Getting internet in California while traveling

29 posts in this topic

hi i'm off to california for 3 weeks in sept/oct,we will be in a rv/mobile home, can anybody give me any tips how i can get the www on my laptop while i'm there?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many espresso/coffee/snack shops have wireless for their customers, especially if they are a chain such as Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Even McDonalds has it these days, so between those you should be able to find it in just about every town.

 

As for RV parks, it wouldn't surprise me if some of them had it nowadays, you can probably check this before you go.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Local libraries often have Wi-Fi, too, and so do lots of restaurants.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tons of free hot spots in the US, this is one area that I dont think youll have much difficulty with.

Have a great trip!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can also get usb sticks that let you access internet over wireless networks, although if your driving in the BFE desert your milage may vary... As said theres lots of free hotspots all over at every coffee shop/mcdonalds/etc.

 

Also, don't call it a mobile home - its just an RV.. An RV is a vacation vehicle with beds. A mobile home is a stationary prefab house people who wear trucker hats, watch NASCAR, and think the world is 4000 years old live in.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of RV parks do now have Internet. McDonalds and star bucks as well. Also, Peet's is a California chain of coffee houses, free Internet and coffee a million times better than star bucks. I lived in Cali for five years before moving here, let me know if you have any itenerary questions.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks martin!we will be starting and finishing in LA we have already seen SF and LV this time we want to see the scenery and nationalparks got any good tips?ps we have the rv for 20 days

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

California is full of national parks, you can just throw a stick in any direction and hit one. Joshua Tree National Monument and Death Valley are worth a visit. There are many beautiful areas along the coast, and the Los Padres National Forest is massive. At that time of year it might be worth checking to see whether the monarch butterflies have reached any of the sanctuaries along the coast, if you have never seen this it's quite amazing.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yosemite is incredible. If you miss it you'd be a fool.

 

I don't want to get all nostalgic for days gone by but I will because I prompted myself to: The national parks in the states are something that cannot be understood until they're entered. They are not just nice areas, undeveloped areas; they are wonder-of-the-world type areas. There is a feeling that crashes down upon you once you're a mile or so inside. It's a flashback to the time when the world was flat and the universe ended at the horizon, because there's enough within sight to blow you mind.

 

I could give national park tips as I have been around the west and held an annual pass for years. First tip is to get an annual pass. Back in the day it was a silly $50 and got everyone and the car I was in into any park, even if it wasn't my car. I'd wager it's a good deal more now but after two parks you'd break even if you've got a family (otherwise they charge per head, and for the vehicle; likely surcharge for RVs).

 

Envious.

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to consider a USB stick since you may not be around hotspots all that much.

Verizon tends to have the best coverage in California: http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobilebroadband/?page=products_prepaidmb.

T-Mobile was always what I used: http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/prepaid-plans.aspx#MobileBroadbandpasses, but their coverage outside of major cities in California leaves something to be desired.

I don't think AT&T has a prepaid data-only plan, and I don't know what Sprint does. The prepaid carriers like Virgin (who piggyback on bigger networks) might be worth a look, though.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite a lot of the hotel chains i nthe US offer free internet connection in the room either a cable or via WiFi. It is not that fast (what do you expect for free) but OK. It often seems it is the cheaper hotels that offer this may be as a loss leader to get people in. The more expensive places seem to charge because they know business men will just pay 10 bucks a night for it. You can usually see if the have free wifi on the hotel web site

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bobbylines, i just sent you a PM. Have a blast in Cali.

 

Bohemka - the pass is now up to $85USD Per year, but has changed from an NPS pass to an Interagency Pass, so it covers basically any US fee area (national parks, forests, etc). Still am awesome deal

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can completely second going to Joshua Tree...it's a truly gorgeous place and very unique landscape. It's also an extraordinarily easy and comfortable park to spend time in - the roads are very nicely paved, and since most people come for a day trip from LA or Palm Springs it's very quiet in the evenings. (Empty campgrounds etc).

 

Have a great time and a fun trip!

 

Also, this is probably finished by now, but watch out for bees in the desert

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/07/campground-joshua-tree-national-park-closed-due-swarming-bees

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tips on California National Parks: I've been to all of them, so...

 

Sequoia/Kings Canyon: The park service made two national parks next to each other. One should not leave this life without seeing a Sequoia tree. They are just so MASSIVE. Fine mountain scenery.

 

Yosemite: Another place one HAS to see before dying. One of the most beautiful spots on this planet, and the world capital for waterfalls. You will not want to leave it. Great Alpine scenery IF you want to hike, or you can just take the Tioga Pass road, which reaches nearly the 10,000 foot level.

 

Redwoods: More big trees, but these are tallest, and not (quite) so massive as the Sequoias. I first saw one after waking up in a car after a night of hitchhiking. It was as if I had been reduced to the size of an ant, with massive trees everywhere. Awe inspiring. This park is near the northern (FAR away) end of the state, and one can see Redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument just north of San Francisco, (your card will get you in) or in some of the numerous state parks in the San Francisco Bay area, saving you hundreds of miles of travel.

 

Death Valley: The lowest place in the western hemisphere, as well as the hottest; I hope you're going in the Winter when it is truly delightful. Truly stark desert scenery, well off the beaten path. The film Zabriskie Pointwas filmed, in part, here...at Zabriskie Point!

 

Lassen Volcanic: One of two active volcanos in the USA, but a great place to visit and especially for volcanophiles. You can walk a fairly easy trail to the summit for some great views. Also in the Northern part of the state. Good alpine scenery.

