10 day Northern California Itinerary

Mar 8th, 2015, 12:27 PM
  #1  
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10 day Northern California Itinerary

My husband and I are going to a wedding in Healdsburg the last weekend of August. This will be our second trip to the area. The last time we visited San Francisco. Carmel/Big Sur, Yosemite and Healdsburg/Sonoma area. This time we'd like to go to some places we haven't visited before, we had thought about flying in to Portland and out of SFO, but my husband wants to limit the driving and the car rental with a second state drop off is twice as much as in state. I was thinking about 3 nights in Point Reyes, 2 or 3 nights in Mendocino and 2 nights in Healdsburg. Wonder if those are the right number of nights in Point Reyes and Mendocino and whether we'll regret not trying to get to the Redwood area (Avenue of the Giants, etc). If we go to the Redwoods (maybe Ferndale?) is 2 nights in Mendocino and 1 in Ferndale enough? Any recommendations on a sensible itinerary is welcome. My husband and I are looking for hiking and natural beauty.
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Mar 8th, 2015, 01:24 PM
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"Enough" or "right number" for what? More information please. If you plan to hike then it'll likely be a different number than if you do a bit of shopping and eating, then tend to move on.
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Mar 8th, 2015, 01:34 PM
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Sorry, missed the last sentence. In that case, I think you're on the right track. If one hike does it for you then 2 nights in each, to include redwoods, would likely be your best bet. All the places you mention are beautiful.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a drive across the state, will stay 2 nights in Elk with a friend, near Mendocino, then along the coast for the lighthouses and views to Ft. Ross, then inland to Sonoma, not unlike your proposed trip. I'll also be in redwoods farther down the coast later, visiting my family, so a good dose of everything. Which sounds like your inclination also.
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Mar 8th, 2015, 03:04 PM
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I might consider flying into Sacramento and home from SFO (or even RT in/out SMF). The distances are about the same but the drive to the north coast from SMF (Garberville for the Avenue of Giants or Ferndale or Mendocino) is nearly an hour faster than driving through Bay area traffic.

I'd spend a couple of days in the Redwoods, 2 or 3 in Mendocino (or maybe at Little River) and maybe another night down the coast in Bodega Bay or Pt Reyes and finish up in Healdsburg.
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Mar 24th, 2015, 06:28 AM
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So we've narrowed down our itinerary. We're going to do 3 nights in Point Reyes (Inverness, Osprey Peak B&B), 2 nights in Mendocino (Brewery Gulch), 3 nights in Healdsburg (Camellia Inn) and the last night in SFO before flying back to Boston. Originally we were going to go in the order listed above, but now because of scheduling may choose to reverse it, Healdsburg, Mendocino, then Point Reyes. Are there any advantages/disadvantages to either order? Thanks!
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Mar 24th, 2015, 07:30 AM
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>>Are there any advantages/disadvantages to either order?<<

Not really -- 6 of 1 / half dozen of the other. Some prefer driving north on the coast, some prefer driving south. But it really doesn't make much difference.
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Mar 24th, 2015, 07:36 AM
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I think 2 nights in Pt Reyes would be enough- beautiful part of the country but 2 nights was fine for me.

Have dinner or lunch at the Farmhouse and Marshalls Store for oysters-
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Mar 24th, 2015, 07:38 AM
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sunbum1944, would you do 3 nights in Mendocino if we take away one from Point Reyes?
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Mar 24th, 2015, 07:46 AM
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I'd prefer 3 days in Mendocino myself - and maybe fit in a day trip to the Avenue of the Giants/Redwoods.
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Mar 24th, 2015, 07:49 AM
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How about Mt. Lassen National Park? http://www.nps.gov/lavo/index.htm
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Mar 24th, 2015, 07:55 AM
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Ditto The Marshall Store for oysters - their barbecue sauce is worth taking some home!
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Mar 24th, 2015, 08:15 AM
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I would prefer 3 days in Mendocino too-
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Mar 24th, 2015, 08:30 AM
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I find Lassen fascinating - but it is a 5+ hour drive from Mendocino.
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Mar 24th, 2015, 07:16 PM
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but it is a 5+ hour drive from Mendocino.

I was offering it as an alternative to Healdsburg and Mendocino.
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Mar 24th, 2015, 07:49 PM
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The Lassen Peak Trail will be reopening this summer - a great hike, about 8,500 ft. elevation up to 10,500 at the peak. 5 miles RT.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 05:21 PM
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If you want to see redwoods but can't make it to Humboldt State Park how about stopping at Armstrong Redwoods State Park on your drive between Point Reyes and Mendocino?

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450

I also very much like Lassen. It's a great park. But this summer I'm going to spend more time visiting the coast - I'm concerned that there's going to be so many wildfires this summer after another year of drought.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 06:25 PM
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Even if Lassen wasn't a very long drive . . . I agree w/ Shanti. Redding/Lassen won't be very nice in August. Very hot and that will be the absolute middle of the fire season.

I spend a lot of time in Shasta/Siskiyou counties . . . but not in August if I can at all avoid it.
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Mar 29th, 2015, 03:28 AM
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We have been to Armstrong Woods, so did experience the Redwoods. Is the Avenue of the Giants considerably more impressive, still trying to figure out whether it's worth the extra driving and time away from Point Reyes and Mendocino area.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 01:25 PM
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Either itinerary would be lovely. It really depends on how much you enjoy the coast versus redwoods. I'd be happy spending time at either place.

Just to clarify about Lassen - while Redding is usually really hot in August, Lassen is a much higher elevation so typically has good weather at that time of year. However, it will be really dry by this August. It's been so dry that the road through the park will probably open two months earlier than usual.
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