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Planning a trip to California and Vegas!!!

Chicago, Illinois
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Planning a trip to California and Vegas!!!

Hi All,

I'm planning a trip to SF, LA, Vegas and Canyon from Chicago in Dec'12.

This is for the first time I'm traveling for such a long trip with my family. Can anyone please suggest me as to "How to plan this trip". I have no idea about where to go first and what should be my last destination. I would much appreciate suggestions regarding interesting places to visit along with the ideas about places to stay.

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1. Re: Planning a trip to California and Vegas!!!

How long do you have for this trip. Have you planned your flights yet? Is it over christmas or earlier in the mo

Can you fly into SF and out of Vegas?

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Planning a trip to California and Vegas!!!

More questions ... who is in the family? What are their interests? What is 'interesting' to you?

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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3. Re: Planning a trip to California and Vegas!!!

To see all these places and do them justice would take maybe 3 weeks. The more time you have, the better, because California is huge and many places of interest are far apart.

Your time frame would be impacted by your choice of how to get from place to place. Depending on the routes you choose, from San Francisco to Los Angeles is 6-8 hours; the distance is a little less than Chicago to Minneapolis. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas is around 4 hours; and Las Vegas to Grand Canyon is 4-5 hours. These are only driving times; they don't include time you spend in each place or sightseeing at places in between.

Examples of what we mean: after enjoying San Francisco, most locals would suggest taking the scenic coastal route to Los Angeles, and stopping over at least two days in separate places, so you can enjoy the landscapes (and seascapes) and some of the unique places. Monterey, the Big Sur Coast, Hearst Castle if you are into history or architecture, and Santa Barbara are all worth some time. Between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, you could make detours to Sequoia-Kings Canyon or Death Valley national parks. You didn’t mention Yosemite, which is a must-see for people spending any substantial time in California; but that is another detour from either San Francisco or Los Angeles and it will be winter, which will affect your travel in the Sierra Nevada. Nor did you mention attractions like Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm, which are not in Los Angeles but far enough out of the central city to take an hour if traffic is terrible.

Suzie’s question about how much time you have is a start. We also need to know who is going (parents and children, how many, what ages, more than one driver, anyone with disabilities?) You mentioned three cities and the Grand Canyon, but that’s a very general outline. Do you have specific interests in the cities, and would you like to see more natural areas? Also, what kind of budget restraints do you have and what kind of lodging will you be looking for? (for motels and hotels, four persons per room is the typical limit unless you rent a suite).

More specifics about you and yur interests will help us a lot.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Planning a trip to California and Vegas!!!

Thanks for the suggestions.

We are 2 young couples and a 6 month old baby. and planning for a vacation of 2 weeks around Christmas holidays. Budget is also tight. Regarding the stay, we can manage any reasonable hotel/motel. We are mostly interested in sight seeing.

I would much appreciate all kind of suggestions regarding planning the trip, and what all places we can visit in this short time.

Edited: 12:58 pm, August 02, 2012
5. Re: Planning a trip to California and Vegas!!!

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