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Road trip West Coast, CA

Coventry, United...
5 posts
1 review
Road trip West Coast, CA

Hey guys

I’ve just booked a 3 week trip to the West Coast on the 15th July! We plan to fly into San Fran and do 4 nights here, then road trip down towards LA.

Now this is where I’m stuck, as we would like to do Yosemite (2 nights) Monterey (1 night) then maybe head through Carmel and Cambria (but perhaps not stay overnight), LA (Hollywood, Beverly Hills, for possibly 3 nights) San Diego (2 nights) Palm Springs (1 night) then perhaps Santa Monica & Santa Barbara (but maybe not overnight) Las Vegas (4 nights, and maybe Grand Canyon for 1 of those nights) am I missing anything? Thinking of stopping off at Death Valley. Also the Hoover Damn (is this doable on the way through to Las Vegas) are there any other national parks which are a must see?

Finally is this order ok, or is there an easier route? Mainly querying San Fran - Yosemite - Monterey or is it best to do other way around San Fran - Monterey - Yosemite. Luckily we don’t have to do a round trip and are flying home from Las Vegas, and finally.. which hotel on the last Vegas strip do you recommend? There’s so many to choose from!!

So many questions and so little time! Thanks so much I’m advance :)

14 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,957 posts
132 reviews
1. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

HI

Yikes! No lodging booked yet? Unaware of the Hwy 1 closure? Double yikes!

Maybe see if you can find lodging with this itinerary:

SFO - SF (abbreviation for San Francisco) - Monterey (layover day to explore Hwy 1) - Yosemite - Los Angeles - San Diego - South Rim Grand Canyon NP (in Arizona) - Las Vegas (in Nevada) - LAS

Or SFO - SF - Yosemite - Monterey - {detour} Central Coast - L.A. and so on

For information about each city or destination, use its forum. The Top Questions on the right side of each page will help.

Lodging for Yosemite should be the priority.

Ask Las Vegas folks about hotels there; read the relevant Top Questions first.

San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
18,298 posts
122 reviews
2. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

I'd do SF-Monterey-Yosemite-LA-SD too. That order makes the most sense with the road closure on Hwy 1 on the south end of Big Sur.

But definitely see what lodging you can get in Yosemite first because that might dictate the rest of your trip.

Southern California
Level Contributor
15,589 posts
1 review
3. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

It will be hot in Palm Springs and VERY hot in Death Valley, as in over 110-115F.

Coventry, United...
5 posts
1 review
4. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

I know!!! I’m feeling pretty stressed, I

just decided last minute so booked it why not! Haha.. but yes need to hurry up now and ready to book now for accommodation in Yosemite.

I’ve heard about the road closure, but haven’t looked into it yet. Will it change much for me?

My main question was which way around makes more sense, or is easier to do SF- Yosemite - Monterey or SF - Monterey - Yosemite. Sorry also what do you mean by (detour- Central coast)

Thanks your info was so helpful!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,957 posts
132 reviews
5. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

Hi

The road south of Monterey is the 'best bits' that includes Big Sur. Go as far south as you need to enjoy your tourism. Eventually, you'll arrive at the road closure. Then you must drive back up north on Hwy 1 to Monterey.

From Monterey, drive Hwy 68 to Salinas and then Hwy 101 south. If you personally need to visit the Central Coast / Pismo Beach, then this is a better option for you.

Travel is all about making decisions. Your trip, your choice.

Long Beach...
Level Contributor
7,847 posts
6. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

4 nights SF

2 nights Monterey (Big Sur Day Trip, road closed on south end of Big Sur)

2-3 nights Yosemite Valley area (I would consider 2 nights in Yosemite Valley and 1 night in June/Mammoth Lakes area)

3-4 nights LA/Santa Monica

2-3 nights San Diego

1-3 nights Sedona Az (??)

1 night Grand Canyon/Tusayan

3 nights LasVegas

Coventry, United...
5 posts
1 review
7. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

Thanks so much this is great advice.. so if I go as far down south as I want (Cambria and Carmel maybe) then if I drive back up to Monterey from there, and then from there how do I get down to LA if the road is closed? Thanks :)

Coventry, United...
5 posts
1 review
8. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

Thanks lemoncurls! I like this plan... still a bit undecided of which way round to do Yosemite and Monterey?

Also what can I see around AZ, will it be worth it? Would like to visit looks lovely.

Would you consider any other towns along the trip down from Monterey (Cambria/Carmel)??

So excited now!!

Long Beach...
Level Contributor
7,847 posts
9. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

The Big Sur road closure is north of Cambria... north of Ragged Point. South of Gorda. So you can't go south on Hwy 1 all the way to Cambria.

You detour to Highway 101 to get to Cambria., if that is where you want to visit.

Yosemite will be much better on weekdays, (but so will Big Sur).

San Diego to Grand Canyon is a very long drive. Sedona is really beautiful and would be a nice place to break up the drive (and very different from the other places on your list). Just depends on how much time you have.

Edited: 12 June 2018, 04:35
Long Beach...
Level Contributor
7,847 posts
10. Re: Road trip West Coast, CA

Cambria, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara are all beautiful coastal towns. But they do not have the dramatic coastline of Big Sur (Mountains crashing into the sea. Coastal Redwoods. Etc). If you love the beach/ocean then do a couple nights in Carmel/Monterey (Big Sur Day Trip) and 1 night in Pismo or Santa Barbara.

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