15-Day Las Vegas and California Tour: Los Angeles to Las Vegas

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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We are therefore at the third and last part of this itinerary that saw us starting from Las Vegas, crossing 2 California parks (Death Valley and Yosemite National Park), visiting an authentic western city like Bodie, making a stop in San Francisco, whizzing along Highway 1 and finally reach Santa Barbara (if you missed the first two parts don't worry here is the first: From the "City of Sin" to the National Parks and here is the second: From San Francisco to Santa Barbara).

We arrived at 11 day of our trip and we know that in 4 days we will have to return to Las Vegas to resume the flight. Will we be able to make the most of these days and get there in time to get back on the plane? Of course we will! Let's begin.


  • Days 11-12: Destination Los Angeles
  • Days 13-15: From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, passing through ...

Days 11-12: Destination Los Angeles

Hamburger and Patatine al Johnny Rocktes
The Santa Monica Pier, with the Luna Park
Santa Monica beach

DAY 11: We leave in the morning from Santa Barbara, get in the car and continue to skirt the ocean on the splendid one Highway 1. In the direction of Los Angeles (the total trip is just over 2 hours) we will cross Malibu and then Santa Monica. Let's stop at this last splendid seaside attraction and take the opportunity not only to visit it, but also to fill our stomachs a little.

Santa Monica is recognizable by its famous beach with the Luna Park on the pier, but its beauty is also inside. We go up, we reach the town and walk along the lively one 3rd Street Promenade, where we can stop for a snack.

The choice is varied as always and if you are not yet tired of American extravagances you can go to Johnny Rockets, a famous fast food chain that reconstructs the atmosphere of the clubs in full 50s style. Food is okay, but it can be fun to see the waiters do a ballet before serving you (the curtain is repeated every half hour).

Also, if your model is Homer Simpson, you can always taste the chips dipped in melted cheese and bacon, certainly not a refined course, but on the other hand we are in an American fast food restaurant, what else did you expect?

By evening we arrive in Los Angeles and get ready to enter the world of Hollywood cinema!

All accommodations available in Los Angeles

DAY 12:  We have a full day to spend in Los Angeles before we leave the next day. What to do? If what you are looking for is some fun and the charm of Hollywood, the destination can only be one: Universal Studios!

The War of the Worlds set
The Back to the Future set

First of all, a premise: Studios are expensive, they cost money one hundred dollars, a not insignificant figure, but I assure you that it is a unique place in the world where you really have to commit to not having fun.

In this large cinema theme park you can enjoy a series of unique shows, as well as a beautiful tour of the film sets that will see you immersed in the midst of incredible special effects from the most famous films (the Studio Tour). Spend the whole day at the Studios (but arrive early, check the closing times).

If you prefer not to go to the studios but visit the other attractions of Los Angeles you can find a guide to the attractions of the city in this post: Visit Los Angeles: the most spectacular places to see.

Days 13-15: From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, passing through ...

La distance from Los Angeles and Las Vegas it is approximately 270 miles (434 km) to be covered by car (full 4 hours). However we will not do the standard route (never be!), There are other goodies waiting for us!

We have planned two final stops that separate us from Las Vegas: Palm Springs and the Joshua Tree National Park. The first (almost 2 hours from Los Angeles) is an oasis in the desert, a fascinating and unique town for the rich, with beautiful adobe villas, giant palm trees and swimming pools; haven for Hollywood stars since the 30s.

The second is instead one of the most fascinating and surreal parks in America, which I already talked about in a previous post on California's national parks. The distances between Palm Springs and Joshua Tree are minimal (45 minutes). The ideal is therefore to sleep in the town and use it as a base for visiting the park.

Joshua Tree National Park
Palm Springs, city
Palm Springs, an oasis in the desert

Let's take your time to calmly visit Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park and remember that for return to Las Vegas it will take about 4 hours. We don't want to miss the plane!

All accommodations available in Palm Springs

So this itinerary ends here. I hope it will be useful to anyone who has one fortnight to visit this beautiful piece of America. I remind you that you can also find useful information and advice in our guide on how to organize a tour of California. For any questions or concerns do not hesitate, the area below the comments is there on purpose!

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