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  1. #1

    Default San Fran - Vegas Road Trip - All new please help!


    Me and my husband are planning a US California Roadtrip next May/June (2011). I've had a look at some other threads on here, and hoped i could get advice/ideas on one potential route we had in mind!

    Fly into SF spend 3/4 nights there
    drive down the coast road to santa barbara over 2-3 days stopping off in places (carmel and monteray have been suggested to us)
    Drive to Vegas and spend 3/4 nights there.
    From vegas to Death valley for a night
    From death valley up to yosemite for a few nights
    Back to SF to fly home

    Is this route realistic in 15/16 days?

    couple of other quick questions....
    reading around the forum i have seen mentioned that there is a mountain road from death valley to yosemite that opens may/june time, and if this is shut we will need to take the southern mountain road to get there...Is the road generally open by May or is it better to wait for June?

    We would like to hire convertible for our trip - can anyone recommend the best value place to go to for US car hire? And also, although this sort of car would be nice for the coast road (we've been told) would it be suitable for the rest of the trip?

    Any advice would be most welcome! we've not done anything like this before and so many potential places to visit - its difficult to narrow it down to a 2 week holiday!

    thank you!

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

    Default Looks good.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have worked out a nice relaxed itinerary that will work well with the time you have. Heading down the coast, Monterey/Carmel would make a good stop for night 1 and then perhaps to the Cambria/Cayucos area for a second night before continuing to Santa Barbara. Some lovely coastal towns, a wonderful Ocean drive and attractions like Hearst castle lay in wait.

    The mountain road from Death valley to Yosemite that you refer to is called the Tioga pass [CA120] and is a wonderful scenic drive across the Sierra Nevada mountain range into Yosemite. It typically opens sometime between mid May to mid June when the winter snowpack has melted. It's too early to predict but you can see the historical opening and closing dates here. The later in May [or early June] the more your chances of it being open, if not it is a trip around the Southern end of the mountains via Bakersfield.

    There really is no "one stop, best value" car rental Company. They are all competing for your dollars so deals and offers are constantly changing. Just keep comparing costs until you find a deal that suits you and your budget. If you want a convertible and you are comfortable that your luggage etc will fit, then Yes, it will be suitable for the whole trip.

    If, where you say "stay for 2/3 nights or 4/5 nights" you took the lesser, perhaps you could consider heading to the Grand canyon from the coast and then back to Vegas over the Hoover dam.

  3. #3


    thnx for the advice Dave :-)

    That link is really handy! hoping to book flights in the january sales, so knowing the typical opening times should help us pick dates

    Hadn't thought of the grand canyon will take a look at that as well!

  4. #4

    Default Death Valley stop over

    Was discussing our route last night and some advice we had read on this forum;
    It seems there are beautifuul sunsets/sunrises in death valley - where is a good place for a one night stop over so that we get to experience one, if not both, of these?

    We have had Bishop recommended to us, but want to look into other options as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default 'Overnight' Includes Both

    Your original plan includes "From Vegas to Death valley for a night'. If that is still your itinerary, it will automatically include both a sunset and sunrise in the valley. There are excellent accommodations at Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, and Panamint Springs. These are in the National Park, but privately owned/operated. There are also campgrounds (some even free!) if that is more to your taste and/or budget.


  6. #6

    Default Las vegas hotels

    Can anyone recommend a good value vegas hotel (on the strip!) but still fun! and do they all have parking?
    We're hoping to be there for three nigths beginning of june right in the middle of our trip!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 12-29-2010 at 08:27 AM. Reason: Merged - Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default too many

    I'm sorry, but there are just far too many hotels, and far too many factors, to tell you what might be a good value for you.

    You're going to have to figure out where on the strip you want to be (North, South, Middle), how nice of a place you want, and figure out who has the best deals during the specific time of your travel.

    The hotels on the ends of the strip, especially the north end, tend to be the lowest cost, and nearly all of them have parking, but certainly that's something you can check with the actual hotel before you make your reservation.

  8. #8

    Default san francisco hotels

    hi, have booked our flights and vegas hotel - now looking at hotels in San Fran - wondered if anyone could recommend a good budget hotel - we'd like to be in the northeast of the city - maybe fishermans wharf, pacific heights or around the moscone center/market street - would rather not sty in North beach.
    Doesn't have to be luxury, but we are staying four nights so needs to be more than just "basic"!
    would appreciate recommendations - trip advisor is a nightmare to trawl through!
    cheers :-)

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


    Deals can change quite quickly when it comes to Hotels and to find the best to match your budget and needs, it really is a case of trawling through the various pages on the Net. One area you might want to look at for reasonable price accommodation is along Lombard and Gough Street area. Not far to the Piers/ Fishermans Wharf and transport links into the City. If you have a car while in SF you need to check if there are extra parking fees at your hotel. We have stayed at the 'Buena Vista Motor Inn' which represented good value for money, had nice enough rooms plus free parking, although it was pretty 'basic' in other ways. This was over 4 years ago so you will have to do your own checks.

  10. #10

    Default Best place to stop between Vegas & Mariposa?

    thanks so much for help thus far!
    We are booking the last parts of our trip now.
    We are hoping to drive from Vegas to Mariposa via the CA-120 and you have previously recommended some good stop offs in death valley (currently looking at stovepipe wells) but because we are travelling June 4th/5th we are unsure if the road will be open yet, so in the event we have to go via bakersfield where is nice to stop this route? obviously bakersfield is the big town, but wondered if anyone knew of any other places that they may recommend.

    Only four weeks to go!
    Last edited by pagetta; 04-27-2011 at 04:59 AM.

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