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USA 1 month itinerary

Travel Forums North America USA 1 month itinerary

1. Posted by rambo3 (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y

Hi everybody!
We are from Cape Town in South Africa and can't wait for our trip in May to the States.
New York (4 nights) then friends take us to their house in Pensylvania(4 nights) then fly from Harrisburg to Phoenix (4 nights) going to Grand Canyon. Fly from Phoenix to San Fransisco (4 nights). Big question? are we missing out if we don't drive from LA or can we do day trips to see the beautiful part of the coast in the south from San Fran?

We will be driving from San Fran to Seattle. We have nothing planned for that and will sleep along the way. What places should we not miss on the way. We have 8 nights for that trip. We end off with 3 nights in Seattle before flying back to South Africa with Delta Air.

Please give me your honest opinion and please help. We will not be back so want to make the most of our trip.

Looking foward to your advice...

2. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 4y

I think you can do day trips south of San Francisco, but you'll be driving about the same distance (down and back) as if you were to go to LA and then just drive directly to San Francisco.

You will want to drive at least as far south as the Paso Robles/San Simeon area. This will allow you to visit Hearst Castle on the coast and also to visit the Paso Robles wine region--and also to go through Carmel and Monterey which are beautiful areas. There is also a great aquarium on Cannery Row in Monterey and the wonderful 17 mile drive in Carmel. In Santa Cruz, if it is summer, visit the Beach Boardwalk (if you go on Friday, they have free concerts at night on the beach). There are redwoods in this area also (you don't have to go all the way east to the Sierra Mountains or north almost to Oregon). Both Big Sur (near Carmel) and Big Basin (near Santa Cruz) have redwood parks.

Another great one- to two-day trip would be north to Napa and Sonoma Valleys or to Davis or to the Muir Woods.

Enjoy your trip.

3. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 4y

Heading north to Seattle, I'd go through the Redwood National Park and see the "Trees of Mystery". Then I'd go to Ashland in Oregon, then I'd make a short stop in Eugene. (Daawgon would tell you to visit the beach areas of Oregon--and they are nice--but it depends on how much time you have as to whether to go this route or take the faster inland Interstate 5 route).

Once you are in Washington, I'd make a short stop to see the Mt. St. Helens visitor center (many people don't know this story--go look it up on Google to get details).

Then go to Seattle and spend at least two days here or driving across the lake to Kirkwood, Snowqualmie, and Redmond. Then head on north and take the ferry across to Vancouver Island and visit the city of Victoria and the Butchart Gardens (this is all part of Canada), then take the ferry on to Vancouver. Definitely worth the trip.

4. Posted by rambo3 (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y

Thank you for the great advice and tips for our trip.

I have never used this site before. It is so excitng to get feedback..... I just know we are going to love the States.

How many nights do we need if we want to see Vancouver? Is May rainy season there?
We planned to stay 2 nights in Portland so maybe we can change to 1 night and stay 1 night in Vancouver rather.:: How long to travel to Vancouver from Seattle by ferry?

Sorry about all the questions, but would rather get advice from the experts.)))

5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1992 posts) 4y

I think you are quite correct to avoid the LA area - especially since you're not too experienced with US highways and driving. Seattle to Vancouver by ferry is not direct - you go from Seattle to Victoria, and then change ferries to Vancouver. The Oregon/N. California coast is very scenic starting just north of SF in Marin and Sonoma counties. May weather will still be a little cool in the Pacific NW, but the heavy rains will most likely be over by then. I live in Portland, and am a former San Franciscan. From personal experience, I believe you will find SF the most interesting large city on the West Coast, and Phoenix the least interesting. Check out the Travel Oregon website - one area that I find very interesting is Oregon's Rogue River (whitewater rafting). May is an excellent time to see the waterfalls in Yosemite - they will be at their peak flow at that time (chances are you'll still see a little snow there too).

You will probably be slightly shocked by the heavy traffic in California (LA traffic is enough to cause heart problems) - it does get less congested further north, but I can guarantee that you will enjoy the West far more than the NY/Pennsylvania area (I am a transplanted Philadelphian myself, but find that area far too conservative for my taste!)

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Feb-2012, at 11:07 by Daawgon ]

6. Posted by rambo3 (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y

Thank You so much for all the help and advice.

We appreciate the tips and I'm sure it will definitely come in handy during our travels.
Can't wait! ...... Its good to know we got our advice from two experts.)))

We will give you feedback when we get back.

7. Posted by johnthetraveler (Budding Member 5 posts) 4y

Quoting rambo3

Thank You so much for all the help and advice.

We appreciate the tips and I'm sure it will definitely come in handy during our travels.
Can't wait! ...... Its good to know we got our advice from two experts.)))

We will give you feedback when we get back.

Take lots of pictures for all of us! And make sure you log what you do everyday, you'll have a great adventure to share with your friends when you're all done with the trip!