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LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

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LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

Looking for some local knowledge on the following trip:

Arrive LAX - Sun 29th Oct at 15:00PM (from Ireland)

Thinking of doing Hollywood/Disneyland for few days before heading to Vegas. Should we rent a car in LAX and drive towards Disneyland on the Sunday? Thinking about either driving to Vegas on the Tue/Wed or flying out of Burbank Airport to Vegas - what would you recommend? Due to leave Vegas on the Friday (would love to squeeze in Grand Canyon somewhere along the way) and spend a few days driving to San Francisco - looking for a few tips of places to visit/stay on the way? What is the drive like?

Finally, looking to take route 1 from SFO to LA, leaving SFO maybe Wednesday and arriving LA on the Fri or Sat - again any tips on places to visit?

Paul and Sandra

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1. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

I would definitely recommend driving down from LAX to Disneyland, and then also driving to Las Vegas. The drive from Disneyland to Burbank is over an hour, and then by the time you actually get to Vegas, you probably would have arrived already by car. From Disneyland, the closest airport with service to Las Vegas is Orange County. . . .flying from there might be a bit quicker than driving. Southwest should have cheap flights at many intervals throughout the day.

As far as driving up the 1 -- you will love it. One of my favorite places along the way is the Central Coast. . . . some of my favorite towns are Cambria, and also Morro Bay. There are so many little quaint beach towns in that general area about halfway between LA and SF where you just can't go wrong. There is also Hearst Castle in San Simeon which is actually very worthwhile. . . . . a gorgeous estate built up in the hills overlooking the ocean.

Hotels: In Morro Bay, I'd recommend the Inn at Morro Bay. And, near Cambria, I'd recommend the Best Western Cavalier hotel (actually located in San Simeon). . . . and ask for a room with a view. It's right on the ocean with an amazing view, at not too high a price.

Good luck with your travels!!

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2. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

Don't waste your time driving to Vegas, fly from LAX (it's very inexpensive to fly there), and then fly to SFO. There's absolutely nothing to see along that drive. Spending a few days driving there and back makes no sense, there's really nowhere to stop. As I said in another post of yours, spend the extra time driving the coast, stopping in those towns, or more time in either LA or SF, not driving to and from Vegas.

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3. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

Paul and Sandra:

First of all, congratulations on "tying the knot".

Now, as far as cars and planes and such....

1. When you arrive at LAX at 15:00 (after 10 hours of flying), it will actually be 11 in the evening (Ireland-time). By the time you emerge from immigration and baggage claim, it will be "midnight". Do you really want to stand at the airport, waiting for a shuttle bus to the car hire, then jump into an American car and drive on strange roads at "1 o'clock in the morning"?

I recommend stepping into a wating taxi and going to your hotel in Hollywood. By the time you reach your hotel and unpack, it will be around 18:00. Take a walk around Hollywood, have dinner and get some well-deserved sleep.

2. Regarding the car hire question, if you stay in Hollywood, you can get to Disneyland easily. Go to our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) section -- at the top of this Forum's TOPIC LIST and select AMUSEMENT PARKS and then DL. The journey (metro rail + rail + bus or taxi) will take about the same amount of time as driving when you add in the time it takes to wait in queue to enter the DL car park and then wait for the shuttle over to the Park. Plus, you'll save on the cost of the car hire, petrol, insurance, car park fees ($11) and you can kiss on the train without worrying about losing control of the car.

3. Burbank is an excellent departure point for Las Vegas (as it is very close to Hollywood). The flights (southwest.com and united.com) take about an hour compared to 4-1/2 hours driving and it will give you time to get used to the time change.

4. Pick up a car in Las Vegas for the trip to the Grand Canyon (and/or closeby Hoover Dam).

5. Regarding your drive from SF to LA, keep in mind that Route 1 is a local road with lots of traffic, traffic signals, etc. It is the closest road to the ocean but also the slowest moving. Most visitors use the inland motorways (the '5' or the '101' for at least part of their trip).

6. I also recommend stopping in Cambria and visiting nearby Hearst Castle.

Have a great holiday!

