4 week West Coast Trip in June 2019

Old May 1st, 2018, 05:49 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 410
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
4 week West Coast Trip in June 2019

Hi All
As always Fodors community has always been a great help. We have been using it for last 5/7years to plan our trips

We are 2 adults in mid 30’s and girls child aged 12 and are planning our first trip to West Coast . We have been to East Coast including Orlando coveting Disney and Universal for 8 days as we do like theme parks and roller coasters

We are thinking of doing the most basic circuit in West Coast with a mixture of big cities, small towns, scenic road trips , theme parks , shopping at outlet malls and national parks. Our initial itinerary is as follows

Arrive SAN Francisco and stay for 5 nights
Rent a car and travel to Los Angeles for 4 nights
Anaheim for 4 nights for Disney and Universal
B/W SF and LAX we would like to cover the Pacific highway scenic route + Yosemite or sequoia NP 7 nights)

Note : Yosemite seems expensive as am unable to find comfy rooms under USD150 night

need suggestion here

Vegas for 3/4 nights (we r not into gambling or bars) just for a new adventure

Apart from suggestions on above what else can be covered for another 7 days

thanks a ton

Last edited by asimm; May 1st, 2018 at 05:54 AM. Reason: Incomplete
asimm is offline  
Old May 1st, 2018, 07:26 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,752
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
It's good to start the planning now but you probably can't make reservations more than a year in advance in Yosemite. You will find that rental cars are somewhat cheaper in Las Vegas than in California.
Could you go to LV first then to Yosemite followed by San Francisco (less than 5 nights)?
Take your time going south on the California coast to Los Angeles.
While you are in the Las Vegas area see Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire and Red Rock.
tomfuller is offline  
Old May 1st, 2018, 08:29 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,242
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What are you going to do in Las Vegas for 3/4 nights? Are you into seeing shows? Except for the overall atmosphere, I don't see the appeal if you're not into gambling, bars or shows. I'd include San Diego instead. (P.S. I was in Las Vegas for the first time when I was 12 and had a great time -- days by the pool, one day to Hoover Dam, nights at dinner and a show --- but as an adult I really don't like LV at all)
sf7307 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2018, 08:51 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,904
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In 7 days you could easily do a trip from Las Vegas to some National Parks, like Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, etc. There are lots of threads here including trip reports from people who have done that. Use the search box above to find them.
emalloy is offline  
Old May 1st, 2018, 09:21 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 97
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Whenever we traveled with our kids, we asked them to research the areas we would be visiting. Then they could make recommendations for places they would like to see along the way and we would try to accommodate at least some of them. If they didn’t want to contribute to the vacation ideas, then they couldn’t complain when we chose places the adults wanted to visit. We tried to learn what they would be studying in school during the next year so that they could “live” the history of the places instead of just reading about them in class. When we traveled up the West Coast (San Diego to San Francisco) with our boys, we stopped at some of the historical missions along the way, went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, science center/Exploratorium in San Francisco, a baseball park (got there early so they could go down to the field and watch the players warm up), among other things.
gbelle1 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2018, 09:26 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,304
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by asimm
Hi All
Note : Yosemite seems expensive as am unable to find comfy rooms under USD150 night

need suggestion here

Vegas for 3/4 nights (we r not into gambling or bars) just for a new adventure

Apart from suggestions on above what else can be covered for another 7 days

thanks a ton
Yosemite lodging reservations open up 366 days in advance - get your itinerary settled and try booking as soon as lodging is reservable. Yosemite experts can chime in as to the best location and itinerary for that part of your trip. Probably best to plan on spending the money to stay inside the park rather than going cheaper and fighting traffic by staying outside the park.

Spend a couple days in Vegas then do as emalloy suggested - take a loop to visit Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon. You could add Capitol Reef and/or Sedona....there are a lot of threads on here about that particular loop and all the options depending on your interests and number of days.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Old May 1st, 2018, 01:07 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,287
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yosemite lodging has always been expensive, you could take a look at Yosemite West or Foresta but $150 per night without tax is a bit low for California in summer.
Right now part of Highway 1 is closed by a mudslide but will be fixed this September. I would stay a night or two in Monterey, one in Pismo Beach and one in Santa Barbara.
Universal Hollywood is in LA County (as is Warner Bros and Paramount which are real working studios that also do tours) and Anaheim is in Orange County. You might want to take a look at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, it has some coasters and Mrs. Knotts Fried Chicken dinner restaurants and a western theme.
jamie99 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2018, 01:34 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,233
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>Note : Yosemite seems expensive as am unable to find comfy rooms under USD150 night>but $150 per night without tax is a bit low for California in summer.
janisj is offline  
Old May 1st, 2018, 11:36 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 410
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all as the info provided is very useful and i can start some initial working on it

Which other NP would people recommend instead of YOSEMITE. I understand the UTAH 5 (Zion, bryce etc) but how good these are others are in comparison to YOSEMITE

Following the places i have mentioned or wanting to visit, will GRAND CANYON and Yellow stone be good to reach. Are these better and also have cheaper accommodation than Yosemite

thanks
asimm is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 03:26 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,904
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Grand Canyon National Park south rim is about 5 hours drive from Las Vegas. I would suggest you drive there and stop at Hoover dam which is along the route. Stay in the park overnight so you can see sunset and sunrise and enjoy the park before and after the larger crowds of people are there. Yellowstone would require at least one overnight along the way, but you could fly from Vegas to Jackson WY and have a lovely drive into Yellowstone. I would want more time for Yellowstone as it is so large. Zion is about 3 hours from Las Vegas and Bryce is about an hour and a half farther. We've done a loop from Las Vegas that included Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion in one week.

