California Honeymoon

Apr 13th, 2005, 05:05 AM
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California Honeymoon

Need some advice on planning an itenery for our honeymoon. We are getting married in Halifax, N.S., Canada on September 3rd and then flying into San Fran on September 6th and returning on September 18th from LAX.

We would like to do the following:

- Yosemite
- San Fran
- Coastal Highway (Big Sur / Carmel)
- Venice Beach and Beverly Hills (my wife to be wants to rollerblade along the boardwalk)
- Wine Country (Sonoma / Napa)

Looking for some advice on timing (driving distances - we plan to rent a car) and where to stay and where to eat and any other points of interest. (What vineyards should we visit)

Since we are on a honeymoon - we plan to be a bit decadent and splurge on some higher end accomodations and resturants.

We have never been to California before.
astewar2 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 07:46 AM
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Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

I would suggest an itinerary something like this - Day 1 starting the day after you arrive:

Days 1 and 2 in SF
Day 3 in the Wine Country
Day 4 driving to Yosemite
Days 5 and 6 in Yosemite
Day 7 driving to Carmel
Day 8 in Carmel and Monterey
Day 9 drive through Big Sur to Cambria
Day 10 drive to LA
Day 11 in LA

For driving times:

* would pick up a car on the morning that you leave SF to go to the wine country because you don't need one in SF and parking can break the bank.
* Wine country to Yosemite - I am not sure, but it is about 4 hours from SF to Yosemite.
* Yosemite to Monterey is 4 1/2 hours or so.
*Monterey to Cambria is about 2 1/2 hours.
* Cambria to LA is about 4 hours.
J_Correa is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 02:10 PM
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ttt for astewar2
LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Harbor View Inn in Santa Barbara

Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica
clarkgriswold is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 06:51 AM
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Thanks for the responses...

I have heard good things about Hotel del Sol in SF. Still trying to decide where to stay in Calistoga, and Carmel/Monterrey.
astewar2 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:08 AM
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The Highland's Inn (Carmel) and the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa are both very nice places in this area. ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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You better check with the State of California before you plan on those September dates.

The State may be closed for that week due to some budget shortfalls.
Kal is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:33 AM
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Thanks kimamom....

I think I have settled on a plan based on the feedback. I feel like everybody else we are trying to cram a lot into our honeymoon.

Does this make sense in terms of distances between spots and being able to enjoy the scenery...

Night 1-4 - San Fran (Hotel Del Sol) - note: we arrive 6:30 pm on night one which will feel like 10:30 pm for us.

Night 5 - Calistoga

Night 6 - 7 - Yosemite (Awahanne)

Night 8 - 9 - Carmel area (worried about the drive from Yosemite back to the coast in terms of distance and time)

Night 10 - Cambria

Night 11 - 12 - Beverly Hills (the new bride wants to stay at the Pennisula or Beverly Hills hotel - gulp) - note we have a full day on day 13 as we catch the red-eye back to the east coast.

Welcome more feedback and accomodation/winery/food thoughts
astewar2 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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oh yeah and help me out was does ttt stand for?
astewar2 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 11:07 AM
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ttt stands for to the top - to bring a post up to the top of the thread so it doesn't get lost.

The drive from Yosemite Valley to Carmel isn't bad. It's kind of long, but not a big deal. It should take you about 4 1/2 hours not including stops.

I would leave Yosemite on Hwy 140 and go through Merced. In Merced, you take Hwy 99 north for a short distance and then Hwy 59 south to Hwy 152 west. Once you get to Gilroy, you take Hwy 101 south to Hwy 156 west which takes you to the coast. Hwy 1 south will take you right into Carmel. It sounds kind of complicated, but it really isn't, just follow a map.

A short detour from this route is the town of San Juan Bautista, which has a nice mission and some restored and rebuilt buildings around the original town square. If you are interested in California history, this makes a nice stop. With an early start leaving Yosemite, it also makes a nice stop for lunch.

Right along Hwy 152 between Pacheco Pass and Gilroy is a kitschy place called Casa de Fruta. It makes a great place to stop and stretch your legs. There is a nice fruit market there where you can buy local produce and products. Plus a little coffee shop, a wine shop, a candy shop, and some other things.
J_Correa is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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Ugh that drive from the Ahwahnee to Carmel will be really close to 5 hours with no stops or traffic. On Sat we drove out of Yoemite Valley on 140 to Mercecd and it was a really boring drive. This was the first time we'd taken that route. previously we used Tioga, 41 or 120 which are all much more scenic. The drive on 140 though is super easy and much less curvy than any of the others. If however, you find yourself near the south entrance, seeing the Maripose Grove or Wawona, you can drive out of the park on 41 to 99 and then take the rest of the route in Jcorrea's post. From Fish Camp it's about 4 hours to Carmel Valley.

Had drinks at the Ahwahnee on Sat urday. Wow that was a busy place. Weddings and people everywhere. The waterfalls were gushing in the 75 degree weather. There was water everywhere including the parking lots. The melt is on!!!
Suzie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 01:35 PM
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In Calistoga, check out the Indian Springs Resort. Have a meal at the Wappo Bar & Bistro while you're in the area.

If you go to Big Sur, a meal at Sierra Mar @ the Post Ranch Inn would prove to be very memorable. I'll second the Harbor View Inn in SB. We stayed there in December and loved it. Try to visit Montecito while you're in the SB area and check out their cool wine regions there. ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Is there a difference between the cabins or the main hotel at the Ahwahnee (other than not being connected to the main building)?
astewar2 is offline  
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