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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Vacations and World Travel

Vacations and World Travel Visiting our beautiful city? Come stay at the Arbutus Vista - Vancouver's Bed & Breakfast.
How was your trip? Which tour packages would you recommend/avoid? Must do's and must eats? Share tips, photos and experiences with other senior RS members who just want to get away..

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Old 03-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
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Road Trip : San Fran > Los Angeles > Las Vegas

My wife and I will be doing a little driving down in Cali. in May.

We will be flying from Bellingham down to San Fran and renting a car for a week.

Here is what I have planned so far:

Day 1
Fly from Bellingham to SF, arriving at 9am
Pick up car then head down to LA via I5 south
Arrive in LA late afternoon
Spend the rest of the day checking out LA

Im still a big kid and convinced my wife we be spending the day at Six Flags Magic Mountain, from 1030am to 6pm
Second night in LA

Wake up early and drive from LA to LV via I 15
We might stop by the outlet mall right on the border of Cali and Nevada for some shopping
Should be arriving in LV by late afternoon
We will be staying at the Elara by Hilton

Explore LV, as we both never been to Vegas before

Leave Vegas, drive back to SF via US 95 North and cut thru Death Valley national park and back on the 395 thru Yosemite and wrap back into San Fran

Explore SF
Return rental car and catching a cruise ship from SF back to Vancouver

Just looking for inputs from people that might have done this similar route.

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Old 03-21-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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I've done it. The drive from SF to LA sucks and quite long. If you hit rush hour expect an extra 2-3 hour delay. You'll be still bumper to bumper for MANYYY miles. Not fun.

Six Flags was not fun when I went. Expect 1-2 hour long wait for ONE ride. And it's pretty grundgy. Was expecting a beautiful theme park. If you love thrill rides then it might be worth it to you.

BUT unless you pony up and buy the at least the gold flash pass (extra $70/person) or platinum (extra $100/person) don't waste your time.

Vegas will be hot and require ALOT of walking. You're only spending one day and probably want to check out as many hotels and stuff. That will pretty much be your whole day. You won't have any more energy after that guaranteed. If you do have energy maybe check out a show. Cirque shows are good, but quite expensive. There's booths thats sell discount last min tix (Las Vegas Discounts | Half Price Tickets Every Day | Tix4Tonight).

Sounds like you'll be driving as much as the sight seeing.

SF is very beautiful. I drove down to visit a friend, originally planned to stay the weekend. Ended up staying almost a week. There's wayyy too much to see in SF.

I would honestly spend more time in the cities you haven't been to before. You're cramming so much in such a short time you basically don't get to see the actual good parts of any of the cities.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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consider just hitting the outlet mall(s) in Vegas instead of stopping, it's nice being able to go straight to your hotel after shopping on a hot day with driving. On top of all the walking you will do in Vegas.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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I think its a bit too much planned for only 7 days especially with that much driving. If you both havn't been to SF / LA before, I would just suggest staying in those places. Theres more than enough things to do that can easily take all the 3/4 days for each city.

Less time driving and more time exploring the city instead. Save LV for another trip, I say you should spend at least 3 days there if you havn't been there before!
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
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Didn't read the whole thing. But I'd suggest you pick up your car in LA and return it in LA. It's much cheaper that way and you can priceline.

I have called and got a quote if I pick up a car in SFO or LAS and dropping it off at LAX. It's an additional $400 relocation fee, plus the higher daily rate they charge in SFO and LAS.

Just off the top of my head, here are the prices for an economy car:

SFO: ~$40 daily
LAS: ~$30 daily
LAX: ~$20 daily

Sometimes it's much easier to fly. I flew from LAS to LAX in 45 minutes for $75 taxes in.


Okay, I read your whole trip.

I have never been to SFO but have visited LA and LV multiple times. Since you are primarily focusing on the city itself, just fly to your destinations. The amount of gas you pay will be equivalent to both of your plane tickets. Plus you are wasting a lot of time.

SF to LA = 6 hours (2 tanks of gas)
LA to LV = 6 hours (2 tanks of gas)
LV to SF = ? hours (? tanks of gas)

I suggest skipping LV like someone else said. LA is already enough to entertain you for about 4-5 days assuming it's your first time.

Last edited by TRDood; 03-22-2012 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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Good call on 6 flags. Best amusement park ever. I think I went on every ride at least 2-3 times that day as the park was empty.

Pro Tip: Skip X2. Line is ridiculous and the ride kinda sucks. Not worth the wait when you could be literally lapping other coasters.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:48 AM   #7
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Day 1 seems real intense! I have done a trip like yours before and SF to LA is a bitch.

I have been to six flags 3-4 times...its alright. Can be super busy and like someone else mentioned, line-ups are long. That area (Santa Clarita) also gets SUPER HOT!! And it is about 1 hour+ ouside of LA depending on traffic. I also found the people who work there very aint like disneyland.

Drive from LA to Vegas is super easy and fast. I found vegas just ok. I'm not a huge drinker, club lines are stupid long, and shit is not cheap. I probably will never go again. The drive from Vegas to SF...not cool. That's all ill say.

If I were you, SF is such an awesome city (same with LA), I'd just stick to those won't get much outta vegas, unless you are doing the "vegas thing". The time you are going to waste in the car going there and back can be spent else, do you really want to be exhausted when you come home?

Just my opinion
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:08 AM   #8
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That's a pretty jam-packed itinerary, in my opinion.

I would just stay in either San Fran or LA. Skip Vegas and save it for another trip. Sounds like you'll be spending more time driving than vacationing.

As for Six Flags - Personally, I would pass.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:40 PM   #9
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I flew from bellingham last yr to San Fran. Drove to LA, then to Vegas. Flew back from Vegas.
There is a relocation fee for the rental car, but it wasn't that much. Book the car ahead of time, and you'll see the fees for relocation.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #10
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Which airline has the lowest fair from San Fran to Los Angelas, or LA to SA?
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:34 PM   #11
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You can try Virgin America for LA/SF flights. They fly there at least 4 times a day if I recall correctly. SFO is home to Virgin America and I've flown on them. I love them!

Try Frontier (Not sure if they fly there.) If you're flexible and don't mind flying to different LA airports, try Jet Blue.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:23 PM   #12
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Given you schedule for the cruise trip, I would encourage you to consider putting Vegas off until a later date.

There is a lot to see and do in Cali, and as others have stated, the drive from San Fran to LA is a real stinger.

Also consider flying to LAX, picking up your rental there, spending the first 2/3 of the trip in Socal, then spend the last 1/3 in San Fran, drop the rental car off there, it's all good.

After driving San Fran to LA once.. you won't be in a hurry to do it again 5 days later lol trust me.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:40 PM   #13
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Just drove that long ass stretch heading south into LA... South was mainly clear but northbound was down to 1 lane and backed up for miles... Going over the mountains heading into LA is pretty eye opening as well.. I just did it in a little Chevy aveo, battling semi trucks and way faster cars...I would be in no rush to do that drive again
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:37 AM   #14
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Traffic is a little crazy (even in a 5-lane hwy) in LA especially during rush hours. It's a nice city tho. I remember driving all the way to LA from Vancouver in our own car.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by sweetcivic View Post
Traffic is a little crazy (even in a 5-lane hwy) in LA especially during rush hours. It's a nice city tho. I remember driving all the way to LA from Vancouver in our own car.
I went to L.A. a few weeks ago and rented a car down there, traffic wasn't that bad actually, it's always flowing even in rush hour. There was an accident on the other side though and it was horrible, gridlocked for miles.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:56 AM   #16
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going to LA with the guys anyone know where are some must see places to hit up?

and/or clubs ?
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