My US honeymoon road trip itinerary

This spring, Man vs World will discover America.

My soon-to-be wife and I will be touching down in the land of the free and the home of the brave in late September this year for a honeymoon road trip. We’ll drive through California, to Vegas, and along the famed Pacific Coast Highway.

From the moment I popped the question on a beach in Bali last year, we’ve had our hearts set on a honeymoon in the USA. And now, at the time of writing, there are exactly 10 weeks – or 70 days – until we go.

I can’t wait to visit all of these places on our itinerary…

Scenery along the Pacific Coast Highway

Los Angeles

The City of Angels is the first stop on our three-week honeymoon road trip and the place where we’ll pick up our wheels. Be warned, folks – we drive on the left in New Zealand so you might want to avoid the roads around LA while I get the hang of driving on the wrong side of the road.

During our time in LA I hope to do the following:

  • Drive down Sunset Boulevard with the roof down.
  • Beverly Hills, that’s where I want to be.
  • Visit Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice Beach.
  • Stroll down Rodeo Drive and walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Visit Disneyland and Universal Studios.
  • Catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign.
  • Do one of those cheesy tours of celebrity homes.

That’s right; we’re going to do all the really touristy stuff when we’re in LA. We’re keen to know what you think we should do while we’re there, so let us know in the comments section.

Las Vegas at night
View from the top of the Paris Eiffel Tower. Photo by Ricardo630

Las Vegas

We’re going to Vegas, baby! I keep telling the future Mrs Man vs World that we should get married in Vegas and save on the exorbitant cost of getting married here. She doesn’t like that idea very much.

Nevertheless, when I’m not doubling my money at Caesars Palace I plan to do the following in Vegas:

  • Visit at least one of those famous Vegas buffets
  • Catch the Bellagio fountain show
  • Stay at the MGM Grande and Paris Las Vegas
  • Go to Cirque du Soleil
  • Leave Las Vegas with my shirt on my back

I was only joking about the doubling my money thing – I’m extremely risk averse. More likely I’ll gamble only a little bit and spend my time people-watching instead. What do you think I should do in Vegas?

The amazing Grand Canyon in the USA

Grand Canyon

Is the Grand Canyon as impressive as its name suggests or is it merely a great big hole in the ground? I’ll be able to find out for myself later this year.

We plan to spend one night at the Maswick Lodge in Grand Canyon National Park, which apparently is the 15th oldest national park in the United States of America. You can thank Wikipedia for that amazing factoid.

Death Valley

Death Valley sounds awfully welcoming, doesn’t it? Besides its frightening name, this valley in Eastern California has the distinction of being the hottest place on the planet.

I’m looking forward to working on my tan in Death Valley National Park, exploring the subtropical desert climate and checking out such delightfully named features as Badwater Basin, Dante’s View and Furnace Creek.

Death Valley in the USA
Death Valley: photo by Jon Sullivan

Bishop

After the glitz and glamour of LA, the bright lights of Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Death Valley, we’ll relax for a night in the Californian city of Bishop on our way back to the Californian coast.

We probably won’t do a lot here, to be honest, but I am hoping we’ll get an opportunity to eat at one of those classic American diners you always see in the movies.

Yosemite

Before you read this, scroll down and take a look at that photo – it’s pretty impressive, huh? That’s why we’ll be visiting Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite is famous for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, streams and wildlife. Among the species of animal that call Yosemite home are bears, bats, coyotes, beavers, bobcats and owls. Here’s hoping I get to see some wildlife, just not too up close and personal.

Yosemite National Park, USA

Napa Valley

Napa Valley is wine country in the United States of America and if there’s anything I like doing while on holiday it’s drinking. I’m very much looking forward to sampling the local produce.

Meanwhile, Napa Valley is well-known for its gourmet and fine-dining restaurants. I’m a restaurant critic and food writer here in Auckland so I’d be remiss if I didn’t indulge myself in that area, too.

San Francisco

I left my heart in San Francisco when I visited nearly two years ago. On that visit I saw the Golden Gate Bridge, visited Alcatraz and admired the painted ladies of Alamo Square.

This time I hope to do the following in San Francisco:

  • Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Check out the America’s Cup village
  • Go back to Fisherman’s Wharf for some chowder in a bread bowl
  • Check out some more of the city’s amazing restaurants
  • Hire a bike and ride along San Francisco bay

And if we have time, I wouldn’t mind re-visiting Coit Tower and going for a spin on a cable car again.

The painted ladies of San Francisco, USA

Monterey

Word on the street is Monterey is one of the prettiest cities along the Pacific Coast Highway, where the rugged Californian coast meets the Pacific Ocean. No doubt we’ll get on the water around Monterey Bay and hopefully see some sea lions around the city’s Fisherman’s Wharf area.

Cambria

Another picturesque seaside village on the Californian coast, Cambria is located roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. We’ll check out local landmark Hearst Castle and go for long walks on the beach – doesn’t that sound romantic?

Santa Barbara

Finally, our last stop before heading back to LA will be the American Riviera of Santa Barbara. We’ll check out East Beach, the city’s most popular beach, and indulge in a bit more wine and food tasting. And I’m sure the Mrs will be getting a bit of last-minute US shopping in.

Santa Monica Pier

So there you have it, a rough itinerary for my US honeymoon road trip. From there we’ll fly down to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico for a week, where we’ll rest and recover from our road trip at a beachside resort. I can’t complain; my life is looking pretty good right now.

Got any travel tips and advice? I’d love to hear all the things I should see and do while I’m in America.

About Simon Petersen 320 Articles

Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.

10 Comments

  1. What an ambitious plan. I will like to do something similar (I have visited most of the places in separate trips). Some suggestions:
    – In Hollywood, don’t pay full price for the celebrity house tours. Last weekend, I saw some tours advertised at $44 per person and during the afternoon they were discounted to $15 (most companies do the same tour).
    – In Malibu, I recommend stopping by the pier to see the surfers and birds at the mouth of the Malibu Creek, Point Dume Preserve and El Matador Beach. All these places are free (no parking cost if you park on the street).
    – In Vegas, there are deals to eat in about 7 to 8 buffets for 24 hours.
    – Death Valley is huge. Probably, you are going to be able to see just one area (make it south to see Badwater, Zabriski Point and Artist’s Palette).
    – Driving north of Bishop (using 395) you are going to have amazing views of the Owens Valley. Stop at the viewpoints.
    – In San Franciso, check the weather because going to the Golden Gate Beach. One time, I went for four days, used the first three, sunny days to other stuff and then, the last day the bridge was covered in fog. Try to go cross it when the weather is nice.
    – Piedras Blancas is a few miles north of Hearst Castle. A big colony of elephants seals is always there. It is a fun stop.
    – Oh and a little bit south on the CA-1 (south of Cambria) you are going to find Morro Bay. You are going to see the huge rock from the street.
    You can check my blog if you want to get more details about these places.
    Have a great time.

  2. Nice chronicle. I did something for couple of months last year in an RV. This hurts, but I think USA is the most beautiful and diverse country I’ve seen, and I’ve been to a few.

  3. Brilliant idea! My wife and I did a similar trip for our honeymoon. We took 8 weeks and drove from North Carolina to California via the classic route 66 and I40 then took a northern route back. It was a long haul for sure but definitely a trip we will never forget. Even after dating for over 4 years, if you spend that much time in a car together you bond on a whole new level :-p I hope you have as much fun as we did!

    • Sounds great, guys – I’m even more excited now! Haha, I’m sure we will bond on the journey, after I get used to driving on the other side of the road! Because until that happens I’m likely to be under a huge amount of stress

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