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martinaa Feb 4th, 2005 08:50 AM

california trip
my family (mum dad boys 15 and 22) are hoping to travel from ireland to california at the end of june staying for about 17/18 days. was wondering if anyone had any comments on the proposed trip, accomodation recommendations would be really helpful - we would prefer a suite with kitchen.

arrive 29 june to lax drive to santa barbara stay 30, 1, and 2nd

july 3 to yosemite via san simeon (would we need to stay over

2 nights yosemite -

drive to las vegas with stopover

2 nights in las vegas

2 nights in grand canyon

remainder of time in san deigo

tks for your help


babs001 Feb 4th, 2005 09:14 AM

I don't have as much experience as some other posters, but I think you should plan to spend night in San Simeon area. You are looking at about an hour and a half drive from Santa Barbara, then at least 2 hours at Hearst Castle. Are you just going to do one tour there, or more than one(they have 4 or 5)? Then back in the car to drive to Yosemite? I think that the coast in San Simeon/ Cambria area is well worth a stay over. If you stay at one of the motels on Moonstone Beach Road in Cambria you have a boardwalk and stairs leading down to the beach, which is beautiful. Much more a "northern" California look than a "southern" California look to it.

yale Feb 4th, 2005 09:21 AM

For Yosemite, you need to book early. They open up campground reservations 5 months in advance and they fill up FAST - within a day or two - and you'll be there over Independence Day which I'm sure will make the lodging situation even more imperative. Not sure about booking other lodging types, but that would be my very first priority in your itinerary.

beachbum Feb 4th, 2005 09:25 AM

Do you have reasons for spending four nights in Santa Barbara and seven in San Diego? Or, are you asking for advice on how to better allocate your time?

J_Correa Feb 4th, 2005 09:27 AM

I would recommend an extra night or 2 on the California coast so that you can go further north through Big Sur before heading up to Yosemite. The Big Sur coast is some of the most beautiful coastline anywhere. You would also have a chance to see some coastal redwood forests on your way through.

Monterey is a good stop north of Big Sur.

rjw_lgb_ca Feb 4th, 2005 09:29 AM

My only comment is to point out the huge amount of driving this trip entails (you do realize that from Grand Canyon to San Diego is about 560 miles-- 900 km--, right?). If you can accept hours and hours in the car (I assume you've taken driving holidays before), I say go for it. You'll see a lot of the western US.

Barbara Feb 4th, 2005 10:21 AM

As rjw points out,it is a long drive from the Grand Canyon to San Diego. I would suggest that you take an additonal day to make that part of the trip. Drive from the GC to Sedona, look around and even go on a jeep tour, then go on to Phoenix and overnight there. Drive on to San Diego from Phoenix. it's still a 5-6 hour drive. Make sure you have drinking water with you as the desert will be very hot and there aren't many places to stop. If you can, do the drive across the desert in the very early morning or late afternoon/evening.

ltt Feb 4th, 2005 12:27 PM

it is a long drive between grand canyon and san diego but the freeway between pheonix and san diego is easy to drive and the speed limit is high. head out early in the morning and you'll still be in san diego early evening.
san diego is a great city and i'm sure you'll all find plenty to interest you. one family hotel that is highly recommended is the downtown embassy suites. or there are a lot of condos that rent on mission/pacific beach. book soon though, july is very busy.

chocaholic Feb 4th, 2005 04:57 PM

Yes it does sound like a lot of driving. Me and my friends did it the other way. We flew to Vegas, then flew to Los Angelos because the flight was $100 to reduce the amount of driving.

martinaa Feb 5th, 2005 06:28 AM

tks, for all you tips. realise that there is a lot of driving but seems like it is what we will have to do. appreciate that we need top get our dates sorted quickly to ensure we have lodgings organised for 4th july holiday asap. reason we were not heading further north was that we attempted this trip a few years ago and got as far as san fran and yosemite but had to cut the journey short as i had hurt my back. in answer to beachbum no real reason for staying 4 days in santa barbara other than we won't arrive unitl late on night of 29th so it would only really be 3 days and we have never been to san deigo and sounds like a lot to see and do there although looking at the postings it may take longer to get there from gc so time will be less. one other thing someone mentioned that there were other desert national parks that might be worth a day trip - any suggestions?? tks again for all your help martina

tracys2cents Feb 5th, 2005 07:16 AM

I don't think you will find any accomodations for Yosemite with check-in allowed on July 3. They want to book people in for the entire weekend. July 4 you will have much less of a problem as many people will be ENDING their weekend on that day.
San Simeon may be difficult to book on July 3 as well, you may need to stay in a small town between San Simeon & Yosemite for a night.

For Las Vegas I would add a night, especially if you are arriving late the first day. Too much to see...including day trips to Red Rock Canyon or Lake Mead Recreation Area. I don't think you need a kitchen in LV (and they are few)...but Hawthorn Suites near the Tropicana hotel fits the bill.

curmudgeon Feb 5th, 2005 01:00 PM

Here are a few thoughts... As noted, you may need to adjust a bit around July 4; it is a peak holiday time and some locations may not take short stays. Yosemite lodging is a real challenge in summer; nearest alternatives are in El Portal, Wawona, and Fish Camp. You may want to leave Yosemite via the East, in which case staying at White Wolf or Tuolomne Meadows might be an option for the last night; I would try to add another day for Yosemite. Zion national park is worth considering; in some ways I would find more to do there for two days than at Grand Canyon.

I like Santa Barbara, but I'm not sure I would stay more than two days, especially if you are also going to San Diego on the same trip.

martinaa Feb 17th, 2005 10:04 AM

having taken note of your earlier comments have tried to rejig my plans and would love to hear what you think

hope now to arrive in lax from dublin
26th june and go straight to san deigo where we will stay until 1st july

1st july to 4th july in sedona and use this as a base for g canyon.

5th - 8th july las vegas - ideas for sidetrips welcome

9th july travel to yosemite - ideas for stopover welcome

10 - 11 july yosemite

12th july monterey big sur drive heading back to lax to catch homebound flight on 13th July

Does this sound any more feasible?

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