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How does this look?

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 270
reviews: 55
How does this look?

Hi all,

I am going to write down our plans for our California holiday and really appreciate any further ideas, critisism, advice etc?

We are a couple, flying in and out of LA, 24th June-13th July 2013. Our flights are booked but nothing else yet. We dont have any specific budget and just want to have a great time maybe stay in some luxury and some budget hotels.

1) 3/4 nights in LA to start (no hotel ideas yet but thinking Hollywood area) We want to visit a theme park and do all the normal touristy stuff. Hire a decent budget car on our 4th day in LA (purchase a satnav from somewhere in LA and we will book the car well in advance).

2) Drive to LV and stay 5 nights. Probably in the MGM Grand Hotel. I am amazed at how cheap LV hotels are in comparrison to LA where some really dodgy reviewed places cost even more than LV!

3) Drive through Death Valley (stop and look at the scenery etc but obviously it is HOT so we will be careful)

4) Follow the 395 through Lone Pine and Bishop, Mammoth Lakes and onto Lee Vining. We want to stay 1 night in one of these places. I think mammoth Lakes would be best but appreciate any thoughts??

5) Drive the Tioga Pass (presuming it will be open in July), towards our lodgings or campsite in or around Yosemite. We like the idea of camping and can buy camping supplies somewhere enroute we presume? We want to see El Capitan, Half Dome etc but are not sure where it would be best to stay? We dont want to do any huge hikes but would like a break from driving! Another possible issue is that we are likely to be doing this drive on the 4th July! Staying 2 nights in Yosemite. I have read the articles advising people to avoid the park on 4th july and also read posts from people saying it is fine. We will try and book our stay ASAP. Still need to research a bit into this bit so any help is welcome.

6) Drive from yosemite to SF and stay 4/5 nights. (No hotel ideas yet). Still undecided on whether to have arranged to drop the car on arriving in SF and then hire another one for the drive back to LA or just keep it?

7) Drive to LA with possibly 1 night in Santa Barbara or somewhere else down the coast?

8) Last one or two nights in LA again to rest a little before our flight back.

Just to confirm, these numbers are the STEPS and not days. Appreciate any thoughts!!

Many thanks!

:))

Baltimore
posts: 812
reviews: 1
1. Re: How does this look?

That’s a pretty good plan.

I wonder, considering how you’ve provided yourselves sufficient time, if you might like arcing through San Diego, over to Palm Springs [except it’s very hot in June] and up through Joshua Tree to Las Vegas.

Just a thought.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 270
reviews: 55
2. Re: How does this look?

Thats certainly something we could do and hadn't thought of so many thanks for your idea!!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,154
reviews: 56
3. Re: How does this look?

Lone Pine or Bishop are the usual suggested stops for the Las Vegas to Yosemite Valley 2-day-drive. But Mammoth Lake will work.

You MUST have lodging or campsite reservations for Yosemite. The Yosemite forum is the best place for more info about that. Read the Top Questions on the Yosemite forum first and then post on that forum.

Ideally you'd have 3 days / 2 nights for the coastal drive. Stay in Monterey and again in Cambria. If you have only one night, stay in Cambria. I recommend that you steal a night from one of the cities so you get two nights on this incredibly scenic drive. More info in the Top Questions on this forum page.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 270
reviews: 55
4. Re: How does this look?

Hi and thanks! Regarding Monterey and Cambria....do you advise booking those hotels soon?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,154
reviews: 56
5. Re: How does this look?

I think it's wise to book all hotels soon, but Yosemite will be the most challenging.

Find some of Kibblesmom's posts where she recommends places to stay along the coast.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 270
reviews: 55
6. Re: How does this look?

It seems booking a campsite in the Valley area is hard and there are specific dates when you can book. However, all sites get booked in the summer within 20 minutes of them going on sale! Wow, fingers crossed then!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,154
reviews: 56
7. Re: How does this look?

All the reservable campsites in Yosemite Valley will be gone within minutes. But there are other options if you are not camping in the Valley. Chat with us on the Yosemite page.

Yosemite forum page: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g61000-i315-Yosemi…

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 270
reviews: 55
8. Re: How does this look?

Whoo, so happy. Just managed to book 2 nights at the upper pines campsite in Yosemite Valley. 4-6th July! The sites really did sell out instantly!

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 8,431
reviews: 74
9. Re: How does this look?

Good job on the camp site. July 4 is a big summer holiday, so great job actually.

Consider fewer than 5 nights in LV though unless there is something specific to keep you there that long. And since you mentioned hotel costs in LV vs LA - LV hotels have lower rates because they expect to get your money in other ways - gambling, food, drinks, shows, etc. Room rates are intentionally low to get people in.

I definitely agree with the others that SF to LA deserves at least 2 nights enroute, more if you can manage it.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 47,904
reviews: 42
10. Re: How does this look?

I don't see Grand Canyon NP in your plans. You can drive between LA and GC in 8-9 hours but prob better to stay overnight on the way. Then at least one night at the rim before the drive to Las Vegas. You also need a reservation for GC www.grandcanyonlodges.com