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Old August 16th, 2013, 10:28 AM posted to
Terry Pinnell[_3_]
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Default USA December trip recommendations?

Stef wrote:

Terry Pinnell wrote:

Stef wrote:

Terry Pinnell wrote:

"tim....." wrote:

"Stef" wrote in message
Terry Pinnell wrote:

I'm visiting my son and grandsons in San Diego for a week or so from
23rd December. Before that I'd like to take 7-10 days on my own elsewhere
and would much appreciate recommendations please.

Basically I'd like to fly from London Gatwick to an initial destination
and then hire a car and work my way to San Diego, sightseeing en route,
staying at motels. Or if the initial destination was too far away, do
*some* driving but then fly the remainder.

If it wasn't winter then I'd probably elect to visit Canyonlands, Moab,
Yellowstone etc, places in the West that I missed on previous trips.
included Boston, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree
National Park, LA, Las Vegas, Meteor Crater, Miami, New York, Niagara,
Palm Springs, Phoenix, San Francisco, Sedona, Sequoia National Park,
Yosemite, Zion - and I may have missed some.

I haven't got the maps and guides out yet so I'm wide open to all
suggestions please. Tentative thoughts include maybe New Orleans (if it's
no longer too depressing after the flood catastrophe?) or starting at
mid America location and traveling via a southerly (warm!) route
westwards. If I wasn't on my own then I'd want to do some hiking but I
reckon on this trip I'll stick to a 'drive and stroll' style.

All ideas warmly appreciated please.

Here's the most efficient routing for the majority of the destinations
you list. Leaves out Boston, New York, Niagara, New Orleans, Miami.
All East Coast ciities and all about 2600 miles (4000 km) from San

Fly directly into San Francisco and spend a few days seeing it and the
surrounding areas. Then, depending on the weather: Yosemite, Sequoia,
Kings Canyon, Death Valley, Las Vegas. Using Vegas as a base: Zion
and Bryce and return to Vegas. Can't visit the North Rim of the Grand
Canyon. It's closed from mid-October to mid-May. South Rim open

Depart Vegas for Grand Canyon (South Rim), Flagstaff, The Meteor Crater
is about a hour east on Interstate 40, return to Flagstaff to Sedona and
Oak Creek Canyon, Phoenix, then Interstate 10 to Joshua Tree, Palm
Springs, and finally to San Diego.

This is an ambitious trip for 7 to 10 days.

I'll say

ISTR I spent 3 weeks doing the same and everybody thought that I was doing
too much

Also, the days are short
in December: the sun sets about 5pm. So take that into account.

And if you go as far inland as Grand Canyon, it does snow. It fell
overnight though the main roads were completely clear by lunchtime, but
there was lots of evidence that early in the morning conditions were too
severe for some US drivers :-)

And I missed out on Bryce completely because that was absolutely covered
(though Bryce is definitely a step to far in this itinerary)


Thanks all but I obviously made a crucial mistake in my wording, sorry! By
"Those included..." I meant my PREVIOUS TRIPS, not places I'd missed. In
other words a list of places I DON'T want to visit on this next trip. And
also indicating the sort of places I've enjoyed in the past.

Well, that certainly changes things, doesn't it?. ;-)

Okay. Go crazy. Go to Hawaii! Find a three island, 10 day package. I
suggest Oahu, Maui, The Big Island. Or book a 7 or 10 cruise to the
Eastern Caribbean out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Or maybe a cruise
from Miami to LA through the Panama Canal? Or get out the old guide
book and see what just Southern California from Santa Barbara to San
Diego has to offer. At least, go to Disneyland. Everyone should visit
it at least once in their life just to put on the resume.


Thanks, but that's some way off my tentative ideas as described! No
thoughts on itinerary to reach San Diego by car from the east?

Okay. But you must realize the United States is BIG, even the shortest,
most direct crosscountry routes are 2600 to 2800 miles (4000+ km). It
will take you about 4 days and 3 nights, and that's going 80 mph (130
kmph), stopping only for gas, food and sleep. I know. I've done it
3 times by 3 different routes--northern, central and southern. In any
case, if you really want to drive across country in December, here is
my recommendation: take the extreme southern route, Interstate 10,
for the best possible weather. Once you get past Tucson, Arizona, get
on Interstate 8 and that will take you directly to San Diego.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.


Thanks Stef. I'll get the maps out and plan a suitable route from a
location roughly east of San Diego that will allow comfortable driving
distance of say 250 miles max and interesting stops with 1 or even 2
nights if local sights justify it.

If I decide on New Orleans as destination #1 then I'll fly to destination
#2, and that will obviously then be a little further west to allow for the
couple of days less driving time.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK