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California 'must sees' and hotel recommendations

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Hi - We're looking forward to visiting California (from London) in August for 3 weeks to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We're flying into San Francisco and out of LA. We've already booked a hotel on Fishermans Wharf in SF for the first 4 nights of our holiday. We then plan on hiring a car and driving down the coast visiting Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur (I understand these are all pretty close - which is the best place to stay and use as a base?). Then head over to Vegas for a few nights taking in the Grand Canyon (we'd also love to stay for a night close/in the grand canyon before we leave) and finally down to LA for Universal/Disney (we have a 10 year old!) before flying home.
We'd very much appreciate any advice on any 'must sees' along the way (not sure when we'll be here again!) and also particularly any recommendations on good value mid range hotels. In the Monterey/Carmel area we'd really like to spoil ourselves and stay as close to the ocean as possible as this is going to be the part of the holiday where the hotel is probably most important to us. Any hotels overlooking the ocean but not too extortionate? Also which is best place to stay and use as a base in this area?
In Vegas we were hoping to relax by a pool for a few days in a nice family hotel but still be close to the strip.
Disney appears to have quite a few hotels close to the entrance and with a pool. any recommendations here as they all look pretty similar? (Seeing the fireworks from our hotel would be a bonus as my son LOVES them!)
Finally, we've agonised over whether we can fit in Yosemite too (after SF and before Carmel etc) but the hotels all look really expensive and also not sure whether we're trying to do too much in the time?
Our hotel budget is $200 per night maximum (apart from Vegas where the hotels are apparently much cheaper for obvious reasons!)
We'd be very grateful for any and all suggestions, recommendations and tips.
Many thanks

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