USA trip

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1. Posted by chezzamite (Budding Member 9 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Currently planning a 2 week trip across the pond with 3 mates in november. Wanted to pick some seasoned pro-travelling brains for some advice! Our plan is:

Fly into LA and spend 3 days here, fancy going to Universal Studios and the usual Hollywood tourist route (sounds like this aint all that)!

Then we want to drive up the coast to San Fran spending about 4 days here. Alcatraz seems like a must see. From San Fran we are thinkig of driving up to Yosemtie National Park for a 2 night stay. Got no idea what the weather might be like there for camping, found a place called curry camp where you can rent a tent sort of thing. Then it will be back to San Fran for a flight out to New York.

Spend the remander of the holiday in New York sight seeing ans shopping.

If anyone can throw any info that would be sweet!

2. Posted by luckysnap (Budding Member 37 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Sounds like you have a well planned trip. Be careful in LA. Some really bad neighborhoods. dont know anything about the camping. The ride up the coast is magnificent. You should stop along the way and see Monterey. Have fun.

3. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 618 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi Craig,
You're doing almost exactly what I did 3 years ago, except we tried to squeeze a bit too much in and went to Vegas as well. We didn't really spend enough time in Yosemite, to it was a bit of a pointless diversion from SF.
We found Hollywood a real let down, and one of our number was a film freak. A quick look down the boulevard at Mann's Theatre and that was it. The studios didn't appeal.
You can do Disneyland in a day or two, and then move on. The Pacific Coast Highway is a good route, and has a few good places to stop - like Monterey.
Alcatraz is definitely worth it. I learned a lot. I knew nothing of its association with the Native Americans after it had closed as a prison. SF seemed like a good city, but we didn't have a lot of time there. I've heard that certain parts are dodgy, but that's not unique to any city.
Yosemite is great, but deserves more time that we gave it.

I had a weird day in LA! Decided to take the bus from Anaheim (south-east) to LAX (west) to pick up some Disney tickets sent to the airport hotel where we'd stayed the night before (long story). Got on the wrong bus and had to get off half-way across the south of the city. Could that be South Central?! Jeeeez!

4. Posted by foggyidea (Budding Member 19 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I haven't been to the west coast but I weould be concerend about camping in Yosemite in Nov. That can be a chilly time!

I have heard the same thing about LA that the previous poster mentioned. My kids just returned from LA/Anaheim/San Diego and were not very impressed with the LA aear. Smog and people were not fun!

I am more of an East Coast guy. NYC is a great palce to visit but if you can get to Washington/Baltimore area you might find it a bit more fun, visually anyway!

If you go to NYC and want to see a show, go to Times Square and visit the half price ticket booth. You can get seats for shows that night for half price, and most shows have seats!!! It's the best way to do a Broadway show!

There are reasonably priced hotels near central park on the west side, about a 20 block ride/walk to Times Square...


5. Posted by jbur816 (Budding Member 17 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I used to live in the Monterey area and definitely it is worth some time. It is on the way up to San Francisco from LA. I would actually recommend taking the US Hwy 1 north to SF. It is an incredibly scenic drive along the California coast (Big Sur). Windy, and not the quickest route, but it is worth it. Stop in Carmel, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Monterey. All are in the same "Monterey Peninsula" area. Each town has its own personality but all are very charming. Monterey is the largest. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the best. Pebble Beach is home to the famous golf course. Carmel is quaint and beautiful and is home to Clint Eastwood. It was my home for a while as well and I consider myself very lucky.

L.A. is not all bad, but it is not an easy place to be a tourist. S.F. lends itself to the visitor since it is a walking city. Don't know about your budget or interests/taste, but a friend recently stayed at Serrano Hotel and found it nice and affordable.

Yosemite in November? I don't think I would camp in November. But, Yosemite is incredible. Maybe check into staying at one of the lodges?

6. Posted by kl123 (Budding Member 9 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I think you have pretty good plan.

We were in the area some years ago, but may be you can catch some ideas from our trave diary -snip-

[ Edit: sorry, no promos in the forum please. ]

7. Posted by chezzamite (Budding Member 9 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Cheers for the replys guys. Decided to leave yosemite for another trip and spend a few more days on the drive up the costal highway to san fran.

can anyone give me an idea of the weather in california in november? its surley going to be hotter than the UK!

8. Posted by Lissyrl (Budding Member 29 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi there- I live in LA, and have done the drive that you are doing plenty of times! Suggest 101 as other people have, and the weather will be 65-75 degrees (20-23 c). Also- while you are in LA, spend a day doing the hollywood stuff(which is all you'll need) if you like hiking- hike up to the hollywood sign through Griffith Park.Then head out to the beach towns. That's where the best vibe and people are. Its easy to catch a bus out that way-whereas other places aren't so easy. Check out Main St in Santa Monica/Venice area and there are tons of bars, cafes, restaurants. Plus you are a block from the beach if you want to rent a bike and ride up the coast. Have fun!

9. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member 211 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Quoting jbur816

L.A. is not all bad, but it is not an easy place to be a tourist.

You took the words right out of my mouth. I'm too tired to write anything more useful now, but perhaps there are some guides here for LA. There are a lot of interesting corners to seek out, especially if you are interested in its brief history, but for the usual "how many days should I allow for it" tourist, it is not the place to go.

One quick note: Wilshire Boulevard, from downtown to -- how far does it go? into Beverly Hills and perhaps all the way to Santa Monica(?) will give you a truly interesting slice of LA. Along the way there is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the adults (and kids) and the La Brea Tar Pits for the kids (and adults). In the winter, those seeking (relatively) warm sand, sun and Pacific, could combine this for a really full day with a trip to the beach (Venice, Santa Monica or many others).

You could also do Wilshire Blvd by bus; then you will get to see and perhaps meet (people can be very friendly) the real people of Los Angeles. Avoid the rush hours if you can as some lines tend to be very full. The MTA Transit Center downtown, behind Union Station -- also worth a look in if you are in the area -- has schedules. The LA transit system is far from perfect, but considering the volume of passengers it moves each day and the size of the area, it works fairly well.

Kevin Pfeiffer

[ Edit: Edited at Sep 21, 2006 4:12 PM by pfeiffer ]