1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Road Tripping in the USA!

Discussion in 'Motors' started by [TW]Fox, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Peerzy

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2008

    Posts: 6,727

    5 days is a long time in LA. We did 3 on our first visit and it allowed us enough time to recover from the flight and do all the usual big tourist things.

    Get a Mustang without question, a convertible is amazing in California and it's part of the adventure imo.

    Don't miss the PCH, I'd do 3 nights in LA, 2 nights on PCH, 3 nights in San Fran, then you have 3 nights to go to Yosemite and back.
     
  2. b0rn2sk8

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 5,086

    PCH every time.

    Do you have anything particular on in LA, most in here will suggest that's more than most people need (I'd agree), if your planning on doing Disney or Universal i'd suggest doing it at the end of the trip. Jet lag plus crowded theme parks isn't a good time IMO.
     
  3. r22snapper

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 15, 2014

    Posts: 555

    Location: Peterboghorror

    As above: In April I did Vegas (for a friend's wedding) - 3 days in LA - 5 on the PCH and 3 in San Fran. 3 was more than enough time in LA and we just used Ubers everywhere rather than drive ourselves. We hired a Mustang for the PCH and used Ubers again in San Fran. We didn't do Yosemite (will go back and put that right) but I would think that would be a far better use of your time than extra time in LA or maybe head to San Diego, which again we didn't do but every Yank told us was great.
     
  4. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,339

    Location: Dublin / LA

    I come to the US a lot (LA), but normally do 4x4ing - decided to get something sporty, ended up with a Corvette Stingray convertible for 2 days, fantastic car - very fast, 6.2L V8, 0-60 in 3.7 and really good to drive for an American car, thought it was really great, went out to Joshua Tree, then up though Mojave and back on the 40.

    Got it from Sixt in Santa Monica.
     
  5. Ant84

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 20, 2007

    Posts: 1,091

    How much for the Corvette?
     
  6. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,339

    Location: Dublin / LA

    It was $400 for both days I think, I only booked it the day before as a spur of the moment thing, so you could probably get it cheaper further in advance.

    Amazing car though, really upped my opinion of yank sports cars, as I think most of them are junk, but that corvette - fantastic :)
     
  7. acemastr

    Mobster

    Joined: May 29, 2010

    Posts: 4,684

    Location: Tampa, Florida

    Hey now...
     
  8. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,339

    Location: Dublin / LA

    Got away again this weekend as everyone has gone away for 4th of July.

    Got a mustang GT which is nice, not as fast as the stingray but still rapid - has heaps of character I love it.

    Stayed over in Phoenix last night, gonna drive up through Sedona then onto canyon de Chelly, gonna stay there until Sunday morning and do some hiking,

    Just sat in Denny’s building my own slam :D
     
  9. FerretBoy

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2003

    Posts: 3,269

    Ok so have the opportunity to take the Mrs to West coast of USA next year via BA rewards, business class (possibly first).

    This means we can easily choose different arrival and departure airports.

    Thinking 18 days.

    Want a mix of people, food and national parks. Thus a loop involving San Francisco, PCH, Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite looks sensible. Tempted by trying to somehow do the 'Mighty 5' in combination with everything else.

    Anyhow as I have to book the flights almost a year in advance the most important thing right now is picking the right airports. Assume holiday will be in August 2020.

    Current thinking is San Francisco looks ideal for getting over jet lag and more my scene. But Los Angeles has twice the flights, so maybe more chance that First class reward flights will become available? Also it seems the car rental places in Los Angeles are larger and thus possibly more chance of getting a Mustang GT?!?

    Appreciate any info.
     
  10. b0rn2sk8

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 5,086

    If you are going to be doing all of that I expect you will be best off taking off and landing in the same place. There isn't really anywhere you can cut a corner as such. LAX is as good as any, more flights and it's generally cheaper (less points?).

    Most people would go:

    LA
    SD
    PS
    LV
    DV
    YNP
    SF
    PCH
    LA

    Just a word of warning for August:
    • Vegas and Death Valley will be extremely hot (~40C+ and ~46C+) and thus Vegas is normally pretty quiet in August. It's so hot you'll want to be roof up if you are in the car for any length of time.
    • Yosemite will be the opposite, extremely busy expensive and there is a need to book a year in advance if you want to stay in the park. Parking can be pretty tricky if you get there after mid-morning.
    • Alcatraz will need booking as soon as tickets are released (3 months prior) - its better at night ;)
    • Any Disney/Universal will be super busy as expected - if you go, go at the end. Busy theme park + jet lag = sad time.
     
  11. FerretBoy

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2003

    Posts: 3,269

    Thanks for the good info.

    LA and San Francisco are the same points. Will need to check which one will offer newer planes.

    Completely understand the fact it is a loop, so same airports make sense.

    Not that excited by Las Vegas, so a little quieter might be an improvement?!? Will do universal at the end, more for the Mrs.

