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HELP! with northern California travel itinerary


Mar 31st, 2004, 04:03 PM
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HELP! with northern California travel itinerary

I have 7 nights to visit northern California in mid June. I plan to spend 3 nights in San Fransisco. That leaves 4 nights. I am considering 2 more locations for 2 nights each. Which 2 would you recommend between Yosemite, Napa, and Monteray (or is Big Sur better). Also what hotels or BandB's can you recommend that are under $150 per night.
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Mar 31st, 2004, 04:39 PM
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I would choose Yosemite and Big Sur. Much of the Big Sur attraction is the scenery along the coast road, so driving to Monterey to see the aquarium, and then to Carmel and perhaps to Point Lobos on the way back would give you a taste of the Big Sur coast that some of the major attractions just north of it. You can't do much more with just two nights on the coast. Reservations are a must in both locations.
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Mar 31st, 2004, 08:30 PM
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Unfortunately, April is a little late to be planning a June trip to Yosemite. The Valley will likely be totally booked up and nearby accomodations outside the park also book up early (and are mostly 45 to 60 minutes from Yosemite Valley). So unless you get on it immediately and are very lucky, you may not be able to visit Yosemite.

That leaves the Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur area - which is certainly worth 2 or 3 days. I'd probably stay in Carmel or Carmel Valley - that way you are within short drives of the entire Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur. There isn't that much accompdations right along Big Sur so you'll have a lot more choice in Carmel or C. Valley.

Your other day or 2 would be well spent in the Napa/Sonoma wine country.

You can visit these three areas in whichever order you'd like - but you really don't want a car in SF so I'd do the City stay either at the beginning or end (before picking up, or after dropping off, the car)
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Apr 1st, 2004, 05:40 AM
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You are getting very good suggestions here on this board.

Unfortunately, lodgings in Yosemite and to its west will get more and more difficult to get. Meanwhile, mid-June is a bit early to be considering lodgings to the EAST of Yosemite, Tioga Pass may still be closed. I like staying in the Mammoth Lakes area, so high up, it leaves me breathless, so to speak.

Check this forum for many previous posts on what to do and see in the areas suggested.
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Apr 1st, 2004, 07:47 AM
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I would go for Napa if you are truly appreciative of great food, wine and beautiful scenery and definitely the Monterey/Carmel area for the beauty and beaches.

Go to the aquarium in Monterey, dine at the White House in Pacific Grove and shop till you drop in the great shops in downtown Carmel.

In Monterey, check out the Monterey Beach Hotel, located directly on the ocean. Get an oceanview room, if possible. If you want to stay in Carmel and be walking distance to the shops and beach, there are many quaint inns for you to choose from.

Take in the 17 Mile Drive and stop at Roy's in Pebble Beach for dinner. Time it at sunset so you can hear the bagpiper play, it's wonderful.

You may want to check out The El Bonita Hotel in St. Helena (Napa Valley) for some of the best rates on hotels. A nice, clean property, centrally located. Get a room in the back, away from the highway noise. Good Luck and Happy Planning! ***kim***
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Apr 6th, 2004, 07:59 PM
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With only 7 nights I would not recommend going to all the places on your list. I would do Yosemite (2 nights), Monterey (3 nights) and Napa (2 nights) and save SF for another trip. Yosemite, Monterey, Big Sur, and Napa are the must sees IMHO. I have lived in SF for many years, but I never get bored with the beautiful scenery of the Monterey Bay Area, Wine Country, and Yosemite. SF to Yosemite is closer to 4 hours minimum and sometimes closer to 4.5, depending on the traffic. You could fly into San Jose, which is closer to Monterey and Yosemite than SF and you may be able to get cheaper fares into SJC rather than SFO. You could start in Napa then do a loop back to Yosemite, Big Sur, and Monterey, then back to San Jose.
Abi is offline  
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Apr 7th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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hi mmbb,

you're excited - it'll be lovely, mild weather. be sure to bring warm outerwear for the evenings . . .

i'd personally recommend:

2 nights in The City
then 2 nights staying in Sonoma (great homebase for all of Napa/Sonoma valleys - without the froufrou pretentiousness of Napa itself)
1 more night in The City (to do whatever you missed out on the last time), before
2 nights down in Monterey Bay - Asilomar is a great place to homebase yourself for Monterey, Carmel & Big Sur . . . so relaxing to be on the coast for the last part of your trip.


then, head back up to SFO right from Monterey.

i'm a native & put things in this order so you don't have to cross a bridge before heading to the airport. and, yosemite will still be there - i would save it for a future visit.

get planning *now* to reserve rooms/winery tours etc. - it's a popular time of year . . .

you'll get great tips on lodging, food etc. at:

http://www.sfgate.com/traveler/ (also kickin' for Wine Country)

hth & let us know how things go
: )
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Apr 7th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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I also will be traveling to northern California-in Sept for my honeymoon. I have read various postings and am now confused. We would like to do the Napa wineries, Carmel/Monterey are and SF. We would like to end in SF because with the timing the Giants will have a home game our last 2 days and we would really like to visit that baseball park. If anyone could outline an itinerary with suggestions for accommodations and approximate travel times between each location I would appreciate it.

Does Napa for 2 nights, Carmel for 3 nights and SF for 2 nights sound right?

Thanks for your help with this-I feel clueless right now.

Most important to me is to enjoy the view and get some beach time in. I just live for the beach-we are actually getting married on the beach thats how much we like it. I dont want to be too rushed and living out of a suitcase-but I do want to see a bunch of different things.

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Apr 7th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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I agree with hitting Santa Cruz for a beach experience. Capitola is the next town over and is a little more upscale than SC. Both places are for hanging out at the beach/beach atmosphere as opposed to going in the ocean. The water is cold and the only people in are little kids and folks with wetsuits.
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