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California redwoods and coastline

Old Jan 10th, 2016, 05:25 AM
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California redwoods and coastline

I am planning a trip to California in June of 2016. Neither my husband nor myself have been there. We have 6 nights. I want to see the giant sequoias, the scenic coastline (Big Sur), and Hearst Castle (and if possible Alcatraz would be nice) - in that order of importance. Should we fly into Fresno, San Francisco, or LA.? Round trip or into one airport and out of another? Can we fit in everything?
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 05:55 AM
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One summer in July I drove from SF to LA along the coast. I NEVER saw the ocean due to the fog. I heard the seals barking but couldn't see them.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 06:10 AM
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>>We have 6 nights. I want to see the giant sequoias, the scenic coastline (Big Sur), and Hearst Castle (and if possible Alcatraz would be nice) - in that order of importance. Should we fly into Fresno, San Francisco, or LA.? Round trip or into one airport and out of another? Can we fit in everything?
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 06:16 AM
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Nomenclature issue - the Giant Sequoias are inland, in places like Yosemite or Sequoia National Park. The coast redwoods are the trees you'll see along the coast. The Sequoias are wider but shorter; the redwoods skinnier but taller. (Believe me, though, they're still awesome.)

As stated, June can be iffy along the coast due to fog, the later in the month the better.

The redwoods occur up and down the coast, from the Oregon border all the way down to Santa Barbara. The most famous and impressive groves are along US 101 starting around 4 - 4 1/2 hours north of San Francisco, while the Big Sur coast is around 3 - 3 1/2 hours south, so to visit all your targets in six nights you're going to be spending a lot of time in the car.

There are some excellent redwood groves closer to SF that might work well with your itinerary. Personally I'd fly into San Francisco (round trip) and get a car and head south by west to the Big Basin State Park redwoods - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Ba...ods_State_Park . From there you can go around Monterey Bay (visit funky Santa Cruz, historic Monterey, Carmel, etc.) then down Hwy 1 toward Big Sur and the Hearst Castle. Don't miss Point Lobos State Park just south of Carmel - stunning scenery and wildlife - and if you still want more redwoods, there's a nice grove in Pfeiffer State Park right in Big Sur.

By confining yourselves to the coast between SF and San Simeon, and concentrating on the Monterey Bay, you can see plenty without zigzagging all over the place. You'll want to secure accommodations fairly early; it's prime weekend getaway country for the locals.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 06:17 AM
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janisj and I were having another mind meld moment.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 06:25 AM
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 08:45 AM
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Flying into San Jose is also a good option.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 09:17 AM
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The itineraries above make a lot of sense. Note that you are giving up any time in LA. This wouldn't bother me since I just really don't like LA. And in only 6 days you don't have time to see everything.

Just be sure you are are happy with what you will be seeing.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 12:07 PM
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You can also see redwoods at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz a bit north of Monterey. I agree with flying into SF, staying there, Monterey or Carmel and Cambria for Hearst Castle. There is a nice elephant seal rookery just north of Hearst and San Simeon.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 02:21 PM
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Thank you for the help. I am coming from Alabama so this is all very foreign to me. It sounds like I should change to another month. I am flexible. Would July be better?
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 02:54 PM
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Last september we did nine nights on similar route.
3 - sausalito, 2 monterey, 1 cambria & 3 santa barbara.
If I could do the trip over I would have added a night to Sausalito and skipped Hearst Castle and the overnight in Cambria. I was not a big fan. September weather was gorgeous.

We stayed at Inn Above Tide in Sausalito and I would highly highly recommend it if it fits your budget.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 03:18 PM
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>>I am flexible. Would July be better?
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 04:26 PM
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Summer is better for my schedule, so I guess I'll risk it and try for June or late May. And thanks for the warning about the fleece. As a true southerner I am in a thick coat at 50. And since you all know the area, can you drive the road in the fog or would you choose another activity if a heavy fog sets in? Is it still worth seeing in fog? Is it too dangerous? Thanks for all your help.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 05:21 PM
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You won't typically get a pea soup fog so yes, normally the driving is fine. It is just that the fog/haze can obscure the scenery.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 06:13 PM
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Yeah, most of the time, the fog is high, so it is just kind of overcast. Sometimes it's lower, but very rarely pea soup that would impact driving or any other activities.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 06:16 PM
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The fog also has its own beauty and no, it's not usually heavy fog. Our last two summers have had little fog with warmer than average temperatures but who knows what this year will be like.
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