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California road trip

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Jan 10th, 2011, 02:03 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 41
California road trip

We are a family of 4 ( 2 adults early 40's and 2 chn aged 8 and 6) coming to california for some work in SFO and thought we would add on a few weeks to experience more of California. Its the month of Feb so we want to make the most of what is available during the winter.
Below is a brief outline of what i had in mind.
Any thoughts, suggestions and ideas welcomed.
What to see, do, experience/ stay. Ideally 3.5 star plus, as long as it is clean.
Some luxury thrown in if the budget allows.
Let me know your thoughts
To finish off our trip someone recommended Cabos instead of hawaii , something quite different for oz but with some warmer weather to enjoy!
Thanks
heather



Depart Syd-LA
Drive along 101 to San Louis Opisbo
SLO to Carmel/Monterey
Monterey to SFO
SFO
SFO
SFO
SFO to Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe to Big Pine
Big Pine to Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas to Flagstaff
Grand Canyon
Flagstaff to Yuma
Yuma to San Diego
San Diego
San Diego to Newport
LA
LA to Cabos
Cabos
Cabos-LA-Sydney
hobobeen is offline  
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Jan 10th, 2011, 06:11 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Looks ok for a road trip

www.mapquest.com good directions and distances

pick up www.yosemite.com on your way perhaps to

www.lonepinechamber.org not Big Pine

Death Valley to Las Vegas maybe Antelope Canyon

and Grand Canyon and www.visitsedona.com on your way

to Flagstaff... might skip Yuma pretty ugly...

Otherwise looks fine,
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Jan 10th, 2011, 06:13 AM
  #3
 
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Posts: 12,269
www.betterbidding.com for great hotel discounts along your way

Particularly Priceline in big cities...
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Jan 10th, 2011, 06:16 AM
  #4
 
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4 nights in Tahoe, but none in Yosemite and only one day in Grand Canyon? I'd shift some days around there.

Death Valley would my choice of a place to go in February. Decent weather, possible wildflowers.

Much of that itinerary from Tahoe south on 395 us going to driving in snow.

I'd do Yosemite and then go down the west side of the Sierrras to Death Valley and head over to Vegas that way.

Can't comment on the southern California part of the trip.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 09:06 AM
  #5
 
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Posts: 16,120
While you're stuck at SFO, you should try to get into San Francisco. The city is wonderful.

You really should not miss Yosemite National Park even though it's a bit awkward to get to the east side of the Sierras in winter.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 09:24 AM
  #6
 
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4 nights around Lake Tahoe? Are you going skiing?
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Jan 10th, 2011, 09:30 AM
  #7
 
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I would go fronm the Grand Canyon to Sedona, overnight in Sedona which is a beautiful area, then drive all the way to San Diego the following day. There's a lot to see in San Diego and LA, so an additional day for both would be a good idea.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 10:13 AM
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Barbara is being facetious, so in case you don't get what she means -- SFO is the designation for San Francisco International Airport. It would be better to just use SF for the city of San Francisco.

Be aware that you will be possibly driving in snow and in some places, and required to have tire chains or a 4-wheel drive with 4 snow tires (and you won't get through chain control unless you have one or the other). Since rental car companies don't allow chains on their cars, you should consider renting a 4-wheel drive with snow tires.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 10:21 AM
  #9
 
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Priceline only guarantees a room for 2 people, which could mean just one double bed. It would be better to use Hotwire.com, and put in the right number of people -- if you put in 2 adults and 2 children, the hotels you get will all have 2 beds in the room. You can often identify the specific hotel using betterbidding.com's hotel lists and the amenities listed on Hotwire. For example, I plugged in 4 nights starting February 17th and there is a 4* Fisherman's Wharf hotel available for $89 a night on Hotwire -- likely the Sheraton.

Parking in hotel garages in cities here (San Francisco for sure) is extraordinarily expensive - upwards of $50 a day. There are some motels in San Francisco that offer free parking, and would suit you just fine. Not luxury, but nice, and clean, and close to two different neighborhoods (Cow Hollow and the Marina) that offer lots of shopping and restaurants. The motels are along Lombard Street, and the streets for eating and shopping are Union Street and Chestnut Street -- Cow Hollow Inn and Suites, Chelsea Motor Inn are two. Another that also offers free parking is Columbus Motor Inn.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 11:10 AM
  #10
 
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I too am wondering if you really want to spend that much time in Tahoe in February. I suppose if you are skiing every day then that would be the answer but a 6 & 8 yo skiing every day for 4 days?

Consider changing to:
Depart Syd-LA
Drive along 101 to San Louis Obispo
SLO to Carmel/Monterey
Monterey to SF
SF
SF
SF to Tahoe
Tahoe
Tahoe
Tahoe to Yosemite
Yosemite
Yosemite to DV
DV to LV
etc
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Jan 10th, 2011, 11:14 AM
  #11
 
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In my opinion, Hawaii is far better than Cabo. Cabo is not real Mexico as it is so Americanized. Plus it is not that cheap (as you would expect in Mexico). Finally Hawaii would help break up your long flight home.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 11:32 AM
  #12
 
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I agree with Suzie's plan. And I agree with krgystn: Hawaii instead of Cabo. Your flight connections would also be much easier to arrange.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 11:45 AM
  #13
 
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Would it be easier to put Yosemite before Tahoe as it's difficult to get from Yosemite to Death Valley in February?
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Jan 10th, 2011, 12:01 PM
  #14
 
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I don't think it's hard to head down 99 and go to DV in February. It's certainly better going down 395 between Gardnerville and Mammoth in February. Ever driven that section in winter? scary if it's snowing, scary if it's not snowing but the wind is blowing snow onto the road. Nice if it's a sunny day.
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Jan 12th, 2011, 05:09 PM
  #15
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oh my goodness, you guys are sooo good. Thanks for all the responses. I amn going to make the changes you advised and will go to Hawaii instead of Cabos. Thank you everyone for all your help.And yes, we are going to go skiing in Tahoe?
Now for a few more questions
1. Where should we stay in Hawaii?..in 4 star plus for relaxation and a good place to hang out at the end of the trip
2. Will ski clothing still be available to purchase when we get to Los Angeles or SF or should we bring it with us?
I have a few more questions but will get back later. Off to the beach!
Heather
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Jan 12th, 2011, 09:14 PM
  #16
 
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You can definitely buy ski wear here, but it's so expensive, I'd consider bringing it if you already own your own. Where will you be skiing (what ski area)?
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Jan 12th, 2011, 11:22 PM
  #17
 
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Agree with sf7307. You should perhaps ship the ski wear by FedEx to the ski resort to hold for your arrival. It's bound to be cheaper than an extra bag or 2 on your flights.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 12:08 AM
  #18
 
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Doing a road trip like this in summer with young children would be stressful enough but in winter it's totally nuts.

Driving the California coast and visiting Tahoe is probably enough. Save Vegas and the Grand Canyon for a summer trip and skip Yuma at any time of the year. Death Valley would be OK but your kids will enjoy Southern California and Hawaii much more. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with Cabo. Keep your driving to a minimum and you will have a better vacation.
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