Subject: Re: Las Vegas/Pacific coast
Stewart,

I am going to assume that aside from the wedding you won't have much interest in spending additional time in Vegas. You may recall the recent Ziner discussion about places to which I wouldn't return, and the prominence of Las Vegas in that discussion.

Yosemite and San Francisco would be a looong drive from Las Vegas - 500 miles to Yosemite, maybe 600 miles to SF. A good full day of driving to either one.

However, there are several other national parks that are closer - Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Death Valley are all reached within 1/2 day or less of Las Vegas. And all are stunningly scenic with great hiking. You can read more about them on the Park Service web site - http://www.nps.gov/parks.html

You can probably find a day trip bus to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. But you will need a car to get to the other sites.

Of course, Los Angeles is only 250 miles away and definitely accessible by bus or cheap airfare (I found $71 round trip fares on both America West and Southwest). Once here in SoCal, you could spend a few days enjoying the area. I can't guarantee a celebrity sighting, but we love GTGs in LA, so you can count on that. Then you could rent a car for one of the world's great drives, up Highway 1 to San Francisco.

I think your first decisions probably are how much time you will take, how much of the US West you want to see and how much driving you want to do. If you only have 7 days including the wedding, you might want to choose between a nearby national park or LA. If you have more time, you can add in more destinations.

Have fun planning! It will be a great trip.

Mark Los Angeles