15 Days SFO-LAX

Old Oct 9th, 2021, 01:37 PM
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15 Days SFO-LAX

Good afternoon,

My wife and I are travelling 15 days, end of May and first week of June and we would like recommendations for the trip, we arrive to SFO and depart from LAX.
Thanks
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Old Oct 9th, 2021, 02:31 PM
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Welcome to Fodors. Before anyone can help you we do need more info.

Recommendations for what? What to see? - Then what sorts of things interest you. And what ideas do you already have for places you'd like to see.

Accommodations? Then we'd need to know your budget and what sort of ambience/property you prefer.

Just any additional details you can provide . . .



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Old Oct 9th, 2021, 02:38 PM
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Your 2 weeks straddle the first big holiday weekend of the summer season -- Memorial Day, the last Monday of May every year. Assuming you intend to visit multiple places that are popular with tourists, you should book your lodging well in advance, especially for the nights immediately prior to that Monday. If you want to spend any time in Yosemite National Park, start working on securing lodging reservations inside the park NOW. Reservations for this time period next year have been open for 4 months.
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Old Oct 9th, 2021, 02:38 PM
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We are a couple mid 30s
going to rent a car, don't have any hotel preferences, low budget but clean with private bathroom
Not too active but doesn't mean we don't like National Parks
Don't mind to drive long distances
Early birds and not of a night life
We've checked different otions but don't k ow which one is better:
San Francisco-Napa-Yosemite-Vegas-Grand Canyon-LA or
San Francisco-Napa-Lake Tahoe-Vegas-Grand Canyon-LA or
San Francisco-PCH-LA or
​​​​​​​San Francisco-PCH-Vegas-Grand Canyon-LA
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Old Oct 9th, 2021, 03:04 PM
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Hi,

Couple in the middle 30s, not to active but like to walk around National Parks, early bearlydon't like drinking or night life.
Renting a car and staying in decent hotels with private bathroom
Don't k ow to stick to San Francisco and LA driving PCH or going to Yosemite and go to egas and Grand Canyon
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Old Oct 9th, 2021, 03:45 PM
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" . . . and staying in decent hotels with private bathroom"

I can probably list the number of properties with shared baths (other than hostels) on one hand. Your criteria really doesn't narrow things down much. Places from $150 a night to $1,000+ per night would be decent and have private facilities. You must have some idea of an actual nightly budget??

May/June is a terrific time to visit Yosemite. But IMO adding places farther afield like Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon would really eat into your time.

Are you interested in Coastal Redwoods (the REALLY tall ones - along the coast) and Sequoias (the REALLY large diameter ones - in the Sierra Nevada)? Beaches? Theme parks? I know you mentioned not drinking - but are you at all interested in vineyards/wineries? Cities like San Francisco/LA/San Diego? Missions? Fine dining? Animal parks? Catalina Island? Lake Tahoe?

We can definitely help you but can't really design your itinerary . . . .
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Old Oct 9th, 2021, 10:57 PM
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There is a wealth of knowledge that you can tap here for your trip but you do need to be more specific in what you want. The more details you give the better information you will receive. With what you’ve provided so far you may as well buy a California guide book.
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Old Oct 10th, 2021, 07:37 AM
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Oh - I didn't see your 2nd post (currently #4) - my hunch it was sent to moderation?? Anyway, I was responding to your 3rd post that had fewer details.

"Don't mind to drive long distances" is a given, California is a BIG state. The aim is to not have days and days of long drives with more time in the car than actually seeing/doing things.

Just to throw one possible option (just one of many possibilities) . . . If SFO and LAX arrival and departure are set in stone you could arrive SFO, spend 2 or 3 days in the city without a car, pick up rental; Drive to Lake Tahoe/stay 2 nights; Drive to Yosemite National Park (book your accommodations in Yosemite Valley now)/ stay 2 or 3 nights; Drive to the Monterey Peninsula/stay 2 nights; Drive down through Big Sur, visit Hearst Castle if interested, stay 1 night somewhere like Cambria/Morro Bay; Stay 1 or 2 nights in/near Santa Barbara; Drive to LA and spend the last 3 or 4 days somewhere in the general LA/Orange County region (This is an ENORMOUS area and where you stay mostly depends what things you decide to do); Fly home

The length of stay in all these areas can be massaged but I would not add a bunch of one-night stops.

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Old Oct 10th, 2021, 09:53 AM
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I think you don't have time to go to either Vegas or the Grand Canyon. Especially not the Grand Canyon. If you're ok with more driving and less stopping, and many people are, then you could fit in a night or two in Vegas. Arrive late one day, leave early two days later, so you'd be in Vegas for one full day. You don't need more time there!

You don't say where you're coming from. If it's a long trip for you, then I understand why you want to fit in as much as possible because you my never have the opportunity to come back.

Most hotels in the US have private bathrooms, even the least expensive. It's not something you'll have to worry about.

