Honeymoon touring California, advice please?
Hi my girlfriend and myself are planning are Honeymoon touring California, were getting married on the 20th of August 2005 and have never been to the states before.
Ideally we'd like to fly out on the 21st (Sunday) spending 21 days in the U.S..
Any advice anyone can give to the following questions and route would be great.
Day 1 (Sunday)
Fly to San Diego, explore the city.
Day 2 (Monday)
San Diego, Sea world
Day 3 (Tuesday)
San Diego, San Diego Zoo
Day 4 (Wednesday)
Drive to Palm Springs 180 miles
Day 5 (Thursday)
Palm Springs, Chill!
Day 6 (Friday)
Palm Springs, Take it easy!
Day 7 (Saturday)
Twentynine palms (via Joshua tree national park) 200 miles
Day 7 (Sunday)
Grand Canyon, 200 miles
Day 8 (Monday)
Las Vegas, 300 miles
Day 9 (Tuesday)
Day 10 (Wednesday)
Day 11 (Thursday)
Kings Canyon, 450 miles
Day 12 (Friday)
Yosemite, 170 miles
Day 13 (Saturday)
Lake Tahoe, 240 miles
Day 14 (Sunday)
San Francisco 220 miles
Day 15 (Monday)
Day 16 (Tuesday)
Morro Bay, 250 miles
Day 17 (Wednesday)
Anaheim, 250 miles
Day 18 (Thursday)
Day 19 (Friday)
Day 20 (Saturday)
Fly out L.A. to New York
See the sights and get lashed with cousin and wife!
Day 21 New York to Manchester
Well that's the idea anyway!
Couple of questions I'd be grateful if anyone could answer
1. Should I book the hotels in advance or just turn up?
2. We want a big old 5-litre mustang convertible, should we book it here or upgrade when we arrive?
3. The route isn't set in stone, (paticulaly not sure about L.A.) anything we've missed on the way?
4. Should I book it all independently or use an agency?
Thanks for any help, Allan & Louise
A Few comments
1. 5.0 litre Mustang is not going to be found in the average rental car fleet. You will need a specialty agent to get that one and it will be pricey.
2. As far as booking reservations goes -- it really depends upon how much risk you are comforable with. Roadtrips are by their very nature risky. For some more commentary on this subject, <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/GettingOutThere/Road-Trip-Reservations.htm">click here<a/>.
3. Agency for booking. RTA will be launching a road trip planning service in the next couple of months and so you might wish to wait and consider our program.
4. Some of your daily distances are near impossible unless you like driving for hours and hours. Although the distances are not too large -- you are leaving scant time for walking about and relaxing.
This is a very extensive trip. Let me suggest some things that might make it more enjoyable and save some miles allowing for more looking around.
You are going to some very hot areas during August. Joshua tree and Las Vegas in August is about 110+ to 115 degrees (40-45 degrees C)
You only need 2 days in Las Vegas, how many lights can you see? Skip the Kings Canyon as one of the high points are the large trees. You can see those in Yosemite at the Wawona Grove. The are both Sequoia trees of different types but are both big. You won't know the difference and it will save you a bunch of miles and allow another day in Yosemite to see the waterfalls, valley, and hiking.
Skip Lake Tahoe and spend you time in San Francisco like you have it but start heading south on Hwy 1 and see Carmel (17 mile drive) Big Sur, the cliffs on the ocean and then Hearst Castle (San Simeon, Calif), then on to Morro Bay and finish in LA
You will need to book ahead for hotels to be save and the 5.0 liter Mustang will need to be booked. I think Budget rental car has some but you need to book ahead.
Steve has good points
Steve's post raises a number of good points. However regarding Las Vegas -- I would actually counsel more days, not less. It can be a very relaxing place to get some pampered time. Our offices are in Las Vegas and this is one fascinating town. For more insider tips and news check out <a href = "http://www.meganedwards.com/">our local's site<a/>.
Another route is to head for Calfornia's north coast. The <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/stanford.htm">Stanford Inn<a/> is my #1 choice for a honeymoon destination.
Sounds like a fun trip. But depending on what you actually want to see, I'd start thinking of reorganizing and modifying some portions. For example, the Grand Canyon is a place where you might want to spend an extra day, even if it means cutting out some time from Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. I guess it just depends on your priorities, if you're interested in seeing the major attractions or just relaxing in some smaller towns. Also, Kings canyon is great, but a little bit out of the way. How about skipping it and spending an extra day in Yosemite. You can always take a day trip to Muir woods when you're in San Francisco, it's only about an hour away. Also, don't forget about the travel time between two places. After driving a couple hundred miles, you're not really going to have time to see much when you get there (i.e Las Vegas to Kings Canyon to Yosemite in two days, you won't see much of kings canyon anyway.) So focus on a few major places that you want to see and spend more time there, and also be prepared to cut out some more places in case you decide to stay in one place longer. Have Fun.
After looking at your trip again, here's an optional itinerary
Fly into San Diego, stay 3-4 days (at least a day to get over jet lag)
Drive to LA/Anaheim 3-4 days. Hollywood, Universal Studios, Disneyland, etc
(Optional) spend a day or two in palm springs/29 palms, take a detour to drive part of Route 66 on the way to vegas
Drive to vegas for 2-4 day (depends on how much you like to gamble and how much money you have) See Bellagio, Venetian, and other places
Go to Yosemite 2-3 days. Half Dome, waterfalls, El capitan
Drive to SF (3-5 days)
You definitely need some recovery time after driving, so don't plan on doing a whole lot after a long drive