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Dreams64 Apr 17th, 2017 12:40 AM

West to East Coast in 10 days
Hi there, my hubby and I have an opportunity to travel to Hawaii next April on a cruise so we would like to then fly to San Francisco and work out way over to NYC. We have always wanted to see the Golden Gate bridge, Yosemite National Park, of course the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone as well as the Redwoods. After this we are not fussed if we take planes or trains to make our way over to NYC where we want to stay a week. Our dilemma is which states to cross and where to stay a night or two is the best/easiest most enjoyable route.

I would love to hear from anyone who has done this before us, whether we go via Colorado to see the rockies, or down through Texas.We wont be driving but will do some day trips from larger cities or organised bus tours.

From NYC we plan to fly to London before heading back home to Australia, yes its an enormous trip, one we have dreamed together of for 30 years so want to try to see as much of the States as we can without tiring ourselves completely (we are both mid 50's) and my husband has back issues so the planes and trains need to be short (no more than 3 hours) each trip.

If anyone has any recommended itineraries or particular places we would be mad not to miss, I would love to know, we love nature,shopping, antiques, flea markets and my husband is into car collectables but basically we just like venturing slowly, sitting down at cafes and taking out time in new places interested in just about anything.
I know this is a broad post however I am not sure where to begin, we have 10-14 days and can stop 3 or 4 days in larger cities if need be, the time will be mid to end of April 2018.

Appreciate your thoughts,

Kind regards

Ackislander Apr 17th, 2017 03:42 AM

I'm a bit unclear on your timeline, but here goes nothing!

San Francisco, Redwoods, and Yosemite are all clustered together. 4 Days, 2 for the city, one for a long day trip to Yosemite, one for a day trip up the Sonoma coast to Point Reyes with a stop at Muir Woods just outside the city for redwoods.

The Grand Canyon or Yellowstone: 3 days, 1 to get there, 1 to see it, 1 to get back. That's five or six days to do both, and April is not a good time to go to Yellowstone. So pick one, preferably Grand Canyon.

Then fly to New York for your remaining time in the US.

As an overseas visitor, you should work with a travel agent or advisor at home to find packages to get the best rates on transportation and lodging.

You do realize that this will be a lot like Sydney-Melbourne-Alice Springs-Perth-Cairns, don't you?

emalloy Apr 17th, 2017 04:04 AM

You do understand that most of Yellowstone will not be open in April, it is still winter, snowy, roads closed then.

Yosemite valley will probably be lovely with waterfalls flowing freely, but the upper areas will probably also be closed due to snow. This makes it a bit crowded in the valley, so do make a reservation for lodging as soon as you can.

As Ackislander has said you could do a nice loop road trip from San Francisco to see the California sights.

Then I would turn in the car and fly to Las Vegas and do another road trip loop from there: Vegas to Grand Canyon to Page to Bryce to Zion back to Vegas.

Then turn in the car and fly to NY etc.

garyt22 Apr 17th, 2017 04:33 AM

This trip is a bit unrealistic... America is massive... a coast to coast sampler requires travel days that waste much of your sightseeing time...

Consider three stops... San Francisco and the West coast, New York City and Hudson Valley... and a third area of your choice for a few days... thats much more reasonable for 10 to 14 days...

thursdaysd Apr 17th, 2017 06:47 PM

Not driving will severely limit you. The US has little public transport, most people travel by car or plane. You may be better off looking for a tour, but if your husband cannot sit for more than three hours that might be an issue.

It is possible to get to the Grand Canyon by train and connecting bus, but you would have to take the train from SF to LA first. For train travel in the US see:

Dreams64 Apr 22nd, 2017 03:56 AM

Thanks guys, that is a great start and yes we may need to look at hiring a car and do the loops that you all suggest, I will take note of that. I have concerns driving on the other side but hubby seems to think he will be fine, your roads are nice and wide so thats a good thing. Thankyou, no I did not realise Yosemite will be closed, I thought I was travelling in Spring therefore warmer weather, apologies for my ignorance. Thankyou Thursdaysd for the train link, this is what I like as another option so that is great. We have revised our trip somewhat and now will head up to Seattle and get to Vancouver to cross Canada via train then down to Niagara and NYC. Time is not an issue as my hubby will be retired and I have the leave so even if this takes us 4 weeks thats fine, I am just looking for the best options/suggestions to make it pleasant for my hubby so he is not sitting for 8 hours at a time. Appreciate your time and any further comments muchly appreciated :)

tomfuller Apr 22nd, 2017 07:35 AM

Didn't I just answer your question on the Canada board about Vancouver to Toronto?
The Empire Builder from Seattle (or Portland) is a little cheaper than the ViaRail Canadian.
We had a lot of snow in several of our National Parks this winter and it will take quite a long time to melt. This may well happen again next winter.
My style of travel is to go by train to a city where I can rent a car and then make a loop and return the car and go onward by train.
Last year we did fly to and from Alaska from Seattle.
4 weeks from today we will be getting off the Lake Shore Limited in Erie PA and renting a car to go to the east coast and back to Erie to ride trains back toward home.

