California by Car in Jan/98

Sep 27th, 1997, 06:58 PM
Roger and Vivi's
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California by Car in Jan/98

Brazilian tourist and wife are planing our fist travel to California in Jan/98. We're going to Los Angeles / Yosemite / Lake Tahoe / San Francisco / Monterey and back to Los Angeles. We will stay travelling for 30 days, and we would like to know what is the best car to rent, a "normal" car or if we will need a four weel drive? We want to know what is the best roads and, if possible, some sugestions to sleep in a cheap hotels/motels in Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. Thank's for help...
Oct 2nd, 1997, 04:43 PM
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You just need a "regular" car - the roads are fine. You must drive along Highway 1 from Carmel to San Simeon - breathtaking views! Yosemite is just beautiful. It is worth the extra money to stay at the Ahwahnee (209) 252-4848. I usually don't spend a lot of money on lodging (never in your room) BUT this place is worth it and will be the frosting on the cake for your visit there! Any more specific questions - I will try to help.

Have you been to the Amalfi Coast in Italy - I need information on that if you can help! Bye!
Oct 4th, 1997, 11:57 AM
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I would rent a 4-wheel drive if you don't want to mess with having to put on chains, you might have to in Lake Tahoe, there should be a lot of snow in January. Check Fodor's Travel Book for hotels. I think you have picked the best of Ca, have a fun trip.
Oct 8th, 1997, 03:38 PM
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Skip L.A. -nothing there, big ugly city-instead come to Orange County and go to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm. One word of warning- The warm sea currents are being monitored by scientists as we speak and Californians are gearing up for the storm of the century this winter. I went to Yosemite this year in March and you could see all the damamge from flooding the year before. People drowned, campgrounds washed away, roads closed. Monitor the situation prior to coming. You might want to go to Florida, Walt Disney World instead
Oct 29th, 1997, 08:49 AM
Ron Craig
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The warnings about the mountains are quite valid. Pick mountain travel routes carefully and get lots of advise.

As for Monterey, well, what can I say. This is the heaven here on earth. The Coast Highway is really a drive worth taking but be prepared for occassional stops due to road repairs. We just came back and had run into a washout down around Gorda. It may be finished by January but the road crews are concerned about rains associated with the Little Child. A stop in Cambria for lunch would be nice, then up to the Hearst Castle. There are several tours there and each lasts roughly 2 - 3 hours.

Take your time and continue on north for some spectacular vistas. Pt. Sur Lighthouse is sometimes open for tours but you need to make reservations and the weather dictates availability. Pt. Lobos Reserve is just south of Carmel and a very beautiful place to stop and hike off the butt aches from driving. The Carmel Mission is a very relaxing place to visit. Then on to Carmel. Drive down Ocean Ave to the bottom by the beach. Parking is free and has no time limit. It is about a half mile hike up hill to the shops and stuff. The Hogs Breath on San Carlos between 5th and 6th is great for lunch. Then on to the 17 Mile Drive - stop at Pebble Beach?. Exit at the Pacific Grove or Asilomar site and drive the beach again. There is a real nice place to stay (The Rosedale Inn) at Asilomar if you're looking to stay somewhere a while. There are two great breakfast spots there in Pacific Grove, Toasties and First Awakenings. Anyone should be able to tell you where they are. Then there is the Monterey Bay Aquarium - quite worth a time out for a visit. Cannery Row - I guess you can tell we are quite taken with area. Feel free to e-mail for any additional info on the area. Have fun.
Oct 29th, 1997, 02:00 PM
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Don't worry about the roads...Other than possible snow, you shouldn't have any problem. There is a statewide, free telephone number to advise you of road conditions - 1-800-427-7623. Most of the area you are thinking of going to are in non-snow areas. I'd suggest that for a trip of 30 days (which will be plenty), you head over to Death Valley, which is beautiful in the winter. Try Interstate 15 east, and head north on Highway 127, then west on 190. Make sure you have a full tank of gas before heading north. There are few if any gas stations. You can camp or stay in a ranch hotel. You also might want to see Las Vegas, if you like gaudy cities. Ordinarily, I'd recommend you exit Death Valley on 190, and head to Lone Pine. This is spectacularly beautiful, desolate land. Then you could go up Highway 395. But in winter, I'd recommend you go 190 southwest to Highway 178, then south towards China Lake. Head west, still on 178, to Highway 99. Head north to Highway 41, just north of Fresno. If you have the time, King's Canyon/Sequoia National park is fantastic, with lots of huge redwood trees. You might run into snow, though. Spend some time in Yosemite, it's great in the winter, and the valley floor is only about 4500 feet, so it doesn't get that much snow. I always camp, so I can't recommend a motel. You might try a tent cabin in Yosemite-it's a step above camping on the ground. These are popular, though. Lake Tahoe is indeed the jewel of the Sierra. Skiing is very popular. It can be very snowy, even at lake level, though it is plowed, and chains aren't often required there. Heavenly Valley is very popular and expensive. Gambling is available in Nevada only, at North and South Shore. To get there from Yosemite, take Highway 120 northwest to Highway 49. It's a two-lane road, but full of very nice gold-rush towns. The best towns are Sonora, Columbia State Park, San Andreas, and Sutter Creek. Many cute old stores. Once you hit Highway 50, turn east. You may want to go Interstate 80 towards San Francisco. To head south, back to LA, take Highway 1 whenever you can. Monterey is great, so is Santa Cruz, Hearst Castle, Santa Barbara, etc. If you want detailed info on San Francisco, I have much information. E-mail me for hotel ideas, best places to eat, etc. You will LOVE California. Forget that idea about Florida. California is immeasurably better.

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