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USA West Coast Honeymoon?

Hi Everyone! First time poster.. be kind! :)

Planning on doing 2 or 3 week road trip honeymoon on / around the West Coast of America next May (2nd onwards) and would love advice and to hear if anyone has done this before or similar, I have been looking into it and got so much conflicting info!

Would love to do San Francisco (and Napa / Sonoma), Monterey, LA & Vegas 

Would also love to go to San Diego, Yosemite and Grand Canyon but don't know if it would be do-able?

Any opinions would be massively appreciated!

Posts

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    Hi Alicia,

    There are a few girls on here doing the West Coast for their honeymoon so you are in good company!

    My husband and I did LA, the south of California, Vegas and the Grand Canyon a few years ago - it's an amazing trip!

    If you want to squeeze all of that in including the Canyon, I'd suggest going for three weeks. The Canyon isn't really near any of the other places you mentioned though so you may need to rethink your logistics. We visited whilst staying in Vegas and it was the highlight of our trip without a doubt. It has to be seen to be believed! 

    We arranged our trip independently of travel agents and I would recommend doing this so you have total flexibility of how long you stay in each place. America is so easy to deal with. The only thing I would advise on that front is that you don't rent a car from Dollar!

    Enjoy 😊 x

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,201

    Me me me! I am spending 3 weeks in CA for my honeymoon! Good choice if I do say so myself!

    SO.... I was undecided for ages whether to book it all alone or to go with an agent. We waited until a year to go for the prices to become available to do a detailed comparison of prices. What we found for our exact itinerary, was that to book it ourselves would have saved us about (and I won't give figures on the public forum) was about 15% cheaper then doing it through an agent. By that time, money was less of an issue, and time was more of an issue, so my fiancé took the decision out of my hands and decided to go through the agent.

    A further complication which swung this decision was the fact that accommodation in Yosemite books out literally 365 days in advance. I had read about this, but 365 days before our planned check out of Yosemite the stupid site was down. A couple of days later when I tried again, it was sold out! The travel agent had some of their bulk booked rooms so we HAD to go with them for that, so we just did it all through them. We are going in ultimate peak time - July, so hopefully this isn't the case for you but as you are only 7ish months away, I would check this before so you can plan around the park's availability. I am sure you will find somewhere but might not be able to be picky!

    Anywayyyyyy our itinerary is:

    Fly into Vegas, 5 nights there including 1 full day trip to GC (on a plane which lands on the south rim, then a helicopter tour around and a few hours to explore on foot, then a plane back)

    1 night death valley - there is only 1 hotel in this national park as far as I know so check this asap too.

    3 nights Yosemite

    3 nights San Fran (you can do Napa from here, but actually we decided not to as we heard Napa is rather touristy and there are other wine regions which are less quiet which you can do from other bases - see below)

    3 nights Monterey

    Drive the big sur and route 1 to Cambria - 1 night here

    2 nights Santa Barbara - from which we will be exploring the Santa Ynez wine region

    3 nights LA

    We are then flying to Maya Riviera in Mexico for a week relaxation at the end. The CA (+LV) portion is 21 nights, so 3 weeks exactly. Our itinerary was planned meticulously over many months spent researching and this is perfect for us, though definitely look into it for yourself as your preferences may vary slightly. See my planning thread (link in my signature) for more details on my honeymoon (just checked and it is on pages 12-13 to save you scrolling through!)

    Enjoy planning! PM me or reply here if you want more info, I am happy to help.

  • We did the West Coast last year, although it wasn't for our honeymoon. Best trip ever!! (which really is saying something, as we went to the Maldives for our actual honeymoon this year!) Airbnb and Roadtrippers were god sends, and meant that we visited and stayed at some really unbelievable places without breaking the bank. Yosemite was a bit of a de-tour off our route, but would recommend it over LA hands down (totally underwhelmed with LA whereas Yosemite was quite literally breathtaking).

    We did Portland down to LA in 3 weeks so you'll have plenty of time. I'm sure you'll have a trip to remember regardless of where exactly you start/stop :) 

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455

    I have done this road trip - we took 2.5 weeks and that was plenty of time to see everything. We started in Vegas and from there did a day trip to the canyon - I highly recommend http://gc.tours/#grandcanyontours we did a small private bus option with just one other couple so basically had a private guide. It was a long day but worth it. please don't waste your money on a plane tour from Vegas - the helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon advertised from Vegas goes into a Las Vegas businessman-developed, Native American owned area called Grand Canyon West, and not to the Grand Canyon National Park, which is the Grand Canyon that is known the world over and has more impressive views and history than GCW does. The National Park is too far for those birds to fly to from Vegas. 4 nights in Vegas is enough, we then went to San Francisco with an overnight stop in Yosemite (accommodation gets booked up incredibly fast). We had four nights in SF - if you want Alcatraz tickets again these get really booked up too. We then did the famous drive down the west coast stopping at Cambria and Carmel to orange country and LA. pm me if you want tips otherwise the trip advisor forums are amazingly helpful for getting feedback on your route. 

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,201
    Hails wrote (see post):

    please don't waste your money on a plane tour from Vegas - the helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon advertised from Vegas goes into a Las Vegas businessman-developed, Native American owned area called Grand Canyon West, and not to the Grand Canyon National Park, which is the Grand Canyon that is known the world over and has more impressive views and history than GCW does. The National Park is too far for those birds to fly to from Vegas.

    I agree, GC west is not the "real" grand canyon and not in the national park, but unfortunately lots of people buy it. However, if you look into it, there are other options to get to South Rim. The trip that I am doing/"wasting my money on" as you put it, is a plane (as in, aeroplane - not helicopter) tour from LV to GC south rim. I get travel sick on buses really bad so the bus tour is not an option for me and I didn't want to spend 11 hours on a bus to spend 3 hours in the park. This way, I spend 40 mins on a plane each way, and get 6 hours to look around. A much shorter day, more time in the park and no travel sickness - worth it in my opinion.

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455
    Jenni8 wrote (see post):
    Hails wrote (see post):

    please don't waste your money on a plane tour from Vegas - the helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon advertised from Vegas goes into a Las Vegas businessman-developed, Native American owned area called Grand Canyon West, and not to the Grand Canyon National Park, which is the Grand Canyon that is known the world over and has more impressive views and history than GCW does. The National Park is too far for those birds to fly to from Vegas.

    I agree, GC west is not the "real" grand canyon and not in the national park, but unfortunately lots of people buy it. However, if you look into it, there are other options to get to South Rim. The trip that I am doing/"wasting my money on" as you put it, is a plane (as in, aeroplane - not helicopter) tour from LV to GC south rim. I get travel sick on buses really bad so the bus tour is not an option for me and I didn't want to spend 11 hours on a bus to spend 3 hours in the park. This way, I spend 40 mins on a plane each way, and get 6 hours to look around. A much shorter day, more time in the park and no travel sickness - worth it in my opinion.

    Hi Jenni, yeh I mean don't waste your money not seeing the real canyon! 

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