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4. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

"Don't waste your time driving to Vegas, fly from LAX (it's very inexpensive to fly there), and then fly to SFO. There's absolutely nothing to see along that drive."

Saying that there's nothing too see between LA and LV is preposterous. I would guess that newlyweds from Ireland might not be that familiar with the Mojave Desert and might just find it fascinating.

I've driven between LA and LV dozens of times and think there is plenty to see every single time.

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5. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

Hello Paul and Sandra... Congratulations!

I definitely agree with the Los Angeles local experts. I hate the drive from L.A. to Las Vegas, and you will see plenty of desert if you rent a car and drive to the Hoover Dam or The Grand Canyon.

The flights are a breeze, and will save you from renting the car before you really need it and petrol costs as well. The drive to Las Vegas is tedious and often congested. Burbank airport, like Shannon is made for commuters. Easy in -- easy out.

Slainte.

-kathleen

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6. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

"you will see plenty of desert if you rent a car and drive to the Hoover Dam or The Grand Canyon."

irishacapella, I have to ask if you've driven from LV to the Hoover Dam lately. There is very little desert to see along that drive, which has become quite suburbanized. Yes, you will get a nice dose of desert going to the Grand Canyon, but not Hoover Dam.

Personally, I'm in favor of driving between major cities when possible. There is so much missed from the air that can be enjoyed on the ground. I'd like to suggest that newlywedsireland consider all the sidetrips available between LA and LV. There's the Route 66 portions along I-40, then shoot back up to I-15 through the Mojave National Preserve. Or, a left turn at Baker on CA-127 can take them to the interesting stops of Shoshone and Tecopa Hot Springs (a hour's bath, perhaps). And don't forget to stop at the Mad Greek in Baker--something I think would be a great experience from someone from Waterford, Ireland. Don't forget to enjoy a strawberry shake made from real strawberries!

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7. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

You'll need a 14 day advance ticket, or at least 7 day advance to get a decent fare out of Burbank so decide soon!

I would have a car the entire time for Anaheim/ Los Angeles and then fly to Vegas from Burbank or from SNA (near Anaheim). Try jetblue.com

In Vegas you don't need a car except for a drive to the Grand Canyon etc.

From Vegas rent a car to be returned to L.A. Then do your drive to San Francisco and then down to Los Angeles. Check the weather, as the drive from Vegas to San Francisco can be rough if there is early snow.

Another idea is to fly from Las Vegas into San Francisco (or Oakland airport is usually le$$). You dont' need a car while you're in downtown San Fran so just get the car from downtown San Fran to Los Angeles.

Cars are less expensive if you plan ahead and book ahead. If you wait and just walk up to a car desk you will pay double. Try the K817625 discount code at avis.com Check that the rates include insurances that Irish citizens will need to take. Nationalcar.com and hertz.com are the other major companies, or Europcar.com may have package rates foreign citizens that include all insurance.

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8. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

Be careful if you are driving on Tuesday to the Burbank airport. It is the Halloween holiday and starting from about 5pm there are lots of children in the streets. Not a mob or anything, but something that demands a bit of extra caution.

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9. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

Sorry , me again................but Tuesday would be way too early to leave for Las Vegas if you are just getting to Los Angeles at 3pm on Sunday. Sunday night and Monday is not enough time to see Disneyland and Los Angeles/Hollywood. You should have at least Mon Tues and Wed for this.

On the other hand, Las Vegas is very expensive on Friday and Saturday nights. You might want to re-schedule like this:

Oct 29 30 31 Nov 1 Los Angeles and Disneyland

Nov 2 3 Drive up the coast of California, staying in Santa Barbara, or Paso Robles, or Monterey/ Carmel

drop car in San Fran

4 5 6 Nov San Francisco

Fly to Las Vegas

7 8 9 Nov Las Vegas

Fly back to Los Angeles

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10. Re: LA - Los Vegas - SFO - LA (14 days in November 2006)

thanks a million for the advice. i booked the flight from Burbank to LAS. Any tips on a hotel to stay in LA - budget of about $120 per night? Also looking to fly from LA to SFO - neither Southwest nor Jetblue seem to fly this route.

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