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West coast trip 2013

Edison, New Jersey
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West coast trip 2013

HelloAll,

We(family of 4) are planning to travel to LA, San Diego, Grand Canyon, HOOVER DAM, LAS Vegas this November. Basically we r from east coast and is our first trip there. We will be flying to LAX and taking a rental car to travel between cities and finally returning from LAS VEGAS.

Our trip is basically for 8 days. We are travelling with kids (ten and six). I want to know what would be like a good plan to travel from experts of the forum as to how many days would be good in each city and what what to see. Ofcourse we have come up with some basic plan but its always better to here from the local experts.

Thanks

Sierra.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Anaheim, St. George
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1. Re: West coast trip 2013

Welcome to the forums SierraFromNJ

First are you visiting LA ? or are you planning on visiting Disneyland which is about a 1 hour drive South of the LA area in Anaheim, or both places?

Are you spending any time in Las Vegas? or just using that to fly out of ? as you dont have that much time in each place.

Something like 2 days in LA ( or Anaheim) 2 days in San Diego, 1 day traveling on long drive to Grand Canyon( about 8 hours) 1 day Grand Canyon, drive to Las Vegas ( about 5 hours) 1 day Las Vegas may work for you, but be kind of rushed.

Its helpful to add what things you may be most interested in doing in each of these areas.

There are also specific City forums and area forums for the places you want to visit to post in to get help with planning out those area such as where to stay, what to do, ect and usually alot of info will be listed in each forums in the "top questions" on the right side of the page.

Joshua Tree...
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2. Re: West coast trip 2013

Driving to the Grand Canyon will take up TWO full days of driving alone. I suggest you drop that destination since you only have 8 days. It takes 2 1/2 hours and up to 4 hours depending on traffic just to drive to San Diego. It's 280 miles to Las Vegas from Los Angeles which with kids is a solid 5 hour drive... And as the post above mentions, it's a one hour (more depending on traffic) drive to Anaheim from Los Angeles. So again, I think trying to put Grand Canyon on your destination list will have you driving like mad. If you want to go to a lovely National Park consider the 160 mile drive to Zion National Park from Las Vegas or even the Valley of Fire State Park or Red Rock Canyon in Vegas.

Landing at LAX and departing from Las Vegas sounds like a good way to go.

There are a gazillion things to do in LA - I won't even mention things because I think you can find that information in questions and answers and other posts.

I 'd like to suggest you start in LA, go to Disneyland then San Diego then Las Vegas. That will be the most direct driving route.

A 2-3 full days in LA (The Farmers Market on Third Street, The Grove, Santa Monica Pier where you can walk or ride a bike to Venice Pier, Getty Villa in Malibu, Gladstone's restaurant on the beach in Malibu, Universal Studios, CityWalk, Hollywood Grahams Chinese theater, Madame Tussauds wax museum...see other LA "things to do" lists)

Then, spend your last day in LA all day and drive to Anaheim at night, check into a hotel, that way you will miss traffic plus you can get an early start to go into the park (maybe get a 1 day 2 park hopper ticket - Disneyland and California Adventure or if you want to spend 2 days there then they have 2 day 2 park hopper ticket. Or just one day one park too - whatever you want!). Ultimately plan to spend the night again in Anaheim after the park visit(s) as you will be exhausted. Then hit the road the next morning to your next destination.

San Diego? What do you want to do there? SeaWorld, the Zoo? Wild Animal Park? Perhaps 2 days.

It will take about 5 hours (without stops) to drive from San Diego to Las Vegas...

There is lots to do in Vegas besides gambling so if you haven't been there then don't short change this location. At least 2 days here... They have the Eiffle Tower there, err, an eiffle tower – CircusCircus has stuff for minors, see Hoover Dam during the day, Redrock canyon, valley of fire state park, CSI the experience, scary rides at the Stratosphere including indoor sky diving, pinball hall of fame, pole position raceway, see the light show at night downtown on Fremont Street, Laser Quest on Lake Mead Blvd,...you could also make a day trip to Zion national park (160 miles away) or even spend one night there it's beautiful and could give you the National Park experience you were hoping to get from the Grand Canyon.

Las Vegas Evening - see one of the awesome Cirque du Soleil shows – La Rev, O, Love, Mystere, etc..., if you love touristy stuff then float on the gondola at the Venetian, walk the strip at night (or day) there's a flame show in front of Mirage, a water show in front of Bellagio - these are all things kids can do too.