janisj Apr 22nd, 2017 09:38 AM

>>I did not realise Yosemite will be closed, I thought I was travelling in Spring therefore warmer weather<<

Yosemite National Park is absolutely NOT closed in April -- it is open all year round.

Yosemite Valley (the part you have seen the scenic photos of) is MAGNIFICENT in April. The park is massive and the back country is what is closed -- the road across the Sierra Nevada mountains from Yosemite Valley to the east closes at first snow in usually October or early November and don't open again until sometime between mid May and late July. They get a LOT of snow over a winter so it takes weeks to clear it out once the snow stops falling. So definitely plan to visit Yosemite -- but book you accommodations early -- some book up a year in advance.

The same goes for Yellowstone but in a way even more so. Large parts of the park are snow bound until well into late spring/early summer. I would skip it for this trip.

If you want to use public transport I would - but it will complicate things just a bit. Stay in San Francisco 2 or 3 nights and take a day tour to Muir Woods. Then take the amtrak train/bus combo to Yosemite and stay one night -- that will give you part of one day and a few morning hours the next day. Two nights would be MUCH better but you really don't have a lot of time.

Fly from Fresno San Francisco to Las Vegas and stay 2 nights. Take one of the organized day torus to the Grand Canyon -- not ideal but at least you can see it.

Then fly to NYC for the rest of your time.

janisj Apr 22nd, 2017 09:41 AM

oops -- I see now that the NYC bit is not part of the 10 days.

So I'd add one night to SF, one night to Yosemite, and one or 2 nights to Las Vegas. Then you could do a day tour to the Grand Canyon and a day tour to Zion National park.

Dreams64 Apr 24th, 2017 05:54 AM

I actually have plenty of time and can take 2 weeks on West side if we want to then go the East, is it better to take day trips from Las Vegas to the parks, and thankyou so much for clearing that up that yosemite will be open, I may have taken it off my list. I am beginning to think day trips from major cities is the best option then head up to Vancouver and Calgary and fly from there as I would like to see Niagara too before heading to NYC.

Thanks for the tips re accommodation at the parks, i will look into that as well.

Appreciate all your advice. Muir Woods is on the list :)

christabir Apr 24th, 2017 11:46 AM

In 10 days or 10 weeks (or whatever amount of time you have, I can't quite figure it out) you want to see all of the US, 2 cities in Canada and Niagra Falls. I've spent 10 days or more in a city, park or small state.

Our roads around the rural parks are not always wide and great. They can be very narrow, very close to the cliffs and pretty scary. The roads in cities vary depending on the age of the city and road you are on. We have lots of traffic in most cities and few cities have good public transportation. Yes, on the interstates it's great but not necessarily near the fun places.

Since your husband is uncomfortable with long car rides, do a trip he will be more comfortable on. I think your plan is unreasonable and doesn't take your husband's needs into account. It's over 3000 miles from coast to coast and over 1500 miles north to south. Have you looked into how much one way flights are from SFO to LAS or Calgary (YYC) or any of the places you are interested in visiting? How about renting a car and dropping off in another state? Or another country?

Please look at a map. Vancouver and Calgary are thousands of miles from Niagra Falls.

Yosemite is pretty close to Sequoia National Park. The "Coastal Redwoods" are completely different from the "Sequoia Redwoods". No comparison, though both are beautiful.

On the east coast you can visit Washington, DC and NYC without a car. Both have excellent public transportation and Amtrak Train between them. Boston is easy too, accessible on the same train line. Other than the northeast corridor, you'll need a car. I take the train between NYC and Montreal too often. Easy but can be delays and it's a long ride. Pretty in autumn.

jamie99 Apr 24th, 2017 12:03 PM

Well Yosemite is not really a "day trip" from San Francisco since it is a 4 hour drive each way. I think Zion is about 3 hours or so from Las Vegas.

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