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  1. Default Trip of a lifetime

    Hi RTA. found you purely by chance (Luckily!!). Appologies if this is posted in the wrong forum. . .

    As a 50th Birthday/ 25th Wedding anniversary celebration, With another couple We’re planning to fly to San Francisco, drive down to LA and through to Vegas, then fly to New York for some retail therapy for the wife This as all planned for 2012, yes I know it’s a long way off, but there’s nothing like doing a bit of research first. I have so many questions though . . .

    1) What would be the best time of year to be planning this and where would you suggest we highlight as the places to definitely stop off and see en route?
    2) How long should we allow for the whole trip?
    3) Any suggestions or recommendations as to where to stay or stop off overnight?

    Really appreciate any advice you can offer



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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The basic idea you've laid out is the single most popular outline on this forum, so the first thing I'd recommend is simply spending a little time looking around which will provide all sorts of good information for you about what to see, stay, do, and for how long. These are a good starting point of some of the many great threads here.

    For time of year, there are positives and negatives to any time, but I'd consider Sept./Oct. when you're past peak tourist season, but before winter. Remember, mountain passes like Tioga in Yosemite National Park are typically closed into June.

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

    Default How long is a piece of string ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    This sounds like a great way to celebrate your half and Qtr century milestones, but at the moment your questions are a little like "how long is a piece of string" Lol.

    I love the planning stages and you have a lot of time to do all the dreaming and researching and I would start off by looking around the RTA site where you will find all aspects of visiting the US, this one thread has some great suggestions for the West coast.

    You might want to tie the "best time to visit" to coincide with one of the celebrations and it is all subjective, but my favourite time is mid Sept through October when the crowds have gone, the temps are nice [especially in the desert areas and Vegas] and you will See some Fall colour.

    How long, How long have you ? You could spend 3 weeks or 3 Months and not see it all.

    It's too early to start mentioning possible places to stay out of the hundreds of thousands of options. Get hold of a good map, look around RTA and discuss the finer detail with your travel partners and when you have the basics sorted [time of travel, How long and some dots on the map] we can help you piece it all together.

    Enjoy the planning.

  4. #4


    Anticipation can be better than the real thing!

    But with good planning – certainly have the time – you can certainly enjoy the anticipation but make the real thing tops.

    At some of the very popular Parks/places accommodation can be hard to secure but you have the time to book well in advance.

    When is the 50th Birthday/ 25th Wedding anniversary celebration? You could, if it is a suitable time to travel , pick a memorable place to celebrate.

  5. Default

    First off - thanks for the replies . . . looks like I'm going to be spending a fair amount of time trawling RTA!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    When is the 50th Birthday/ 25th Wedding anniversary celebration?
    Well thats possibly gonna be the issue. Anniversary is early Feb, the birthday is late August and the people we hope to travel are also gonna be celebrating 25yrs in July, so I guess the cost of travel will also have a bearing on it. . .
    Last edited by Greyskull; 09-09-2010 at 12:43 PM. Reason: typo error

  6. #6

    Default Starter Plan...........

    Looking at the spread out dates someone would be disappointed if you went for one date. Probably best to travel avoiding July/August which can be busy with the schools on vacation and hotter than normal weather out West. And go for a May/June or Sept/Oct period which I have found a good period, crowds, weather etc, for trips.

    Next you come to money and time away. Build a starter plan – adding or taking away as you go along.

    Here is a basic trip/route based on your plan to fly into SFO, drive to LA and then on to Las Vegas. And then fly to New York.

    Day 1. Fly into SFO.

    Day 2. Visit San Francisco. Attractions of Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, Union Square, trams etc.

    Day 3. Visit San Francisco. Book in advance for visit to Alcatraz - night or day.

    Day 4. Collect hire car and drive to Carmel for night. Visit Santa Cruz, Monterey, and 17 mile drive.

    Day5. Travel Big Sur to Cambria. Visit Hearst Castle.

    Day 6. Travel down the coast – lots to see – and stay night at Santa Barbara.

    Day 7. Travel to LA along coast - stay at Anaheim near Disneyland.

    Day 8. Visit Disney World, Universal Studios, Griffith Observatory, walk of fame etc. etc.

    Day 9. Drive to Las Vegas stopping at ghost town of Calico.

    Day 10. Las Vegas. Fly to Grand Canyon for a few hours as a special trip.

    Day 11. Fly to New York

    Day 12. Visit New York – shopping etc.

    Day 13. Visit New York attractions.

    Day 14. Fly home.

    Again just a basic plan. May not suit your group but build/take away as you see fit in respect of time/money/your preferences. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Just too add.............

    Eris has given you good pointers to get started, and as has been said, time will be a crucial factor, but with enough of it I would first head from San Fran to Yosemite, it is a wonderful place ! Another thing I would consider is to drive to the Grand canyon national park from LA and stay over and witness sunset, very romantic ! ;-) Then head back towards Vegas by road over the Hoover dam and a possible short diversion onto route 66 through Seligman on the way to Hoover dam.

    As Eris commented, these are just pointers to get you going and once you have made a start on your plans let us know and we can help "fine tune" them.

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