West Coast for 4 weeks in June 2019

Old Nov 4th, 2018, 01:49 AM
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West Coast for 4 weeks in June 2019

Hi All
Fodors community has always been a great help. We have been using it for last 5/7years to plan our trips

We are a couple in mid 30ís and a girl child aged 12 and are planning our first trip to West Coast . We have been to East Coast including NY, Washington , Shenandoah , Miami, Orlando covering Disney and Universal for 8 days as we do like theme parks and roller coasters

We will try to find a mixture of big cities, small towns, scenic road trips , theme parks , shopping at good big outlet malls and visiting national parks having greens, lakes, mountains , waterfalls.

The main areas to visit maybe to arrive SAN Francisco or Los Angeles on June 05, 2019 & from there on visit
SF
LA
SAN Diego
LV
Add national parks , maybe small town while driving a part of this itinerary for example drive b/w SF and LAX & cover the Pacific highway scenic route + maybe sequoia np

Though we r not into gambling/bars etc but still would like to visit Vegas to have a look around

We are open to all suggestions

thanks a ton
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 08:42 AM
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Here are some ideas of stuff to do in the San Francisco area


https://www.fodors.com/community/uni...ations-356478/


Stu Dudley
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 09:27 AM
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If you wanted to go to Yosemite I would start with that and build the rest of the trip around it. The earlier you think you can get there, the better.

Reservations are already open, do plan for at least 2 nights preferrably in Yosemite Valley. If you can't get the lodge, we always liked staying at what is now called "Half Dome Village" (canvas tents with shared restrooms). You don't need to bring any bedding for that one. So you could book a few nights there and see if the Lodge opens up with a cancellation.

Call them at 888 413 8869 or online at https://www.travelyosemite.com/lodgi...-valley-lodge/
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 11:50 AM
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Totally agree . . Don't plan an itinerary and then try to get a room in Yosemite Valley. Nail that down first, and the organize the itinerary around those dates.
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 12:26 PM
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Besides Yosemite reservations, you will want to book cancellable reservations for places along Highway 1 since June is a popular time to travel. Also during summer, some places have two night minimum stays on weekends (not all of course).
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 12:49 PM
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If you can, do your city stays on the weekends and your coastal stays during the week.
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 04:21 PM
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This s a very old trip report, but a very good guide for your planning:

A CALIFORNIAN ODYSSEY 2010.....A live trip report from the Golden State

It will be helpful.
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Old Nov 5th, 2018, 06:36 AM
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This is the third or fourth thread you've started on this trip. Can I suggest you refer to the other ones (click on your user name and select "find more posts...") where you've already received excellent information? It can also help people who've already responded from repeating themselves.
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Old Nov 7th, 2018, 12:24 AM
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Thank you all for your suggestions, but may i say that the suggestions are mostly concentrated on YOSEMITE. I might be visiting Yosemite for a couple of days but still i would be having atleast 3 weeks on the West coast and would prefer some suggestion on it

thanks
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Old Nov 7th, 2018, 12:26 AM
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Stududley , seems magical
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Old Nov 7th, 2018, 06:24 AM
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If you have all of 3 weeks, consider visiting Oregon and California north of Monterey. I do agree that a minimum 2 day visit to Yosemite either at the start or the end of the vacation. The other National Park you should visit is Crater Lake NP. You might be able to score a reservation at the Crater Lake Lodge for a night or 2.
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Old Nov 7th, 2018, 07:15 AM
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Even though four weeks sounds like a lot, and it is, you're still going to have to limit your time in some areas. Much will depend on your travel style; for example, are you okay with longish days driving (say 6-8 hours wheels turning?) Would you prefer to visit an area as a "base" from which to mount day trips to nearby activities?

How about budget? Places like SF and LA can be very expensive if you want to stay in the middle of things, and while you can save money on accommodations by staying away from the central parts, there's a price to be paid in terms of the time needed to travel back and forth.

I'd start by limiting the geographic scope of your trip. If you want to restrict yourselves to California + Las Vegas, then you'll have more time to explore some areas in depth. If, on the other hand, you want a more general tour of the west, say, by including some of the Utah or Arizona national parks, or the Columbia Gorge, Oregon coast and northern California redwoods, then that's something else entirely. Or with four weeks you could even explore parts of the Pacific Northwest - Seattle and Puget Sound, Olympic National Park, Vancouver BC... even a week-long round trip cruise to Alaska and back.

Here are some areas I'd research, just to see where they fall in your priorities. You can't see all of them, but maybe you can come up with, say, a couple of stand-alone loop trips, using cheap domestic flights between them. A northern California loop - SF to the gold rush country, then Yosemite, then over to the Monterey Bay/Big Sur area, and back to SF, followed by a southern California loop - LA, Disneyland, San Diego, Joshua Tree - Las Vegas - back to LA... and so on.

