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1. Posted by Brittnei.brown (Budding Member 2 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

Needing help on where to go and sites to visit. Our trip starts in Los Angeles then travels to San diego, Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Banff and Calgary before ending in Los Angelese again!

2. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 174 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

There are tones of National Parks in Utah. Depends on the length of your journey you could rent a car in Las Vegas and then drive around (we did Zion NP, Bryce NP). FAB!!!

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1143 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

Yes, the five national parks in southern Utah (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches), plus Dead Horse Point State Park, are truly magnificent. The scenery will take your breath away. The parks are easily accessible from Las Vegas.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Dec-2018, at 02:06 by berner256 ]

4. Posted by Dymphna (Full Member 134 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

How long do you expect to be gone? If you are going to do Banff, you might want to try Waterton or Glacier.

5. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

How long do you have? Without visiting parks and things this is nearly 5000 miles (8000+ km). It is all gorgeous country but if you don't have enough time, you may need to set priorities.

I think the first thing I'd consider is flying home from Seattle or Vancouver rather than driving down the entire west coast to Los Angeles to go home.

Next, how are you traveling? If you're renting a car, which would be nice for much of your trip, have you checked to see if you are allowed to take it across into Canada? If not, you may need to make other arrangements in Canada, perhaps rent a car there and return it there. That would make flying home from Canada make a lot of sense.

Otherwise, you have been give excellent suggestions above. I'll add a couple things. Since you'll be in LA and San Diego, it would be nice to visit at least one or two of the famous California Missions. They are a real piece of history here and we're very proud of them. Some are historic ruins and others are still working parishes and all welcome visitors. In Canada, don't miss Lake Louise at Banff National Park. They also have amazing ice cream cones there if you like sweet treats . . . and aren't going in winter. Butchart Gardens are near Victoria, BC and a wonderful side trip from Vancouver. We like VIctoria much better than Vancouver but that's a matter of personal taste.

Enjoy your trip.

6. Posted by Dymphna (Full Member 134 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

I have seen rentals from the US in Canada before. I remember seeing them in parking lots. But I don't recall which companies were allowing it. If you pick up and drop off in different locations it is expensive.

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

Be sure your rental company knows you are going into another country. If you don't tell them, you may not be insured.

The pick-up and drop-off in different locations can be a problem if the drop-off location is not a good rental area. If a lot of people don't rent in an area, they don't like to accept drop-offs because they either have to hire someone to drive the car someplace else or let it sit on the lot until it is rented. Either way, they lose money. Between two major cities, it may not be a problem because there is always a market for the cars.

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 777 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beausoleil

they don't like to accept drop-offs because they either have to hire someone to drive the car someplace else.

Back in the mid 80s a friend had the job of driving cars around the USA.
Some cars were people relocating, some were 'repos' and some were rental companies moving cars back to he appropriate site.
They estimated how many 8 hour days it would take him to do the journey, paid him a low day rate but also paid him an evening meal and cheap'ish hotel for every night on the road, plus a small bonus for completing the trip with zero damage to the vehicle (Which didn't happen all the time!). So the cost mounted up.
He'd generally blast the journey as quickly as possible so he'd have a car to use and some money for hotels at the final destination... Although he did find that by putting on his very best English accent he often didn't need a hotel... Probably not as often as he implied he had though...

9. Posted by Brittnei.brown (Budding Member 2 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

Hey guys! I probably should of added a few more details, sorry this is my first time on here. We are going for about 2 months and planned on busing it to everywhere except when we would fly from san diego to vancouver and then calgary back to los angeles for our flight home. As we would only be 20, I didnt think we would be allowed to hire a car. Not sure of the rules over there but in Australia you usually have to be 25 and over to hire one. We are going from November to January so it would be winter over there!
I really appreciate all of your amazing suggestions, some of these places I hadnt even thought of :)

10. Posted by Peter (Admin 6672 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

There's a good train line in California as well that you might want to consider. I've only caught it from LA to San Diego, but it looks pretty doable to go all the way to Vancouver that way. Might be useful on at least some of your legs.

The trip between LA and SD is quite scenic in parts (right along the coast).