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California, San Francisco, Yosemite, las Angeles, rt. 1

California, San Francisco, Yosemite, las Angeles, rt. 1

Mar 4th, 2014, 08:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 12
California, San Francisco, Yosemite, las Angeles, rt. 1

Hello! I am planning a family trip (husband, myself, and 7 & 9 yr. Old) we will be flying into SFO. then driving to Yosemite, then down to maybe kings canyon and sequoia, would love to see Death Valley. But since it will be July we wouldn't spend more than a day there most likely, so I'm not sure it would be worth the long drive. We then want to swing over to do the coastal highway back up to San Fransisco. We are not sure whether to go all the way down to LA and do some things or not. We are flying into SFO early the 18th of July and leaving SFO the 28th. Any recommendations for time and also interesting spots along the way would be greatly appreciated! We are outdoorsy types but I'm sure the kids wouldn't mind some Hollywood adventure as well. Thanks so much in advance.
jsturmx2 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,329
The quickest (easiest) way from Yosemite to Death Valley in July is over the Tioga Pass and not by way of Kings Canyon/Sequoia.
To see large Sequoias go to the Mariposa Grove in the southern end of Yosemite.
If you decide the rental car is too much from SFO for 10 days, you can get a train to Fresno and rent a car from FAT to cover Yosemite and Death Valley.
tomfuller is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
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For just 10 days, and especially in July, I'd drive just the SF-Yosemite-Hwy 1 loop and leave Death Valley for a more propitious time weather-wise.

From SF go east to Hwy 49 for the Gold Country & south to Yosemite (& Sequoia if you like), then 41/46 to Cambria on the coast/Hwy 1, just south of Hearst Castle, and on back north. I took a friend that route once and we both loved it.
MmePerdu is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I agree with Mme. Also, with kids that age, spend some time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a day at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Be sure to leave enough time in SF.
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hwy. 1 can also cause motion sickness for some, so be prepared if necessary.
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 17th, 2014, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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We did a similar trip in 10 days with teenagers: SF to Yosemite to LA and back to SF and included the coast highway in there. I am sure there are other trip reports out there but you may get some good info from mine. In San Francisco, My family enjoyed going down Lombard St. (really steep zigzag street you see in a lot of tv or movies), the Golden Gate Bridge which has a parking area on the north side just because it is so iconic, and Alcatraz. I didn't know if I would like Alcatraz but I loved it. There are building ruins, lots of flowers and interesting views of SF from the island. It was a neat place to explore, not just a jail. Buy tickets ahead of time as they sell out in the summer if you go.
In Los Angeles, again we chose an iconic street, Mulholland Drive in "the hills" and the view from a lookout point with telescopes. We liked going to Griffith Observatory which also has great views of the city at night in addition to the science inside. We liked driving down Sunset Blvd and through Beverly Hills to see all of the many $100,000 cars (and the streets lined with tall Palm Trees you see on tv.)
We thought the WB Studio tour was interesting and so pertinent to the city we had to do it. I would think kids the age of yours would like it or another studio tour.
We drove to Santa Monica Beach from our relatives' house in Glendale which was an ordeal. There was so much traffic and delays. Parking was a nightmare and the beach was crowded and the water cold. We are glad we could say we saw it but it ate up a lot of time accomplishing it. Venice Beach was something I would skip. We also went to Disneyland for a day but not everyone wants to take time out to do that.
We like to do outdoor activities too and that was the main focus of the rest of our trip. I tried to describe each state park we went to on the Coast Hwy 1 as well as Yosemite and mention travel times in my trip reports if you want to get info from them.
Have fun!



richmond706 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2014, 08:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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W/ just 10 days - i'd skip everything south of Yosemite/Cambria. You could do an SF > Lake Tahoe > Hwy 49 > Yosemite > Cambria > Big Sur > Monterey > SF. This would be rather rushed but still very doable. To slow down a bit - skip Tahoe.

Death Vally will be GAWD awful in July and Sequoia/Death Valley are too far out of the way.

The main thing you need to do is book a place (for a minimum two nights) In Yosemite Valley. Most likely there is no availability but there are often cancellations. If you can't get a room in Yosemite - book at the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal. Then if you get lucky w/ a late booking in Yosemite Valley you can cancel at Yosemite View.

IMO you don't have enough time for Los Angeles
janisj is online now  
Mar 18th, 2014, 02:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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For Yosemite - also check out staying in the Tent Cabins in Curry Village - right in the Valley Floor - far superior to having to commute in.
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 12
Thanks so much Richmond706 for the trip reports! I appreciate all the info. everyone has shared. We did book our campground nights in Yosemite. It was amazing how they were all gone instantly at the release time!
Thanks for all the great info!
jsturmx2 is offline  
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