A Summary – West Coast USA Road Trip

It’s hard to believe today has come, the end of our West Coast USA Road Trip

west coast usa road trip our route

Our Route, mapped by where I took photos!!

After months of planning, and looking forward to this trip, today is the day we fly home. We both agree this holiday for once has not really gone too quickly, and it actually seems an age ago we landed in Phoenix for the start of this 2200+ mile Road Trip.

A recap if for nothing else for us to remember for the future. We have done……..

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USA Road Trip – Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive in photos


Our posh drive today

Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive. If you have never been, you really should go!

Today it was off to the really posh parts of LA. Beverley Hills and mainly Rodeo Drive. First though, it was Hollywood Boulevard, spotting all the stars on the streets. Unfortunately, the only stars on the street were, well the actual stars on the street floor.

It turns out it was the 4th anniversary of Patrick Swayze’s passing, and a florist had left flowers on his star.

We walked up and down the Blvd, we were only on the street for an hour or so, and we were asked upwards of 12 times if we wanted to go on a star seeing tour!!

There were dressed up “stars” littering the street, people dressing up as Michael Jackson, Marilyn, Incredible Hulk, Spiderman to name but a few. The aim was to pose with people like us for tips. We declined and continued on our way.

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USA Road Trip – Universal Studios Los Angeles, The Sign, A View and a Drive

Today was a day of being like kids again. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS Los Angeles!!!! Woo hoo.

After getting a little lost we eventually found the car park. In our opinion $20 for the privilege of parking is a bit steep. This is after paying $170 for the tickets!! There were no queues on entry and we arrived 20 mins after it opened.

The first thing we did was to check out the wait times on the rides

  • Jurassic park = 10 mins
  • The Mummy = 10 mins
  • Transformers = 10 mins

We did all three in the first 45 minutes or so and transformers was amazing. Combining roller coaster effects with 3d interaction. It really felt like you were part of a mini movie. Therefore we did this again quickly afterwards and if anyone is thinking of going, try to sit in the front row of the car. The 3d robots really get in your face, and you even feel the heat from explosions!!

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USA Road Trip – Santa Monica and Venice Beach

So today we got up, knowing it was our last drive along the Pacific Coast Highway heading to Santa Monica and Venice Beach. As we leave our motel in Thousand Oaks, and head to Santa Monica via Malibu and the PCH. Traffic was quite heavy as we were going with the the traffic, but we were in no hurry.

santa-monica-and-venice-beach-1000One thing we have noticed, and I guess this is the same anywhere, is that the nearer to the cities you get, the more in a hurry people seem to be.

We arrived at our hotel, the Hilton (lar de dar!) and instead of turning left into the $32 a night Hilton Parking Garage, we turned right, and parked in the local $5 a night court house car park. Don’t know about you, but I don’t mind walking across the street to save 80 bucks!! I’d probably walk even further.

Hats off to Suz for spotting this tip on trip adviser, and also to the traveller that posted it in the first place.

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USA Road Trip – Santa Barbara and Malibu on the PCH

Ok. So we wake up to continue our drive to Santa Barbara and Malibu on the PCH Santa Barbara.  After yesterday we were looking forward to bright blue skies, glorious coast line, stunning scenery.

Santa Barbara and Malibu on the PCH routeAnd had we looked at yesterday’s photos we would have had exactly that. Instead, we chose to look out the window to a gloomy start.

Never mind, the first couple of hours, being at the bay of Morro, we decided to look at everything in black and white, as shown by the first few pictures.

After a quick look around Morro Bay, we headed south towards Malibu, which is near where we were spending our final night in a motel before living it up in the Hilton at Santa Monica. For some strange reason, and one we still cannot work out, we detoured to a town called Guadalupe to see their sand dunes where bits of Pirates of the Caribbean and The 10 Commandments were filmed. Wen we got there, we were greeted by the amazing sights of…….well..sand.

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USA Road Trip – Awesome Pacific Coast Highway

Awesome-Pacific-Coast-Highway-1000The Awesome Pacific Coast Highway. Only 141 miles covered today, but WOW, what a 141 miles it was. Added up, that makes 1,743 miles travelled so far.

The day started off with an incy wincy lie in, until 8am. After an average breakfast, we headed off to Fisherman’s Wharf at Monterey Bay. A quaint little bay with a pier, restaurants, gift shops etc. We stayed for just under 2 hours, and at 1pm, after stopping at a 7/11 to pick up some sandwiches, we headed off to 17 mile drive.

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USA Road Trip – Driving from San Francisco to Monterey

We had to check out of our SF hotel today but not until midday, so we went out for an early ish morning stroll around the local blocks.

The main aim to try and get rid of $200 as quickly as possible on a new pair of Ugg boots for Suzanne before we started driving from San Francisco to Monterey.

our route Driving from San Francisco to Monterey

The Route we took

We succeeded with relative ease.

One thing we did see which amused us, was. Chinese tourist, outside the Sir Francis Drake hotel, in San Francisco, having a photo taken with a Beefeater.

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USA Road Trip – Things to see in San Francisco from our view

Things to see in San Francisco, from our view. If you have read previous posts, you will see we have driven quite a bit. However, no miles travelled today. Didn’t even see the car. If we are paying $51 to park a car, then it is going to stay put and get all our moneys worth!!

san francisco fogGuess what, another early start!! Up at 7, to be out by 8 so we could get to Pier 33 to catch our ferry to Alcatraz Island. The weather started off foggy, and got only slightly better through the day, as you will see.

We arrived in good time to grab a bit of breakfast in a little place next to the port. San Francisco is sooooo expensive!! We boarded the boat for the 15 minute crossing, the view to the right blue skies and sunshine, with Bay Bridge in the distance. The view to the left, dense fog. A right mixture of things to see in San Francisco!

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USA Road Trip – Lone Pine to Yosemite in a day

Circumventing the Rim Fire

Lone Pine to Yosemite. This was our route on the 6th September 2013 when we had to navigate the Yosemite 2013 Fire.

Lone Pine to Yosemite

At this point we would like to extend our utmost thanks to the hunter that started the Yosemite 2013 Fire. One of the largest fires in US history.  This ensured that to get from Lone Pine to Yosemite today we covered over 300 miles. We had to go up and around Yosemite National Park, instead of through the park as we intended.

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