I'm leaving Las Vegas on 4-Nov, and arriving in LA on 10-Nov. I will have a car (which can be a 4WD if necessary). I'd love to see Yosemite and the coast from Monterey down to LA, but is it worth doing that much driving in 6 days? What would you recommend?
My alternatives are either explore Sierra Nevadas more and then go direct to LA, or explore Utah instead, being that it's closer to Las Vegas, then drive direct LV to LA (or maybe via Death Valley/Joshua Tree).
What do you think?
You definitely have time, but be aware that there's now snow in the Sierras and Tioga Pass will be closed. You'll have to go all the way up to Carson City to cross over to Tahoe. Phil gave you a comprehensive answer, but as a native, I have to say that Highway 395 is amazing and you won't see any place like it anywhere else. You can make a sidetrip to Death Valley if you want to experience that, but it will add a day. Stop Bodie to experience a ghost town. Mammoth Mountain is the highest accessible point in the Sierras (cable car to the top) and Mono Lake has an absolutely fascinating history. Going that way you'd get to see the stunning Lake Tahoe
The Coast is wonderful, but you live on the coast. It's not the same, granted, but the eastern part of the state is like nothing you have. OTOH, you may prefer the desert and if so, that's what you should do. Maybe even go to the Grand Canyon. Just depends on your interests.
The way I decide is "will I be sorry in 6 months that I didn't experience that? Will I ever go back to get to do it then?"
Mentioned in this answer: