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Canada to San Diego itinerary for UK couple, help please!

Canada to San Diego itinerary for UK couple, help please!

Dec 8th, 2008, 11:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 191
Canada to San Diego itinerary for UK couple, help please!

Friends from the UK are coming to visit us in San Diego next August. They have 3 weeks. Here is their dilemma:

They can start off the first week in Canada,Victoria BC, then head down the coast to us in San Diego
"Is it just crazy for us in 3 weeks to try and cover a quick trip thru' the rockies (by train or car?). We'd then get down to Victoria for 3 days over a w/end ... then fly to San Francisco ... Yosemite National Park ... drive part of the coastal trip to LA ...
in and around San Diego for 15-21/22 August. . "
( I think that is a bit much for them)

The big question we were left with is how we would select our priorities, as we reckon it would just be too much to cram in 3-5 days thru the Rockies, and yet still visit both Yosemite, and the G Canyon. Would you agree?

"It may be better to skip the Rockies until another trip, and fly direct from UK to Vancouver, and spend the first few days in Victoria, before flying to SF, do Yosemite and the coastal drive, before coming to you guys. Maybe then, we could have time for the G Canyon too."

Anyway I have emailed them and told them that is one long long long drive down the coast as I have done it many years ago.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
jrecm is offline  
Dec 8th, 2008, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,352
Victoria to San Diego via the coastal 101 comes up at 1,500 miles in 31 hours of driving. This is no rockies and no Yosemite.
Some people like to see a country through a windshield, others don't. As long as they are aware of what they are signing up for.
The drop off fees to pick up a car in Victoria and drop it in San Diego will probably send them to plan B.
icithecat is offline  
Dec 8th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Posts: 191
"The drop off fees to pick up a car in Victoria and drop it in San Diego will probably send them to plan B...."

I had not even thought of that...boy that will be something for them to consider, besides the lengthy drive!!! Thanks!!!
jrecm is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 05:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Are they flying back to the UK from southern California? If so, the car rental really is a problem.

Regardless, assuming flexibility and budget...

They might fly to Calgary, rent a car and drive through the Rockies to Vancouver, keep the car for a day and go to Victoria and back one day (easy to do), and then return the rental car in Vancouver and take the Amtrak Cascades train from Vancouver to Seattle or even down to Oregon.

Then rent a US car and continue their drive.

They could take a bus from Vancouver to Seattle; I just think a train would be more interesting and comfortable.

If they must fly to Vancouver...

as beautiful as the Rocky Mountains in Canada are, you really need to be a coniseur to sort of the differences between the Rockies (along the BC and Alberta border) and the Coast Mountains near Vancouver and Mount Ranier is Washington, and, and...

So going to Vancouver and then down into the USA will expose them to lots of mountains. I used to work and/or live in Calgary, Vancouver, Bellingham (just south of the BC - WAshington border) and Seattle, and have drive from SF to LA and south a bit.

I certainly think visitors from far away would be better off to spend their time along the coast -- where there's lots of mountains to see -- and perhaps visit the Grand Canyon, instead of adding more mountains in Alberta and eastern British Columbia.

THOUGHT/QUESTION --I wonder if there's money to be saved by switching rental cars several times while going down the coast, minimizing the distances involved with the drop off fees. Or it may just be cheaper to pay once.

BAK is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 06:40 AM
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Posts: 191
BAK: They are planning on flying back to the UK from San Diego. They will have to investigate the car rental situation.

You have a lot of good ideas that I am forwarding on to them now. Thank you so much for your time.
jrecm is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 564
Here is an idea that might appeal. Have them fly to Calgary and take the Rocky Mountaineer train through the Rockies to Vancouver. This trip can take two days or up to eight days, depending on timing and what you want to do and see. This is one of the great train trips around and people rave about it. Then they could fly to San Diego. There is so much to see and do around San Diego that it would be a much better idea to spend time there rather than on the road.
almcd is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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"Rocky Mountaineer train" this actually sounds like something we would like to do too. I will send this on to my friends. Thanks for the idea.
jrecm is offline  
Dec 10th, 2008, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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the rocky mountaineer train always gets good reviews. it is expensive.
i'd suggest flying into calgary, do the train trip to vancouver (after a few days exploring banff/lake louise) then fly from vancouver to san fransisco.
if the train trip is too expensive - still fly to calgary, rent a car, explore the canadian rockies for 3-5 days, return to calgary and fly to san fran from there.
why is victoria on the list? is it a priority for them? i'd skiip it considering the time restraints.
so either fly to san fran from calgary or vancouver.
spend a couple of days in san fran (no need to rent a car while in the city). then, rent a car and either go to yosemite and then down to san diego or drive from san fran down the coast spending time in monterey/carmel/santa barbara. the drop off fee between san fran and la probably wouldn't be too much as that is a very popular trip. leave at least a week at the end of their trip to relax and enjoy san diego.
maybe i've put too much in if they only have 3 weeks but that's my two cents.
ltt is offline  
Dec 10th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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Posts: 191
I will have to ask them why Victoria is on their list, maybe they have friends there. I like the idea of flying into Calgary though, thanks.
jrecm is offline  
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