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California, Naturally

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Hello All,

My husband and I are headed back to California this summer after experiencing 2 amazing trips out there last year. We're nature people and would rather visit a park than city/tourist trap things.

Last year we did Yosemite NP (amazing), Sequoia NP, Bodega Bay (kayaking was the coolest thing), Muir Woods, San Francisco, Monterey, Big Sur, Ano Nuevo elephant seals, and a few stops in between.

This year we're heading back out and I would love to hit up some additional wonders California has to offer. We're flying into San Francisco again (for hubby's job) and I'd like to get peoples opinions on things to do. Some options I was thinking of would be Lake Tahoe area and maybe north to some waterfalls, or we could go south and go down to LA area and out to Catalina for some snorkeling. Would there be enough to do in LA if we didn't want to spend too much time doing city things/tours? Never having been there I'd like to do my fair share of tourist stuff, but limited.

We are not able to spend too much money (around $100/night) so any wonderful/affordable lodging recommendations would be great too. I'm not opposed to sticking around for a few days and renting a house.

We'll have about 3 days before his business trip and approximately 8 days after to do some traveling. And I'm always looking for day trip suggestions for me from San Francisco area while he's working. I'm a Marine Biologist so anything to that sort would be a dream.

Thanks in advanced, I hope I wrote down my thoughts clearly enough for you to understand!

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