Last edited by Barbara; Oct 10th, 2021 at 09:56 AM.
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Old Oct 10th, 2021, 12:30 PM
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LA to Las Vegas is about a 5 hour drive. LV to Grand Canyon Village is also about 5 hours. To see Grand Canyon, a two-night stay is fine.
Most of my visitors are impressed with Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Big Sur, and Las Vegas. No one wants to see Lake Tahoe.

San Francisco (3 nights)
SF to Yosemite (2-3 nights)
Yosemite to Monterey Peninsula (1-2 night)
Big Sur to Los Angeles (2-3 nights)
Los Angeles to Las Vegas (1-2 night)
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon (2-3 nights)
Grand Canyon to Los Angeles (this is a very long drive although I've done it you are driving into the sun later in the day.) Maybe go back to Las Vegas on the way for another night there, or Palm Springs) (1 extra night to break up drive)
Los Angeles 1 night.

Another idea to save a little time would be to fly to Las Vegas and pick up a car there (if booked 3 weeks ahead, Long Beach to Las Vegas is usually $49 one way, Burbank might be a little bit more.) Avoid flying domestic from LAX, though.

So that is 13 nights minimum and room to add a few more. You have plenty of time, especially if two people can drive.


Last edited by mlgb; Oct 10th, 2021 at 12:55 PM.
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Old Oct 10th, 2021, 02:18 PM
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I like the idea of flying to Las Vegas if you must see it, it is a pretty boring drive. Avoid weekends when rates are a LOT more expensive. There are many other winery areas to visit besides pricey Napa, such as Paso Robles (inland from coastal Cambria) and the Santa Ynez valley just north of Santa Barbara to name two, that you can stop and visit. They will also likely charge a lot less for tasting.
It would help more if you provide your lodging budget in USD, not adjectives like "moderate" or "not too expensive". Rates listed online do not normally include the room tax.
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Old Oct 10th, 2021, 02:42 PM
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I've driven from San Diego to Vegas many times and have never found it boring. The traffic as far as Victorville can be heavy, but after that it's fine. On Fridays, it's a giant pain in the neck because there's so much traffic the whole way. Another reason not to go at the weekend! For people who have never seen the desert, it's worth stopping at the Mojave National Preserve. The main tourist information center is currently closed, though, and may not have reopened when you go. There is a major problem with their climate control system.

https://www.nps.gov/moja/index.htm
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Old Oct 10th, 2021, 06:39 PM
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Getting a view of the Kelso Dunes is probably interesting to anyone who hasn't seen them, even if it's too hot to walk them.
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Old Oct 11th, 2021, 09:05 AM
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If you feel that an overnight is needed south of Big Sur before reaching Los Angeles, there are better options than Santa Barbara which has some of the most expensive lodging on that part of the coast.

Alternatives are Cambria, Morro Bay, PIsmo Beach area, San Luis Obispo, Buellton or Lompoc.

If you'd like to see an old mission and Spanish history you can do that in Monterey/Carmel. La Purisima Mission State Historic Park is on the way between Big Sur and Los Angeles.

Someone else mentioned wine tasting around Santa Ynez Valley which I do like. There is also the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. We often spent a few nights in Lompoc for golfing and they are over supplied with hotel rooms so often you can find them there at the last minute.
Morro Bay is one of my favorite low-cost options (shout out to Sandpiper Inn), great seafood and cute sea otters in the harbor if you didn't have time to go Point Lobos.

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Old Oct 12th, 2021, 09:30 AM
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"Just to throw one possible option (just oneof many possibilities) . . . If SFO and LAX arrival and departure are set in stone you could arrive SFO, spend 2 or 3 days in the city without a car, pick up rental; Drive to Lake Tahoe/stay 2 nights; Drive to Yosemite National Park (book your accommodations in Yosemite Valley now)/ stay 2 or 3 nights; Drive to the Monterey Peninsula/stay 2 nights; Drive down through Big Sur, visit Hearst Castle if interested, stay 1 night somewhere like Cambria/Morro Bay; Stay 1 or 2 nights in/near Santa Barbara; Drive to LA and spend the last 3 or 4 days somewhere in the general LA/Orange County region (This is an ENORMOUS area and where you stay mostly depends what things you decide to do); Fly home"

Good ideas. Maybe include some wine country along the way. There are nice wineries near Santa Barbara, like Gainey at Santa Ynez: https://gaineyvineyard.com
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Old Oct 15th, 2021, 07:15 PM
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You are getting off track; SF to Napa (which is north, cheaper and equally good wine in Sonoma or Murphys off Hwy 49 in gold country) and Las Vegas (never Vegas) and Grand Canyon are COMPLETELY different trips. I would suggest; SF, Yosemite (maybe, its inland and not on coast) Monterey and Carmel, Down coast to to Big Sur (stay in the area, go the the beach, San Simion (Hertz Castle), San Luis Obispo (college town with wonderful old town and wine, Morro Bay (great seafood), Solvang (delightful Dutch town), Santa Barbara (old Mission is a must),and then to LA (so much to do there but be sure to drive from Hollywood to the Beach on Sunset Blvd or reverse).
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Old Oct 15th, 2021, 10:28 PM
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(Hertz Hearst Castle),

Solvang (delightful Dutch Danish town)
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