    It's not too late to change it up and do as something different and visit Yellowstone for example. But unsure I can get the same balance of people, food and national parks.
     
  12. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 155,251

    Unless you can't avoid it, don't go in August. It's cheaper to avoid it and the weather is nicer. September is good.
     
  13. b0rn2sk8

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 5,086

    Vegas will be fine, it’s just very hot and not as busy (cheaper room rates). There’s unlikely to be any events on but the stable shows will still be on.

    As Fox said while Vegas will be cheaper everywhere else will be busier and more expensive.
     
  14. FerretBoy

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2003

    Posts: 3,269

    Thanks for the info.

    Yeah sadly the only option due to wife's work. I'll make sure I research more to understand the impact.
     
  15. uncle_rufus

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 14, 2011

    Posts: 3,982

    Sounds pretty similar to the trip we're doing this September (I've got a thread about that trip in GD, the "belated honeymoon" one) in case you find any overlapping useful info in there. We're starting in Vegas and looping around then flying back from San Diego
     
  16. FerretBoy

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2003

    Posts: 3,269

    Ah some great info, thanks. You are a lot further on in planning will really help.
     
  17. FerretBoy

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2003

    Posts: 3,269

    OK first stab at the plan.

    Location Nights
    Los Angeles 0
    San Diego 2 (Wed, Thur)
    Palm Springs 2
    Las Vegas 2 (Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon Helicopter) (Sun,Mon)
    Mt Carmel Junction 1 (Use as base for Zion, Bryce, Horseshoe, Antelope) . <-- Too many things and not enough time, so will consider more.
    Death Valley 1 (two minds about this, going to be too hot, but the Mrs loves stars and apparently it's awesome for that.)
    Mammoth Lakes 1 (I put this in as mentioned a fair bit in this thread, need to investigate)
    Yosemite 3 (Just outside)
    San Francisco 2
    Morro Bay 1
    Los Angeles 2 (Universal) (Friday)
     
  18. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,339

    Location: Dublin / LA

    Understand the times and distances here, Zion and Bryce as big places - whilst there's only 72 miles between them on the map, understand that in the daytime those roads are slow and those parks are big.

    Also, honestly - to make something like Zion worth it's while, you need 2-3 days minimum, yes - you can simply drive the road through the park, but there are a lot of incredible hikes and other things that most people just drive past and have no idea about. Last time I went I hired a wet suit and some canyoneering shoes, and did the 'subway hike' which takes a full day, but it was absolutely incredible from start to finish, just - magical in every way, thats a very difficult hike - but there are many others to chose from, the slot canyon hikes are amazing.
    https://www.citrusmilo.com/zionguide/lowersubway.cfm

    But it depends what you want to do, if you just want to drive and not do any hiking - going to places like Zion or Bryce you're only going to see a small part of them, for what is a lot of driving.

    Horseshoe bend is good very very busy now - lots of coach fodder, they've built a new car park, so in August it'll be attracting hoards of buses full of locusts - I have a low tolerance of this sort of thing, but you might be fine with it.

    Antelope is a mixed bag, VERY busy - it's an incredible place, but the natives really reap that place for everything it's worth - imagine 50x people crammed into small spaces, the place itself is incredible but again, think about whether you enjoy being with that amount of tourists in small spaces. You can do some research and pay a bit more - you can get private tours from some of the other Navajo families who own other slot canyons next to Antelope (there are a number of different slot canyons in that area)
     
  19. FerretBoy

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2003

    Posts: 3,269

    Thanks, will add to the considerations. Thinking I won't be going back so only opportunity, could steal a day from somewhere else to make it possible but conscious that the temps will be HOT, so might make sense that the visits are short. Will chew on it some more.
     
  20. b0rn2sk8

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 5,086

    You don't need to spend the night in Death Valley (IMO of course), you can hit almost all of the points of interest in one day. It's too hot to go hiking, really it's too hot to spend more than 30 mins at a time outside of your air conditioned car at a time. The only exception is Dante's view, you might need a jumper up there. Its about 5000+ft up, it overlooks the badwater basin which is about 300 feet below sea level.

    The only 'facilities' in the park which are not a metal box over a hole in the ground (add 45C+ heat :eek:) are at the visitors centre. Just bare that in mind.

    Spend the extra day up in the Zion area, come back and stay in Vegas (off strip) for the night and go to death valley the next day nice and early. Spend the night in either bishop or Monmouth lakes. There is zero rush to get to either of those two locations, treat them purely as a overnight stop and spend as much time as you need in the park.

    If you are going to the Hoover Dam I recommend you get there for opening time if you want to go on the full tour (first come first served). After you have done that I recommend you drive round lake mead and up to the valley of fire park, very pretty. Both have tolls but they are well worth it.

    Red Rock Canyon is also worth a visit, its only 20 mins from Vegas. I would recommend going there before heading into Vegas itself.