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6 English lads with plane tickets, 3 spare weeks and a hire car need your help!

6 English lads with plane tickets, 3 spare weeks and a hire car need your help!

Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 02:47 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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6 English lads with plane tickets, 3 spare weeks and a hire car need your help!

In April of next year, six of us are heading from England (we used to rule the world before you) to San Francisco to begin what we hope will be an epic and unforgettable three week journey. We want to view the most visceral of vistas, meet hundreds of you crazy Americans and, perhaps most important of all, drink in only the best pubs. Here's our plan thus far:

San Francisco (2 nights) ��� Yosemite (2 nights) ��� Death Valley (2 nights) ��� Las Vegas (3 nights) ��� Sedona (1 night) ��� Mexicalli (1 night) ��� San Felipe (1 night) ��� Rosarito (2 nights) ��� San Diego (2 nights) ��� Santa Monica (2 nights) ��� Big Sur (1 night) ��� San Francisco (1 night)

If anybody can see any potential problems with our route, or suggest any alternatives, or suggest any must see places we might not know about, or if you know of any particularly lively drinking dens on our route, or if you have any comments whatsoever then please post them here. Cheers.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 03:38 AM
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If you are going to Las Vegas, reorganize your trip so you see Grand Canyon - and perhaps stop at Bryce and or Zion on the way.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 05:22 AM
  #3  
 
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Sounds like a fun trip fro a bunch of English lads . 2 nights in Death Valley? I would rather do 3 nights in Yosemite and 2 nights Sedona. But that is just my opinion.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 06:41 AM
  #4  
ltt
 
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in order to see anything in death valley, you'd need 2 nights - that only gives you one full day. do the tour at scotty's castle - it's short, funny and interesting.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 07:21 AM
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I am in awe of the English and your ability to plan a great trip like this -- these places always seem to be the stops my English friends steer themselves to, although they thanked me for putting a stop to one of my friend's interest in traveling to Area 51.

You will meet hundreds of crazy and not so crazy Americans, and enjoy yourselves immensely.

I never saw the attraction for Death Valley, but I'm not keen on deserts, and at least you'll be heading out there when it's not hotter than hell.

Santa Monica is really the center of our English population in L.A., so you will find lots of decent pubs and bars there, all touting English and Irish names, like "Ye Olde Kings Head" and "McGintys". Head over to El Cholo at 11th and Wilshire for people meeting, drinking and decent inexpensive Mexican food.

You will be in awe in Yosemite -- I've taken many a person from England there who find they never want to leave. In April, it will be cool, but the falls should be spectacular, and not very busy or packed, like in summer.

Have a great trip!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 07:37 AM
  #6  
MaureenB
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You will love California. A good state to see a little bit of everything American.
But can't you fly into San Francisco and out of San Diego? Otherwise, it's a long backtrack up the coast to leave from S.F.
We lived a few years in southern Cal, but I've never heard of Sedona (Arizona??), Mexicali, Rosarito, or San Felipe-- so can't comment on those ideas. I do agree that Death Valley isn't good for 2 nights, maybe a drive-through if you are determined to see it. Or you could focus on desert closer to Las Vegas.
No Los Angeles? You'll be driving by it from Santa Monica to San Diego. No wine country?
Lots of driving-- if that's your preference, go for it.
Well, you can't see it all, but three weeks is a good start. Just set your priorities, study the map, and get good advice on this forum. You will have a great time.
 
Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 08:33 AM
  #7  
lvk
 
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Looks good to me! I second the recommendation of hitting the Grand Canyon on your way from Vegas to Sedona.

However, please check with your car rental company as to whether they allow the car to venture into Mexico for your Mexicali-San Felipe -Rosarito loop. Many have clauses not allowing you to cross the international border.

Have a great time!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 08:44 AM
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Also check if you need to buy additional car insurance for taking the rental car (if allowed) to Mexico.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 08:50 AM
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Book hotels that are within walking distance to the pubs that you want to visit. USA has very strict drinking-and-driving laws.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Personally, I would drive through Death Valley and be done with it..compared to the other locations I think you'll find that is plenty of time. If you can swing by Grand Canyon then all the better.

As mentioned above, you are definitely going to have to be concerned about taking your rental car into Mexico and extra insurance, or not, some of the agencies will NOT allow this.

