The countdown to our round-the-world adventure is now less than 7 weeks and the stress, panic and excitement levels are all rapidly rising. We keep saying it, but we honestly can’t believe how fast the last few months have gone by – hell, we’re nearly halfway through 2011!
Over the past couple of weeks we’ve started planning the USA leg of our trip and this post is dedicated to the West Coast section of our journey, which commences in mid-August after we’ve finished our 16 nights in Hawaii. This is by no means a finalized plan (flexibility is crucial when traveling like this) and we’re not sure how we’re getting between all of these destinations yet but we think it’s a good start.
Here’s how the map is looking at the moment:
As always, we appreciate all of your feedback and suggestions – does it look like we missing something important? And if you’re anywhere on our West Coast route and want to catch up for a drink, shout out and let us know!
Our Planned Route
Our first stop on the mainland is Seattle where the major attractions we want to see are Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and the Woodland Park Zoo to feed the giraffes.
We’ll then head south to Portland and spend a couple of days enjoying the nature, food and breweries in this charming city. Depending on how we decide to get to the next destination, we may head off the beaten path a little bit and explore more of Oregon.
We’ll then enter California and revisit San Francisco for a second time. San Francisco is one of our favorite cities in the world and we’re really looking forward to seeing what we missed out on last time around including the Cheesecake Factory (yum!). We’ll also do a day trip to Napa Valley and get our wine tasting on – anyone care to be the designated driver?
From San Francisco, we’ll most likely head a few hours Northeast through Sacramento and onto Lake Tahoe for some perfect weather, outdoor activities and sunbathing by the lake.
We’re then hopefully going to drive from Tahoe into the Yosemite National Park, stopping off at the ghost town of Bodie on the way. We’ve got no idea what to see or how long to spend in Yosemite so if you can help us out, let us know!
We’ll then make our way to the Sin City Las Vegas with possible stops in the Sequoia National Park and Death Valley. We’re looking forward to splurging a little bit in Vegas, staying somewhere on the strip and possibly seeing another Cirque du Soleil show among other things. Our Vegas plans deserve a post of their own – we want to spend at least a few days here!
If time and budget permits, we’d love to do a short road-trip to see the sun set over the Grand Canyon and then head onwards to Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon in Utah. But these are a big ‘maybe’ at the moment.
It’s then on to Los Angeles/Hollywood to party like movie stars and catch a TV taping. Our growing to-do list also includes a visit to the Griffith Observatory and hiking to the Hollywood sign. After we’ve had enough in LA, we’ll then venture the short distance to the coast and Santa Monica/Venice Beach for some beach time, exercise and people watching.
… and then where should we go? San Diego? Phoenix? Or jump on a plane and head further out to Denver or Texas? Tell us what you think!
- Unfortunately we won’t get to drive down Highway One again because we’ve opted to check out the National Parks this time instead.
- This list has been trimmed down a lot since we first started planning and so far we’ve eliminated Palm Springs and Anaheim (already visited in 2009). More cities may be cut but we won’t know until we get on the road.
- If a special flight deal or offer pops up, this entire plan could be thrown out the window! Ahh, the joys of long-term travel!
Can you help us?
As we said, if you’re anywhere on this route and want to catch up for a drink – let us know! We would also love to get a local’s perspective on some of the cities we visit and if you have a spare day to show us around or have a couch we can crash on, we would be forever grateful.
If you’ve traveled through this area before and have some great advice for us, please share it in the comments below. Whether it’s a critique of our itinerary, a fantastic hotel/hostel to stay at, a place to eat or a must-do activity, we’re open to all of your suggestions.