Edited: 1:38 pm, October 30, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: West coast trip 2013

An average of 2 hours is fine for Anaheim to San Diego, if you want to add in rush hour traffic times it can be alot longer anywhere, but most people will avoid traveling during those times.

Many people choose to just take a day and drive from San Diego to the Grand Canyon in one day to get the longest trip out of the way, so thats nothing new there Imo.

San Diego
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4. Re: West coast trip 2013

It takes about 9hrs. to drive from LA to the Grand Canyon so you may not want to do all that in one day . It is about 5 hrs. from LA to Las Vegas and also from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. It is a lot of driving for 1 week of travel. Not sure if your 8 days includes your travel day from the east coast?

SoCal
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5. Re: West coast trip 2013

You are planning way too much for this trip. 8 days will basically be drive bys of each place.

West Hollywood...
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6. Re: West coast trip 2013

You really can't do all of those things in 8 days. (You COULD but you'd be racing here and then racing there).

I would drop either the Grand Canyon or San Diego. As mentioned above, please clarify whether "Los Angeles" includes Disneyland.

Here are two possibilities for you:

a. Los Angeles/Anaheim -- 3 days

b. San Diego or Grand Canyon -- 3 days (as mentioned, it will use up most of 2 days transferring to and from the GC which leaves you a full day at the GC which is plenty.

c. Las Vegas/Hoover Dam (they're 45 minutes apart) -- 2 days

Edison, New Jersey
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7. Re: West coast trip 2013

Thank you everyone for your suggestions! The answers/suggestions provided are very useful.

So Finally we are doing our 8 day vacation as below:

LA - 2 days; (Not doing theme parks because we covered all the disney parks etc in Orlando,Florida last year)

San Diego - 1 day;

LA to Las vegas drive - 1 day;

LAS vegas tour - 1 day;

Vegas to Grand Canyon Drive - 1 day- Stay overnight at GC;

GC to Vegas-1 day

More vegas-Last day

And finally fly Back to east coast;

Nashville, Tennessee
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8. Re: West coast trip 2013

Wow, you'll need a vacation from your vacation, that sounds exhausting.

Note that if you're going to Las Vegas from San Diego you're adding an extra 60 miles and an hour or more (depending on traffic) to the drive, over leaving from LA. That is A LOT of driving to spend only 1-2 days in each place given the distances.

Joshua Tree...
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9. Re: West coast trip 2013

That sounds much more reasonable.SierrafromNJ.

You wrote on your new itinerary - "San Diego 1 day" then you wrote "drive LA to Las Vegas". Maybe that was not what you meant, but once in San Diego, don't go back to LA, drive from San Diego straight to Las Vegas otherwise you'll be adding an hour to your drive for no reason.

Also, when you drive from LA to San Diego, please know that you could make a day of the drive south along the coast IF you wanted, but at least consider making some stops along the way... Here is just some food for thought on that note.... Consider going through Long Beach where you might want to check out The Queen Mary. http://www.queenmary.com/

If you travel during the day, around Long Beach, cut over to HWY 1 and take that, it will add probably 30 minutes to your drive but you will be driving right along the coast (instead of inland) and you can see the ocean and stop anywhere that looks enticing or just stroll on a beach for 20 minutes and then drive on.

While driving through Huntington Beach you could poke your head into the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve - http://bolsachica.org/

While driving south you might consider stopping in Newport Beach - Balboa Island, Cannery Village

visitnewportbeach.com/vacations/…

Once in Vegas please know: There are LOT'S of tours out of Las Vegas that go to the Grand Canyon - you might want to check this because they take care of everything and you wouldn't have to drive. They have south rim tours and north rim tours. Different companies offer these tours - here's an example of an overnight trip.

lasvegasgrandcanyontour.com/BUS-grand-canyon…

It could be more money than you want to spend, in that case you could drive yourself but consider copying their itinerary to make sure your short trip to the GC is as good as it can be.

Have fun.

Washington State
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10. Re: West coast trip 2013

How about this arrangement?

Day 1: arrive LAX, tourism in L.A.

Day 2: L.A. (Disneyland is not in L.A., so you're okay.)

Day 3: 2 hr drive to San Diego. Tourism for the remainder of the day

Day 4: all day drive from San Diego to South Rim Grand Canyon NP

Day 5: relaxation & tourism at GCNP

Day 6: 5 hr drive to Las Vegas, stop at Hoover Dam on the way, walk the Strip at night?

Day 7: Las Vegas tour

Day 8: fly out of LAS back to east coast