San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas,

Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
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San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas,

I'm planning a trip last week of April... flying into San Francisco early morning Wednesday, stay there for 3 nights, drive the beautiful drive to LA, hang out for just a couple hours, drive to San Diego, spend the night there, and drive to Las Vegas to spend the last 2 nights. Is this doable? Is there any one city that is not worth seeing? What is the best area to stay in in San Fran and San Diego? Please help!!
anyazie is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:33 AM
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Without knowing your interests, it is impossible to know what is "not worth seeing". I guess I just don't get your itinerary.

Why "hang out" at all in LA? What are you hoping to do there in a couple of hours? Why bother with San Diego, if you just drive in from LA and sleep there for one night?

After San Francisco, the rest of California will be a blur from behind your car window.
lvk is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:37 AM
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The only reason I would even stop in LA is to pick up someone who will drive with us to San Diego... and to rest a little bit. I'm not crazy about LA but I really want to see San Fran & San Diego. Why will the rest of the trip be a blur?
anyazie is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:44 AM
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It just seems that you are really rushing the trip from SF to Vegas. SD is one of my favorite cities and certainly takes more than a night to see it, regardless of your interests.
tchoiniere is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 08:27 AM
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So what do you suggest? My flight is into San Fran. I arrive 11 am on a Wednesday. My departure flight is out of Vegas, the following Tuesday at 6 pm.
anyazie is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 12:50 PM
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i assume when you say "beautiful drive to LA" you mean you are taking the coast hwy. if so, that is a long day driving from san fran to san diego if you want to stop to enjoy the scenary. i don't know if you need to pick up this person and need to go to san diego but more sensible to me would be: san fran to santa barbara, spend the night then go to vegas. (3 nights san fran, 1 night santa barbara & 2 nights vegas)
ltt is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 12:51 PM
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If possible, I would stay in SF, drive or fly to SD, stay there skipping Vegas. You just don't have enough time to visit all 3 places on your itinerary.

Is it possible to change your flights? I hope you're flying Southwest and can do it without penalty.

If not... can SD be left till next visit? Sorry but your shedule is like going to a restaurant, eating appetizers, and leaving before the main dish arrives.

Or maybe that person from LA can drive up to SF or take a train or a bus to meet you there, both of you can drive to Vegas?
FainaAgain is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:02 PM
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I'd suggest either cutting out Las Vegas or flying there from San Diego.

Your drop-off fees might be a bit less if you dropped off your car in-state in California. In fact, if you haven't reserved your car yet, it'll be good to shop around and see if there's any rental company that will let you pick up in SF and drop off in San Diego for little/no charge.

I'm sorry, but anyone who talks about "hanging out for just a couple of hours" in LA always makes me smile! I presume you're going to be "hanging out" on the freeway?

The advice to spend more time in San Diego is a good one!

Have a great trip!
easytraveler is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:30 PM
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hi anyazie,

your itinerary doesn't look very doable. I'm assuming your "beautiful drive" is via the coast. The Big Sur area is beautiful but VERY SLOW. Trust me, you'll also want to stop several times just to take in the view. in LA, you'll be lucky if you can go through LA is a couple of hours. Traffic there, from my experience, will hinder you.

Your plan is doable if you don't take the coast hwy and take more the direct inland freeways. Hopefully the person you need to pick up lives in the outskirts of town (so you don't have to go in to the city itself, if not, try to see if you can arrange to meet that person in the outskirts so you can head out of the city as quick as possible). If so, and you just want to overnight in San Diego, then stay in the gaslamp district. You will have access to restaurants and nightlife easily then be on your way out to Vegas after that.

Realistically, Big Sur/Carmel/Santa Barbara (Coast in general) minimum you would need at least 2 days and you would still be breezing by. LA, if you choose to see it, you will need at least 3 (and again, you will still be breezing by). San Diego deserves at least 3 days. I love SD and La Jolla is also at least an overnight.

Hope that helps.
maria_so is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:46 PM
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OK - so I grew up in LA, went to college in the Bay Area, and drive to Vegas alot so I know exactly what you are talking about.

First of all, are you from the East Coast or the Midwest? If so, you may be surprised at just how large the distances are between cities. For example, driving from SF to LA via the "quick" route (I-5) is about 425 miles - the same as driving from New York. From LA to San Diego is another 125 miles or so. From San Diego to Vegas is about 250 miles. Altogether, you are talking about driving 800 miles - the equivalent of driving from New York City to Chicago. Do you really want to do that?

I suggest flying into San Francisco, spending time there, and the taking a Southwest flight to San Diego, Vegas, OR LA and spending the remainder of your time there. The drives between cities are LONG AND me on this one.
Johnnyman7 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Excuse my typo in the above reply - "the same as driving to New York" when I was talking about the LA to SF drive...obviously that isnt the case.
Johnnyman7 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 02:06 PM
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"the same as driving to New York"

Well, it is like driving from New York to, say,Buffalo, which is what I thought you were trying to say!
Feb 22nd, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Posts: 1,690
you now, been thinking and actually, amtrak has the coast starlight that goes by the coast. Not sure exactly how far up it goes but I have taken that from San Diego to Ventura and then from Ventura to LA. That can be an option although not sure how much faster that would be. In any case, you can watch instead of having to concentrate on the drive. I doubt very much if it goes through Big Sur though, if it even goes that far up. In any case, you can rent a car from SD to Vegas.

...just another option.
maria_so is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 02:41 PM
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I certainly hope you didn't mean this literally -- ", drive the beautiful drive to LA, hang out for just a couple hours, drive to San Diego, spend the night "

That looks to me like you mean driving down the coast to LA, hang around, pick up a friend, and then drive do San Diego.

1) the "beautiful drive" to LA is on hwy 1 and takes a minimum two full days w/o many stops.

2) Then you have to get around LA. The LA basin is HUGE - larger than some east coast states. Where does your friend live?

3) then it is another 2-3 or more hours to San Diego depending on where you are starting from.

So getting from SF to SD mostly along the coast is a 3-day drive - 2 two if you REALLY push it.

You do not have time for the coast road. And driving the fast route down I-5 is NOT scenic at all.

If you cannot change your flight out of Vegas, here is what I'd do: You do not need or want a car in SF. So visit SF for 3 nights, fly to SD, pick up a rental car, tour around SD for a day/night, drive to LA to pick up your friend and drive to Las Vegas.

Or - If your friend also wants to see San Diego -- fly from SF to LA, pick up your friend and drive to SD and then after a day or two drive to Vegas.
janisj is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 09:31 PM
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How long do you plan for your drive from SF to SD? You could do it in a day but you wouldn't see much. You could take 3 days and be happy. If your flight out of Las Vegas is already set, skip San Diego.

Enjoy Big Sur and central California. It's awesome.
L84SKY is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 10:45 PM
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I would do either SF and San Diego, or SF and Las Vegas. Too much driving doing all three. Unless you do a flight or two to help out.
trippinkpj is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Being from here, I'd pick SF and SD over Vegas and LA. LA is not much "bang for your buck" - lots and lots of driving/distance for not that much reward. SF is great for this, and I love San Diego. Vegas is alright if youve never been, I'd guess....I'd just definitely skip LA if I were you and I WOULDNT DRIVE BETWEEN CITIES AT ALL.
Johnnyman7 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 11:00 AM
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folks - the OP already has booked a flight out of Las Vegas. So unless he can change that w/o penalty - all this advice to skip LV isn't really that useful . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Feb 25th, 2008, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
i think OP has already decided on SF to LA to LV.
maria_so is offline  
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