Need advice to fly to see redwoods

Old Nov 7th, 2023, 04:40 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Need advice to fly to see redwoods

Hi everyone. I’m looking to fly to California to take my sons to see the redwoods. I’d like to fly in maybe to Portland and see that (never been to the northwest) and then rent a car and drive to see redwoods (maybe Yellowstone? Open to suggestions…) and then drive to San Francisco and then fly back home from San Francisco. My wife passed away and she was the planner so all of this scares the hell out of me lol but my partner told me to post on here for ideas. I mean I’m looking for advice for: sites to see, roads to take, hotels to book, airports to fly in and out of, I basically need a travel agent! Any advice is greatly appreciated! I’m thinking of going for a week in December when my sons are off from school…
davidbalber1129 is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2023, 04:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,406
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would recommend visiting a library or bookstore and browsing some guide books. If you belong to Auto Club their guides are now online, scroll down to Northern Coast here. Also, I think they still have travel agents at the Auto Clubs but maybe they only book cruises and packages, I dunno?

https://www.aaa.com/travelguides/northern-california-ca

Be aware that often there is a lot of rain in Northern California and Oregon by December.

Last edited by mlgb; Nov 7th, 2023 at 05:01 PM.
mlgb is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2023, 05:11 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,414
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Welcome to Fodors -- Not sure where Yellowstone would fit in - it is a very (VERY) long way from the California Redwoods. Maybe you meant Yosemite?? But even though Yosemite is a lot closer, it wouldn't fit into such a short trip that also includes Portland/redwoods/San Francisco.

You could do just a road trip from Portland > the Oregon Coast > the Redwoods > SF in a week but it would be fairly rushed. And in December you need to make allowances for possible winter storms.

Basically you could do 2 nights in Portland, 2 nights on the southern OR coast, two nights in the redwoods (could be 2 nights in one place like Trinidad - or one night in Trinidad and one night farther south), then straight down 101 to SF for the last night.

But do be prepared for wet weather.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 7th, 2023, 05:19 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don’t wanna rush!!

Hmmm…I’m already stressed by the idea of this trip into the unknown without my wife lol. What about places to stay? Maybe skip Oregon? And bear with me as my geography is embarrassing…all I know is I wanna see the big cool trees!



QUOTE=janisj;17508530]Welcome to Fodors -- Not sure where Yellowstone would fit in - it is a very (VERY) long way from the California Redwoods. Maybe you meant Yosemite?? But even though Yosemite is a lot closer, it wouldn't fit into such a short trip that also includes Portland/redwoods/San Francisco.

You could do just a road trip from Portland > the Oregon Coast > the Redwoods > SF in a week but it would be fairly rushed. And in December you need to make allowances for possible winter storms.

Basically you could do 2 nights in Portland, 2 nights on the southern OR coast, two nights in the redwoods (could be 2 nights in one place like Trinidad - or one night in Trinidad and one night farther south), then straight down 101 to SF for the last night.

But do be prepared for wet weather.[/QUOTE]


davidbalber1129 is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2023, 06:41 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,414
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
OK -- make things simple. Fly in and out of SFO - or possibly SMF (Sacramento) if your local airport has convenient connections.

If your flight arrives in the afternoon or evening, spend one night in whichever city you fly into. If you arrive in the morning get a rental car right away and head out. SMF to say Trinidad is a 5+ hour drive so you wouldn't want to start after about noon. Stay 2 nights in the general Trinidad/Orick area.

Like here: Home. This is a base for visiting several California redwood state parks and the Redwood National Park (generally the state parks are better)

Then head south and stay one night in Ferndale (only about a 1 hour drive from Trinidad but completely different.) https://www.visitferndale.com. For a bit of a splurge you could stay here https://gingerbread-mansion.com - but there are several other options.

Then drive the full length of the Avenue of the Giants and stay somewhere like Garberville or head over to the coast and stay in Ft Bragg or Mendocino.

https://avenueofthegiants.net

From there head back to either SF or Sacramento and stay one night -- fly home.

That is a seven day trip.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 8th, 2023, 12:24 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 22,915
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The coastal redwoods extend from the Oregon border to the beginning of the Big Sur coast. For the first time without your official planner, you might want to fly to San Jose and visit the redwoods in that area. How old are your sons? They might also be interested in things like the Monterey aquarium.


