I'm planning a trip to Las Vegas and San Francisco in April. I will be travelling alone, and plan to spend between 3 and 4 weeks in the US.
I'd like some advice as this is my first time in this part of the US and since I'll be travelling alone I want to plan everything well!
Basically the trip will consist of two parts:
1. Approximatley a week or longer in Las Vegas, with the intention of using Vegas as a base to explore places like Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Death Valley, ect...
2. Fly to San Francisco and spend maybe 10 days there, spend a while just chilling out and getting to know the city - however I'd also like to take some sort of tour down the west coast (pacific coast highway) while I'm there, maybe for 3 days or so.
My questions (in order of importance!) are as follows:
1. Where would you recommend staying in San Francisco? I'm not sure whether San Fran is as prohibitively expensive as somewhere like New York....I was in Manhattan last year and managed to find a great AirBnb room in the Inwood neighborhood right at the top of Manhattan. I loved staying there as it was about a third of the price of a hotel in the 'expensive' parts of Manhatten but was easy to access because of the subway and was safe - are there any equivalent, safe, neighborhoods that I should be considering when staying in San Francisco that are more residential than tourist areas, but still have reasonable access to the tourist areas?
2. I would like to see the West Coast....to drive the Pacific Highway...but I can't drive. So if I can't hire a car what are my options? Is the only option to go with a professional tour company that will have say a 3 or 5 day tour from San Fran, or are there other ways to meet like minded people who want to take this sort of trip? Does anyone have any recommendations for tour companies that do the Pacific Coast over a few days and stop off in a few key locations across the way?
3. Similarly, if anyone can recommend companies that will take me on a tour from Vegas to the surrounding national parks such as Grand Canyon, Zion, Monument Valley, Moab?
Thanks, any help is appreciated!