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California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

Brisbane, Australia
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California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

Hi all

I have been reading many forum posts for ideas and suggestions on a California trip but still feel bamboozled and wondered if anyone can help with possible itinerary, tips and tricks for this Aussie couple.

At present hubby and I already have flights booked to arrive afternoon in LAX 23rd June and I will fly out on the evening of 7th July while he stays on in Corona for an in-line hockey tournament managing an Australian junior team (tournament starts 6th July).

At present I anticipate we would most likely Uber or public transport from LAX to accommodation in Hollywood or surrounds and want to include LA for a day or two including maybe Warner/Universal, Hollywood Blvd, walk of fame, etc. Then perhaps 25th Jin hire a car to commence trip to SF, maybe stay overnight Halfway? Arrive SF 26th, stay 1 or 2 nights, see GG bridge, walk around the wharves, catch a cable car? Is it best to AirBnB or hotel here and will parking be a problem?

By 27/28th head towards Yosemite, is it possible to do a day trip in and out of the park or do we need to stay somewhere nearby? Is it more than a 1 day visit required? I checked hotels in Yosemite, already booked out for end June...?

By 29/30th heading towards LV, presume we need to stay somewhere overnight? The maybe 1 night in LV, see a show and then head towards SD by 1/2nd July? Stay one night if we have time, see some sights or possibly zoo/aquarium?

Anticipate being in Anaheim by about 3rd Jul and spending last two days at Disneyland.

Hubby needs to be in Corona for start of tournament morning of 6th July. I will go with him for one night, will have to get back to LAX by myself on evening of 7th July for flight home as he may be too busy at the rink to drive me back?

At what point do we drop off the car? He may not need it for Corona as he’ll be busy at the rink most of the rink and not going far. Maybe we drop off in Anaheim somewhere before Disney days as we hope to stay nearby and can Uber if needed for these days...?

Is it doable to fit it all in or are we trying to squeeze too much? Which cities are better to hotel vs AirBnB?

Amy advice would be appreciated!

Many thanks

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1. Re: California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

welcome to the TA forums. I think you should have posted this in the California forum as this is the small San Simeon forum where most people ask questions about Hearst Castle

LA - drive to Monterey 2N in Monterey if possible then SF (a car is an issue here due to traffic, high costs and car breakins read the Top Questions in the SF forum) -- Yosemite (well you need 2-3 days here but one days is better than nothing use the YNP forum for ideas on where to stay in Yosemite.

A car would be useful in La

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2. Re: California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

Oops, just realised I posted in San Simeon forum rather that California general! Is there anyway to move it or re-post in correct forum? And apologies for the spelling errors, darn autocorrect on my phone!

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3. Re: California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

you cannot move the post -- you can delete it and paste this in the CA forum

To delete click on report inappropriate post and chose the delete my post option

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4. Re: California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

You're trying to fit in too much. I would leave the 2 day trip to Vegas (just to have a few hours time in LV) out. Your plan has 7 or 8 hotel changes over 12 nights which will wear you out.

First figure out Yosemite. You may have to work plans around when and if you can find a cancellation to stay there (or nearby) for a night or two.

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5. Re: California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

Thanks Belosimer, I’ve reposted to the California forum but can’t see the report post ==> delete option on the app in my phone...?

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6. Re: California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

Thanks Tom, is it worth skipping Yosemite then (since we may not be able to get accommodation now) and heading inland south east towards LV instead? Of the two, Yosemite & LV which would you skip to save time?

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7. Re: California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

For my tastes you are trying to fit in too much. I would give some thought to what you want to see in each city and prioritize which cities you visit.

It’s possible to see LA via public transportation, but that requires some forethought. LA is very spread out and our public transit system goes everywhere, but it can take you forever to get to some places. San Francisco is a more traditional city and a car isn’t required and having one there is a bit of a burden. You need a car to see Yosemite and for the coastal drive between LA and San Francisco. A multiple day coastal drive would be great for a honeymoon. I don’t think it’s worth while to do it in less than two days. One dramatic part of the drive, north and west of San Simeon ( through Big Sur) isn’t currently available to drive through. For a two drive you could sleep in San Simeon or Cambria (or multiple other locations). For a three day drive I’d spend a night in Monterey Bay or Carmel. I’d suggest at least 2 nights in San Francisco. For one night you could see if a tent cabin is available in Half Dome Village in Yosemite. If that doesn’t work you could spend one night near the Western entrance to Yosemite, drive through the next day stopping in the Yosemite Valley, drive to and stop in the Tuolomne Meadows, exit out the eastern entrance, and sleep in Mammoth Lakes. You could drive from there to Las Vegas, through Death Valley. Two nights in Las Vegas is fine, if you are spending one of them seeing a show.

LA has the most things to do and see. The city though is very spread out so you could feel that you are spending a lot of time commuting. San Diego is a smaller city, more centered on the ocean. Getting a hotel near the water is easier there. The drive between LA and San Diego is 2 to 3 hours and not too bad if you avoid each city’s rush hour.

For July 4th try to be situated somewhere near a fireworks show. There are a lot of them, but you want to avoid the traffic around them.

Edited: 06 April 2018, 12:16
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8. Re: California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

Thanks Ralph, I will consider some of those suggestions and do some more googling. I think there was a tent option available for one night in Yosemite and I like the idea of driving west to east through the mountains.

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9. Re: California trip in summer, 12 days, what to fit in?

The Yosemite Valley is spectacular. It’s also crowded in summer. Whether you see it or Las Vegas, or the Central Coast, or San Diego comes down to your personal preference. I like Yosemite so if I was in your situation and still going to Las Vegas I’d either try for a tent cabin or I’d do the drive through that I suggested. I also like Las Vegas, but in small doses. It’s a bizarre man made spectacle. Many people from LA spend long weekends there. If you can avoid the weekend you might get a decent price on a hotel and on a show that you want to see. Keep in mind that each destination, especially Las Vegas, commits you to multiple hours in the car.

Edited: 06 April 2018, 12:32
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