My future wife and I are mid 30's and looking to do a Fly Drive starting in SFO and ending at the Grand Canyon, flying home to London probably from Las Vegas as no realy diff in £. We are into food, wine, sights, culture - just amazing experiences really and for those that know it, had a wonderful time exploring the Garden Route in South Africa and want to do something similar and we also love city breaks, NY being a regular. We are happy to do a few day hikes but this is a holiday, so some chilled beach/reading time also good. We were thinking of doing this probably in September '14, plan to do just over two weeks to get it all in!
Budget isn't really an issue, but want to stay in nice, comfortable accommodation, but likely want to eat out so B&B is fine too and my future wife will not be camping for more than a single night and "it had better be worth it"!
First things first is the itinerary thoughts: Fly into SFO and do 4 nights, get hire car (you have all made it clear it's pointless before!) and drive to Yosemite for 3 nights, then head to the Coast - maybe to Santa Cruz for lunch/pm, then to Monterey/Carmel for 2 nights, then drive Big Sur etc. and 1 night in Cambria, 1 night in Santa Barbara. We are not fussed about LA at all so then want to head to Las Vegas for 2 nights and GC for 3 nights to end our holiday. Does this cover the main things? should we add other bits or tweak the time spent?
In terms of getting from Santa Barbara to LV i thought we could drop hire car at LAX and fly and pick up another at LV. Then the final question is do we drive to GC or fly? If we drove we would have a day and a half in LV and then leave early to get to GC having then 2 full days after this, leave the following day for the return journey to LAS and fly home at 21:15.
It's full on but happy to miss LA to see GC! I drive 3 hours a day round trip to work so the distances don't phase me, as long as we have some good scenery! I just don't know if DVNP is worth seeing or not?
Secondly, should we do this ourselves independently (we did SA ourselves, so not put off!) or do through a specialist like Trail finders?