My Girlfriend is insisting on a trip to California in Sept 2008. Have no idea where shall i start ? Any Kind Americans in california care to direct me to the "Must-See" Sites in California ?
Just to give you an insight of what kind place that we would be interested, please advise on the following places :
1) Las Vegas - Do advise on the direction to get there from LA
2) San Francisco - Places of Interest like The Famous Prison, forgotten the name of it , and etc
3) Mexico - Any Places of interest to go, if time really permits.
I'm allocating a week each for the following place. Also, you guys can also advise on whether Las Vegas is a "must go" city. Given the fact, that we're City Dwellers from Singapore.
I kindly hope that anyone kind season travellers out there would be dear enough to give me some directions.
I think Mexico is another trip. Too much to see and too far to travel in the same trip as California.
Vegas is unique. I didn't consider myself a 'Vegas person' but I enjoyed it. Kind of a Disneyland for adults.
Alcatraz in SF is well worth a trip - I didn't know anything about its native American associations after it closed as a prison.
Don't spend too much time in LA, Hollywood is no beg deal. You'll be better travelling the Pacific Coast Highway.
I agree that Mexico might be best saved for another time. Hollywood, however, is great because it is such a part of the modern culture. Just hit the high spots with a bus tour, and studio tour, you might even look into getting tickets to a taping of a television show. Pacific Coast highway is beautiful but it can be slow going. Include part of it in your travel from LA to San Francisco. San Simeon is a good stop-over and the tour of Hearst Castle is enjoyable. Monterrey is also a nice stop. Have a look at Pebble Beach, if you're a golfer. But there are times when you may opt for a faster moving inland highway. Vegas is another cultural icon that is a must for some. It is a sea of neon in the desert. Lots of hotels, showplaces, casinos - but expensive. Personally, I'd skip it, but I understand why many people want to have a look. You will fill your three weeks with plenty to do.
Thanks Guys for your input.
Do you guys know the estimate of the cost of renting a car ?
About Las Vegas, what is the best way to get there from LA or San Francisco ? I noticed that Disneyland and Universal Studios isn't mentioned in your posts. Shouldn't these places significantly be considered in the part of the trip ?
The pacific highway route should be a long route i guess, any buses that go through that route and where can i get those tickets ?
Also, any good recommendations for food about the mentioned places ?
Driving in California can be difficult for visitors! While the roads and signing are some of the best in the world, Californians drive FAST, and the major roads (Interstate Highways) are mostly boring expressways (very little scenery at all).
Public bus travel in the USA is not good - where the poor and unwashed travel!
I would recommend flying from one major metro area to the next and using local tours to see the areas. Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines cover the state quite well.
I agree with Stevieh - Los Angeles is hot and big and NOT MUCH AT ALL!
San Francisco, Monterey/Carmel, San Diego, Napa and Sonoma counties, Lake Tahoe and the National Parks (Yosemite, Sequoia and Lassen) would be of interest to you.
Las Vegas is one big huge neon display with spectacular hotels and casinos - quite cheap to fly there too.
California is HUGE! Do see the REDWOODS and some of the natural areas such as POINT LOBOS PARK near Carmel. The Monterey Aquarium is not to be missed. In my opinion San Francisco is the Paris of North America (it's a walkers' city - you'll miss it if you drive - it's so small.)
For the SF area, check out www.mapjack.com/SanFrancisco There are lots of links there for must-see places.
I have been to the USA many times and although twice the number of cars don't be put off driving over there( they drive a little faster than even Singaporeans), flying you will miss out on all the great things in between LA, Las Vegas and San Fran. We actually did this trip one time, if you go to map it you can get driving directions for your whole trip. LA to Vegas is about 4.5 hours and definitely worth it - I am not a gambler but there is just so much else to see and do there - even a side trip out to the Grand Canyon! From Vegas we drove up north and stopped in at Yellowstone national park and also to the Napa Valley before arriving into San Fran. One thing we always do in every city we visit is to do a city tour as this thens gives you a great overview and then you can decide to go back to some places if you wish. Most definitely go and see Alcatraz ( the native Americans actually took over the island for a short while as a protest against the government) - a great experience though! A waqlk across the Golden Gate bridge is great as well.
From San Fran travel down the coast road back to LA, give yourself a few days to do this as the road can be very tricky in places but the views are superb and you will find little gems like Monterey and Carmel - offshoot into San Luis Obispo if you have time and definitely go and see Hearst Castle as well.
I am not much of a fan of LA itself but there are still some great places to see there, definitely go and visit Disneyland and Universal studios, you can take a Hollywood tour but better, if you have the car is to drive there and walk around, Manns Chinese theatre and the walk of fame, also if you are in to interesting things the La Brea tar pits and the museum are very good and Venice beach is worth it just to people watch. South of LA is very nice as well ( obviously if you have time)the better beaches are south and definitely not as smoggy as LA.
To get to Las Vegas, take Interstate 10 60 miles east to Interstate 15, then go north 220 miles on I-15 to Las Vegas. The only places to stop once you get on I-15 are Victorville, Barstow, Baker or Primm. I suggest you stop at Barstow for eating on the way.
To get to SF from Las Vegas, take I-15 back as far as Barstow, then get on Hwy 58 to Bakersfield. From Bakersfield, go north on Highway 99 to Highway 46 (about 35 miles from Bakersfield). Then go west on Highway 46 to Paso Robles where you get on Highway 101. Then take Highway 101 north to SF.
P.S. You can also get to SF by getting off of Highway 46 before getting to Paso Robles and going north to Interstate 580,which you then take west to San Francisco. This route is about 20 to 30 minutes faster, but not nearly as scenic.