I don;t suppose you would be interested in seeing the so-called "Hearst Castle" on the way back up the coast...it is hardly worthy of the name given the piles in Europe but you know how Americans are (or will soon find out).

The route you've chosen involves a lot of driving by some standards although with six of you that shouldn't be a problem, assuming you are all going to drive..and if that is the case, you may or may not have to pay extra to the rental car agency for additional drivers.

Are all of the drivers over the age of 25? Assume you possess a "major credit card" since rental agencies usually will not deal with cash.

The USA drinking and driving laws probably aren't any more strict than what you may be used to..it is the enforecement of them which can vary from place to place.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Your route is good. but I have a couple suggestions

-Don't miss the grand canyon
-spend only one night(or just the day) in Death valley
-The Bar scene in Sedona is pretty weak, you may want to stay in flagstaff if you want more pubs
- if your really want to party it up - you may want to consider a side trip to tijuana from san diego, but don't expect to much - it is pretty dumpy. But it can be entertaining

- ALSO , be sure to check the routes you plan to take some roads around yosemite may be closed due to snow. Plan several routes in case one is not open
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 09:06 AM
  #12  
 
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My only other advice would be for you to spring for a full-size car so that the six of you won't be crammed into a sardine can.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 09:08 AM
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Forget Sedona unless you're into pub-crawling with a bunch of senior citizens.

Nice place to visit, but your schedule is too tight.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 09:51 AM
  #14  
MaureenB
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Six people will barely fit into a full-size car with six seat belts. Three across in the front is pretty unpleasant for long hauls. Why not spring for a vehicle with three rows of seats, like a mini-van or Suburban? Then you could relax and spread out more, not to mention have more room for bags. In any event, please buckle up! And drive safely and soberly.
 
Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Basically a terrific itinerary. but you will either need to get two small or mid-sized cars or a people mover (mini van). I personally would not want to squeeze 6 lads and assorted luggage into one people mover, but you know better how well you all get along and if the tight confines would be a bother.

Deathe Valley is brilliant in April and you will love it. On you way from Yosemite down to death Valley you will also see My Whitney, the back side of Sequoia National Park.

I tend to agree w/ some others about Sedona -- the scenery is interesting but not as special as some of the other places on your route.

Also - I know thare is a real urge to get down to the beaches of Mexico -- but do be really clear about the rental car, etc. Many cars are not allowed across the border -- AND getting back across the border crossing can sometimes take hours.

If you were to drop the trip into Mexico, you'd have more time to so you wouldn't have to rush up the California coast -- it really should take 3 or 4 days to drive from San Diego to San Francisco if you want to stop and see things along the way.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 02:02 PM
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As several others have noted, taking a US rental car into Mexico is usually not allowed. The direct route east from Yosemite will be closed due to snow at that time (and the passes to the north as well). I would advise Grand Canyon or Zion in place of Sedona.

You might enjoy the college student "spring break" scene at Lake Havasu/Lake Mead/Palm Springs as an alternative to Mexico. The weather in April is usually pretty good for water sports in the desert areas along the Colorado river between CA and Arizona. I think Lake Havasu is probably the center of the party, while Palm Springs has been trying to clamp down in recent years.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 02:09 PM
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I don't know how far it is from Santa Monica to San Fran, but unless you need a midway stop I'd skip staying in Big Sur. The excitement there is the drive and the views--not the town.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 02:28 PM
  #18  
Syv
 
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I don't think you'll be able to take a rental vehicle into Mexico. Better check.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 02:45 PM
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I don't know, Marcy, I love Big Sur, so I guess you could say the same thing about a lot of these places. Grand Canyon, for one. You look at it, then what?

Maybe if you can't get the insurance for the Mexican part of it, but still want to do that, you can take one of those party buses or Carnival cruises (pretty cheap, party city) down there. No driving, and you can drink all you want.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2004, 04:24 PM
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Oops - curmudgeon is correct (I must have had total brain fade) you really can't easily get from Yosemite to Death Valley in the Spring. The pass will be closed. It usually doesn't open til may and sometime not until June.

You would have to travel west into the San Joaquin Valley and then south to beyond Bakersfield and then back north to Death Valley. This is a loooong tedious journey.

Not advising you drop Death Valley necessarily - but just that you need to factor in the extra time needed to get there, and then decide.
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