CA trip itinerary for 18 days

Jan 27th, 2009, 03:05 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11
CA trip itinerary for 18 days

Please review, change, or/and add places to see, to eat, to hike, to stay, to relax and best ways to drive.
Fri, May1, Flight departs in SF at 12 pm, stay in hotel Mark Twain, in 3 or 4 pm.-Golden Gate Park and De Yang.
Sat, May 2, Exploratorium, Asian Art walking tour.
Sun, May 3, Legion of Honors, Alcatraz, Tiburon water cruises
Mon, May 4, rent a car, Sausalito, Muir Woods, Fort Russ, Old Faithful Geyser, mineral bath?, night in Calistoga.
Tue, May 5, some of wineries Beringer, Frog's Leap, Mumm Napa Valley, Domaine Chandon, Hess Collection, Domaine Carneros, di Rosa Preserve, Sterling, Schramsberg, Château Montelena and way Oakville Grade, Stanford university.
Wed, May 6, Monterey aquarium, 17 mi Dr, Carmel, stay in Big Sure or San Simeon.
Thu, May 7, Hearst castle-1 or 2 tours, stay in Visalia or Kings Canyon and Sequoia NP.
Fri, May 8, Kings Canyon and Sequoia NP, stay in Fresno.
Sat, May 9 Tue, May 12, Yosemite NP, stay in Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal.
Wed and Thu, May 13 and 14 be at Lake Tahoe.
Fri, May 15, spend day or half of day in Mono Lake, stay there.
Sat, May 16, after lunch visit Devils Postpile NM, stay in Lone Pine.
Sun, May 17, Death Valley NP
Mon, May 18, spent day or half of day at Death Valley NP, drive to LasVegas.
Tue, May 19, flight back to BWI at 3:30 pm.
gosha is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 04:14 PM
  #2  
 
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>>Fri, May1, Flight departs in SF at 12 pm, stay in hotel Mark Twain, in 3 or 4 pm.-Golden Gate Park and De Yang.<<

de Young

>>Sat, May 2, Exploratorium, Asian Art walking tour.<,

Based on some of your other days, you should be able to finish this by noon.

>>Sun, May 3, Legion of Honors, Alcatraz, Tiburon water cruises<<

OK - don't know what the water cruise is all about.

>>Mon, May 4, rent a car, Sausalito, Muir Woods, Fort Russ, Old Faithful Geyser, mineral bath?, night in Calistoga.<,

There is a Fort Ross ?? Skip the Geyser, and you might get to Calistoga by evening. Don't know if you'll have time for a bath, however.

>>Tue, May 5, some of wineries Beringer, Frog's Leap, Mumm Napa Valley, Domaine Chandon, Hess Collection, Domaine Carneros, di Rosa Preserve, Sterling, Schramsberg, Château Montelena and way Oakville Grade, Stanford university.<,

you're kidding !!! Plan on 4 wineries at max if you want to make it to Stanford by dinner time. No tasting!!! Remember - you will be driving to Stanford during Commute time, unless you leave Napa Valley after about 5PM. If you leave the lower Napa Valley at 5pm, you'll get to Stanford after 7:30PM

>>Wed, May 6, Monterey aquarium, 17 mi Dr, Carmel, stay in Big Sure or San Simeon.<<

Big Sur. Don't try to make it to San Simeon.

>>Thu, May 7, Hearst castle-1 or 2 tours, stay in Visalia or Kings Canyon and Sequoia NP.<<

That's more driving than I would want to do. Perhaps impossible if you start the day in Big Sur.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 27th, 2009, 05:02 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,592
I think this has more packed into it than you can comfortably do - esspecially since your obbjectives are to relax and hike.

For example - May 4 - I don't think you have time to see everything you plan. I'd cut something out, perhaps Fort Ross because I think that is the most northern point of that day's itinerary. And then May 5 has way too many wineries as Stu says and you must account for traffic getting down to Palo Alto.

May 6 - since you will be driving through Big Sur, I would cut out 17 Mile drive unless you are big fans of golf - then go to see the course. Otherwise, you will see plenty of great coastline through Big Sur.

You should plan on at least 3 hours from Monterey to San Simeon - and that is without stoping much. There are lots of places to hike and poke around, so you should plan on longer than that. If you want to comfortably reach San Simeon that night with a small amount of hiking, I would be heading south from Monterey by noon. So since you need to drive from Palo Alto to Monterey that day, that doesn't leave much time in the Monterey area.

For your Sequoia/Kings Canyon visit - I would stay in the parks if possible. The drive back and forth to Fresno takes a long time.

Since you are planning short stays in Sequoia, Yosemite, and Lake Tahoe, I would cut one of them from the list. What you cut depends on your interests. As your itinerary stands, with the drive between Sequoia and Yosemite, 1 night at Yosemite, and then a drive to Lake Tahoe the next day, you may as well not even go to Yosemite because you will have nothing but a drive through visit. You wont have time to hike or relax there and a big part of being in Yosemite is just soaking up the grandure.

So those are my suggestions - I think that you have bitten off too much and will have a better trip if you go fewer places and spend more time in the places you do go.
november_moon is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 05:13 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 695
Way too much for time frame and some are not best time of year.

Too many wineries in Napa Valley. Choose 4 and what is this Stanford stuff?

Skip King's Canyon and Sequoia and spend that time in Yosemite. These are long drives and Yosemite has much of the same scenery.

Skip Death Valley and Vegas. Save them for another trip in late Fall or Winter. May can be really hot. And you are not allotting enough time for them.

Devil's Postpile is usually closed until June and sometimes July although it may open earlier this year since we have little snow.

Concentrate on SF, Napa and Sonoma, Yosemite and Tahoe. Spend more time on the coast and allocate a day or two for the Gold Country.

Those are my suggestions.
Supercilious is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 09:26 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 469
Gosha,
At a minimum I would add Point Reyes Lighthouse to May 4th; Universal Studios and Disneyland to May 6th; Grand Canyon and Sedona to May 17th and Palm Springs to May 18th. Try to get in at least one round of golf into your free time while in Palm Springs, it's a great way to relax.
Parrothead is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 09:54 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,348
Gosha, will you have children with you? If not, skip the Exploratorium. While it's a wonderful hands-on science museum, it's meant for kids. There's plenty of stuff for adults to do in San Francisco.

Even if you travel at a whirlwind pace, you cannot physically accomplish what you have set out to do.

My suggestions:

May 2 - skip the Exploratorium unless you have at least one child under the age of 12. Go to the Ferry Building Farmers Market instead.

May 3 - since you'll be taking a boat to Alcatraz, skip the ferry to Tiburon (its the same bay)...have dinner in San Francisco.

May 4 - Skip Fort Ross and Old Faithful and MAYBE you'll have time for a mineral bath in Calistoga. I don't know what time they're open until.

May 5 - plan on no more than 3-4 wineries, and be sure one of you is a "designated driver" -- if you both plan to drink wine, take a tour instead. Why Stanford University on this night (which is the opposite direction from San Francisco --- Napa is north, Stanford is south)?

I don't know anything about the parks, so can't help you there.

sf7307 is online now  

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