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texasaggie00 Jun 26th, 2007 07:33 AM

Need Advice on North California Itinerary
We are planning a trip for 9 nights to North California in August and are planning to do the following:

San Francisco - Golden Gate Bride, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Union Square, Alcatrez, Winchester Mansion

Monterey - Aquarium, 17 mile drive, Whale Watching Tour, drive Big Sure coastline

Yosemite - sightseeing, hiking

Lake Tahoe - sightseeing, whitewater rafting, casinos

We like to stay busy and know we are packing a lot into one trip. So far, we have planned to spend 2 nights in each location. Since we will be there for a total of 9 nights, any advice on which location we should spend an extra night at? Are we missing anything that we should try to fit into the trip? Note that we don't drink, so I don't think there would be much for us to do in Napa/Sonoma. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

crefloors Jun 26th, 2007 08:20 AM

I know that there is curiosity about the Winchester Mansion, but IMHO there's not a lot to see..a lot of stairs and doors to no with your time being faily short, you certainly could skip it.

Curious Jun 26th, 2007 09:01 AM

Not being pickie (sp), but it's "Northern California".

Don't waste your time with the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. The mystery is why anyone goes there.

You are packing an awful lot of driving into your time frame. If you really want to see Yosemite, you should have your reservations by now.

I suggest you get a GOOD road map and take a look at the distances and drive times.


Supercilious Jun 26th, 2007 09:03 AM

There's no whitewater rafting near Lake Tahoe in August. There's Class I floating on the Truckee but no whitewater.

However, there is fine rafting in Groveland near Yosemite. Search for Tuolumne River rafting. And in Auburn, there are outfitters that do the Middle and South fork of the American River. Both areas offer one day or multiple day trips.

janisj Jun 26th, 2007 10:27 AM

just a couple of quick comments:

that is a lot in a very short time.

Do you already have your accomodations in Yosemite?

Plan on cool/foggy in SF.

You lump the Winchester Mystery House in w/ SF but it is down in San Jose. Don't bother - even though it is not far off the route from SF to Monterey. You simply don't have the time to waste going there.

Newport101 Jun 26th, 2007 07:16 PM

I agree with the other folks. Reservations are key in Yosemite and you can probably pass on Winchester Mystery House. If you're committed to seeing it, there's some pretty good shopping and food in Santana Row near there. You might have seen that there's a blazing fire in South Lake Tahoe right now, but I wouldn't guess that you would be affected in August.

My vote for an extra day is either San Fran or Lake Tahoe. Depends on your city versus outdoors preference. You've got a good agenda. Have fun!

ciaolaura Jun 26th, 2007 07:40 PM

Don't miss the giant redwoods in Muir Woods, just over the GG Bridge in Marin County.


texasaggie00 Jun 27th, 2007 07:39 AM

Thanks for all of the advice! We are planning to add the extra day to San Francisco. We've also decided to skip the Winchester Mystery House and go rafting on the American River instead of the Truckee River.

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