Tuesday, January 19, 2010

California Road Trip

California trip plan diagram.We have booked1 yet another one of our mega-road-trips. This one is going to be our first official2 visit to California. California is where we’ll spend 90% of our time and about 10% we’re going to spend in a neighboring Nevada. We spent several days looking for the best route, picking out the hotels and lodges and reserving3 everything.

On early morning of Saturday, April 24th, we fly4 out from JFK to Los Angeles. We rent5 a car at the airport and proceed to check out the city and its neighborhoods. Then we drive out east in the direction of Joshua Tree National Park and spend our first night6 in a hotel located in an adjacent town of Yucca Vallley.

On Sunday, April 25th, we visit Joshua Tree National Park. Then we drive through Mojave National Preserve to Death Valley National Park. We spend a night7 in Furnace Creek, CA.

We spend all Monday, April 26th, on exploring Death Valley National Park. Toward the end of the day we turn back west and drive to Sequoia National Park and spend the next 2 nights8 in the lodge located right inside the park.

Tuesday, April 27th is dedicated to exploring Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park.

On Wednesday, April 28th, we’re driving further north to Yosemite National Park. We’re going to spend 2 nights9 here and will dedicate Wednesday and Thursday to the explanation of this famous park.

On Friday, April 30th, we are going to Nevada. We’re using the chance to visit the capital of Nevada — Carson City. We also might drive up to Reno and see what that’s about. And we’ll spend the night10 on Lake Tahoe staying in a casino resort.

On Saturday, May 1st, we drive west again all the way to San Francisco. We’re going to stop in the capital of California — Sacramento, on our way there. We’ll spend 2 final nights11 of our vacation in San Francisco, exploring the city and maybe drive down to Silicon Valley.

And on Monday morning we’re flying out from SFO to JFK, thus concluding our mega vacation. Should be as good as the previous road trips, or so I hope.

Update: We ended up not going to Lake Tahoe and spent a night in Cupertino, CA instead. The reason was the road closures due to snow and us not having chains for tires. Hopefully we’ll make up for this some other time.

  1. Full diagram of our route is available. Blue pins stand for the places where we’re spending a night and green ones for our planned destinations. Full driving map is also available via Google Maps. []
  2. Four of us. Alena and I have changed planes several times in CA, but that doesn’t really count. My parents have been to California before. []
  3. All reservation prices in the list below include the tax. []
  4. JetBlue, non stop flights, $269 per person, round trip + $15 insurance per person. []
  5. Fox Rent a Car, $478 from LAX to SFO, Jeep Patriot or similar. []
  6. Best Western, $154 total, 2 rooms with king size beds. []
  7. Furnace Creek Ranch, $213 for 1 room with 2 queen size beds. []
  8. Wuksachi Lodge, $502 for 2 nights, 2 room with king size beds. []
  9. Yosemite View Lodge, $364 for 2 nights, 1 room with 2 queen size beds. []
  10. Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Resort, $284 for 1 nights, 2 rooms with king size beds. []
  11. Hilton San Francisco Financial District, $554 for 2 nights, 2 rooms with king size beds. Originally we booked a place outside the city, but decided that it was a wrong decision for our first visit. []
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