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West Coast - LA - SF - Yosemite - GC - Vegas - LA

West Coast - LA - SF - Yosemite - GC - Vegas - LA

Old Feb 24th, 2014, 06:55 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 13
West Coast - LA - SF - Yosemite - GC - Vegas - LA

Long time lurker but only recently joined to get some advice about my up coming Canada trip so thought id share my USA experiance.

4 of us (21-25years old) flew in to LAX mid to late August, picked up our Jeep and immediatly headed for our first over night stop of San Luis Obispo, nothing much there but we went to Santa Barbara on the way for some food which was nice. Following day we too the coast road from SL to Monterey, it was an incredibly scenic drive and we found ourselves pulling over after every other corner to take some pictures (Tip - get some fuel when you pass a station, fuel stations are few and far between and it got a little stressful at one pont!!). Monterey was really nice, we stayed at a basic travel lodge for 2 nights, wandered around town and adjusted for a couple of days. We hit the bars/pubs on the Friday night with the locals whch was brilliant and very friendly. The steak at the Whaling Station was incredible (although very pricey!!).

After Monterey we headed to San Fran for 5 nights. What an incredible city, we saw a Giants baseball match, rode the cars, hired bikes in Golden Gate Park and cycled up to the GGB, had a couple of nights out on the town to name a few. The Wharf with Pier39 Our only downside was where we stayed, 7th Street just off Market Street, walking around at night was not advised and even in the daytime the 2 girls didnt feel completely safe. Nightlife was really good fun here, one night in particular we managed to blag our way into a private party at a big club (well, the girls blagge dus in anyway!) and we spent the rest of the evenign drinking for free with about 100 businessmen/women who were all there for a conference!

We then drove to Yosemite, which was a stunning place, hiked to the top of Vernal Falls, it was very hot but well worth it. After 2nights there as Yosemite View Lodge we drove to Death Valley and stayed at Furnace Creek. unfortunately the road we needed to take was closed due to the fires so a 4 hours drive turned into an 8hr drive! this lost us our afternoon at DV so we didnt see a lot while there.

Following DV we drove to Zion for the day, which was really incredible. probably my favourite national park and if i was to go again id like to stay there for a few days, we plugged it in at the last minute and very glad we did. That evening we drove from Zion to Page, Arizona where we stayed fr 2 nights. On the drive we stopped at a little Mexican Resturant called Escobars in Kanab, for less than $10 each we had 2 courses plus drinks and were stuffed with the most amazing Mexican food! what a gem that was! At Page we went to Antelope Canyon, which was a great experiance, and also hired a speedboat on Lake Powell. This was something we sorted on the day ona bit of a whim but was one of the best days of our whole trip! Properly chilled out good fun.

From Page we headed to Grand Canyon for the night, here we had one of our most expensive hotels but also the lowest quality, Maswick Lodge, it was good enough for the night but a room with no air con in august was not great! Seeing the sunset and then doing a 5hour early mornign hike the next morning really made up for it though!

We then drove to Vegas and stayed for a week of all that Vegas has to offer! Partying every night, seeing the sights, taking in the 40degrees heat and topped it off with Skydiving.

To end our trip we drove to LA for 3 nights (turned out to be 4 after a 24hr voluntary delay). We stayed on Sunsest Boulevard West, it felt like a very up market part of town, every other car parked up was a super car!

All in all a great trip and if you are a young group of people who want a trip to see some very different sights and also have some brilliant nights out partying i can fully recommend it! Despite being from the UK and non of us having any experiance driving on the 'wrong' side of the road it was very easy and stress free. Americans are incredibly friendly and anyone will help you out if you need some advice. Oh and Dennys must be one of my favourite establishments, what a breakfast!!! Soo disappointed you dont get Dennys in the UK!!

I think its very important to plan your trip because you dont want to waste time tryign to decide what to do, i tend take things to the next level when planning but there was still plenty of time to do spontaneous things as and when they crop up (often its these that are the best!!).
Spyke is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2014, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,784
Great trip report, thanks. There are quite a few posters who come on wanting to make a similar trip, and this prove to be helpful.
sludick is online now  
Old Feb 24th, 2014, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,558
Glad you had a fun trip. Thanks for reporting.
MichelleY is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2014, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,939
This does indeed sound like a fun trip. Too bad you didn't register in advance of your San Francisco stay. I'm sure some of the SF locals would have steered you away from the bad location of your hotel.

It always amazes me how much foreign visitors seem to love Denny's!

Thanks for the trip report.
sharona is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2014, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
Sounds like a great trip. And most of the folks here will tell you that when you stay in the National Parks, you do so for the location not the amenities.

Thanks for the report.
emalloy is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2014, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,957
Thanks for posting Spkye - an enjoyable read.
Melnq8 is online now  
Old Feb 25th, 2014, 11:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 13
Sharona: Indeed, it would have been nice to be able to walk to places at night, especially for food and drinks. Thankfully taxi's wernt too expensive so it didnt hold us back much and the Great Western Hotel itself was very nice, especially for the price

Emalloy: Quite right, I think maybe it was just because up until that point we had stayed in very nice hotels the whole way round. Even the cheaper 'its just a bed for the night' hotels really exceeded our expectations!
Spyke is offline  
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