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Michelle
Indiana

Michelle from Indiana asked

Vacation Roadtrip From Vegas to Seattle- what to do?

We are doing a family summer vacation with 3 teenagers across the west coast. We are flying into Vegas and spending a day at the grand canyon and a day on the strip, then driving up to Merced and staying the night there and spending the next day at Yosemite and then back to Merced for the night again. Then we are driving into San Jose to see family and going to San Francisco for 1-2 days. Then we thought we would continue up the coast along 101 through the redwoods and stopping at a city along there for the night, possibly Eureka. Then up to Eugene to see family for a couple days then up to Seattle to fly out. We are trying to save money where we can on the activities and site seeing. Any hotel or restaurant suggestions, must see places, any tips on what to do or not to do, or general advice about the trip. Thanks

Las Vegas   Yosemite National Park   Merced   San Jose   San Francisco   Eureka (California)   Eugene   Seattle

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answered by
Dee from California

The kids will love In n Out Burgers, but they're only as far as SF.  Look up their "Secret Menu" online as they're not listed inside the restaurants. 

Everything you've picked will be great for the kids.  The Oregon Coast will be great (although not as nice as the CA coast you're missing. ;-) )  Are you spending any time in SEA?  If so, the Seattle Center with the Experience Music Project and the Experience Music should hold their interest.  Also, the Ducks Tour is a fun way to see the city.  Ivars restaurant(s) downtown is an institution and can be very inexpensive.

I'm assuming you're coming this summer?  We came through Merced yesterday.  It was 106F.  Bring appropriate clothes, but be aware that it *could* be cold along the coast and if you're going to SEA anytime other than Aug, the chance of rain is about 75%. 

If you don't use WAZE app, check it out.  It not only gives directions, but also traffic conditions and alternative routes if there's a problem.  We never leave home without it now.  Also GASBUDDY app for the least expensive gas.  We saved $.25/gal yesterday by going 2 miles off of Hiway 99 thanks to the info and the driving directions to get there.

PS-get into Yosemite Village as early as you can.  It will be CROWDED.  If you don't have a National Park Pass yet, look to get one before you go.  It will save you both time and money.

Have a great time.


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Michelle
We have never really been to National Parks before and we will be renting a minivan. Are there trails we could drive through with like 15 min walks at the site seeing observation points? The info I have been finding focuses a lot on long hikes, but we are not the super outdoorsy type and just want to see the major sites without lots hiking. What suggestions do you have. Also what is the national park pass and which parks are the best to visit?We will probably try to do more than one in a day. The trip is planned for the beginning of August.
 

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Dee
At Grand Canyon you can drive right up, hop out, look at the view and then drive again. In Yosemite you don't even have to get out of the car. (But I certainly hope you do!!!) For non-seniors the National Park Pass--which gets you into any National Park in the country free for a year--is $80. You're only going to 2 @ $30/ea, Grand Canyon and Yosemite, so that wouldn't help you. (Redwoods are free.) You can google information on it. I would suggest you do a bit of research before you go; you'll enjoy your trip a lot more.
 
 
 

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answered by
Lee from Merced

Freemont Street light show is free evening entertainment.  The Las Vegas Revue show  is the most family friendly.  Film clips and imitators of famous performers give an overview of Vegas history.  Some original improv  with audience participation makes for a good evening.  Boulder Dam Hotel charges for parking but worth it. The walking tour into the power house may not be worth the time.  In Bakersfield,  soon after you hit hwy 99, will be Buck Owens' Crystal Palace.  It might be a good rest stop with a few things about country music.  


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Lee
The gas station a few blocks north of Buck Owens usually has best prices you will find in the central valley.
 
 
 

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answered first by
Claire from San Diego

Why don't you spend the night at Redwood National Park. They have campgrounds where you can spend the night and it's a gorgeous park. I would also try Sunset Bay State Park which is near a lovely place called Coos Bay and I know they have camping. I think you can even stay in a yurt there which I would think a bunch of teenagers would love!



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