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First visit to the West Coast - flying into SFO where do I start?

First visit to the West Coast - flying into SFO where do I start?

Old Nov 19th, 2019, 02:58 PM
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The order I'd personally choose Yosemite accommodations (assuming each option fit my budget and not counting camping in the high country) :

1) In Winter the Ahwahnee hands down; Spring through Fall Yosemite Lodge
2) Yosemite View Lodge (El Portal) if I was solo; Yosemite West or Foresta if I needed multi-bedrooms
3) Curry Village motel rooms/cabins/tent cabins
4) Upper Pines Campground
5) Cedar Lodge (El Portal)
6) Wawona Hotel
7) Wawona campground.

As J62 says -- location location, LOCATION
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Old Nov 19th, 2019, 03:06 PM
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I haven't read most of the posts but this is how I'd spend two weeks in CA -
2 or 3 nights at Yosemite
Visit Muir Woods
3 nights in San Francisco
So the first week a combo of the above.
Second week = drive down the coast
I loved Carmel by the Sea. I recommend two nights there
I loved Cambria. We spent 2 nights there but we wanted to visit the central coast wineries.
I'd usually the recommend the Hearst castle but you come from castle country so it may not appeal
Some beaches for your son.
Fly out of LA or San Diego.
I understand LA doesn't appeal to you. I think you will find the climate of San Diego delightful.
Many things to see along the way.
I spent 2 weeks in April doing basically that trip (with a few changes) and it was one of my favorite road trips ever!
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Old Nov 19th, 2019, 04:22 PM
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The OP's plan is well beyond that sort of plan. But just a comment . . . For he vast majority of similar itineraries, Muir Woods simply doesn't work. But at is a good thing nice there are larger/better coastal redwoods stands all up,and own the coast without the crowds and mandatory pre booking.
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Old Nov 19th, 2019, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BritishCaicos View Post
... with 14 year old son (needs to be off anything made by Apple)
You could surprise him with a visit to Apple Park in Cupertino -
https://www.apple.com/retail/appleparkvisitorcenter/
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 06:37 AM
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The trip from Yosemite to Bodega Bay will make for a long, long day.

We've stayed twice this year at the Bodega Bay Lodge and really, really like it. The restaurant is superb, and the game room is a good alternative to TV in the room. We played a lot of Scrabble while enjoying the music.
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
The OP's plan is well beyond that sort of plan. But just a comment . . . For he vast majority of similar itineraries, Muir Woods simply doesn't work. But at is a good thing nice there are larger/better coastal redwoods stands all up,and own the coast without the crowds and mandatory pre booking.
Jeeze Louise - that will teach me re not posting from my phone. Typos and gibberish It should say:

The OP's plan is well beyond that sort of itinerary. But just a comment . . . For the vast majority of similar itineraries, Muir Woods simply doesn't work. But that is a good thing since there are larger/better coastal redwoods stands all up and own the coast without the crowds and mandatory pre booking.
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 08:51 AM
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I know , I know about the RV.

But it just seems to have adventure with location. My son loves them, we don’t.

We’re used to value for money at what ever level. If we pay £50 a night I know what to expect, if we pay £750 a night we hope we get that sort of level. Ahwahnee looked like the best option but style isn’t really us and the prices we were quoted were just plain silly.

I didn't know Big Little Lies was written for Australia but it could be written for any upper middle class area. It reminds me of our small home town, I could match every character with a parent at our school. Not sure whether the sex thing goes on here though.

The Apple headquarters is a very good shout, I’d no idea it was on our route. I’ll investigate what they offer visitors, my son is at a very impressionable age and the scale / design may make an impact. He’s toying with architecture as a career but with the very long training path, he needs to be sure.

Muir Woods : Thanks for the warning, we love nature but try to avoid crowds.

We will definitely eat at Bodega Bay Lodge , I’m afraid “I don’t like the look of that place” is non negotiable with a 50 year old ex corporate lawyer/ newly qualified maths teacher. I’m with the dog in our family, anything for an easy life.

Last edited by BritishCaicos; Nov 20th, 2019 at 08:53 AM.
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 10:16 AM
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upper middle class...ha ha --- they may not be UPPER class from a socioeconomic perspective, but they're WAY beyond middle class, upper or otherwise
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 10:23 AM
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ďI'd usually the recommend the Hearst castle but you come from castle country so it may not appealĒ

Well this thread certainly has been a revelation. What is it? Itís just big!

Yes, we have castles in Scotland but essentially to keep out the Picts, Celts, Vikings, Romans, English, Irish and Donald Trump.

We donít have castleís like that, well not with neo-classic temples for pool houses.

Itís interesting and it is a trip from Monterey. Itís a possibility not sure how it contributes to my sonís appreciation of architecture other than the fact that it seems to draw on every style since Neanderthals first vacated their caves. I think ĒWowĒ is the phrase Iím looking for.
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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 02:41 PM
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In Monterey we enjoyed kayaking on the bay- saw lots of sea otters, sea lions, birds, - they have all the gear available at the kayak rental place and you go with a guide who provides lots of info about the wild life.
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 08:57 AM
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Sunburn

That sounds perfect. Can you remember the name of the operator you used ?
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 09:05 AM
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I meant to post yesterday.

We did the same and it's one of my favorite travel memories. Our group had about 9 people and I paddled out a bit away from the others and just sat quietly. I was silently saying (to myself) "PLEASE come visit. Please come visit" and after a few minutes an otter slid up on the bow of my kayak and just stared at me. I stared back in shock with a huge grin of my face. Then s/he slid back off into the water. I didn't think anyone had noticed but the pre-teen in our group did. She was also fascinated by the mermen statues at the Hearst castle outdoor pool. It was a fabulous trip!

The rental location was just around the curve of the bay from the hotel. I'll google to see if I can find it.

Hopefully sunburn will have the contact info. I think this was ours but the building has changed -
https://www.montereybaykayaks.com/

Last edited by starrs; Nov 21st, 2019 at 09:10 AM.
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by starrs View Post
You could surprise him with a visit to Apple Park in Cupertino -
https://www.apple.com/retail/appleparkvisitorcenter/
Originally Posted by BritishCaicos View Post
What is it? Itís just big!

We donít have castleís like that, well not with neo-classic temples for pool houses.
It IS big! Not as big as the Biltmore, but it's very big.

The pools are interesting but the outdoor pool is really a "wow". The preteen girl with us was the first to notice the mermen statues by the outdoor pool. She enjoyed the visit. Not sure about your son nor his interest in architecture. I've been a couple of times and really enjoyed both visits. Also loved the Central Coast wineries. Surely there's something along the coastal drive that would appeal to your son, although I have no idea what your son in interested in.

My nephew just moved out that way and invited me to come visit. He's never been on a road trip along the coast so we'll be doing the coastal drive at some point in the future. Cosider the Apple stop. My nephew just landed a job at Google, hence his move. He's a lot older than your son, but was excited about the idea of the coastal drive.

IF you make the drive, you should stop here for the view, if not the food. I like the food AND the view.

https://www.nepenthe.com/
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 09:46 AM
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The food at Nepenthe is okay, the view is jaw-dropping.
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 10:40 AM
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Yes Monterey Bay Kayaks is who we used. You can also kayak with them at Moss Landing which is about 20 miles north of Monterey and you kayak in Elk Horn Slough. The nice thing about this location is that you can eat at Phils Fish Market afterwards. Its a fun dining experience. I think at Moss Landing they only had double kayaks while the location in town you had a choice of a double or your own. I prefer paddling myself. Enjoy!
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 12:07 PM
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>>It IS big! Not as big as the Biltmore, but it's very big.r

It isn't all that big by UK standards. Fewer rooms than Chatsworth and about 1/3 the number of rooms in Knole House. It is the flamboyance, setting, views, pools, 'history', Hollywood connections, and that it was designed by Julia Morgan who was a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh and was the first female member of l'…cole des Beaux-Arts (for your architecture fix)

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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 12:24 PM
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>> . . . and you kayak in Elk Horn Slough. The nice thing about this location is that you can eat at Phils Fish Market afterwards.

Ditto that

Kayaking in either the Bay or Elkhorn Slough would be a must for a family IMO. I've kayaked once on the Bay and maybe half a dozen times in the Slough

Bay:

Elkhorn slough:

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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 04:59 PM
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Janisj- Nice videos of kayaking at the slough and bay. Makes me want to pack up and go down for a trip.
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 10:38 PM
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Regarding the cottage rental at Monterey Bay, have you looked at the Carmel River Inn? They have some cottages. Visit the Mission in town when you're there.

I also would vote for a hotel or Airbnb at Yosemite.

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Old Nov 22nd, 2019, 09:17 AM
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Thanks 5alive but I have already booked the cottage in Monterey (which we are really happy with as it has a sea view) and we have booked the RV for Yosemite.

Janis, the kayaking looks like an incredible adventure, we have kayaked with dolphins near Kiawah but they didnít crawl on board. We had clocked Peteís Fish Market : itís our sort of place. Absolutely definitely going kayaking.

Starrs : we dearly love The South and visited Biltmore on our first trip , 20 years ago. We had high hopes but it struck me as the home of somebody who was troubled? Dark and austere without being grand and confident. We were also disappointed by the art collection. That year we had seen Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose which in the flesh has to be one of histories most magical paintings. The Vanderbiltís Singer Sargents were just paintings (not that we have any in our collection).
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