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Planning route San Diego to San Francisco using Amtrak/ &Bus

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This will be my fifth trip to California, arriving San Diego mid-June for first visit. Looking for hotel for 4 nights to enjoy the major attractions, visit scenic areas, parks and historical sites. I am senior, active and enjoy walking. Need lots of help planning best route as I travel north.

My last trip started out in Monterey taking city buse/shuttle to Pacific Grove, Carmel and Big Sur, all day trips which I enjoyed very much. Continued to Santa Barbara via Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, then upcoast to overnight in San Luis Obispo, on to San Francisco for 2 nights.

I would appreciate some suggestions on best scenic areas reachable by Amtrak or bus where I can make overnight stops to San Francisco. Will be taking 12 days to cover entire ourney.

If I get to San Francisco and have enough time to visit some areas going north of city for a few day trips would appreciate some help on best choices. I always enjoy walking across Golden Gate, State Park and Wharf areas so will need to have at least 2 days for S.F.
Have my flights organized from JFK, into San Diego returning from San Francisco on red eye but I need help sorting the best route, before I book hotels and Amtrak tickets. Any assistance much appreciated.
Thank you to all for your responses.

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