Perhaps you could base yourself there and take a day drive down the coast for the coast and the end of the redwoods in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park


On the way to the coast, you could stop at Henry Cowell State Park to see its redwoods


The Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is on the way to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park


Michael is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2023, 06:17 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,863
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have not visited California in December but I was in the northern redwoods area 2 weeks ago. There were few visitors in the redwood groves then and that can make the visits more special. I assume December is also lightly visited. I was lucky with the weather because my visit was sunny and almost warm, but it was sandwiched between days with a lot of rain and rather cool. I suspect the cool/wet is more likely in December.

The southern section of the Avenue of the Giants was closed, and a paper map was helpful to get to the first open section. (Incidentally, my coworker had plugged in "Avenue of the Giants" into the GPS and it sent us halfway to the Pacific to around Briceland before I caught the mistake, I really hate those things! There must be a cafe in Shelter Cove with that name or something like that.)

I assume you are coming from the East Coast somewhere with your Yellowstone mistake. Your nonstops are probably limited to SFO and maybe San Jose. All options suggested above will work fine, connecting to get to Sacramento works and then you can get to the northern redwoods without city traffic, I did it this way and thought it was a quick drive. Clear Lake is a pretty spot on that drive not quite half way. A minor point but the rental car companies at Sacramento are open at 4 am to receive cars even though the website says they open at 6am, at least this was true for Enterprise. So no need to worry if catching an early flight about not getting a proper check in and receipt.

Just throwing our another suggestion if the wet weather is a concern (it would be for me), you could fly nonstop to Vegas and visit Death Valley (check for accommodations) then drive to Sequoia NP and see different but more impressive big trees there, then head back to Vegas. A completely different trip but a good one.

There's no right answer, there are many potential 1 week trips a person could do in California that are equally satisfying.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2023, 07:46 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,336
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
Michael (post no. 6) has the right idea. Fly to San Francisco (from where?) and limit your touring to the Monterey Bay area. See the redwoods in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz and at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park near Big Sur. Visit the Monterey aquarium, see the migratory monarch butterflies in Pacific Grove, the old Spanish mission in Carmel, and above all marvelous Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, just south of Carmel. This is a very compact and very scenic area that yields big dividends with just a few days. Maybe add a night or two in San Francisco while you're at it.

Google the places on this map - https://maps.app.goo.gl/53NcVD558j8g36367
Gardyloo is online now  
Old Nov 8th, 2023, 07:59 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,414
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
I heartily agree with the Henry Cowell/Monterey/Carmel/Point Lobos option. My suggestions above for the northern loop was taking into account your original comments re Portland to SF and simplifying it. But the southern loop (Henry Cowell/Monterey/etc.) would involve a LOT less driving and includes a couple of wonderful Redwood state parks, plus has other world renowned sites/sights.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 8th, 2023, 11:31 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Gardyloo
Michael (post no. 6) has the right idea. Fly to San Francisco (from where?) and limit your touring to the Monterey Bay area. See the redwoods in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz and at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park near Big Sur. Visit the Monterey aquarium, see the migratory monarch butterflies in Pacific Grove, the old Spanish mission in Carmel, and above all marvelous Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, just south of Carmel. This is a very compact and very scenic area that yields big dividends with just a few days. Maybe add a night or two in San Francisco while you're at it.

Google the places on this map - https://maps.app.goo.gl/53NcVD558j8g36367
Yes, that would be the best idea to reduce travel times. You could try to fly into San Jose.
PrairieHikerI is online now  
Old Nov 8th, 2023, 11:45 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,700
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Gardyloo
Michael (post no. 6) has the right idea. Fly to San Francisco (from where?) and limit your touring to the Monterey Bay area. See the redwoods in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz and at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park near Big Sur. Visit the Monterey aquarium, see the migratory monarch butterflies in Pacific Grove, the old Spanish mission in Carmel, and above all marvelous Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, just south of Carmel. This is a very compact and very scenic area that yields big dividends with just a few days. Maybe add a night or two in San Francisco while you're at it.

Google the places on this map - https://maps.app.goo.gl/53NcVD558j8g36367
I agree with Gardyloo and janisj. If you really wanted to see NW Oregon and some of SW Washington, you could fly to PDX and rent a car to go to the coast. Return the car where you rented it and take the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Portland to Sacramento overnight. Rent a car in Sacramento to go see Yosemite and then head west to the Monterey area and Henry Cowell. Depending on airline connections, you could fly home from Sacramento (SMF), Oakland, or SFO. In Yosemite, try to get to the Mariposa Grove in the southern part of the park to see some big Sequoias. The big trees near the coast are Coast Redwoods
tomfuller is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2023, 05:43 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Awesome ideas guys thanks!

