Firstly what a wealth of information on this website, the best I have found on the web.
As the title suggests yes this is my first road and I have decided to tackle the West of USA. Hopefully I have not bite of more than I can chew for my first one. I am planning on going with my wife (we are both 45) and my son who is 13. I have booked return flights to LA for a 16 night trip starting on 25/5 and leaving LA on 10/6. The provisional intinary is:-
Day 1 & 2 - 2 nights in LA, not too far from the airport, thinking of Hollywood/Beverley hills area.
Day 3 (travel to Vegas),4,5 - 3 night Las Vegas, towards the better end of the strip, say MGM, Bellagio etc.
Day 6 (travel to Yosemite) - 1 night stay on route to Yosemite national park. Thought of death valley area but welcome suggestions. Looking for a decent travelling hotel.
Day 7 - 1 night Heart of Yosemite national park. Nice hotel/lodge by the falls etc.
Day 8(travel to San Fran) ,9,10 - 3 nights San Fran. Nice hotel convenient for main attractions etc.
Day 11 - 1 night Travel along Pacific Highway San Fran to Monterey, Pismo Beach or Santa Barbara not sure which but would welcome suggestions.
Day 12 to 16 - 5 nights in a LA beach location. Initially thought of Santa Monica, but now thinking of the beaches south of LA such long beach , Huntington beach etc. for easy access to Disney and san Diego. Again would welcome suggestions.
Main concern is the drive from Vegas to yosemite as I appreciate it is the longest leg so not sure which is the best route and the best place to stay enroute. Crossing the Tioga Pass sounds inspiring but sounds like it could well be closed, so any suggestion on an alternative please. My main aim is to try and get balance between a road trip and time for some relaxation by the beach in LA.
Another concern is the class of car. Intially thought of 4 door intermediate saloon but would a SUV cope better for the mountains and desert?
I am currently looking for hotels in LA at the begining, Las Vegas, Yosemite, San Fran, pacific Coast & LA Beach.
Any suggestions and thoughts on my trip would be greatfully accepted.
Many thanks Colin