Do some research of these areas, just to see what clicks:

- Ashland Shakespeare festival, southern Oregon coast, Humboldt redwoods and Avenue of the Giants, Mendocino coast
- Monterey Bay, Henry Cowell redwoods, Santa Cruz, Carmel, Point Lobos, Big Sur, Hearst Castle...
- Gold rush country, Calif. Hwy 49, Columbia CA, Calaveras Big Trees State Park (giant sequoias)
- Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park
- Columbia River gorge, Mount Hood, Hood River Valley
- Seattle, San Juan Islands, Olympic National Park
- Alaska cruises from Vancouver BC

Last edited by Gardyloo; Nov 7th, 2018 at 07:18 AM.
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Old Nov 7th, 2018, 08:43 AM
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>>, but may i say that the suggestions are mostly concentrated on YOSEMITE. I might be visiting Yosemite for a couple of days but still i would be having atleast 3 weeks on the West coast and would prefer some suggestion on it
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Old Nov 8th, 2018, 04:46 AM
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Thank you again

My first question is on Yellowstone NP, what's so especial about it? We love scenic beauty and would definitely like to visit a NP , but Yellowstone seems a bit too far and with some boring drive and would it be worth to cover such long distance for a 3 night stay, wouldn't it be a better decision to cover a closer NP like Yosemite or sequoia or redwoods. Just to give you an idea that we visited Shenandoah in 2016 and liked it a lot and the drive from DC was scenic too, so Cain get a recommendation on a NP which beats Shenandoah in scenic beauty

A basic itinerary initially that comes to my mind is
LA - 5 days - may need 2 more days as we surely would be visiting Disney and universal
LA to SF route - 2 days
SF - 5 days
Vegas - 3 days - no gambling & drinking , but just to see the happenings
NP - 3 days

I would like to add here that we love US shopping and would like to get our hands on medium brands like MK, Zara, Gucci, Gymboree , Tory burch, etc etc , so which would be a better place to get discounted prices in Outlet malls. We really liked Orlando shopping outlet malls as it had all brands and huge discounts

we still have about 7 days, what can be added. Another big city or a small scenic town (not interested in history)

thanks a lot
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Old Nov 8th, 2018, 04:50 AM
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Thank you again

My first question is on Yellowstone NP, what's so especial about it? We love scenic beauty and would definitely like to visit a NP , but Yellowstone seems a bit too far and with some boring drive and would it be worth to cover such long distance for a 3 night stay, wouldn't it be a better decision to cover a closer NP like Yosemite or sequoia or redwoods. Just to give you an idea that we visited Shenandoah in 2016 and liked it a lot and the drive from DC was scenic too, so Cain get a recommendation on a NP which beats Shenandoah in scenic beauty

A basic itinerary initially that comes to my mind is
LA - 5 days - may need 2 more days as we surely would be visiting Disney and universal
LA to SF route - 2 days
SF - 5 days
Vegas - 3 days - no gambling & drinking , but just to see the happenings
NP - 3 days

I would be renting a car and driving but would not want to drive long hours everyday.

Orgeon , Seattle , Vancouver aren't too far from this route?
or are they worth it ?

I would like to add here that we love US shopping and would like to get our hands on medium brands like MK, Zara, Gucci, Gymboree , Tory burch, etc etc , so which would be a better place to get discounted prices in Outlet malls. We really liked Orlando shopping outlet malls as it had all brands and huge discounts

we still have about 7 days, what can be added. Another big city or a small scenic town (not interested in history)

thanks a lot
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Old Nov 8th, 2018, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by asimm View Post
. . . My first question is on Yellowstone NP, what's so especial about it? . . .
As Iíve read this thread I get the impression that youíre counting on people here to do your research and put this trip together for you. I notice you had a thread earlier in the year asking about Yellowstone vs Yosemite and would have hoped, though it apparently hasnít happened, youíd be interested enough to have answered that one yourself by now. Whatís so special??? Google it if it interests you. I hope no one here indulges such incredible laziness.
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Old Nov 8th, 2018, 12:18 PM
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I'd drop a night from Las Vegas and add it to the Highway 1 drive. There are good outlets in Las Vegas (2), Desert Hills and Cabazon near Palm Springs and Camarillo not far from Santa Barbara which carry a few more high end designer items but you will need to look up their websites and see exactly what stores are at each outlet.
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Old Nov 8th, 2018, 11:13 PM
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It seems that for us who are not into gambling and bars, the VEGAS can turn out to be a great place for Outlet shopping malls.

The forum is to get help from people having more insight than 'google"

I think the bigger cities are done and now we would like to have some insight on NP and TOWN/VILLAGE/COUNTY, our interest in for a scenic, green place , maybe mountains, waterfalls etc. but Yellowstone seems a bit too far and with some boring drive and would it be worth to cover such long distance for a 3 night stay, wouldn't it be a better decision to cover a closer NP like Yosemite or sequoia or redwoods. Just to give you an idea that we visited Shenandoah in 2016 and liked it a lot and the drive from DC was scenic too, so Cain get a recommendation on a NP which beats Shenandoah in scenic beauty

thanks a lot
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Old Nov 9th, 2018, 05:17 AM
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The above malls suggestion sounds good

How to cover the below route on a self SCENIC drive mission covering SF, the pacific drive , Yosemite, Lake Tahoe , big sur etc

note : I arrive and depart from LA

rent a car in LA and use it for a couple of days and then drive to

LA to Yosemite to Lake Tahoe to SF

any other route ?

the problem I see in this plan is I will have to keep the rented car in SF, whereas I think I wouldn't need it in SF

Pls suggest
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Old Nov 9th, 2018, 06:41 AM
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Just a quick note . . . In June the waterfalls will still be running in Yosemite and it is gorgeous at any time - so it fills your criteria. Redwoods NP (plus several equally as wonderful California State Parks in the same area) is also glorious and will be MUCH less crowded.
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