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Las Vegas/San Francisco extended trip - some questions...

Travel Forums North America Las Vegas/San Francisco extended trip - some questions...

1. Posted by david.noble.585 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

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 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!

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 941 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Las Vegas is an excellent base for tours to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the five national parks in southern Utah, etc. Go online to check what’s available. There also are tours from San Francisco to Muir Woods, the Wine Country, etc. One alternative is to take public transportation to Napa, then use it as a base to visit the wineries. Evans Transportation provides regular shuttle service from San Francisco's airport to Napa. Going south, there are tours from SF to Monterey, Carmel and the 17 Mile Drive. Don't forget that public transportation in the Bay Area also includes ferries, such as the one to Sausalito. There are lots of choices for accommodations in Vegas and SF. Be aware that many casinos/hotels in Vegas tack on "resort fees." Go online to check which ones do; and how much they charge. You’ll love the buffets in Vegas; and other cheap eats.

3. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

You can also take a train from San Francisco to a place like Paso Robles and spend a day in the main part of town. There are many wine tasting rooms there, and then you can either continue on from there to Los Angeles, or return back from there to San Francisco. In the bay area, there are many options for getting around, including Caltrain, BART, and the Metro Rail links in the San Jose/ Santa Clara /Mountain View area.