10 Day California Trip - Itinirary Help

Old Nov 28th, 2016, 01:44 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
10 Day California Trip - Itinirary Help

Hi All,

My partner won tickets to San Fransisco, so we have decided to make a trip of it. Our usual preference is South East Asia (Thailand, Bali, Vietnam etc.) so relatively new to the US. She has been to LA previously, but I have only been to Vegas.

We land on Thursday 24th May, Landing at 2:30PM and fly back Sunday 4th June, Flying at 4:30PM, so we have 11 day (minus travel, so more like 10 or less)

As we need to have both inbound and outbound flights from San Fransisco, I would be keen on doing a round trip starting and finishing there.

We will rent a car, and would love to get a round trip marked out.

Main Interests:

San Fransico - Golden Gate Bridge & Perhaps Alcatraz Tour - Anything else worth doing in San Fran?
Monterey, Carmen & Big Sur, down to San Simeon - How far down is it worth going?
Yosemite National Park
Lake Tahou (might be too far out of the way)

I've heard good things about San Diego, Santa Barbara & Santa Monica but it's quite out of the way compared to the main parts we are interested in. I would like to go to LA but it also seems out of the way. Also - I'm from London so like to escape bustling cities when I can.

Not interested in Wine whatsoever, and happy to be busy.

Also keen to know best places to stay, whether to book hotels or not, good car to rent & best place to get it etc.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

James
JamesBennett is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2016, 04:38 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For San Francisco check this thread:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...mendations.cfm

Since you said you want to get out of the cities, plan to drive down the coast. Spend a couple of days in/near Monterey on the way down or back and stop at some of the iconic sites down to San Simeon. I've done an up and down along the coast and just stopped at different sites on either side of the road in the other direction. There are several state parks that are wonderful on both sides of the road.
emalloy is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2016, 06:10 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,018
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
working with 10 full days you could easily do a loop of SF > Carmel/Big Sur > Yosemite (May is absolutely the BEST time in Yosemite because the waterfalls are at full flow -- but you will want to book your accommodations ASAP) > Lake Tahoe > SFO to fly home.

2 or 3 nights in SF, 2 nights in the Carmel area (for Carmel, Monterey, Big Sur, Point Lobos), 1 night in maybe Cambria for Hearst Castle (but honestly if you have been to Chatsworth, Blenheim, Windsor etc. you may be underwhelmed), 2 nights in Yosemite Valley, 2 nights at Tahoe, then back to SFO.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 28th, 2016, 06:11 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,018
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
. . . and no, if you want to see all those places in northern California, you don't have time for LA or San Diego.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 28th, 2016, 06:48 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,299
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You have 9 full days not impacted by arrival and departure.

Monday, May 29th, is a national holiday and a popular getaway weekend. Roads and hotels in popular sightseeing areas will be crowded from Friday, May 26th, through Monday and to a lesser degree into Tuesday. You should have hotel reservations for every night during that holiday period. (Make sure you're booking the correct dates. Your arrival day is May 25th, not the 24th.)
Jean is online now  
Old Nov 28th, 2016, 11:44 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,152
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would not go south of Cambria/San Simeon, you do not have time, maybe 3 nights San Francisco, 1-2 nights Monterey, 1 night Cambria or San Simeon (Cambria is 5-10 minute drive from Hearst and San Simeon has more limited food and lodging) for Hearst. I liked Hearst and it is much different than castles in Europe that I visited. Then maybe Yosemite if you can get reservations. Don't think you have time for Lake Tahoe.
Many places along the coast will have 2 night minimum stays over the Memorial Day weekend, just FYI.
jamie99 is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2016, 12:10 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mendocino is an amazing place, but you'll need reservations. Santa Cruz is also worth a visit; it's a great place to walk along the coast above the beach. Try to see the giant redwoods while in CA.
catlew08 is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2016, 12:53 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,018
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
There would not be enough time to drive all the way to Mendocino . . .
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 30th, 2016, 06:45 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much for the responses! Really helpful
JamesBennett is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2016, 11:05 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 959
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you stop in Santa Cruz on the way to Monterey, consider stopping downtown (Pacific Avenue) for a meal and shopping, or go to Capitola Esplanade, which is a charming village on the beach.
christycruz is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2016, 12:52 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,003
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When in San Francisco, take a trip out to Muir Woods National Monument. It is a forest of giant Redwoods and you will not see anything like it in the UK, or Europe for that matter. You can either take a tour or rent a car - it is not far and an easy drive. A half day tour should be enough. You will go over the Golden Gate Bridge on the way and if driving you can stop for lunch in Sausalito. Some tours to Muir Woods will include Sausalito.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Old Dec 1st, 2016, 01:35 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 330
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
On your main interests and given this is your first visit to a US city that is not Vegas (Vegas is an animal all to itself), I'd suggest you tighten your locations a bit and focus on:
- San Francisco - super cool and compact city very unlike London of course so definitely worth a few days (I've lived/worked in both cities). You'll want to stay central downtown SF (see other posts for neighborhood ideas)
- Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur - personally, I wouldn't go so far as San Simeon unless you have a real specific reason (I'm not a huge fan of Hearst Castle). You'll get a great feel for Northern CA coastline without going that far.
- Yosemite- absolutely - nothing like it in Europe (or anywhere for that matter). Keep trying for reservations in the park (valley floor).
- Lake Tahoe - Lake Tahoe is very nice but for your trip, I'd be tempted to skip and put your time to the 3 above locations (especially if you go south of Big Sur).
Above partly depends if you are arriving on May 24 (wed) or May 25(Thurs) and your willingness to drive a few hundred miles from Tahoe or Yosemite on the day you fly home at 4:30pm (would have to get up at O-dark thirty if you wanted cushion for traffic/unforeseen delays).

On car rental - since you are flying in right before Memorial Day weekend, it is good to spend that weekend in SF (as many SF locals head out to places like coast/Yosemite/etc). You could either just rent the car at SFO (very easy and lots of choice) or if you planned to use public transportation in SF, you could wait to pick up a car rental as you leave SF to go to Monterey Area and make your loop through Yosemite/Tahoe.
NorCal_Jo is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2016, 02:02 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,214
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd suggest taking Uber into San Francisco, and renting the car when you leave the city. First of all, parking is super-expensive, plus it's more $$ to rent at the airport than at a city location.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2016, 02:14 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,251
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For coastal redwoods, you can also visit Henry Cowell just north of Santa Cruz. It's a less crowded alternative to Muir Woods.
Patty is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
JupiterFla2012
United States
35
Nov 22nd, 2017 09:42 AM
sarajean
United States
27
Dec 25th, 2013 03:12 PM
jonathanlim90
United States
9
Jul 14th, 2012 09:24 PM
steelerfan
United States
7
Apr 16th, 2006 12:28 PM
Susan56
United States
17
Jun 25th, 2003 07:20 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:11 PM.