Attractions of the South West
Start: Los Angeles Finish : Los Angeles
Total Distance: 2500 miles
Duration: 23 Days
* This tour can be done also as a round trip from San Francisco or Las Vegas.
Running from San Francisco in the north right down to San Diego, California has to be one of those "dream destinations". It has everything from beach to forests and National Parks so whatever your inclination, do join us for this magnificent ride in California, Nevada and Arizona and visit some of US’s most famous National Parks !
(Route Number One, California)
On arrival into Los Angeles, make your way to the airport area hotel you have booked and enjoy a relaxing overnight stay.
first thing to arrange the time for motorhome collection.
Once you have your motorhome, get yourself on to Route 101 and head north - you are on your way to stay at Santa Margarita Lake KOA, just under four hours (240 miles) away.
Dying to get going towards San Francisco ?
Please, but first be sure to stop at several points along Route Number One -
first at that well-known Hearst Castle, as you drive through San Simeon - 65 miles into your journey. The amazing 165-room mansion, set in 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, and walkways, was built by William Randolph Hearst, son of a wealthy miner, and is now a state historical monument. Daily tours of Hearst Castle start from 8.20 a.m.
Take time to enjoy amazing coastal scenery through the Big Sur and Pebble Beach- a small entrance fee (currently $8.00 per car) provides stunning views of landmarks such as Bird Rock, home to countless seabirds; the 250-year old Lone Cypress, and the sinister Ghost Tree, bleached white by wind and spray. Golfers will wonder at classic courses bearing famous names like Spyglass Hill, Cypress Point, and Pebble Beach itself where The Lodge is well worth a visit.
You can stop at Carmel - the quaint village of boutiques, galleries and speciality shops. Then visit Monterey - California's first capital. Discover Steinbeck's historic Cannery Row with its quaint shops, restaurants and attractions. See the undersea world of Monterey Bay at the giant Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Monterey's own Fisherman's Wharf, formerly a centre of the whaling and sardine industries and today lined with shops and seafood restaurants.
Then cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge for spectacular views of the City and Bay. You are heading for the Petaluma KOA, 34 miles north of that famous icon. A petting farm with cattle, sheep, donkeys, goats and peacocks enhances the ranch atmosphere at this campground. Summertime fun includes an inflatable water slide; bounce house and sunset hayrides - so plenty to do as well the option to take guided tours of San Francisco, which depart daily May through October. Enjoy a second night at Petaluma KOA.
Enjoy the sites of city San Francisco - Take the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39's shops, seafood and sea lions. Catch a boat from here to visit Alcatraz, formerly the infamous island fortress and prison, now a fascinating tourist attraction. Perhaps tour the wine country of Sonoma County and Napa Valley or the giant coastal redwoods of Muir Woods and the artists' colony of Sausalito.
An early start is recommended today for the drive across California; 192 miles to the town of Midpines and the Yosemite/Mariposa KOA, the gateway to the first National Park of this trip - Yosemite (Yoss-em-i-tee). Watch for the views across San Pablo Bay as you leave San Francisco. Stay at Yosemite KOA for two nights. Your campground is at the edge of the Park and you will enjoy a drive of just under an hour to the Park itself. Spend the day exploring the fascinating scenery and return to Yosemite KOA for your second night.
The drive is about 260 miles today and it will be quite a long day so an early start is recommended. The driving will hopefully be leisurely as you drive once more through Yosemite National Park before taking the southerly route through the Sierra National Forest to the town of Fresno and maybe an hour for lunch. Then take the winding, easterly route 198 to Sequoia (Si-koy-a) National Forest, home to some of the world’s largest trees, and to one of the oldest cities in California, Visalia. Drive through the town to the Visalia/Fresno South KOA to overnight.
Heading for Las Vegas - and a two night stay at the Circus Circus KOA campground. It is almost a seven hour drive, mainly freeway, but worth it to get to the "fun capital"! NB: If you are feeling brave enough to extend this journey, and you are traveling between October and May, a route through Death Valley may be your choice but be aware it will be a very long day. Circus Circus is right on the Las Vegas Strip and campers have access to one of the city's top family resorts featuring an indoor theme park Adventuredome, daily circus acts, three full size casinos, swimming pools, spa, awardwinning restaurants and more. Enjoy the fun and return to your own ‘home’ at night.
