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California - from San F to San Diego

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Hi,

My boyfriend and I are coming to california from England in august we arrive in san fran on the 27th August and then we will fly to New york (haven't booked that flight yet so can fly from anywhere san diego ??) on the 12th Sept I thought we could do a night flight so we get to new york for the 13th Sept am for four days or so..

So we have about 17 days, we can hire a car ( does anyone know any good companies that are not too expensive and also if we can hire in one place then drop of at another?)

Places that I think I want to see but not at all sure as have never been are;

San fran ( for how long and what to do see?)
Point reyes (someone said on here it was nice?)
Yosemite ( maybe ?? have we got time?)
Then travel down towards santa cruz (is that worth stopping at ?)
Monterey and Carmel
Pismo beach area and heart castle (is that what it's called?)
Santa barbara
Channel islands
Malibu - Santa monica
Laguna Beach
San diego - I was thinking of staying at laguna beach and the driving to san diego one day or is it worth going to san diego to stay ?

is there anywhere that anyone would reccomend staying along that way and how long to stay in places and cool things to do?

I love the outdoors, hiking, sailing, water skiing, diving, food and drink - my boyfriend loves the beach but i am keep to do some trails in forest area also as i get bored on the beach unless there is plenty to do..

Would like to stay on channel islands and go whale watching also ..

I dont mind staying in cheap places in cities but wouldn't mind a nice place on the beach also any unusual out of the way places finds???

Hmm my boyfriend also wants to go to las vegas I guess we could fly to save time and if so how long could i get away with spending there (doesn't apeal to me) - oh and also is los angeles worth going into or is it just crowded and concrete??

God i have gone on sorry any help would be so much appreciated - Thanks Charlotte

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