that much to you against the extra rental costs is another thing. Air con in Vegas can be a good thing, and with a convertible you would have to take precautions so that you don't fry in desert areas !

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