The third National Park of this tour is coming up today - it is in Utah and just three hours from Las Vegas. Like Yosemite and Sequoia, but very different, Zion National Park is spectacular. Just 30 miles northeast of Zion is your overnight stop, the Glendale KOA, set right in the middle of the natural wonders of Utah. Take a dip in the pool or saddle up for a horseback trail ride.
Not traveling far today, in fact only 43 miles in just under an hour, to the Cannonville/ Bryce Valley KOA located just about 12 miles from the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. This Park is totally different again from the other three, so much not to be missed and we want you to have the opportunity to spend the day. Giant amphitheatres bristling with pink rock pinnacles that seem to glow at sunrise and sunset are the background to hundreds of back roads, hiking and biking trails and guided horseback rides. You can even take an air tour from Bryce Canyon Airport.
Leave around 8am and arrive at Flagstaff KOA in Arizona by 6pm - and this includes the time for a three or four hour trip on Lake Powell. This is a fabulous man-made lake on the Colorado River and, if available on the day, we suggest you rent a speedboat and take it to the famous Rainbow Bridge National Monument - a journey that would take over 150 miles overland!
After your overnight, 7,000 feet above sea level, you will probably want to ride the nearby Skyride up to 11,500 feet for an overview of the Grand Canyon, Coconino (Cocoa-nee-no) National Forest and Flagstaff itself. There are hiking trails from the campsite or go south and visit Walnut Canyon and its ancient cliff dwellings carved in the walls. Head west now, just 43 miles, to Williams KOA, the gateway to the Grand Canyon, where you are booked for two nights! You have three choices for going to the Grand Canyon. Take the hours drive so you have all the home comforts; join KOA's van tour or arrive by rail on the Grand Canyon Railway. Your KOA hosts will help with reservations and taxi to the railway as well as book a helicopter tour of the Canyon (definitely not to be missed!) or jeep and rafting tours. At the campground you can enjoy live Western music, hayrides, fun-bike rentals, mini-golf and horseback riding.
On the homeward road today but there is no need to rush away from Williams - so do spend the morning enjoying some of those activities they provide. The drive is 125 miles today - 82 of them on State Road 66, better known as the world-famous "Route 66" - where we hope you’ll get some kicks!! Head for Kingman, where a visit to the Route 66 Museum is a must. Then unwind in the huge pool at Kingman KOA, high in the desert surrounded by the Hualapai (Hu-al-apie) Mountains. Nearby you can see traces of the pioneer wagon ruts that still mark the Fort Beale Wagon Trail.
The next to last day is a long one - 340 miles but with three stops. Heading west, the first stop is another icon of the Colorado River - the world-famous Hoover Dam on the border of Arizona and Nevada. Stop a while and stare at this man-made wonder before heading into Boulder City, then go south and skirt the Providence Mountains before diverting to the Mojave National Preserve for the penultimate stop on this itinerary. Overnight tonight at the Barstow KOA.
Around 150 miles drive to drive back to the rental station in Los Angeles .
In Los Angeles itself visit Beverly Hills, Sunset Strip and Hollywood
Boulevard, or Universal Studios. Perhaps climb the Mount Lee Trail to the
famous Hollywood sign.
Your route continues to Anaheim, your base for the next attraction - Disneyland
Resort. Since the doors of Disney opened, Anaheim has become a garden resort
ideally positioned for enjoyment of theme park thrills and fun. Disneyland
Resort, Downtown Disney and Disney's California Adventure are neighbours
while Knott's Berry Farm, Soak City and many other parks are 10 minutes away
at Buena Park.
Perhaps visit some of the famous beaches south of L.A. as you continue to
San Diego. Maybe Long Beach where the elegant Cunarder Queen Mary
has been restored as an attraction and floating hotel; Huntingdon Beach,
also known as Surf City, or Newport Beach with its charming waterfront,
elegant shops and restaurants. Further south La Jolla is the place for smart
boutiques before you arrive in San Diego itself.
With a year-round near perfect climate it is the beaches, SeaWorld and the
famous San Diego Zoo that are the biggest attractions. But the Old Town itself
is also a 'must see'. Classified as a State Historic Park, the area is dedicated to
thepreservation of San Diego's history and Victorian architecture. Historic
buildings, museums, theatre, strolling players and talented artists add to the
atmosphere. You may wish to take a historic walking tour, offered daily from the
Return your RV to Los Angeles rental stations and…fly back home.