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  1. Default Honeymoon LA - SF - Yo - LV - GC

    I am currently planning our honeymoon to USA for May 2011, there is so much information that my brain is getting saturated and I am completely confused. Our initial itinerary is the following

    Arrive LA
    4 nights LA
    4 nights SF
    2 nights Yosemite
    3 nights Las Vegas
    2 nights Grand Canyon
    Back to LA

    My questions are the following:

    - Is this a good order to visit the places listed or should we do it the other way around i.e. LA, GC, LV, Y, SF?
    - Should we lose a night in SF to break up the journey between LA and SF. We would like to take the coastal route as we have read that it is very beautiful.
    - Should we spend a night somewhere between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon as I believe it is a long drive also

    We were thinking of booking a covertible Sebring but I'm not sure how unsuitable this would be for GC and Yosemite, would we be better off with a Sedan?

    My brain really thanks you for your help!

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

    Default Looks good.

    Hello, congratulations and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your Honeymoon trip looks great, nice and relaxed but with Lot's to keep you entertained. A couple of good reasons to head to Grand canyon first is that a] Heading South from SF to LA will put you on the Ocean side of the road, which is convenient for pullouts, and b] Although you don't say when in May you travel, the later you head to Yosemite the more chance you have of the Tioga pass in Yosemite being open. This is the main route across the Sierra's that typically opens in May or June when the winter snow on the pass has thawed. If Tioga pass isn't open when you visit, it's not a big problem as you can go around the Southern end of the Sierra mountains via Bakersfield, if it is open it's a wonderful drive that you could drive across Death valley into Vegas.

    To take the coast road you will need an overnight stop between LA and SF, but it will be worth it.

    Either way around, between Yosemite and Vegas will be a long day's drive and unless you "pinch" another night from elsewhere, I would think about staying outside of Yosemite or Vegas [depending on which way around you travel] to shorten the drive next day.

    Vegas to Grand canyon can be done in 5 or 6 hours depending on Hoover dam delays, but no need for an overnight stop. LA to GC is a full day on the road and unless you are OK with getting out of the urban sprawl of LA extremely early you may need an overnight a little short of GC.

    As for the choice of car, it's a personal thing that you need to work out. The Sedan will do everything for less, except for taking it's top off. You will also have less storage area in a convertible.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-06-2010 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Added thought

  3. Default

    Hi Dave

    Thank you for your suggestions. We will change the order of the trip and have our last destination as SF before heading back to LA.

    So now it would be

    LA - GC - LV - Yo - SF - LA

    Where do you recommend as a good stop off point between LA and SF? I've read that Cambria is a nice place for an overnight stay.

    I will look at the possibility of finding an extra night for stopping either between LA and GC or between Yosemite and Vegas. Which is the longer/most tiresome of the two journeys?

    Thanks again

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


    I've read that Cambria is a nice place for an overnight stay.
    The Cambria/Cayucos area is a good place for an overnight stop but I am not able to recommend a particular spot.

    I will look at the possibility of finding an extra night for stopping either between LA and GC or between Yosemite and Vegas. Which is the longer/most tiresome of the two journeys?
    Potentially they are both a full day's drive. If I had a choice I would leave LA early to avoid congestion [and save a lot of time]and go to the GC direct [or very close by] and have an overnight stop on route to Yosemite. It is in my opinion a more rewarding drive and would give you the time to explore Death valley and Tioga pass if it is open. If Tioga is closed it will still afford you the time to drive through Death valley and then head around the Southern end of the Sierra's past Lake Isabella.

    Another option would be to leave Los Angeles at night after peak traffic time and get a couple of hours of driving done towards the GC before stopping for the night.

  5. Default

    Thanks Dave.

    One thing - how early is early? I'm not sure what time peak traffic hours are in LA :)

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

    Default Real early ! [sorry]

    A local may be able to give more detailed info on particular routes out, dependant on where you are staying, but generally speaking by 6.30am the traffic is building and continues to be heavy right through untill after 9/9.30am when you are faced with "normal" heavy traffic, and one incident could lead to long delays. Leaving later would make it tough to reach Grand canyon same day, and I'm sorry to say, that to leave early you would need to be on the road before 6am, and if you can tolerate it, 5am would get you well on your way and out of LA for a nice hearty breakfast on route.

    It's an early start alright and not for everyone, but personally I would take it rather than face a couple of hours backed up in traffic jams. That or the night before option ?

  7. Default

    Wow, that is early... ! I'll have to think about that although I do find when I fly long haul I generally wake up around 5 or 6 anyway because of the jet lag so it might work to my advantage for once!
    Thank you

  8. Default Timings and Stop-offs (LA-GC-LV-Yo-SF)


    We have finally decided on the following itinerary, according to my research on forums and on google maps I have come up with the following timings for the driving distance. I would like to know
    A) If they are accurate
    B) Suggestions for stop off places on the way for something (tasty) to eat or anything we shouldn't miss seeing while driving by

    LA to GC - 8 hours - leave before 6-630am to avoid traffic - Is this still applicable on a Sunday?

    GC to LV - 5 hours

    LV to Yosemite - 8 hours - still trying to get my head around this one as I believe there are different routes depending on if the passes are open?? We will be travelling at the beginning of May. Can we go via Death Valley or is this too long?

    Yo to SF - 4 hours

    SF to San Simeon - 4 hours

    SS to LA - 4 -5.5 hours


    Mod note] Please keep all questions regarding this trip in this thread, thankyou.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-18-2010 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Merged threads.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Depending.

    A lot will depend on how smoothly and how traffic 'free' each journey is [stating the obvious, I know] but you would need to allow for 10 hours from LA to the GC. With the new Hoover dam bridge now finished, you could possibly get to Vegas in 5 hours, unless of course you want to stop at the dam itself. At the beginning of May the Tioga pass is going to be closed, therefor you will need to head around the Southern end of the mountains via Bakersfield.

    It's going to be tough going, driving through Death valley and getting into Yosemite the same day, probably 12 hours with a couple of short stops for sight seeing in DV and rest/lunch along the way. I would look to getting to the Visalia/Fresno area and finishing your journey to Yosemite next day. Yosemite into SF, I would expect it to take up to 5 hours, but from SF to San Simeon you will want the best part of the day to explore the coast along this slow and scenic route, more like a 6 or 7 hour drive. Again, and depending on traffic and where you are headed in LA, you could be looking at 6 hours or so from San Simeon.

    As I have said, things can alter quickly, but I tend to veer to the side of caution when estimating drive times during planning, and try to consider how long it may take, rather than how quick. I find it keeps things a little more relaxed and allows a little time in places for the unplanned surprises.

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