Ok so my oldest son threw a wrench in the trip: He really wants to find a place to ride motorcycles (dirt bikes). We’re coming from Tampa btw.

and with your suggestions should I just google hotels? Or should we just drive and sleep when we find a place? I’ve only been to California once in LA and I wasn’t driving so this is a big deal for me.
davidbalber1129 is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2023, 10:32 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,700
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
For dirt bike riding in Oregon, visit WWW.frontaer.com/oregon-dirt-bike-riding-trails They list the 9 Best Dirt Bike Trails in Oregon Worth Riding Now. At least one of the 9 is on sand dunes on the Oregon coast. There are a few places where you can rent dirt bikes and ATV's in Oregon.
I still think that flying to PDX and renting a car to see what you want to see of Oregon and then returning it where you rented it and then flying or taking the train to California and renting another car is best to avoid a big drop off fee.
Some of the coastal Oregon State Parks have yurts that might work out for you for lodging. I like the yurts at Sunset Beach (out of Coos Bay) and at William Tugman State Park near the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2023, 01:50 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Visiting the Redwoods

I think that it's great that you plan to visit the redwoods with your sons. I think if the focus is on seeing the redwoods, I would fly into San Francisco. There are a lot of places that you can see the redwoods in Northern California depending on how far north you want to drive. If your focus is on seeing the redwoods, I would skip flying into Portland unless there are other things you want to see there. When you fly into San Francisco, I would rent a car and drive to north to see the redwoods. The farthest north that has redwood trees is a town called Crescent City and it has Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park. If you go this far north, plan on taking Highway 101 and it will take you approximately 6 hours without traffic. I would personally not visit any places in San Francisco with luggage in your car since there has been a lot of car robberies, especially targeting tourists unfortunately. While in that area (Crescent City), people love the coastal town of Trinidad, California. It's a beachy area that is quaint and small with a lot to do. Sue Meg State Park is in Trinidad as well and has views of the ocean and redwood trees. It will be rainy so it might be worth brining rain boots and hooded jackets. If you feel that Crescent City is too far of a drive to see the redwoods, Avenue of the Giants also has redwoods and is only about 4 hours drive north. Another place to see redwood trees is in Guerneville called Armstrong Woods State National Reserve and it's in Sonoma County (a about 1 1/2 hours north of San Francisco), although it's only a short loop. Another option as you are driving back is to drive over to the coast around the Windsor area from Highway 101 to the town of Bodega Bay and Jenner, California. You can spend time on the coast and soak in the incredible views. I think that it may be whale watching season too so that may be something that you are interested in. Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any questions.
Northerncalitraveler is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2023, 03:44 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,414
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
^^^ A lot of good info in the above post -- but you don't have to go as far as Crescent City. Trinidad is about as far norh as I'd go on a short trip. That would cut about 1.5 hours from the drive north. Lots of Redwoods state and national parks in Humboldt and Mendocino counties.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 20th, 2023, 06:20 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with JanisJ that if you stop at Trinidad you will save yourself some drive time and you can still see a lot of redwoods along the way. This is another option to cut down on drive time and enjoy the places you stop along the way more.
Northerncalitraveler is offline  
Old Dec 22nd, 2023, 11:26 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree the California Central Coast might be your best bet here! It's not Redwood National Park, but you'll have options for 3 airports to fly into (SFO, Oakland, San Jose), and it's a simple enough drive south to Big Sur, Monterey, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and more. This whole area is a lot busier than the far Northern California area of Humboldt/Redwood National Park, but much easier to get to, with more options for kid-friendly places to go. Highway 1 on the Central Coast is my favorite drive in the world. Also, the town of Hollister is nearby and they're big into dirt biking there.
jenfuld is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
a0628h0427
United States
14
Jun 6th, 2013 07:57 PM
november_moon
United States
9
Jul 9th, 2010 11:04 AM
MaryPPP
United States
4
Jul 9th, 2006 07:04 PM
zirconia
United States
30
May 17th, 2004 09:56 AM
kendu
United States
10
Aug 14th, 2003 08:29 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -