California Coastal Trip April

Old Feb 8th, 2013, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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@tomsd---thanks so much for all the help and links...much appreciated.

@starrss--thanks...always nice when someone who has done the trip chimes in...makes me feel better . I was looking @ that best western....price was high for that date though was considering trying to get it thru price line/hotwire.

@janisj.....thank u for your suggestions...what I meant was we have not booked a place to stay in Yosemite yet because I wasn't sure yet if it was a define stop. I am glad I didnt since many folks are recommending we stay outside Yosemite due to weather conditions.
I figured with stops from lax to Cambria could take us like 6 1/2 hours?
cutiepebbles75 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2013, 02:33 PM
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As with gardyloo, welcome to this Forum!

You'll find that there are any number of posters who are willing to give you advice or tell you of past trips, but their information may not be tailored to your trip and your needs, so be careful!

gardyloo and november_moon usually gives very good travel advice.

janisj (as does MichelleY) lives along that corridor (or did), so heed her advice about the times of the traffic jams. It'll be like - what would be a possible equivalent - driving around Times Square? Also heed her advice on booking early in Yosemite.

Not saying that the others haven't given you good advice, just that I'm not familiar with their posts.

I second the recommendation to stop in Santa Barbara rather than Cambria for the first night.

Wine country? Just about everywhere in California is "wine country" nowadays. Here's a map of the different wine regions of California.


If the weather is gloomy along the coast (we have coastal fog here), that might be the best day to head inland and visit some wineries in sunshine.

Lastly, I have a question: what happens to the car? If you are planning on pickup in one city and drop-off in another city, the drop-off charges could be huge.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 02:56 PM
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Hi easy traveler...

Thanks for the warm welcome
The car we are picking up in lax and dropping in SF near the end of our stay ....the last few nights we will be staying there.
I did reserve a car for $380....which wasn't too bad for a week....I can cancel if I happen to find cheaper. Those drop fees are super ridiculous.

Thanks for the great advise!
cutiepebbles75 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2013, 03:06 PM
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eastraveler: Driving through Sacramento - mid day - is like driving around Times Square? Really?

Drive that area at least once a year - and have for some 40 years (about every which way - from Folsom to the airport/north side - or vice/versa - or from Folsom/Sacramento into San Francisco (or cut over to Napa) or the reverse, or from San Diego up to Sacramento/return) - and it's usually no sweat during the day, after the morning rush hour - and before the later/afternoon commute starts.

And cutie: Keep checking on the car rental prices - but the drop off charges can be expensive for sure.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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I am glad to see that you have 3 nights planned for the Monterey area - it is a great place to visit and 2 days is a nice amount of time. The choice about whether to stay in Monterey or Carmel - or Pacific Grove, which is another town right there - really depends on what you are looking for.

Carmel is upscale, quiet, and quaint with lots of boutique-y shops and galeries. It also has a really beautiful beach. It is a romantic place.

Monterey is larger (30K people or so) with more going on and it is more diverse - wide range of accomodations, wide range of restaurants, etc. The coastline is varied with rocky stretches with beaches in between. There is a good recreational trail that runs for many miles along the coast - great for biking, walking, etc.

Pacific Grove is a small town with a gorgeous coastline - the recreational trail in Monterey continues through PG. Walking or biking that path is one of my favorite things to do in the area. Downtown PG is nice and relaxed - a piece of small town America with a variety of shops and restaurants, a real, functioning downtown.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 03:41 PM
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NM's descriptions of the 3 towns is great, but just so you understand the lay of the land, they are all basically adjacent to each other (the Monterey Aquarium is IN both Monterey and Pacific Grove, and Carmel is only 5 miles from Monterey).
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 05:14 PM
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@november _moon....
Thanks for the reply. I think we will love that area so I made sure I left enough time to enjoy it.
I will have to figure out where to stay....I did see a deal for intercontinental in Monterey on travel zoo for 149 a night plus tax it included parking and wifi too....the weekend was 179.....does that seem look a decent deal for that area?

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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 05:14 PM
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Do u think 2 full days for SF is enough?
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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You could always return to SF for a long weekend if you love it as much as most people do - but if you have more time on this trip - suggeast you spend it exploring California.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 06:23 PM
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Use your wild card day for more of SF and surroundings. Two days is not enough.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 06:28 PM
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BTW - just talked some golf/basketball with my buddy who lives in Folsom. He's bummed - as the Sacramento NBA team - the Kings - looks like they will be moving to Seattle - but the golf tournament at Pebble Beach is in full swing. Pebble is of the great courses of the world, and he enjoys playing it - or used to before it became so exorbitantly expensive. He's about a 3 handicap.

Anywho - he confirmed that after 9 and before 3 - traffic is not that bad around Sacramento - but it is a little heavier over on the I-80 side (toward Auburn/North Shore Tahoe) - than on I-50 - which goes out toward Folsom/South Shore Tahoe.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 07:02 PM
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Yes we hope to return someday to check out any areas we miss this time around.
@MichelleY....Yeah, thats why I wanted to have that wild card day...just in if we need it for that area we have it. I need to make a list of the must see's for that area.
@Tomsd...thats stinks for your buddy but at least the golf tourn. is in full swing for him
Thanks for asking him about the traffic!
cutiepebbles75 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2013, 07:18 PM
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I am now leaving this thread. There is no purpose posting about things I actually know about only to have someone who lives 500+ miles away insist he knows better.

Good luck

(BTW - Tom does not know one teensy, tiny little thing about the Kings - If you want to know whats going on maybe ask someone who has been to every single game for 27 years . . . just sayin')
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 09:09 PM
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Janis - sorry you are going to lose your "Queenies" - as Shaq used to call them. Maybe their young/inconsistent players will fare better in Seattle.

And I guess you missed the part about my buddy who has lived in Folsom for over 20 years and regularly plays golf around the greater Sacramento area. Also didn't mention my wife's cousins have lived in Sacramento their whole lives, and my sister's in laws lived there for 15 years, as well as a number of my law school friends still live there
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Old Feb 9th, 2013, 08:11 AM
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Juat a note about driving times/distances. From Yosemite Valley - you certainly don't have to go through Gold Country/49 - if you don't have the time. You could just drive from Yosemite to say Napa/Sonoma - or from Yosemite into SF - and do a day trip to Napa from SF if you want to do that - maybe even riding the ferry across the bay and hooking up with a tour. Just google away.

Here is a pdf/page for suggested driving times/routes - and the 2nd page of the file has a map:
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 09:14 PM
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I hope you have a nice coastal trip to enjoy with family.
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