 

Joshua Tree: More desert, but not with the stark elevation differences of Death Valley. The rocks are interesting too, of the massive boulder type, and it is close to the greater LA area. Another place to visit in winter, when the daytime temps are mild and enjoyable.

 

Channel Islands: Also near LA, but westwards, near Oxnard. You have to pay for the boat ride out, but its a great trip, and the animal life is great, lots of seals and sea birds. A good day trip or overnight camping trip. No facilities there, so take your own supplies.

 

Other possibilities:

 

Idylwild State Park: near Palm Springs. Imagine getting on a cable car in Saudi Arabia, and getting off 10,000 feet higher in Switzerland! It's true, and not far from Joshua Trees;

 

Pinnacles National Monument: South of San Francisco, a bit inland from the coast. The part of California ignored by the rest of the park service. Great hiking trails in a maze of rocks, all set in a setting reminiscent of Andalusia, climatewise. A great overnight stop if you are caught between SF Bay and LA. You can get in with your NPS card.

 

Devils Postpile National Monument: A personal favorite of mine, it is on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada across from Yosemite. Much less crowded than Yosemite, but also harder to get to. Worth the trip. Hexagonal rock formations a la Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, but set amid Alpine scenery. Great and nearly empty hiking trails to some really beautiful waterfalls. NPS card will get you in. Not far away is Mono Hot Springs, where the cover picture of one of Pink Floyd's albums was snapped.

 

Vasquez Rocks County Park: directly north of LA, and not far away. Oddly shaped rocks, set in more strangely folded rocks. This place is worth a short visit, as it is featured in zillions of Hollywood films, including at least one Star Trek episode. A short day trip. Free.

 

Mulholland Drive: not a park, but a street, but what a street! It winds for miles along the top of the Santa Monica mountains with endless wonderful views out over the city of Los Angeles. Twilight would be the best time. And many Hollywood stars live in the houses you will be bypassing. Also the way to the Hollywood sign!

 

17 Mile Drive (near Monterrey). You have to pay to make this drive, but it is worth it. Lovely sea vistas, and about 5 of the very top golf courses in the USA. Worth the money. Also close to the part of California Route 101 which passes through BIG SUR, also a great part of California to visit, and the site of many European car advertisement filming spots.

 

-------------------------

 

California is a HUGE state: 1,000 miles (1400 km) long, with many different climates. Plan your trip in advance, and reserve campground space WELL in advance, especially for Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon. American national parks are different from most national parks elsewhere; the emphasis is on NATURE, and the facilities (restaurants, tourist culture attractions, blah blah blah) will not be found in American national parks. What will be found is an effort to connect the visitor with NATURE, and it will be there. If you plan to hike overnight in the mountainous national parks, learn about how to protect your food from BEARS.

I know you will have fun, and it will be the trip of a lifetime. http://www.nps.gov/state/ca/index.htm

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to beat toucan's post. I've been to nearly all of those places. Yosemite and Sequoia parks are not to be missed. If you don't want to drive so far north to the Redwood Nat'l Park, plenty can be seen in Marin county; check out Muir Woods Nat'l Monument. Or, Redwood Regional Park near Oakland.

 

I would not attempt Mulholland Dr in a RV, nor even ENTER the city of San Francisco in one. :D

 

If you want to avoid the hordes of tourists in Yosemite, the entire Eastern Sierra is phenomenal (though folks out there are VERY conservative!). Mammoth Mountain is known for skiing, but during the rest of the year, the general area is some of the most beautiful terrain I have ever hiked. Mono Lake is popular with Europeans. linky

 

Big Sur, south of SF -- BEAUTIFUL. In fact, driving along the entire northern coast (Highway 1) is amazing, though probably a bit of a challenge in a RV.

 

If you have kids and/or need some beach time, San Diego is lots of fun. I'm from there. Anza-Borrego State Park is beautiful, especially in spring (but HOT! = desert). I hate L.A.; I'd skip that altogether. ;)

 

I'm going to Yosemite soon -- it's lovely in winter (no internet needed), and not crowded at all.

post-33917-12945102156367.jpg

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bring lots of Euros. Our state needs desperately needs them. :D

 

EDIT for below:

East of the CA Sierra Nevada, the natives are pretty much all God fearing, gun toting Republicans. But the scenery is beautiful and pristine. If you aren't into nature/ hiking, you'd probably be bored stiff.

 

Let us know what else interests you, and we Californians on the board can better advise. Keep in mind, though, that I am a bit of a tree hugger and like to get off the beaten path... ;)

 

another EDIT:

Ancient bristlecone pines are supposedly the oldest trees on the planet. Worth a visit if you're in the eastern Sierra (White Mountains).

 

And how did I forget Lake Tahoe!? Largest alpine lake in North America.

 

Signing the [buttkicker hike] book at the top o' the world!

post-33917-12945178524116_thumb.jpg

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mlovett i totally agree toucans post is really helpful i also got a great pm from martiansteele(your post ain't bad either mlovett!!!)we have no children(just a few teddys who insist on coming with us!)and we do not do lay on beaches and get grilled like a bratwurst we have better things to do on vacation.After getting lost in vancouver city and suburbs also landing in strange places/conditions in Alaska we are not too worried about driving the RV.What do you mean that the folks are conservative in which way?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

aunqueicorn we have a 30 ft RV so if your wife is prepared to wash and clean and cook maybe we could fit her in a suitcase with the teddys! ;)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now