We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

posts: 4
LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

Hello!

Me and my fiancée (21 & 29 yrs old) are starting to plan our first overseas trip to the US from NSW, Australia for 4 weeks from around Oct 17 to Nov 14.

I have a lot of questions as we are first time travelers and want to figure out the best way to see these three west coast cities before we book anything!

I am yet to find out whether I can hire a car on my provisional drivers licence (P2/Green P Plates) which would clarify whether I drive or fly from LA to LV then fly to SF instead of doing LA-SF-LV.

We would fly into LAX and are thinking our itinerary would go;

Day 1-5 (Oct 17th-21st)

LA (Venice Beach, Disneyland, Hollywood etc) Stay 4 nights.

Day 5-8 (21st-24th)

Fly from LAX to San Fran (Alcatraz, Golden Gate etc) and stay for three nights.

Day 8-12 (24th-28th)

Fly from SF to Las Vegas (shopping, gambling, The Strip) staying for four nights.

Day 12-28 (28th-14th Nov)

Fly from LV to New York City for Halloween and all the sights for sixteen nights before flying from JFK back to Aus.

Is this the best way to see these West Coast cities? We could probably have an extra day and fly to NYC on the 29th if the above itinerary is too crammed.

We also NEED to see an NBA and NFL game but the 2013/14 schedule is yet to be released so we will plan these closer to date.

Any tips, advice or opinions would be very helpful to us!

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 20,572
reviews: 114
1. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

Humm. Perhaps you can read the top questions to get an idea of what to do and what to see in CA. Are you just interested in the 3 cities and not in any of the National Parks, Beaches or sites outside those cities ?

Disneyland is not in LA but an hour South so you may want to split your time between the two areas and most would suggest about 2-3 days in the Disney Parks.

Most would suggest 3-4 days to see SF and about the same time to get a flavor of LA.

Is the other half of your vacation just for NYC or are you planning to go up and down the East Coast ?

Edited: 11:31 pm, January 23, 2013
Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
posts: 25,014
reviews: 5
2. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

The only question I have is why you think Las Vegas is worth 4 nights and San Francisco is worth only 3?

I think it is wise of you to fly between LA - SF- LV. Look at Southwest Airlines, which are one of our most economical, but still reliable and good. You can't book them via third party websites, but need to go directly to theirs, which, I think, is southwest.com.

I sounds like a lovely trip, My comment above is only a personal opinion. San Francisco is real and beautiful and has a lot to offer, but if you prefer Las Vegas, well, OK <grin>.

Have a great trip.

Edited: 11:35 pm, January 23, 2013
posts: 4
3. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

I guess the only reason we'd be there shorter is that San Fran is the city that we have the least on our to-do list for, because it's the one city we know the least about!

The extra day in Vegas was for a potential day trip to the Grand Canyon, but not essential.

I'm definitely keen for a (large) spot of shopping and was told LV was the spot for it!

Oh and just NYC on the East Coast, unless we head to Niagara Falls! It's my dream city and wanted to have a good sightseeing vs relaxing balance so I didn't feel so rushed.

Edited: 12:10 am, January 24, 2013
San Francisco Bay
posts: 2,683
reviews: 13
4. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

In that case, I'd steal a few days from NY, so you don't feel rushed in SF...it's gorgeous, and there are many side trips outside the City, too.

If you'll read the Top Questions on the SF forum, you'll find the many attractions besides the obvious ones.

posts: 4
5. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

After some more research, I think I will now need that extra day in San Fran ^_^

Thanks a lot for your help!

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 47,602
reviews: 42
6. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

16 days in NY....wow

By flying all the time you'll miss some fantastic places like the coastal drive between LA to SF. Why not rent a car for some parts? No Yosemite?? No Death Valley, no Grand Canyon?? Yikes.

posts: 4
7. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

What's wrong with that?

And like I mentioned, due to not having a full drivers licence in Australia, I don't know if I can rent a car. IF I can, as aforementioned, I would be doing some driving.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 36,955
reviews: 56
8. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

We don't have the same licensing procedures that you have. Most states have a probationary period for teen drivers, but after 18, licenses are the same. The problem is that rental car companies levy a hefty surcharge for drivers under 25. Check with TravelJigsaw or your favorite rental company; maybe they can bundle the underage fee into the rental.

You only gave an itinerary for flying, but you mentioned driving. If you might drive, what kind of itinerary do you want? LAX - Anaheim - L.A. - Pismo Beach - Monterey - San Francisco (abbreviated SF) - Yosemite - Lone Pine - Las Vegas - LAS? Or LAX - Anaheim - L.A. - Pismo Beach - Monterey - Yosemite - SF - SFO - LAS - Las Vegas - LAS?

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 47,602
reviews: 42
9. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

Maybe your fiancee can drive?? That long in NY would drive me crazy but we''re all different of course. There's nothing like Yosemite, Death Valley and Grand Canyon in Australia.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 20,572
reviews: 114
10. Re: LA, SF, LV (+NYC) 4 weeks Oct/Nov, itinerary help!

One needs a week to see NYC plus add a day to fly. I still think you have about 6 more days in CA. I would listen to Tet and PNWF. They are not biased locals like I am ;-)