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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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San Francisco - July 2011 - budget for teachers!

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My college friend and I are both educators on a budget. We have already booked a flight to San Francisco for July. Hoping to do the following - San Fran city stuff - Fisherman's Wharf, Twin Peaks, Union Square (don't really know what is there though)...Lombard Street. We also want to spend a night at Yosemite (our trip is 8 days so we feel like we can fit it in) although it is super expensive. Also wanting to go to Napa for the day, and maybe spend a night there and do two wineries. Also, going to drive down the coast to see Big Sur and Monterey.

We would love advice of specific hotels - how to not pay an arm and a leg for parking...Also, the sequence of our trip. We arrive on a Wednesday night and leave on a Thursday night, we have a few ideas:

1. Stay at SF airport area the first night, get rental car straight from airport, and drive to Yosemite. Spend a day and a night there, then drive to Napa (or reverse the order). We heard Napa/Yosemite were worse on weekends so we figured we'd do the city on the weekend and then end the trip with going down the coast.

2. OR, do all the travel - Yosemite, Napa, Coast before we hit the city and try to ditch the rental car at some point so we only use and pay for it for half the trip. If we do this, we'd need a really great location in the city for our hotel so we could go on the cable cars or use public transit for our entire time in the city.

3. We also thought of going to Napa the second night (after night one by the airport), stay there Thursday night, come back to the city on Friday, do the city stuff on Friday/Saturday, leave for Yosemite on Sunday, do Yosemite Sunday/Monday, and then from there drive down the coast and then from the coast finish out the trip and go back to the airport (not going back to the city).

We are both on a budget - hoping to really land hotels under $130. I have a AAA discount, and we don't know if there are any teacher discounts anywhere.

Also, if you have any wineries that were your favorite and were not too expensive to visit, that would be great - and hotel ideas for Napa and Yosemite area that you have good experience with.

ANY advice is welcomed - mostly about hotels and the sequence of our trip. Thank you so much!

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