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7 day solo trip in California

Chennai, India
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
1 helpful vote
7 day solo trip in California

I am planning a solo trip in and around California starting from SF. in 2nd week for Feb.

I will be traveling by myself but would like to meet people whilst I'm out there. What would be the best way to do this?

The places currently on my list -



Las Vegas (and Grand Canyon)

Lake Tahoe

They are not fixed yet I am open to suggestions.

Also a couple of questions -

1. Any good hostel recommendations?

2. Any tours like Green tortoise happening during that time?

P.S. - I can't drive.

7 replies to this topic
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
12,400 posts
158 reviews
169 helpful votes
1. Re: 7 day solo trip in California

Have you mapped out how long it takes to get to all these places? California is big and unless you are flying between these 4 locations, it is rather unrealistic. Use something like rome2rio website for an understanding of your transport options, times and range of costs. Also, access to Grand Canyon in February might be limited due to weather.

Hostels in the US are not as prevalent as some other countries. Your best bet for reviews or options are via Hostel World or HI websites.

I would normally suggest that you post questions in the city's tripadvisor forum. The Las Vegas one might be the best help for the realities of coming from one of your other cities and getting to the Grand Canyon.

For what it is worth, I used to live south of SF. We went to ski in Lake Tahoe one February and the area flooded with torrential rains causing every place (including hotels) to lose power unless they were propane fueled. We had to follow truckers out of the city and got out just before a land slide that closed the road in and out for 3 days. If you are going to give up one of those towns, I would remove Lake Tahoe.

Level Contributor
11,130 posts
89 reviews
79 helpful votes
2. Re: 7 day solo trip in California

You have too many places on your list to do enjoyably in one week. I would pick one city in California, doing a couple of day trips along the coast and then fly to :Vegas for the remaining time.

Chennai, India
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
1 helpful vote
3. Re: 7 day solo trip in California

Thanks for your inputs. Lake Tahoe is optional on my list. Also, I am open to air-travel but it depends on how much I plan to spend on other activities. So the final itinerary ends up depending on how much each of the city's activities would cost me individually.

Level Contributor
52,859 posts
22 reviews
62 helpful votes
4. Re: 7 day solo trip in California

Sorry your plan just doesn't work as is. No way can you visit Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and San Francisco in only a week! Especially on a budget and without a car :)

Maybe just do the two cities... San Francisco and Los Angeles would be more than enough to fill only 7 days time. SF is easy on foot and with public transportation. LA is spread out so a lot more difficult to arrange things without a car there. Take the train, bus, or fly in between the two? Start the trip into one, and out of the other ("open jaws" plane ticket).

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
10,275 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
5. Re: 7 day solo trip in California


you may want to look for some travel books. Many times they will have info such as "day trips" and distances between places.

good luck

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
11,431 posts
28 reviews
28 helpful votes
6. Re: 7 day solo trip in California

There are Amtrak trains that run down the California coast. The trains also go to Reno over the Sierra Nevada mountains. https://www.amtrak.com/plan-your-trip.html but the Grand Canyon may have snow. The north rim will be closed and so will some (maybe all) of the trails.

You could also fly between San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Los Angeles is really not a great place to be without a car although Santa Monica, a small city within Los Angeles is near the ocean with easy access to the beach over a bridge. It would be possible to get around Santa Monica by foot and bus. It is a delightful place and very Southern Californian.

With only a week and it being February, two destinations really are really as much as can be sensibly done. Changing locations takes roughly a day, even with a short plane ride as airports are seldom in the centre of town and you need to be there considerably in advance.

You may also run into problems if the federal shut down is still going or even if it has recently ended. These problems may be worse at airports because there are so many federal employees involved in security, immigration and customs. You could find 3 people dealing with hundreds of people arriving or departing.(or as my daughter found when she arrived from London at the end of December, you could just sale through as customs was taking to interest)

California is beautiful but February can be very cold and it is a big place to see in a week, especially if you want to add in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

Edited: 18 January 2019, 23:55
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
12,400 posts
158 reviews
169 helpful votes
7. Re: 7 day solo trip in California

Have you bought your flights and obtained your visa? Where are you flying in and out from?

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