The Utah parks are very different from Yosemite. Picking one that is "better" is difficult. We've visited Grand Canyon more often than the others and it never fails to be awesome. We do hike along the rim trail and down below the rim a way but have never gone to the bottom. One overnight there is enough to do that. If you want to hike a lot you would need more time. We have explored Yosemite valley but the other areas were closed due to snow when we were there, so the valley was very crowded which made it less than ideal.

Grand Canyon has a variety of lodging in the park and two concessions that handle it. Generally elTovar is the most expensive, Kachina, Thunderbird and Bright Angel lodges are next and Yavapai and Maswick are more economical. If you go www.nps.gov or search for Grand Canyon lodging you can find links to them. Nearby in the town of Tusayan or Cameron there is lots of lodging too, but I prefer in the park so I don't have to drive at dusk when large animals like elk and deer are wandering near/on the roads.

If you can make it to Moab, Ut for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks you will have yet another very different experience.

You can't go wrong with any of them.
emalloy is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 06:15 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,752
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Agreeing with emalloy - When making reservations for Yellowstone and several other National Parks, you should deal directly with Xanterra instead of a third party. Xanterra will reserve up to 13 months in advance so you should check with them sometime this month for June 2019 reservations.
If you want to go to Arches or Canyonlands, you should try for lodging in Moab.
With a 4 week trip, you should be able to do a full day in Yosemite and spend the night outside the park. The cheapest place I found was the "BUG" hostel in Midpines area. janisj likes a place in ElPortal which is good too if you can't get or afford lodging inside Yosemite.
The central reservation # for Xanterra is 1 888 297 2757. Check with them in the mornings to see if anyone has cancelled a reservation. Good luck on getting a reservation for the park that you want.
tomfuller is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 08:43 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 410
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Please note that we plan to stay for atleast 3 nights in any of the ZNZp that we decide

While going through the photos of Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone I find that Yellowstone seems more lush green with easy access to lakes, rivers, waterfalls. Also the lodging seems to have more variety and reasonable priced ones are there

Utah parks for me seem to be more towards dusty mountains and lesss towards lush green side. Please correct me if I am wrong
thanks
asimm is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 09:04 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,304
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Southern Utah parks are more of the red rock and less of the lush green landscapes, although higher elevations will have more green.

Yellowstone is a good option. You could also look at visiting Colorado as another alternative. If you're looking for wildlife, Yellowstone is the place to be. It's been referred to as the U.S. version of the Serengeti.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 09:48 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 410
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Regret to find that’s Yellowstone is too far from my loop of SF/LA/LV and also the drive is pretty boring

if we take a flight from SF to SLC, then should we comeback by another flight from SLC to LA but in this way I think we miss the scenic route be SF and LA

please advise

thanks
asimm is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 09:53 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
With that route, forget green and lush and stick with Yosemite, or go to SEKI.
AustinTraveler is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 03:37 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,752
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
The other way to get from San Francisco (Emeryville) to SLC other than driving or flying is on the Amtrak California Zephyr. It leaves Emeryville in the morning and enters the Nevada desert as the sun sets. It arrives in SLC early the next morning. Even if it is late, you should have time to get a good breakfast before renting the car to head for Yellowstone.
There are 5 National Parks in Utah. They are not as green as you would like but beautiful in their own way.
tomfuller is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 05:37 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,946
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would drive from Las Vegas to Zion (you can stay in Springdale) or perhaps Kanab and also visit Bryce. Look into Best Friends Kanab if your kids like animals.
mlgb is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 07:24 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
I also think you should skip Las Vegas and spend time in San Diego.

Las Vegas and the Southwest National Parks are another trip.
MichelleY is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2018, 09:12 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 410
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It seems that i am now in love with YELLOWSTONE. What are the recommendations on the route and also to enjoy the SF/LA pacific highway scenic route

thanks
asimm is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2018, 04:30 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You might take this approach, with 4 weeks: Divide your vacation into your West Coast trip, then fly to SLC and do Yellowstone/GTNP. We've done this on a few vacations (although only 2+ weeks, not having the luxury of longer), and found it very satisfying. I say SLC because that tends to be the least expensive in terms of flights and car rental. From there, it's about 5 hours to West Yellowstone. If you can, try to allow a full week for Yellowstone and Grand Tetons - maybe a 5/2 or 4/3 day split.
sludick is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Nicki6987
United States
3
Feb 6th, 2017 08:03 AM
nilminus
United States
31
Apr 15th, 2016 06:04 PM
kayjel
United States
28
Sep 11th, 2013 09:18 AM
stinelie
United States
7
Mar 24th, 2011 04:24 PM
wendylynne
United States
15
Jan 4th, 2007 07:22 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -