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[Travel Advice] West Coast Trip

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by hardLINer, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. hardLINer

    hardLINer Member

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    Hello there fellow Clutchfans,
    two friends of mine and I are planing a West Coast Trip and I wanted to see if some of you might have a few informations. We are all in our mid 20s and from Germany, first US trip for us.

    We plan on starting our trip in LA (8 days) moving to San Diego (7 days) and Las Vegas (2-3 days) in the end.
    We wanted to use airbnb for a place to stay and we wanted to rent a car for the whole time.

    My questions:
    Does having a car the whole time makes sense in the cities?
    Is there a huge diffenrence between airbnb and hostels in the US? (we try to not spend more than 30-40 $ per night each)
    Are there any recommendations or inside tips for things you must see?
    Are there any regions in the cities where it is best to live? (for tourist stuff and things like this)
    Should we leave Las Vegas out and take more time for LA and San Diego?

    If you have general tips for our trips I would be very happy if you share them.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    If you like wine, Temecula Valley is a nice place slightly out of the way between LA and SD. Laguna Beach is a nice place to chill.
     
  3. Jugdish

    Jugdish Member

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    You'll need a car in California to get anywhere.

    Eight days sounds like a lot for L.A. Why not take a couple of days from L.A. and from San Diego and add San Francisco? The drive along the coast is incredible.

    There is virtually no hostel culture in the U.S. $30-40 for an AirBNB won't get you much, and I have no idea what the hostel situation would be. Again, hostels are not a thing in America--I couldn't tell you where one is in Houston, and I've been here 30 years.
     
  4. hardLINer

    hardLINer Member

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    Yeah we were thinking about driving along the coast but we only have around 18 days and we were not sure if it would be enough since we would spent a lot of time in the car. (correct me if mistaken)

    We hoped $30-40 would be enough since we do not have very high standarts reagarding our stay
     
  5. EddieWasSnubbed

    EddieWasSnubbed Contributing Member

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    I've never been to LA, but I'd spend something like 5 days there instead, and do some hiking around the national parks of Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, etc. Of those, I've only been to Grand Canyon, but I plan on visitng the others and Yosimite, and the Giant Sequoias, as well. All are in the same general region.


    Also, once your itenerary is finalized, give some interests, things you want to do, how much you want to spend, etc. You can get some better, more specific advice then.
     
  6. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    In LA you need a car, so many things to do that are far away, and with traffic you will be on the road quite a bit.
     
  7. Jugdish

    Jugdish Member

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    Well, your preferred pace may differ from mine. The last three years I've gone to Europe in the summer for three weeks and visited five countries each time. But even for a slow traveler, one week in L.A. still sounds like a hell of a long time.

    Like the other poster suggested, look into the parks around California. The best thing America ever did for tourists was create the national parks. L.A.'s just a city that didn't exist 100 years ago. This ain't Europe--there is no history to soak in. Same thing with San Diego. I mean, how man beach days do you really need?

    I say go for the parks. The natural beauty is as good as anywhere else in the world.

    I'm sure you can get a bed for $40 or less on AirBNB. No entire homes, though.
     
  8. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    ....as many as I can get.
     
  9. dumbartonbass

    dumbartonbass Contributing Member
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    I think you should make time for San Francisco at the expense of Vegas unless you're really invested in the idea of divesting yourself from your money.

    Northern California is beautiful in a totally different way from southern California and San Francisco is very popular among European tourists. It's naturally beautiful, has amazing museums, vibrant culture and is near wine country. Plus, you don't need a car once you're in the city. You'll definitely need a car in Los Angeles and San Diego.
     
  10. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I would say yes you need a car. You will definitely need it for the time in Los Angeles. There is some public transportation that can actually save time. The subway can save time for sure. The buses maybe won't save time and can actually add time depending on where you take them.

    LA does have a lot as far as food, beaches, hiking, tourist spots. There are also great things close to Los Angeles that might be worth taking a day or two of your LA time to visit. Solvang/Los Alamos/Santa Ynez area is a great place that's close for wines. A day trip is possible but probably a little much. Paso Robles is an even better wine area that is half way between LA and San Francisco. There and back to LA in one day is a little too much.

    Santa Barbara is a fun beach town with some great food and wine options there too. I don't know why I'm bringing up wine tasting so much except that I really enjoy it. Santa Barbara has an old mission there and other things to see. It is easy to go there and back to LA in one day.

    There are tons of hiking areas and places to camp near Los Angeles that might be good things to do as well, and would all require a car.

    San Diego would be better with a car, but isn't 100% necessary. Depending on where you stay you might find food/bars and things to do that are very close. It would be possible to mix up walking/public transportation/Uber and still have a good stay in San Diego. It would mean less freedom as far as when you could do the things you want, and places outside of the city.

    Vegas is pretty easy to have a great time if you want to focus your fun on the strip and possibly Old Vegas. There are good things to do outside of those places, but it's possible to spend a couple of days just there.
     
  11. professorjay

    professorjay Contributing Member

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    What are your interests? My priorities are more towards city/culture/beaches. I'm not much of an outdoor parks guy, although I have done the road trip thing through Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, etc.

    And just to be clear, you guys want to spend $30/40 total or per person each night?

    Anyways I personally would lean towards reducing your LA/San Diego time to make room for San Fran. My European friends love it (as does everyone else). I would also keep Vegas as it's a unique experience you should do at least once. Although if you like more solitude, not drinking, etc skip it. To keep your budget intact, do most of your gambling downtown and find cheap ways to keep betting, like cheap slots or taking turns betting on red and black on the roulette table to keep the free drinks coming.
     
  12. DrLudicrous

    DrLudicrous Contributing Member

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    Hostels here will cost around 30-40 a night per person. You should be able to get AirBNB places for a similar price.
     
  13. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    LA= The Getty, Hollywood and Venice Beach

    The standard CA1 trip is cooler. San Diego to Yosemite....
    Malibu, San Luis Obispo, San Simeon, Big Sur, Carmel/Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Napa and Yosimite

    There should be every type of travel book to make every day fun.
     
  14. FishBulb913

    FishBulb913 Contributing Member

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    What time of year are you planning this trip?
     
  15. hardLINer

    hardLINer Member

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    Thanks so far for all the information!


    We want to start our trip mid October (like 17th) and then stay for 18-20 days since we all have to be back for Uni afterwards.

    $30-40 per person each per night

    Well we definitly wanted to see the culture of theses cities and at least visit one museum in each city and see a few city highlights. We are all interested in nature and definitly wanted to visit national parks. So we were looking for a nice mix of nature and city with one or two beach days in between.

    We come together tomorrow and will look into San Francisco and all the nature stuff you mentioned. Again thanks a lot!
     
  16. el gnomo

    el gnomo Member

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    I haven't stayed in one myself, but have met plenty of foreign chicks staying at SF hostels. Also, you'll need a car to get from LA/SD to SF, but you won't need the car once you get to SF. Uber/Lyft are cheap enough to get you anywhere you need to go. If you have 15 days between LA/SD/SF, I'd do 5/5/5. Vegas is cool, but depending on how hard you plan on partying, it may be better to move it to the beginning of your trip. Not sure I'd personally have the energy to go hard after a long trip.
     
  17. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    You don't need a week in Sam Diego. I'd spend half your trip in LA/San Diego and the other half in San Fran and Northern California. Big Sur and Monterey Bay Area is wonderful. 15 days is more than enough to hit the best of Cali, don't limit yourself to 2 cities. Vegas may be worth a night depending on your interests.
     
  18. jchu14

    jchu14 Contributing Member

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    Driving from San Francisco to LA is well worth the time and effort. Big Sur is one of the most gorgeous part of the United States.

    I've been to LA a couple of times and it's really not amazing unless food is your number one goal. The restaurant scene is amazing but sights are rather lacking IMO.

    $30-$40 per person per night for lodging will be tough in SF and LA, especially if you need a parking spot. You should definitely look a little farther out of city.

    7 days in San Diego is too much. 1 day for the Gaslamp District and USS Midway museum. 1 day at the San Diego Zoo. Then add on another day for La Jolla Cove, Coronado, or some other miscellaneous things would be enough.


    Las Vegas should definitely stay on the itinerary. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's definitely something you would want to do at least once.

    I would also recommend cheap out on hotels in Vegas. Even cheap places like Excalibur will give you the 'Vegas feel' without spending lot of money. You won't be spending much time in your room/hotel anyways. I would definitely still stay on strip though (somewhere in between Mandalay Bay and Wynn). You can gamble elsewhere on the strip. Save your money for gambling and food. I would also heavily recommend seeing a Cirque Soleil show in Vegas. It's really something to behold.
     
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