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Help with planning our trip please

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Jun 3rd, 2014, 03:20 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jun 2014
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Help with planning our trip please

Hi my wife and i are trying to plan a trip starting in New York for two full days then flying to San Fran for two days and then driving to LA for possibly six days. We are then thinking of flying to Las Vegas for two days before heading home(UK). We would like to visit
Yosemite park and are looking for any suggestions on what else to see and also if this seems a sensible plan. I know we will have to add days for traveling so any help for how long that might add would be great. We like a mixture of things ie the beach and just exploring new places people watching and good food so open to anything.

Thank you
Iain

Ps I will post in the NY forum for ideas there
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 04:38 AM
  #2
 
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I think you are trying to do too many things in too little time - and NYC and SF really deserve more time than LA - unless you have visited them before and seen many of the major sights.

To begin to do this trip you really need 2.5 to 3 weeks if you want to see much and allowing for transit time between areas.

And there is no separate forum for each state - they are all together.
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 04:52 AM
  #3
 
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What nytraveler said.

Do your times include the travel between the sites? Flying from NYC to San Francisco will probably take most of a day. I would want to take the coast hwy from San Francisco to LA and stop for at least two overnights along the way.

You could visit Yosemite from San Francisco then head to the coast hwy, but if you are thinking of doing that this year, you are way late for lodging arrangements there.

Are you giving yourself any time to adjust to the time change?
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 12:11 PM
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Have to agree with the others, not enough time. You might be able to get Yosemite lodgings if you call or check online once or twice a day since people cancel all the time, but you have to keep trying.
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 03:06 PM
  #5
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Thank you for the replies. Sorry for nor being clear we are planning the trip for next year around October for about two and a half weeks. We have never been to the US before so are trying to see as much as we can. We are flexible how we spend the time and are just doing lots of research at the moment trying to plan our itinerary. Any help is appreciated.

Thank you
Iain
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 06:26 PM
  #6
 
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The national parks in October can be problematic. Weather can be pleasant or you can already have snow in the mountains.

I was in Denver once in early Sept and when we landed there was almost a foot of snow - it have been 80 degrees when we left NYC. It melted the next day - but probably not in the mountains.

And I would go back and make a list of what you really HAVE to see - to determine how many days to put where.

Caveat: I really don't like LA. It's a desert. It's really a strung together mob of suburbs rather than a city in the european sense. And for me there just really isn't that much to see and do. (I grew up on Long Island - and am used to beaches far better there than in LA - and even though it's the north atlantic you can go in without a wet suit.)
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Jun 4th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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Iain only mentioned visiting Yosemite and even though we are supposed to have an El Nino this year (we really need the rain) it is doubtful that Tioga Pass will close that early if he decides to drive over it to Las Vegas.
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Jun 5th, 2014, 09:07 PM
  #8
 
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one of the things you need to consider is the length of the flights and time zones

NY to San Francisco is a 6 hour flight, and the west coast is 3 hours earlier than the east coast. Basically you will spend a day flying.

You could visit Yosemite from SF.. be sure to book early. If you have not driven on the "other" side of the road, beware that while the drive down from SF to LA on the pacific coast highway is scenic, it can be challenging.

Personally I think San Francisco is a more interesting place to visit than LA, unless you have friends or family there.

you will need to check the drop off charges if you take a car from California to Las Vegas. its a 4 hour drive

Another alternative would be to fly. You can go to the south rim of the Grand Canyon (about 4 and half hours b car from Las Vegas) its open year round.

if your local library has some tour books of the usa, ny or California, it will help you to decide what you want to see and how much time you want to spend in each place.
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Jun 12th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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Your itinerary is very ambitous but not impossible. I commute back and forth from CA to NY a few times per month. It's a long flight but considering i've done it hundreds of times I would say it's not that bad.

Coming from the UK to NY for 2 days will gives you a chance to acclimate to a few hours time difference instead of the whole 8 hours. If you can manage 2 full days in NYC you can get a taste and hit up many of the major sites. You would probably want to stay around Time Square so you can max your time soaking up the chaos (plus the transit system and airport transportation centers around midtown). If you leave early in the morning you can get into SF by around 10AM and still have most of the day to get out there. I wouldn't try to tack on Napa or anything requiring more travel but you can explore SF for two days. Then grab your car (I wouldn't rent a car in NYC or SF, too expensive to park and not much point) and either cruise down PCH as far south as you feel like going or head out to Yosemite (I would pick Yosemite or the PCH drive, not both). The PCH drive is amazingly beautiful and there's some great places to stop along the way. Once you get to LA it loses that appeal but if you're interested in seeing touristy things like the blvd you can make that happen there. I live in orange county but anyone i've ever taken to LA enjoys about one day there. I wouldnt recommend driving to LV, it's a long drive and although the landscape is cool it will eat up your time - and flights are dirt cheap. Watch out for a big drop fee on a one way rental car though. You may be able to work it out with one of the major carriers in advance.

Then I would head to Vegas directly from Yosemite or SoCal. If you're in Yosemite you would probably want to drive the rest of the way to Vegas instead of back tracking (although you could save a lot of money not needing a one way car rental). 2 days in vegas is also fine for me.

I like to get into places and see a few things and move on. I don't mind that I spend a lot of time on the move, I like to see as much as I can. As long as your days are padded so that your travel does eat up the time periods you listed and your style is like mine, I think an itinerary like I mentioned above would be totally feasible. Not much time for relaxing, basically just a chance to run around the country and see a few spots. Of course if you think you can come back, I would skip one coast and focus all of your energy on the other. Have a great trip!
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Jun 12th, 2014, 12:45 PM
  #10
 
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Actually, flying east to west, you will leave early in the AM and arrive midday or a bit earlier, giving you most of the day on the ground. It's flying west to east that eats up an entire day.
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Jun 12th, 2014, 12:55 PM
  #11
 
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How I would do it: YMMV.
Fly to NYC spend 1 day. Fly NYC to Las Vegas and rent a car.
Drive to Los Angeles (4 nights?) Drive to Yosemite. I'm thinking you will enjoy Yosemite more than driving up the coast all the way to San Francisco.
Leaving Yosemite you can go west and north to go to San Francisco or east (Tioga Pass) and south through Death Valley on the way back to Las Vegas to turn the car in. Fly back to NYC to see anything you missed.
Rental cars in Las Vegas are cheaper than anywhere in California in my experience.
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